Course 2 Community Discussion

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    • #21888 Reply
      Katie Holloway

      What is the biggest challenge that you face as an educator transitioning from traditional face-to-face to online teaching?


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    • #24344 Reply
      Laura Sanabria

      Organizing every aspect of the class so there is a smooth transition between one exercise to the next.  Having documents open and ready to use, video clips and flash cards open and ready to pull up on screen.  Navigating the tech glitches that inevitably happen and having a plan b to move forward when something doesn’t work.




      • #24905 Reply
        Roxie Carroll

        Got to have a Plan B!  …especially with BB…

        • #24952 Reply

          Organization is the key!

      • #24912 Reply
        Sara Mercer

        Yes.  I have not mastered smooth transition at all.  There is a lot of “infinity screens” while I am trying to move between screens.

        • #25098 Reply
          Joan l Duffie

          I agree! You have to be really organized!

        • #25185 Reply
          Peggy Wilson

          Absolutely! Organization is key. Virtual life is a jungle without it.

      • #24916 Reply
        Brianna Gillis

        I am dealing with the same challenges and have not mastered the transitions either.  We are also dealing with internet issues some days.

        • #25580 Reply
          Chasidy Parks

          Absolutely, our campus is not set up for frequently Wifi usage.

          • #26064 Reply
            Sylvie Archer

            Yes, connectivity issues have been the most challenging, now that I really think about it.

      • #24938 Reply
        Ericka Reid

        I try to joke about the tech glitches. So if my screen won’t share all of a sudden, I may say “it worked earlier. I blame the murder hornets! I knew they were going to cause trouble!” It makes the students laugh and buys me some time to work out the glitches.

        • #25102 Reply
          Matt Rector

          That sounds like a great way to handle it, Ericka. At Mockingbird we say, “Teach Behind the Curtain,” meaning we explain to students what we are doing and why. Narrating your way through unexpected issues and not letting them rattle you can help model that kind of resilience for your students.

        • #25204 Reply

          Comedy is the ultimate currency for patience. I also use a wheel that spins for small gifts like pencils or hand sanitizers to keep them entertained during longer glitch sessions.

          • #26128 Reply
            Sylvie Archer

            I like that a lot. I am very transparent with my students, so I don’t feel too baldy if I mess up or if there are technical issues or the like.

        • #26129 Reply
          Sylvie Archer

          I can soooo relate!

      • #25088 Reply
        Mary Baxter

        I’m in an administrator role, and the biggest challenge has been communicating with ESL students about our online classes and getting them into their first class. We had to use remote methods such as email and phone calls to get them into class when our campus closed suddenly. Many of our students face language barriers and have emerging digital literacy.  We have also switched platforms a couple of times, which has caused confusion among students.

      • #25097 Reply
        Joan l Duffie

        Not knowing if the students understand the online program. I want to make sure they Know It!

        • #25226 Reply
          Amy Denney

          I can see where the switching platforms would be frustrating for the students. I observed similar frustrations with our ESL students. It took teachers three weeks of teaching the ESL students how to USE the technology. Just teaching them how to mute and unmute their mic is a lesson in itself. 🙂

          • #25272 Reply
            Shaquanna Tuck

            I can only imagine how challenging that was, but I do appreciate the effort.  The reality is our ESL students will have to improve their technological skills because the world around us is becoming more dependent on it everyday.

          • #25379 Reply
            Zina Matthews-Holmes

            Indeed, as we incorporate new instruction, it is accompanied with a mini lesson to explain the who, what, where, when, how and last but not least the why of it all.




            p.s. Talk about gaining new skills on the job….This is going fit quite nicely on my revised resume for 2021 !!  🙂

      • #25203 Reply

        Yes, these are all issues that we all face.  As you said, it is a challenge finding materials.  We have live in-class students and virtual students simultaneously and having them work on materials either concurrently or separately is difficult. Hands on materials in class do not work in the online environment so that limits the in-class experience or excludes the online learners.

      • #25207 Reply
        Sophia Azhar

        My biggest challenge is staying organized and having enough material ready for the students. Sometimes a new student joins my math class and he or she needs help in a particular skill like division and the rest of the class is way ahead.  It is very difficult to get this student caught up and continue to work with the other students.

        • #25331 Reply
          Philandria Williams

          Yes, differentiation is already difficult and online makes it even harder to accommodate everyone.

        • #25581 Reply
          Chasidy Parks

          Absolutely, organization is a huge challenge for myself also. There are so many moving pieces I myself can barely keep up.

      • #25225 Reply
        Amy Denney

        The biggest challenge I face when switching from F2F to online is that our teachers have not had curriculum that is adapted to online learning. They were scrambling to get students comfortable with the technology, so they had very little time to think about engaging lessons. We seem to have made a transition as we still do some virtual classes in addition to our F2F classes.

      • #25636 Reply
        Annette Merier

        I agree there is so much to plan for and have ready.  And it seems like even if I have checked links more that once or made sure that a document is uploaded. I always have trouble either on my end or my students have trouble with these.

