As NYUAD is implementing the Remote Plus model, where nearly all courses are offered online during the full Fall 2020 semester, the Remote Instruction Support website has been developed to direct to relevant teaching and learning resources from across the global network.
An important step towards successful online teaching is to familiarize yourself with the available online tools and their features. NYU’s Global Network uses the learning management system, NYU Brightspace.
NYU Remote Instruction website also covers video tutorials. Most relevant is tutorials on how to effectively use NYU Zoom. For those recording lectures for asynchronous use, NYU Stream is the available software. For testing and quizzing NYU Qualtrics is recommended. Other useful tabs on the website include Remote Assessment Methods and Practices and Secure Your Zoom Meeting.
The anxieties and dislocations brought on by COVID-19 induced changes to how we work and live can negatively impact learning. The added stress can impact students' abilities to self-regulate learning behaviors and focus on their work. It is important to devise strategies for your course design and online engagement to support learning during trauma.
Students have been quarantining in varied environments, and they and their families have been impacted in a wide variety of ways. These challenges are on top of other global challenges and the pressures of collegiate life. Pedagogical compassion is focused on flexibility without sacrificing rigor. Allowing students to use their voices to make choices about their learning is the first step.
The following websites cover trauma-informed teaching and pedagogy in great detail: Yale-NUS College CTL and Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching.
Faculty members who are regularly interacting with students are in a unique position to notice any signs of distress a student might be experiencing. Students can be referred to the list of resources available to them based on their location in or outside of the UAE. If you have a question about how to handle a mental health situation or have concerns about a particular student, you can contact the NYUAD Health Center at email@example.com or call (+971) 2 628 8100.
Not different from in-person classroom, online instruction requires intentional design and employment of inclusive strategies to support diverse learner needs and abilities. Under this unusual environment in which students and faculty find themselves, it is more important than ever to make sure no learner is left behind. NYU's Inclusive Remote Classroom Practices outline key strategies to create an inclusive and equitable remote learning environment for all students. You can also visit the Diversity and Inclusion section on the Hilary Ballon Center website to learn about terms and definitions related to diversity and inclusion and how these fit within the NYU Global Network.
An area of inclusive pedagogy that requires attention is digital accessibility. NYU offers a number of resources regarding this topic, including Accessibility Best Practices, Digital Accessibility Checklist, and How-to Guides.
The Moses Center for Student Accessibility (CSA) works with students to determine and implement appropriate and reasonable accommodations as well as access available programs and resources to support equal access to a world-class education. You can contact Aisha Al Naqbi, NYUAD liaison for Moses Center and Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Campus Life Initiatives at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students may experience a range of issues that can interfere with their ability to perform academically or impact their daily functioning, such as: heightened stress; anxiety; difficulty concentrating; sleep disturbance; strained relationships; grief and loss; personal struggles. If you have concerns about student well-being or mental health you have the option of referring them to the list of resources available (login required) to them based on their location in or outside of the UAE.
Students requiring mental health support outside of these hours can call NYU's Wellness Exchange hotline at 02-628-5555, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can also utilize the Wellness Exchange mobile chat feature, details of which they can find on the student portal.
Online learning is new to students as much as online teaching is to faculty members. Navigating this unfamiliar environment can be difficult and challenging. There are a number of resources to help students feel more comfortable and confident. NYU Student Success collected tips on Successfully Navigating Remote Learning and Successful Study Habits for Remote Learning (PDF). NYUAD's Center for Academic Technology website has a dedicated section on student instructions for Brightspace.
The following will guide you through the principles for successful group activities that foster collaboration in online learning. Looking at the list of examples, you might find that you already use many of these activities in your teaching efforts. We recommend choosing one activity that may be new to you and try implementing it as an actionable step forward.
The literature on the positive effects of collaborative learning on academic success is robust with decades of research (Scager et al., 2016). The review article by Laal and Ghodsi (2012) outlines four overarching categories of benefits fostered by collaborative learning:
In her article on Involving Students in Online Collaborative Learning, Emtinan Alqurashi articulates the most common challenges instructors face:
* Adapted from 5 Strategies to Deepen Student Collaboration by Mary Burns
Let students know why being able to conduct collaborative work is important, either for your discipline, the technical expertise relevant to a real world application of it, or simply as a help to gain the tools to live a more examined life. Link these skills to your course learning objectives and tell your students the reason why you are including them. Apart from the benefits of collaboration, set student's expectations on how to engage together and what a successful group collaboration looks like. Help them establish not only the norms for working together but for resolving conflict as well.
Free riding is a complaint many students raise in relation to collaborative assignments. You can minimize the opportunities for students to free ride by assessing students both individually and as a group. You can also ask students to evaluate their own effort and that of each team member and compare these assessments with yours.
The process of collaboration often gets lost in students' focus on creating the final product as efficiently as possible. If you want them to engage with one another on a deeper level and share their intellectual experience, incorporate opportunities for discussion in the design of assignment. One way to do this is ask students to come to consensus around a solution and defend the common vision. Students will learn how to negotiate, argue constructively, and ground their ideas in evidence.
The aim of a collaborative activity is not only to strengthen students' existing skills but to stretch one another's expertise and knowledge. Students should learn, do, and experience more than they would alone. Each student should play an important role in the process. To give students ownership in the process, design specific team roles which can also guide you in assessment.
You can find more examples on Cornell University Center for Teaching Innovation website.
5 Strategies to Deepen Student Collaboration by Mary Burns
Involving Students in Online Collaborative Learning by Emtinan Alqurashi
Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R., & Holubec, E. (2008). Cooperation in the Classroom
Morgan, K., Williams, K. C., Cameron, B. A., & Wade, C. E. (2014). Faculty Perceptions of Online Group Work. Quarterly Review Of Distance Education, 15(4), 37-42.
Scager, K., Boonstra, J., Peeters, T., Vulperhorst, J., & Wiegant, F. (2016). Collaborative Learning in Higher Education: Evoking Positive Interdependence.
Laal, M., & Ghodsi, S. M. (2012). Benefits of collaborative learning. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 31, 486–490.