Listen to the Episode:
Should you change your online course due to the coronavirus?
In short: yes. You probably should.
Courses are specific to the people who are in them. The people in your class right now are affected by COVID-19, one way or another.
Some of them have kids home who are usually at school.
Some are working overtime because they're nurses, or doctors, or janitorial staff, or IT people.
Some have lost their jobs or their steady source of income due to the virus's effects on industry.
Some are chronically ill or disabled and terrified of the consequences.
Some may have contracted the virus.
To go on as if nothing is different would be a disservice to the classroom community, in my opinion.
What should you do differently?
At the very least, acknowledge the situation. Let the students know that you see them, that you care about them.
Make it clear that their lives, their familys' lives, and their communities are more important than your course.
Think about what work you still have to do together this term, and decide if all of it is necessary, important or mandatory under these conditions.
I decided to lighten the load a bit in my courses.
I opened up my final exam early, so that students can complete the course early if they like. (The modules are all open from day 1.)
I cut down on the number of required assignments from six to five.
I feel confident that we're still doing all of the things we need to do, that they are getting a solid education.
Have you made any changes? I'd love to hear about them.
Thanks for listening/reading.
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