No matter how your campus has decided to address the Fall 2020 semester under the COVID-19 uncertainty, it will undoubtedly include some level or form of remote learning delivered online. While we are loath to call what we will be offering online learning, that is, in fact, what we are doing, and while we may be performing linguistic gymnastics for the sake of our students, their parents, and our trustees, we are nonetheless engaging in forms of online learning. And, we know from research, that online learning can be effective.
Evidence-based practices that are supported by research exist. To help surface that research, Oregon State University’s Ecampus Research Unit created an Online Learning Efficacy Research Database. In it, you will find decades of research on online learning, with strategies and approaches that can be adapted for multiple different remote strategies.
Good teaching is good teaching, no matter the modality, but online or hybrid/blended teaching requires more planning. Some helpful books to read are Online Teaching: A Guide to Theory, Research, and Practice by Claire Howell Miller (currently free to download from Johns Hopkins University Press), Small Teaching Online by Flowers Darby with James Lang, and High-Impact Practices in Online Education: Research and Best Practices edited by Katheryn E. Linder and Chrysanthemum Mattison Hayes. All three have detailed tables of contents, examples from practitioners that faculty can draw inspiration from, as well as practical advice.
The MLA has also created a resource for faculty, Bringing Your Course Online, as well as A Guide to Online Teaching in the Humanities.
This site, then, is to provide concrete examples of transformative courses in the humanities.