Mix of experiences help to connect instructor and students

During the fall 2020 semester, Lindsey Jaber taught educational psychology to teacher candidates in primary-to-junior and junior-to-intermediate specializations.

As someone previously in private practice where she treated children and adolescents, Dr. Jaber came to the class with considerable experience in child psychology, but very little in teaching online. As this was her first course teaching online, she first had to re-examine how she thought about teaching and assessments.

She started by determining what was most important to be covered and learned in her classroom as well as what was most important in the student experience.

While creating her class, Jaber balanced student connection with content. She incorporated TED talks and videos alongside recorded lectures to further student understanding. She used open-book quizzes, reflective journals, and group presentations — giving students the opportunity to submit peer reviews and feedback on their assignments — to assess student understanding.

To promote dialogue between herself and her students, Jaber introduced optional synchronous classroom discussions. Besides instructor-learner interaction, these provided an opportunity for students to discuss topics with each other and share their own experiences.

Games of Jeopardy and Kahoot allowed for participants to test their understanding of the course material.

—Bridget Heuvel

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