      • #26059 Reply
        Zina Matthews-Holmes

        The biggest challenge I’ve been facing is trying to pay attention with amount of professional development I’m given.  It’s frustrating!

      • #26063 Reply
        Sylvie Archer

        The biggest challenge has been holding students accountable for their attendance and participation. Sometimes, they log on to the online platform, but they do not participate or respond to inquiries posed.

      • #26127 Reply
        Sylvie Archer

        Connectivity issues

    • #24612 Reply
      Honoray Ard

      The biggest challenge imo is effective and efficient resources to perform the best task asked of me.  It’s difficult navigating these times/transitions with the bare minimums.

      • #24904 Reply
        Roxie Carroll

        I usually try to have a folder on my computer with the files I will need each week. I have urls to the web sites and activities either on notepad or a little “launch” pad I made.
        A fellow friend of mine says that she keeps a launch pad made in a power point slide running in the background. Anything to help navigate.

        It does help to have a plan B. Never know what might happen.

        • #24913 Reply
          Sara Mercer

          I agree.  I am having to be way more organized and really think through what I need and how I will use it.  I am creating folders too so I can minimize the time I spend getting items ready.  My network at school is so slow that I can’t have it all open at one time to pull up so I need it easily accessible to pull up when it is time to use the item.

          • #25209 Reply
            Sophia Azhar

            Great idea. I will have try it also.

        • #25103 Reply
          Pierre Lafun

          That’s a good idea, Roxie. You’ll notice that the slide decks Tamara and I use for our trainings have a lot of prompts which are intended as much for us as the educators we are training.

          Over the years, my use of slides has shifted from using them primarily as a content delivery method to using them more as a series of instructions/reminders on how I want to facilitate my classes and what my expectations of the students are.

          • #25149 Reply
            Laura Sanabria

            That’s so true Matt. I find myself imbedding cues to remind myself what comes next in the same slides I have the course content.



    • #24903 Reply
      Roxie Carroll

      The biggest challenge that I am having is trying to help my students stay connected without too much class disruption. I am so limited in what I can suggest or advise them to do.
      I want to jump through the computer and see what’s happening (technically) on their side.

      • #24939 Reply
        Ericka Reid

        I completely agree! The students may actual attend, but then they can’t hear or see you, or their connection keeps kicking them off. It’s frustrating and I have some students who stopped coming to the live class sessions because they have encountered too many issues.

        • #25099 Reply
          Joan l Duffie

          I feel the same way!.. Learning about patience!

        • #25211 Reply
          Sophia Azhar

          I agree, connectivity issues are such a challenge.  Many students have audio issues and I cannot hear them and we have use the chat function.  Some students keep going in and out.

        • #26065 Reply
          Sylvie Archer

          Connectivity issues are definitely my biggest pet peeve with distance learning.

      • #25148 Reply
        Laura Sanabria

        That is too funny Roxie! I know what you mean. Sometimes I would just love to jump into the screen and see what they are seeing. It is a unfortunate feeling of frustration not being able to help students when they say they can’t open the chat, or unable to write on the screen.

      • #25274 Reply
        Shaquanna Tuck

        Yes, we are running into similar issues as well.  If the virtual students spend their time saying that they cannot see or hear, then learning and the momentum of the class is greatly interrupted.

      • #25639 Reply
        Annette Merier

        I can agree with your comment about wanting to jump through the computer and see what is going on with their end.  I want so much to be  able to move their mouse or help then understand exactly what to click.  I have trouble with my students not staying connected due to poor internet connection or slow internet speed.  I am finding that yes my students have internet but because this is a rural area many of them have very slow internet.  This causes them to constantly lose connection and have to reconnect.

    • #24911 Reply
      Sara Mercer

      1.  They don’t attend online as regularly as they do face to face.

      2. Getting them to participate during the live sessions.

      3. Making sure they understand and are making progress.


      • #24917 Reply
        Brianna Gillis

        Sara, I agree.  I don’t have as many students participating in live sessions, but the ones that are participating like the interaction.

        • #25227 Reply
          Amy Denney

          I agree with the unfortunate  frequency change since moving to virtual learning. We are offering F2F classes and have had to reduce our class size to ten student once per week. It is difficult for an ESL student to learn when he/she attends only one day per week.

      • #25104 Reply
        Pierre Lafun

        Sara: When my organization initially moved online, we saw a big drop off in student participation. So many of the methods we were using to engage students in person couldn’t be used in videoconference.

        One suggestion for getting students to participate is to utilize the trivial request. Strategies like abbreviated responses in the chatbox or simply having students practice muting and unmuting themselves are such simple things to ask, once students are in the habit of complying, they will psychologically be more likely to go along with more complex requests later.

        Do you all have office hours scheduled where students can get on with you and receive extra help? Are you able to give asynchronous assignments and provide feedback though Blackboard?


        • #25187 Reply
          Brianna Gillis

          Matt, I have been using the chatbox for communication and the students are participating and enjoying the interaction.

      • #25332 Reply
        Philandria Williams

        They definitely do not attend class regularly compared to face-to-face. Many of them also have kids who are learning online at home, and that prevents them from attending as well.

