Biology online/open-book exams, Part 2: time for reflection & discussion

In a previous post, I shared some tips on making online open-book tests. Those were mostly practical points, pulled together quickly after COVID-19 abruptly pushed us online. Originally, I anticipated writing a second post going more in depth about some of the challenges, practical and ethical, of online testing in large courses, particularly survey courses in biology (and other disciplines) that tend to be content-heavy. (It’s drafted, and a VERY LONG READ …) Instead, I’ll just mention my concerns at the broadest level … and why I’ll likely revisit the details later.

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Second Pandemic Book Club meeting: aligning video content with instructional goals

We had our first PBC meeting on May 4, and it was great to get to talk to different educators about the value of making educational videos (Section 1 in Karen Costa‘s “99 Tips for Creating Simple and Sustainable Educational Videos”) . We talked about the book, but we also discussed some other aspects of online teaching, and I so appreciated getting to hear different perspectives and advice!

I’m hoping to have another PBC meeting next week, discussing tips in Section 2 (“Aligning Video Content with Instructional Goals”) of Costa’s book.

UPDATE: We’ll meet Fri. May 15, 2-3 PM (ET) in Google Meet:

Physical copies* of the book still seem to be delayed in getting to Canadian buyers, though I think people can still participate even if their book hasn’t yet arrived. I’ll continue to update the Google Doc for sharing reading notes: Supplementary materials for Pandemic Book Club: Costa book.  If you are reading the book, and are willing to contribute to the document, just request edit access (click the button at the top of the page)!

Are you interested in hosting a PBC meeting on this book, or others? Sign up here!

* If you would like an eBook version of Costa’s book, it can be purchased for download from Amazon (Kindle), Stylus or Kobo (ePub). The Stylus price with the (current) 30% off promotion is about the same as the Kobo price and Kindle prices, once the exchange rate, as of time of writing, is factored in.

Resources for 1st Pandemic Book Club meeting (May 4)

Our first Pandemic Book Club is coming up very soon! As it might be challenging to get a physical copy of the Costa book (at least, in Canada), and to allow a discussion about the book and tips therein, I’ve set up a Google Doc for sharing some reading notes, which might help facilitate discussion: Supplementary materials for Pandemic Book Club: Costa book

I haven’t added much yet, but hope to make some more notes over the next couple of days. If you ARE reading the book, and want to contribute to the document, just request edit access (at top of the page)!

Also …

Section One of the book (includes Tips 1-9) is available online as a sample chapter from the publisher website.

Karen Costa’s videos for selected tips:

Before the meeting, I’m also encouraging people to think about (and maybe write down) your key goals for making/using online videos. See you Monday!