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Student Civic Engagement in the Land of COVID-19

I miss my classroom. You know, the physical space where we used to teach and learn? But, given what we do have, how we can encourage our students when they are feeling stuck about the political moment we are in. This post is for those who teach, those interested in teaching, and those seeking further education.

I spent the last year engaged in a study of student civic and political engagement programs throughout the state of California and am now back in the classroom applying some of the insights I gained. Although I did not exactly plan it this way, it turns out that right now is a pretty perfect time to apply these lessons.

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Phone a Friend: Breaking Down the Online Teacher’s Lifelines

Are you deep in the throes of prepping for an online fall term and a possible full year of online instruction? If the mere thought of distance learning provokes a panic attack or has you looking into early retirement, never fear, there are a number of lifelines you can call on as you immerse yourself into the world of E-Learning. 

Online teaching newbies and seasoned pros alike should first check with your college’s online learning team to see if your college has a Local Peer Online Course Review program, also known as a POCR Team. Local POCR is a network with the California Virtual Campus – Online Education Initiative (CVC-OEI) and other California community colleges designed to help campus courses align with the CVC-OEI rubric. It gives you the opportunity to get your online courses peer reviewed in a safe space. The best thing about this lifeline is you will receive fast and real time feedback on a course you are currently teaching, so you can make changes as you go. 

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Synchronous or Asynchronous: That is the Question

You survived spring 2020 and are now turning a watchful eye to prepping for fall 2020 online instruction. A question popping up for many instructors is whether to go synchronous or asynchronous with your classes. While some districts have made the choice for you, many others have left it at the discretion of the faculty. For those given a choice, here is some information to help you find the best fit for your class.  

First, let’s start off with a quick definition of what synchronous vs. asynchronous learning is. Pre-COVID-19, this was covered in Title V under 55204 Instructor Contact: 

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