Surveys of our trainees show that most candidates find the technical aspects of online learning easy and are satisfied with remote training overall. But the surveys also show some significant challenges to online learning.
Challenges of remote teaching
Given the many challenges of the pandemic, many of our trainees are even more pressed for time than usual. 54% of all trainees say it’s hard to make time for reading and classes.
Trainees are twice as likely to say remote classes are too long compared to in-person classes. A number have asked for classes to be shortened.
Trainees are also more likely to say there is too much reading in the context of remote learning– especially candidates, 42% of whom feel their reading load is too much.
Trainees want to talk and to hear from one another, but class participation is more challenging over Zoom. Just under half of our trainees say they participate less since the switch to remote learning.
Most trainees (especially candidates) find it harder to concentrate in Zoom classes. Less concentration makes it harder to participate, and less participation makes concentration worse!
Steps you can take
On Courseworks, identify the one reading (or section of that reading) that you most want trainees to cover, if they have time. Give brief summaries of the main points of key readings in class.
Start each class with a detailed schedule for the day, breaking the class down into sections (“I am going to spend the first 10 minutes giving you an overview of…Then trainee A will present some process notes, and we will discuss them until 1:45…”).
Give trainees a brief break at a predicted time (put that on your schedule, too).
Passive listening is a big strain on concentration and reduces participation. Try limiting any lecturing to short segments, no longer than 15 minutes each.
Help spark and structure class discussions by giving the class specific prompts to respond to. This can include a screen share of process notes, conducting a poll, or posing some thought provoking questions you’ve planned out ahead of time.
Consider reducing the length of your class, for example by 15 minutes, if you feel your trainees can meet your learning objectives for the class in a shorter time.
Ask your course chair, faculty development chair, curriculum committee chairs and chair of training for help! We are all eager to support you in adapting to this new challenge!