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Faculty Guide for Online Teaching

Engagement, Participation, and Attendance

"Each SAIC course, whether held online or in-person, or a hybrid of both, is a learning community that relies on regular, active engagement from all participants. Other than in-person activities which are missed due to illness (see below), all students are expected to fully participate in each of their courses, including in-person classes, synchronous online sessions, and regular, independent work and study. Ultimately, faculty will give credit to students enrolled in a course only if they have responded adequately to the standards and requirements of the course overall." Check out the Fall 2021 Teaching Guide for more information on this topic.

[It is important to provide students with clear expectations about online discussion boards. This can include the number of expected initial posts and responses to posts. This will and should vary depending on your course and structure. The below is just an example that you might revise for your own needs.]
As we transition to online education for the remainder of the semester, we will utilize the discussion function on CANVAS to provide us space to collaboratively engage one another and our course materials. I will assign weekly questions on topics relevant to the assigned course topics, readings, and exercises. Active student participation in the class discussions will involve timely postings in the discussion board. This is important to our ability to think with one another, despite not being face-to-face.

  • Students will be expected to contribute to the responses of at least two other classmates’ postings each week.

  • Initial discussion postings should be approximately 200-400 words and contain original ideas, suggestions, and questions.
  • Please remember to cite/reference any sources that you use.
  • Students should engage in a lively discussion with peers and faculty.
  • Responses to one another’s posts should extend the conversation and not merely offer a comment of agreement or a descriptive statement.
    • For instance, question assumptions underlying claims or offer additional questions for the group that will enhance learning. Do so, however, thoughtfully and generatively, particularly given we are all dealing with a variety of additional stressors.

I will actively participate in the discussions by providing feedback and asking additional questions. I want these discussions to allow us to engage critically and creatively with our topics, readings, and exercises.

Due Dates
All initial discussion posts are due at 11:55 PM Central Time on Sundays.
Discussion post responses are due at 11:55 PM Central Time on Tuesdays.

--Thanks to from Adam J. Greteman, Ph.D., Director, Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and Assistant Professor for this language.

More examples can be found on Northwestern University's Faculty Training Sandbox, including links out at the end to other institutions.