- About CEE
- Crowdmark: A more efficient way to grade student assessments
- The unexpected benefits of a shorter syllabus
- Photo gallery: Talking shop at Teaching Matters
- Watch the video: Faculty members discuss SFU's new instructor-led online course model
- Bridges and booster rockets: CEE's new senior director talks about teaching support
- Meet the Centre for Educational Excellence leadership team
- A biology instructor rethought her students’ role—and her own
- Photo gallery: SFU’s 24th Annual Spring TA/TM Day
- Photo gallery: SFU's 9th Annual Winter Warm-up
- If you build it, will they come?
- “My students didn’t look like they were having fun”: Three additions to the TA/TM Stories podcast series
- View the furniture, share your thoughts—online
- An upgraded Canvas Gradebook is coming in January
- Share your thoughts on the furniture in SFU classrooms
- DEMOfest presenter slides
- Photo gallery: 5th Annual DEMOfest
- Teamwork needs to be taught
- TA/TM Stories: Three new podcasts explore the teaching experiences of grad students
- Can it be done? A math instructor attempts to indigenize her course
- Answers to your questions about SFU's new approach to online education
- Photo gallery: The CEE Open House
- Do you know your faculty teaching fellow?
- Instructor-led online courses: How one faculty member prepared for the new model
- Photo gallery: SFU's 34th Annual Fall TA/TM Day draws a crowd
- Connecting people and crossing artificial divides: An interview with Elizabeth Elle
- Sessional instructors can now be included in online course evaluations
- Don't say this to your class—a student shares his experience
- How one lecturer is using podcasts to make course concepts more real in her online course
- Photo gallery: Rain, burgers and smiles at the 2019 President's Employee BBQ
- Five questions and answers about the creation of CEE
- A redesign made this course more engaging for students—and the instructor
- How can we support remote instruction at SFU?
- CEE Staff Login
Watch the video: Faculty members discuss SFU's new instructor-led online course model
By Jackie Amsden
On January 20, 2020, Sheri Fabian (criminology), Danielle Murdoch (criminology), Jessica Hunter (education) and Amanda Watson (sociology and anthropology) shared their experiences teaching in SFU’s new instructor-led model of online courses at a Teaching Matters panel discussion.
Under the new model, instructors rather than tutor-markers are responsible for facilitating online courses.
The intention is to provide online students with more direct and meaningful engagement with instructors. A comment by Murdoch suggests that this goal is being met: “[What surprised me was that] I actually knew my students’ names by the time the exam came around—despite being in an online course.”
A new set of challenges for a new way of teaching
One of the biggest topics the panellists addressed was what challenges instructors should expect in navigating this new learning environment.
For those new to teaching online, the loss of adaptability was top of mind. Watson recalls thinking, “I like ad libbing in my teaching. How am I going to commit to a fixed structure?”
She needn’t have worried.
“After two weeks I was struck by the quality of the discussion. So there is something lost, something gained.”
Instructors with previous experience in teaching online at SFU noted the increased workload associated with both designing and running an online course.
“Whatever amount of time you think it’s going to take, triple it. Then add some more,” said Fabian.
Similarly, the panellists emphasized the increased logistical complexity of scheduling out-of-town exams.
Tips from the early adopters
For SFU instructors approaching the new model for the first time, the panellists offered a number of tips:
- Before launch, practice answering your own discussion board questions, so that you can get a practical sense of the word count needed. And try to keep that number consistent for all posts to simplify things for students.
- Get access to a lightweight student account in Canvas, so that you can check the student view more accurately than via the student view setting.
- Include a quiz focussed on the syllabus as a way to compel students to learn how to navigate the course.
To learn more, view a video recording of the full panel discussion on YouTube. Note that you will need an SFU computing ID to access this resource.