Consider the Context

Remote teaching and learning guidelines for USask instructors

All learning happens in a context that shapes one’s ability to engage and learn. Circumstances for learners and faculty in the fall of 2020 continue to be complex and uncertain. These circumstances impact some learners more than others, and raise new issues of equity in our learning environments, for example, variability in connectivity for rural and on reserve learners, accessibility for learners with a disability.

Key Points

  • Be Flexible: Develop a plan for how you can be flexible around assignments, assessments, and deadlines.  Allow flexibility for learners to access content and participate in learning opportunities at their own pace.  Consider recording any synchronous activities for learners who may be unable to participate.
  • Provide Choice: Choice in learning will help mitigate some of the equity issues (e.g. some choice in frequency and mode of participation, provision of assignment options). 
  • Be Compassionate: Approach your learners with compassion and understanding regarding their circumstances.  Communicating caring and flexibility whenever you can will reduce student anxiety and increase learning.
  • Be Remote Ready: Ensure you are familiar with your computer and the technology you are using.  Practice beforehand if possible and if you are experiencing any difficulty, contact ICT for support.

USask Winter 2020 Student Feedback

The instructors recorded lectures and posted slides online for classes so we could continue to learn the course material on our own schedules. The recordings allowed us to understand the material exactly as the instructors intended to teach it to us, and the slides allowed for us to also learn the material on our own if that worked better for us. The fact that they were posted online rather than delivered live supported our differing schedules and allowed for us to learn the material on our own time.

I really enjoy the Student Response System feed as it gives students the ability to ask questions as they would be able to if the class was in person. As well it has a nice community feeling to it, which is a huge positive for my mental health.

I find that constant communication and flexible deadlines are really helpful during this difficult time. As a student, remote learning is not ideal for everyone, and that it may set us back. It's really helpful when teachers are more lenient and understanding when situations are not ideal.

Not having access to the internet made it difficult for me having to travel 45 mins to utilize it. My instructor was very supportive with this matter and helped me a lot when it came to doing something different to get my grade.