Notes from Pandemic Teaching: Week Two

Just based on what I know, I have one student who works in the ER and another student who has been reactivated to active military duty for pandemic response. Many students have lost their jobs and a few have since taken up new jobs that conflict with opportunities for synchronous class activities. Others have told me they have unspecified barriers to continuing with class. I still haven’t heard from a handful of students, despite multiple efforts to reach out.

Teaching the concepts of electric charge, electric force, and electric field proved somewhat difficult, especially without the ability to be with students as the explore and grapple with phenomena. I used various simulations and clicker questions. Limiting our synchronous class time to 1.5 hours meant much of what we needed to go over was not addressed during synchronous. I’ll make some screencasts to fill in the gaps.

I chose not to do high stakes assessment for problem-solving with Coulomb’s Law and calculations of electric field and electric potential for point charge. We are doing exercises and they have some HW, but the emphasis is on getting oriented to enough of the concepts so we can pivot to circuits, which is an area we will assess.

We have our first online test this Monday. Students are worried, because they have become used to paper exams with lots of opportunity to show one’s work and reasoning. I will see how it goes and adjust later exams if needed, but the exam is open book and notes. Students are asked to work the exam individually without any help or consultation from any person (in or out of class). All students are taking the exam at the same time, during our regularly scheduled time. Their is pseudo randomization of numbers and scrambling of questions and answers for multiple choice.

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