Teaching Tip: Augment your in-person classes with online learning platforms

This tip is based on feedback from 338 students across four Los Angeles college campuses.

Throughout 2020, educators have been forced to move their classes entirely online which has exhausted and overwhelmed many instructors. Creating online course material is challenging and time-consuming. This process requires a great deal of creativity and innovation and, at first, requires far more hours of work to develop than an in-person class.

Do not plan to abandon everything that you have created when we go back to in-person instruction. Rather, embrace technology and spend this time building an online course that will augment your future in-person courses. The more technology that you use in an in-person class, the better your students will perform. In fact, among the students I surveyed, 93% agreed with the statement, “The more a professor uses Canvas, the better organized the class is.”

When we return to the classroom, ask your in-person students to turn their work in online.

Online learning platforms, such as Canvas, don’t even require students to have computers (they can turn in their work using a smartphone). And, if your campus offers computer labs, even students without smartphones can benefit from online submissions. Of my 338 students surveyed, 97% of in-person students said that turning in their in-person coursework on Canvas was helpful to them.

When asked why they appreciated turning in their work online, students primarily voted for the following reasons:

· Turning in work online helps students stay more organized.

· Turning in work online gives students more time to complete coursework.

· Turning in work online gives students the ability to study in real-time (rather than waiting for instructors to return graded assignments).

Additionally, 98% of surveyed students said that they love to turn in work on Canvas because it allows them to see their grades and instructor feedback in real-time (using the Canvas grade book is incredibly helpful to your students).

Cultural Anthropologist in Los Angeles

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