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Online Learning Help for Teachers

This website is currently under construction. You can start with the "Getting Started" section and there are references to MIT recommendations on practices and tools. We will have more math content-specific recommendations soon.

Note these are recommendations, not requirements. This is what we know. We are happy to help with other processes, but we will have to learn with you!

If you have any comments or suggestions on ways to improve the website or information, please post on the 18.FORUM in Piazza.

Help with 18.FORUM

If you are not registered on Piazza, when you follow this link, you will be directed to register with an email. Use your email that was included on the registration email to the Piazza 18.FORUM site. Continue to 18.FORUM, or request access (in case you used a different email).

Getting Started (really, start here)

Overview and Suggestions

  • Classes with Pre-Recorded Lectures (Asynchronous)
    1. Create a Stellar class page (or other webpage) to share assignments/materials with students
    2. Communicate expectations to students
    3. Record your lecture video
    4. Upload your lecture video and add the link to your Stellar/course webpage
    5. Send weekly email to students and course staff
    6. Manage discussion forums
    7. Hold Office Hours over Zoom
  • Classes with Live Online Lectures (Synchronous)
    1. Create a Stellar class page (or other webpage) to share assignments/materials with students
    2. Communicate expectations to students
    3. Schedule recurring meetings on Zoom at regular class times
    4. Use the same link for all class meetings, and make sure students can easily find the link.
    5. Hold your lecture session in a quiet place
    6. Build Online rapport with your students
      • Keep Manage Participants and Chat windows open
      • Have students raise their hands to ask a question (rather than use audio)
      • Mute all participants (except the person speaking). Remind people with raised hands to unmute themselves before asking their question, or unmute them yourself through the Manage Participants window. (You may want to ask them to turn on their video while asking a question.)
      • Stop every 5-10 minutes to check for raised hands and ask if there are any questions. You might ask a TA or student to help manage participants and chat while you lecture.
    7. Record your lecture in Zoom
    8. Upload your lecture video and add the link to your Stellar/course webpage
    9. Manage discussion forums
    10. Hold office hours over Zoom
  • Recitations Updated 3-23-2020
    1. Poll students ahead of time to learn what type of technology they have, or poll students in your first recitation to see if they the ability to write on a tablet
    2. Consider giving students parts of worksheets/problems to work on ahead of time.
    3. Host a recurring Zoom meeting or other web-conference at the same time as normal recitation.
      1. Do not change recitation times, but allow more flexibility for students to change recitations
      2. Do change office hour times to have a larger spread of times available to meet with students in different time zones
    4. Post time and links (using Boston time zone) to Stellar or course webpage.
    5. During class time, you can use Zoom to:
    6. When using Zoom, it may be helpful to assign a student each session to monitor the chat. Then you can address any questions that students are having without dividing your attention between your lesson and the chat window. You may want to rotate this responsibility to a different student for each session so no one is overly burdened.
    7. Consider muting everyone or asking everyone to mute themselves when they are not speaking. Unmute when students want to ask questions or are working in groups. This helps reduce background noise.
    8. Practice with the technology you plan to use in recitation beforehand (especially before the first recitation).
  • Office Hours Updated 3-24-2020
    1. Consider changing times or spreading out more. Poll students to find out the best time for them (when2meet, Doodle, regular email, etc.).
    2. Host a recurring Zoom meeting or other web-conference.
    3. Post time and links (using Boston time zone) to Stellar or course webpage.
    4. Communicate any changes to office hours weekly.
    5. Other Ideas:
      • Build Online rapport with your students
        • Keep Manage Participants and Chat windows open
        • Have students raise their hands to ask a question (rather than use audio)
        • Mute all participants except the person speaking. Remind people with raised hands to unmute themselves before asking their question, or unmute them yourself through the Manage Participants window. (You may want to ask them to turn on their video while asking a question.)
        • Stop every 5-10 minutes to check for raised hands and ask if there are any questions. You might ask a TA or student to help manage participants and chat while you lecture.
        • Consider using some sort of queue to ensure that student questions are answered fairly
      • Try using an asynchronous chat tool like Piazza and have students post questions there ahead of time and upvote popular questions to help prioritize your work time.
        • Try the free chat app https://babylon.house/ (created by former MIT grad student Sam Watson). From the student perspective looks like an individual chat with the professor/instructor/TA, but from the instructor view groups similar questions so they can be batch answered.
      • Try a webform that allows students to submit questions prior to office hours. Identify the most common issues and submit answers not covered on the Piazza/Slack/Stellar Discussion forum
        • Make electronic mud cards: Ask students to tell you something that was clear, something that was unclear (muddy), and outstanding questions they have left.
      • Try to group students into Breakout Rooms based on which problems/questions they wish to work. Send an announcement to the entire class about which breakout room you are in. Make all students co-hosts so they can move between rooms on their own.
        Note: If all students are co-hosts, they can no longer raise their hands! Come up with another nonverbal communication mechanism - (thumbs down?) to use to indicate questions in this case.
      • Try using a Queue to make sure that all student questions are answered. One option is to create a shared Google doc or sheet (share the link in the Zoom chat) and have students sign up for help. You can include a section for students to indicate which problem or concept they have a question about as well, which may help you consolidate by helping multiple students at once.

