Online learning: Notes from Days 3 and 4

We did more problem-solving in the latter half of this week, still using zoom’s breakout rooms and whiteboards. In intro physics, I had 4 groups of 4 students, which seemed close to the limit of me being able to get around and be helpful. I really wish I could see the all the students’ whiteboards simultaneously without having to join their group. In general relativity, I had two groups of three students and that was easy to just hop back and forth. For both, Id like to have an easy way / work flow for students to bring their whiteboards back to whole class. It might also be that Online whiteboarding would benefit from explicit roles.

In intro physics, we also did more clicker questions with polling. There were some minor difficulties with polling, wherein some students couldn’t find the polling after a repoll. I don’t know what the issue was, but it would fix itself if the student left the meeting and came back. It would also get fixed when I stopped sharing and reshared. This makes me think it’s an issue when both polling and sharing are being used at the same time. Why for some students? Not sure. One student who uses Linux also has trouble with zoom, but that’s with whiteboards.

Things I like about online learning. 1. Back channel. I definitely have students who interact with me more because they can privately message me a question without interrupting or having to ask it publicly. 2. During clicker questions, students can also privately type to me their reasoning.

Things I don’t like: I don’t yet have a work flow for the “pair” part of think-pair-share. I may need to create pairs for chat, because breakout rooms seems to take too much time for a quick pair chat. This is similar in annoyance with how I can’t glance across the room and see all the whiteboards.

We decided that 1.5 hours is the max time we should do whole class. So I am doing 1 hour of open room / office hours , where students can work home work problems either alone or together, ask questions, etc; then 1.5 hours of mixed lecture, discussion, whiteboarding. Students are not required to be there for any of this, of course.

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