    • #24915 Reply
      Brianna Gillis

      The biggest challenge I am facing with transitioning to online instruction is navigating the transitions in BB Collaborate.  I have just begun using it less than two weeks ago.  I am trying to plan and have everything ready, but I feel it will get better with practice and time.

    • #24937 Reply
      Ericka Reid

      My biggest challenge moving to online teaching is making sure that the students attend all of the online classes. I find that many students will decide to miss the class and watch the recording later, but attending the live class is critical to make sure that they understand the material and do not feel lost. The students who do attend the online class seem more confident in their abilities than those who only watch the recordings.

      • #24953 Reply

        I agree, Erica, getting the students to attend the live session is idea.  Hopefully, the students attending the live sessions can encourage the others to join them.  Sometimes they will listen to their peers before us 🙂 Keep up the good work!

      • #25089 Reply
        Mary Baxter

        It does get easier with practice! Our instructors and students have been using it for a couple of months now and are very comfortable with it, despite the occasional glitch.

    • #24951 Reply

      Our instructors just started using BB Collaborate.  Most of our centers are having face to face classes, but are trying to incorporate BB as their virtual option.  The ones who have started seem to like Collaborate, but find it difficult having both face to face students and online students at the same time.  Hopefully, this will become easier as they get use to this new platform.

      • #25090 Reply
        Mary Baxter

        It would be very difficult to have face-to-face and online students. How have you structured that?

      • #25101 Reply
        Matt Rector

        Hi Paula. I’m curious to hear what the challenges the instructors who are teaching both online and in-person are facing. Are the students in the same classes, with an option to take it either way?

    • #25133 Reply
      Deborah Jones

      Hello All

      I have taught both face-to-face and online.  The greatest challenge I had was learning to answer students’ questions once and not 50 times.  Therefore, I would post the questions in a questions thread where all students could see.  Therefore, I only had to address once.

    • #25147 Reply
      Laura Sanabria

      Challenge 1 – I miss having an open discussion. Listening to  their responses without taking turns. The “talk” is stilted and a bit artificial. If students are reluctant to speak in a classroom, they are more so in the online environment.

      Challenge 2- getting them to understand that the commitment to focus and participation are the same in the virtual classroom as they are in the physical class. They can’t just wander off into the kitchen or talk to someone in the room while the class is working on a group exercise.

      • #25184 Reply
        Peggy Wilson

        As stated earlier, communicating with students is the greatest challenge.  I use email, text, and virtual meetings to reach them.

    • #25178 Reply
      mike mallette

      technology….getting students to participate

    • #25183 Reply
      Peggy Wilson

      My biggest challenge in transitioning from a traditional face-to-face to online has been communication with students.  Many adult education students  work and then go home to take care of family.  It is often difficult for them to find time and home space to discuss the course work whether it is by phone or virtual meeting

    • #25202 Reply

      The biggest difficulty that my peers and I are having is the balance between live students in class and virtual classes simultaneously.  The balance between keeping both ‘worlds’ engaged without feeling exclusionary is a challenge for me.

    • #25271 Reply
      Shaquanna Tuck

      I would say for me one of the greatest challenges is discerning how students are processing the information.  For example,  in the face-to-face setting, as an instructor, I could walk around the classroom  to see if students could complete exercises on their own and in what skills they were struggling.  This becomes challenging in the online setting when students are working on different academic levels and I must rely on their reply that they are working and capturing the information.

    • #25330 Reply
      Philandria Williams

      The biggest challenge with the transition to online learning is not having the “normal” interactions with students. Technology is great, but there is nothing like that face-to-face interaction with your students. It is also difficult for students to be consistent because many of them are not used to online learning.

    • #25375 Reply
      Zina Matthews-Holmes

      A few of my challenges since transitioning from face-to-face to online are:

      Engaging students so they keep coming back

      Enduring the endless parenting in the background which prevents them from being observant and present throughout instruction

      Suffering through their working crazy hours trying to maintain bills and keep a roof over their head

      Having students committing to a specific time frame every day to complete assignments in the “online platforms” …

      I could go on and on…

    • #25464 Reply
      Shelia Hall

      My biggest challenge is have my virtual students to log on.

    • #25579 Reply
      Chasidy Parks

      The greatest challenge that I face is making sure my student know how to log in and feel comfortable using the technology. A lot of students get easily frustrated when they don’t understand how to log in. Some student keep trying while others say forget it and stop attending. Although, the other challenges are equally as important, but this one stops the learning at the door.

    • #25634 Reply
      Annette Merier

      The biggest challenge that I seem to be having is planning.  Every step needs to planned in advance.  I have been teaching in person 18 years.  I am able to have an outline of what I am going to teach and do during a lesson and any materials and I am ready to teach in-person.  But, online, I have to plan much more so that the lesson will move smoothly and the students will stay engaged.

    • #26052 Reply
      Philandria Williams

      Our biggest challenge (aside from missing the normal social interactions) was that we did not have a online learning  management system at all. So we had no way of organizing lessons, content, etc for students to have a quality learning experience.

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