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Taking highly interactive classes online: Learning from an unplanned experiment in synchronous distance learning.
active learning, distance learning, interactive classes
The pandemic that hit in the middle of Spring semester 2020 forced a rapid migration to an on-line learning environment. While the abrupt transition was challenging for all kinds of classes, it posed special challenges for highly interactive teaching modes. The proposed session is designed to harness participants’ experiences to identify challenges and potential solutions to problems encountered in this unplanned experiment. Following a brief introduction, participants will join one of 4 breakout rooms to focus on a specific aspect of online teaching challenges and opportunities. Using a rapid-capture technique, participants will identify key challenges for their chosen aspect, identify techniques they have used, experiments they have tried (including failures), and key unresolved challenges. The session will conclude with a report from each group and a final discussion on how we as a learning community can ensure that our new-found techniques are theoretically sound.