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Instructor Guide: Micro-Courses

Guidance for instructors teaching in the Open Source Technology Management program

Viewing the List of Students

You can access a complete roster of enrolled students list through the collapsible menu on the left side of the course page.

If not already expanded, click the icon in the upper left corner of the course page to open the menu. Then click  Participants.

If your course uses groups, you can access the Groups page from the Participants page. After opening the Participants page, click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the main section then click  Groups

Entry Survey

Week 1

Students can start responding to the Entry Survey as soon as the course opens. They must submit the survey in order to unlock Week 1 but there is no deadline set on the activity.

Review Responses

Students will submit their responses to the survey throughout the first week. At a minimum, you should check it at least once per day. You should check more frequently before the first meeting. These responses will give you information about students' backgrounds, interests, and hopes for the course. Where possible, you should adjust your examples (particularly in the live meetings) to be relevant to their interests.

Send Calendar Invitations

Students can opt in to a calendar invitation for the weekly live meetings through the Entry Survey. As you review the survey responses, add the email addresses that the students provide to your recurring Brandeis Google calendar meeting. The program implemented this practice to improve attendance since people often forget events that aren't on their calendars

Student Communication

Element

Element is an informal chat where you and the students can build on the formal learning events of the micro-course. You can use it to post things like assignment reminders, recording availability updates, system maintenance notifications, related current events, or anything else that would help you facilitate your course. Students can also post questions, observations, or anything else they find relevant. We recommend that you encourage students to use the chat as much as they're comfortable in order to build community with their peers.

Regardless of how you choose to post in the chat, be sure to monitor it regularly. Students often post questions about the assignments or meetings in the chat and you should respond to them as soon as you are able to.

LATTE Announcements

Given the nature of a group chat, some students may not scroll back to read all unread messages. Therefore, students may miss important notifications or reminders if you only post them in the Element chat.

For all important reminders or notifications, post an announcement in the Announcements forum. Click the Add a new topic button in the Course Announcements forum at the top of the course. You can send the announcement immediately or schedule it for a future date/time. The content and frequency of those announcements is up to you but we recommend not sending more than one per week.

Announcements will get pushed to students' Brandeis emails. Students are advised to check that email regularly or forward it to an account they check regularly.

Weekly Live Discussion Meetings

Your live meetings should be interactive, encouraging discussion and providing opportunities for interaction. The meetings should not be entirely or primarily lecture-based. Ashley is available to help you plan and design your live sessions.

We select the meeting time based on what works for the majority of students. Unfortunately, there isn't always a time that works for everyone. Students who cannot join live can review the meeting recording at their own time.

At the start of each meeting:

  • Start the recording to the cloud if automatic recording wasn't enabled
  • Enable Live Transcription

Recordings & Slides

After each weekly live meeting, post the recording and slides and hide the Zoom link. Turn editing on for the course.

Post the Recording

  • In the email from Zoom once the cloud recording is available, copy the link titled Share recording with viewers. Do not use the "For host only" link since students won’t be able to access it. Only use this link if you want to edit the recording before sharing.
  • Edit > Edit settings > General > External URL. Delete the URL already there and paste in the link you copied from your email.
  • Scroll down and expand Common module settings. Change the availability to Show on course page.
  • Click the blue Save and return to course button.

Post the Slides

  • Save your slides in the Faculty Teaching Materials folder. Copy the share link.
  • Edit >  Edit settings > General > External URL. Delete the URL already there and paste in the link you copied from your email.
  • Scroll down and expand Common module settings. Change the availability to Show on course page.
  • Click the blue Save and return to course button.

Hide the Zoom Link

  • Edit >  Hide
  • Do not delete this link or edit any other settings. Once it's hidden, it will appear grayed out for you but students can't see it.

Managing Groups

Knowledge Checks

Each week, students complete a short Knowledge Check to verify their mastery of that week's topics and to document their role in the team assignment. Faculty must review the responses and provide a score for the final question each week.

  1. From the main page of your course in LATTE, click on the week's Knowledge Check activity.
  2. From the main page of the quiz activity, click on the blue gear icon in the upper right corner of the main section.
  3. From the drop-down menu that appears, click  Manual grading (under the “Results” section).
  4. On the “Manual grading” page, locate the question you wish to grade at that time. You can either click grade next to the number of submissions in the “To grade” column or you can click grade all next to the number of submissions in the “Total” column.
  5. Read the responses. Underneath each response, there is a section with a yellow shaded background for your response. You do not need to enter any comments. Enter a score of 1 in the "Mark __ out of 1.00" box for each student. 
  6. Enter scores for all students on this page. LATTE displays five answers per page by default; if you have more than five students in your micro-course you will have more than one page. Click the blue Save and go to next page button until you have read and scored each response.
  7. Check back throughout the week for any additional responses. Students may complete the Knowledge Checks until the end of the micro-course, though you should encourage them to complete them at the end of each week.

If you have any concerns about a students' responses or a group's work style, please follow up directly with those student(s).

Mid-Course Feedback

Week 3

The Mid-Course Feedback survey in Week 3 is an opportunity for you to get anonymous feedback on your teaching and the course at the halfway mark. While OSTM program staff may review the responses, the primary purpose is for you to gather feedback. 

You should encourage students to complete the survey. Options include:

  • Highlight it during the Week 3 live session 
  • Send a reminder through Element or a LATTE announcement

After students submit their feedback, take some time to review the responses in aggregate. Are there any quick adjustments you can make to your live session, your communication with the students, or another part of the course based on the feedback? If yes, go ahead and make those.

If the responses identify more significant or structural problems, or if you want to discuss ideas and options for adjustments, please schedule time with Ashley.