Going through this unprecedented time for almost two years, academia is still undergoing adapting and facing new challenges to best serve the community and create effective teaching and learning environments. Before the Fall quarter started, I encountered an article, 10 Course Policies to Rethink on Your Fall Syllabus, by the Chronicle of Higher Education, and I found this to be very helpful and practical as it gives good explanations why to rethink about these policies, and it shares some practices to apply in teaching. As we are beginning another quarter of uncertainty, I thought that it would be worth it to bring it to our attention again as this topic is still very relevant and applicable.
The first policy that the author encourages the reader to rethink is the attendance policies, as it is a great place to begin. Attendance was the one of the most frequent questions of concern that I received from faculty when we all moved to remote learning. It was a policy that instructors were trying to be most flexible and mindful of in an effort to be understanding and demonstrate awareness of this crazy situation for everyone. The article suggests a few options to be flexible such as developing alternative assignments to in-person attendance or to drop the attendance policy altogether if possible. Besides the attendance policies, the author encourages rethinking policies on group work, late assignments, workload, support, office hours, course costs, camera (if using Zoom), grading, etc.
For more details on each of these suggestions, read the full Article: 10 Course Policies to Rethink on Your Fall Syllabus, The Chronicle of Higher Education
About the Author:
Bo Choi, M.A.Ed
Instructional Designer, Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation (DTEI)
Bo is an instructional designer at Learning Experience Design and Online Education at DTEI, University of California, Irvine (UCI). She has been serving in higher education as an instructional designer over a decade, with training and many years of experience in creating effective teaching and learning experiences and materials for technology-infused, hybrid and online learning. Bo uses campus learning technologies to great effect, with attention to universal design principles that provide meaningful and inclusive learning opportunities for students with different strengths and abilities. She joined the DTEI team in August 2019 after serving as an instructional designer at Cal Poly Pomona for 12 years. She has a BS in Engineering Technology and a MA.Ed in Multimedia Education.