What are the barriers to Instructors?

Whatever our plan, we want our Instructors to be able to adopt it. This means providing training opportunities for them. If you have thoughts on the kinds of obstacles that Instructors may face in preparing to teach online, add those here.

One thing that is already challenging to manage as a first-time Instructor (even in person!) is how to manage all the screens / materials that you need to have in order to run a workshop. This is compounded online, since there are even more channels possible. Having a co-Instructor take specific roles as a co-facilitator helps a lot.

It would be great to have a short session detailing how to break up the remote teaching/facilitation amongst your team of co-Instructor + helpers. (i.e. give co-Instructor duty of maintaining conversations via back channels, one Helper mans a separate Zoom meeting for those who are really stuck, etc) i.e. project management / facilitation skills for Instructors!

Also assign a role to someone of monitoring chat/when people raise hands - it will be hard for the instructor to keep an eye on that.

Submitted by @dvanic (will fix the daily post limit!):

The biggest barrier/risk/challenge I see:

Our materials are not designed for online teaching, and - if we teach them “as-is” (which is what we’re having to do now) not only is it very, very HARD to teach, it also is very hard to feel that your learners are learning. Novice instructors may think they’re “bad” teachers and that they “did a poor job”, because most of the normal learner cues are not there in an online training session.

We succeeded in not having this happen in our team because we had at least one very experienced instructor in each of our training sessions - who was able to “use their authority/experience” to reassure the novice instructors that (1) the students were probably learning, and here’s the evidence (good questions, people coming back for day 2), and (2) provide some confidence to the novice instructors that if everything exploded /which it did at one point/ there was someone in the trenches with them (our novices recovered on their own, but our presence psychologically helped).

Then everyting @angelali suggests - how to set up the tech stack (for instructors and for learners!).

Also, of course, the usual, but adapted to digital: Never teach alone. Test your tools. Practice teaching together…

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