How did you help your customers adapt to the demands of teaching online during COVID?
As you know, the pandemic has forced organisations to look again or accelerate their digital transformation strategy.
We quickly discovered that, as in most organisations, many teachers in our user organisations did not have any experience of teaching online and needed support. In November 2019, we had started producing a new collection of online HOW2s — depicting ways that educators could use evidence-informed teaching techniques online. So our response was to accelerate this production process and invest in creating HOW2s for our “Using HOW2s online collection” to support their Covid-19 response. With our lead designer now primarily engaged with home parenting, we gave him a budget to outsource support. And we also bought additional staffing to help us stay in touch with our customers.
New HOW2s for teaching online
We had a number of new customers who had subscribed for a September 2020 start. We gave them access straight away so that they could offer immediate support to their teachers to help them through the next few months
Staying in touch
It soon became apparent that teachers were pulling out all the stops to teach online. It became equally evident that many educators, through no fault of their own, simply did not know how to adapt their practice and were teaching “as if” they were still in the classroom. And independent work, away from the teacher, on the whole, saw learners working on their own. In response, we prioritised the creation of techniques that see learners working together, independently of the teacher.
We communicated with our customers every week by email and continued to support our HOW2 leads by phone and webinar. We are proud to say we did not furlough anyone. Instead, we asked ourselves “how can we do our bit?”. We wanted our customers to know that we were there to talk to if they needed an ear or some advice.
Supporting reflection and planning
As things kind of settled down we started to point our customers to techniques that would see teachers doing less of the work —many (most?) were trying to teach as if they were in the classroom and were subsequently working too hard!
We also learned that there were some key learnings to be had regarding a whole organisation response to support teachers. So we created a blog post and poster detailing how to set up a positive environment for online teaching for our customers to use to reflect on practice thus far and hopefully help them plan for the future. You are very welcome to use it whether or not you decide to subscribe.
We then did further work around the idea of supporting novice online teachers in making the transfer to teaching online. “Teaching online — how to do it like you are not new to it” was the result. It looks at eleven specific actions a novice can take to look less like a novice! Again you can access the blog and download the poster if you think it will be helpful to you.
We don’t pretend to offer a silver bullet, or a one size fits all type solution. We wanted to do our bit to help. Our customers are now better equipped to deal with whatever the future holds, so we are happy. They have techniques to use online, in the classroom or workshop or workplace and as part of blended learning.
We made no charge to our customers for these additional HOW2s.
Poster: Entry Routines for online Teaching, Learning and Assessment
Online Entry Routines poster
5 ways to ensure that online sessions start well and learners last the distance.
With QR codes linking to an accompanying blog post and the HOW2s for Online Teaching collection.
Teaching Online — How to look like you are not new to it
Transitioning teaching expertise from live face-to-face settings to online is not immediate. But there are (more than) a few little things that can make it look like you’ve been doing it for ages. Download the poster and take a look at the blog post for more details.
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