        *Please Note: Students in China will need to use MIT VPN to access Google documents

  • Assignments Updated 3-24-2020
    • Post electronic copies of your assignment to Stellar/website/Piazza/etc
      Students will scan and upload their assignment to be graded.
      • The Dropbox app has scanning built in, and it will automatically upload files to your Dropbox account.
      • Use Genius Scan for Apple and Android
      • Use Adobe Scan App for Apple and Android
    • Students upload pdf to Stellar or Gradescope
    • Graders grade pdfs and save grades to Stellar or Gradescope.
  • Exams Updated 3-24-2020

    Recommendations

    • Don’t Hold Exams Yet!
    • Cancel any exams that were supposed to happen the week before or the week after spring break.
    • Keep in mind that classes in an emergency are graded as pass/no record. High stakes exams may not make sense as the measure of student learning.

    Options for Exams (that are not the final):

    • Open book exams, ask students to list resources used during exam
    • Frequent low stakes quizzes (about measuring student learning, and keeping them studying more regularly to aid in retention, see research here.)
    • Ask students to not cheat, take exam under time pressure with no notes, then allow them to resubmit corrections as many times as they like
      • If this option is chosen, faculty will need to communicate about the submission process for corrections (where to submit, timeframe for resubmission, etc.)
    • Allow collaboration on open book exams, but must list resources and collaborators

    (Official MIT policy) Final exams will be conducted remotely.

    • They will be one to three hours in length as usual, and will be held according to the schedule previously published by the Registrar (https://finalexams.mit.edu/#/Finals), no matter what time zone a student may be in.
    • Conflict exams will be coordinated by the Registrar’s Office as usual.
    • Finals can be either closed book or open book – however, the information as to whether a final will be closed or open book for a given subject must be provided to students by drop date (April 21).
    • If an instructor decides to have a final assignment instead of a final exam, they must notify the Registrar’s Office by April 3.

How To

Technologies

  • iPad - Installation Guide Updated 3-26-2020

    If you need assistance setting up your iPad, please contact help@math.mit.edu

  • Zoom - Video Conferencing Software Updated 3-25-2020
  • Gradescope - Grading Management System

    Get started with Gradescope

    Features

    • Students upload documents, and label each page by problem.
    • Graders create systematized grading rubrics
    • Pro tip: May need separate instances for problem sets and exams for larger classes that have undergraduate graders.
    • Contact Theresa Cummings (tcumming@mit.edu) if you want to use Gradescope in your class.
  • Piazza - Online Discussion Forum

    Create a Piazza class forum: https://piazza.com/mit

  • Slack - Team Chat Application Updated 3-24-2020
  • Stellar - Course Management System

    Setup your course page here http://stellar.mit.edu/

    Features

    • Upload pdfs of syllabus, assignments, notes
    • Share links to course videos
    • Share recitation times and links
    • Share office hour times and links
    • Enable discussion forum
    • Send announcements / emails to entire course
    • Has membership page connected to registrar
    • Maintains a gradebook
  • Notes or Whiteboard Apps Updated 3-23-2020

    One way to replicate writing on a chalk board or whiteboard is to use a notetaking or whiteboard app on a tablet or with a computer connected to a Wacom tablet.

  • Overleaf - Collaborative Latex Editor Updated 4-2-2020