Best practices in remote, asynchronous teaching

FreshGrade Connect makes success easy with all the tools that teachers, students and families need for remote and/or in-class work. We’ve looked at some best practices of remote teaching and compiled some of them here—plus specific ways that FreshGrade Connect will help you, your students, and families find success with asynchronous online learning, synchronous online learning, or with using student portfolios to strengthen your in-class practices.

Feedback early and often


Remote, asynchronous teaching and learning can feel lonely. Give and get feedback early and often with the touchpoints you have available and encourage students and families to engage often. 

  • Post a welcome video encouraging students and families to engage
  • Share daily activities that students can submit to
  • Get alerted (mobile app) when students and families upload activities and comments

Reflections, questions, discussions


Get to know your students through comments, video, and more. Make it a practice to ask open-ended questions that invite discussion, metacognition, and a growth mindset.

  • Add a question with every activity that promotes reflection and a growth mindset
  • Ask students to reflect on work they did yesterday
  • Ask students to record and upload a post about what they learned about an activity, subject, or unit

Everyone counts


Use tools that consider different learning styles, including choices and customizations with assessments. Allow students to sometimes choose how they respond to assignments.

  • Add multiple assessment criteria to an activity
  • Choose score or standard-based assessments
  • Customize your gradebook calculators

Supportive online environment


Remote teaching and learning might be new territory. Provide clear expectations, but let your students and families know that as you all learn more about the processes, you can refine them. 

  • Post a daily “hello” activity where students can respond
  • Post a link to book 1:1 time with students and families
  • Post fast daily check-ins for students and families

Help is here


Know that your presence is important and communicate often to students and families that their presence is valuable too. Set boundaries for yourself and others—you (and your students and families!) shouldn’t be online and available at all times.

  • Create posts ahead of time and schedule them to be published each morning
  • Add custom labels to activities so students can tag where they need help—then use filters to easily find them 
  • Provide audio instructions and tutorials with activities

Group sizes should vary


A learning community works best when a variety of experiences are offered. Consider a daily routine where students have a larger “class” time, but also find ways to have breakout groups and one-on-one time. Open up the options for how students can show their work.

  • Post links to Zoom where you can meet in a larger group and do a breakout group 
  • Build small group activities and share with a subset of students
  • Link to Google docs and MS OneDrive docs for easy collaboration with any sized group

Remote: asynchronous + synchronous


Schedules will be different for you and for your students and families. Draft activities ahead of time, post them when you’re ready, and try to give students and families some flexibility for when they work—and upload their work.

  • Students can submit work from anywhere—directly to an activity
  • Use filters to organize portfolios how you want
  • Post daily goals for students to complete

All learning for all students


Help different learner types by posting audio instructions, tutorials, and more. Add tags to activities in FreshGrade Connect so students can easily let you know they need help—then filter by these tags to stay on top of student needs.

  • Ask students to show learning through words, video, photos, and more
  • Add a link to make activities interactive
  • Set different assessment scales for different classes

Detailed expectations


Create and post clear, concise class expectations that can be accessed at any time—for students and families. Cover expectations for communication, how to interact with each other online or through comments, etc. For every activity, add assessment standards.

  • Post class goals and objectives for easy reference all the time
  • Easily add curriculum standards to every activity
  • Customize the language of curriculum standards for easy reading

Endings and wrap-ups


Closing activities can reinforce core concepts, fundamental principles, and the fun of learning. Reflections and summaries can help wrap things up—and even provide a chance for celebration.

  • Post an “end of unit” summary and have students reflect
  • Ask students to post about their growth related to a concept
  • Post to parents and remind them to celebrate their child’s progress

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Download a one-page summary of the 10 best practices for remote teaching now!

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Resources

https://tomprof.stanford.edu/posting/1091

Chapter 3, Ten Best Practices for Teaching Online, in the book, The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips, by Judith V. Boettcher and Rita-Marie Conrad. Published by Jossey-Bass , A Wiley Imprint. 989 Market Street. San Francisco, CA 94103. Copyright © 2010 by Judith V. Boettcher and Rita-Marie Conrad. All rights reserved.

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