Rethinking Teaching 2020

In one of the strangest years in our lifetime, we are starting classes next week. With many more classes online than normal, and face to face changes due to COVID, I am sure there is anxiety being felt.

Because of that, today I am sharing with you material from Torrey Trust, PhD. Some of the links are aimed at younger learners, but there is something to learn from all of the links.

Enriching remote, online, hyflex, blended, and in-person teaching for fall 2020

Instead of This

  • Long lectures
  • Worksheets
  • Feedback
  • High stakes tests
  • One-size-fits-all
  • 100% live classes
  • Dominant curricula 
  • Solo activities

Try This!

Teaching During COVID-19

Man in nature on a laptop
  • Don’t Replicate School – 6 hours in school is not the same as 6 hours on Zoom. Zoom fatigue is real – here’s why video calls are so draining
  • Keep High Expectations – Don’t change your expectations, change your approach. Maintain high expectations for all learners but understand that students are struggling more than ever. Students will need extra support and flexible deadlines rather than consequences.
  • Abandon Surveillance & Control Tools – Without being able to look over students’ shoulders you might want to turn to tools that will allow you to see and control what students are doing on their screens. Instead, focus on building trust, relationships, and respect. Provide clear expectations and transparency for asynchronous learning activities (Transparent teaching and learning framework). Check-in often with formative assessment tools.

Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance & Control

The use of surveillance, proctoring, and control tools
(e.g., browser lock) reinforces “compliance and submission to authority in an environment that should be emphasizing individual motivation, critical thinking, and internalized ethics.”

Low-Tech Learning

Women creating a picture using pencil and paper

Reduce screen time with low-tech activities:

  • Haiku Hikes, Journaling, Postcard Writing
  • Building, Inventing, Designing, Crafting
  • Sketchnoting, Drawing, Map-Making
  • Observing, Collecting Data, Predicting
  • Creating Comics, Collages, Songs, & Rhymes
  • Interviewing, Storytelling, Playwriting
  • Learn more: Kids Have All the Write Stuff

Torrey Trust is from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is an Associate Professor of Learning Technology in the Department of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies in the College of Education.

Infographic by Torrey Trust, Ph.D. is licensed under CC BY SA NC 4.0 | @torreytrust

PDF version available at   

Thanks for reading the Faculty Learning Corner. Have a great weekend and first week of classes next week!!