The final week of our ATS training focused on equipping ourselves to be able to help faculty once in the field next week. As we help faculty finalize their courses we are to promote literacy with the Canvas software, raise awareness for best practices in online teaching, and provide guidance in a COVID-19 education environment. I think this third point is the most critical of our roles. As Northeastern switches over to a “hyflex” model of teaching for the semester, every faculty member will have to use Canvas in some way to promote the health and safety of students. Although we were not specifically trained in hyflex teaching methods, we will be given training throughout the rest of the summer as Northeastern concertizes the system. Considering that I will be an instructor of record for next semester, I will closely follow these developments and keep faculty informed.
During this week’s module we also had our own courses reviewed. As I read through my own feedback I found that many mistakes I had made were small errors such as forgetting to delete a miscellaneous placeholder text that Canvas had provided. Everyone can use a second eye on their work, and I hope above all else I can assist faculty in fixing minor mistakes that every human makes.
It is this combination of best practices and attention to detail that create a student friendly course. Many of the best practices previously discussed in my reflections can help students engage in fruitful discussion, as well as create a final assignment with which they can be proud. Addressing small mistakes can help get rid of distractions that may divert student attention from the substantive elements of a course.