I have now:

– made a few v. brief intro videos
– written up and sent out a welcome note asking students to fill out a Doodle poll and sign up for our supplemental Slack channel
– welcomed all the students showing up in Slack (that part is fun, hey, folks!)
– uploaded the videos to YouTube
– uploaded the same videos to Blackboard in case that’s easier for my students
– learned (once again) how to upload my syllabus to Blackboard

I still need to look at my syllabi one more time and upload them to Blackboard, and make my course visible to the students.


In the morning, two tasks (which I have to do separately for each class, I think, because the content is going to start diverging now):

1) I’ll make a slightly longer video introducing myself, and asking them to:

– introduce themselves to me either in text, audio, and video.
– introduce themselves to their classmates in a Slack thread

2) I’ll make a short video reviewing the syllabus (the way we usually do on the first day), and asking them to:

– find the “Easter egg” I’ve hidden in the syllabus, that asks the students to do something — I think it’s going to be “e-mail a photo to me with a particular subject line”.

(What photo? Hm. A beautiful nature image? It should be something that will be easy for them to provide, and not at all fraught.)


I know a lot of teachers spent the summer recording their lectures. I didn’t, in part because I rarely lecture; I mostly try to facilitate strong discussions of our readings. The plan is to use my regular syllabus as a guide, but then co-create the course with my students over the semester week by week, adapting as we go.

This is new for all of us, and I want to give the students a good sense of likely workload and what’s expected in terms of major assignments and regular participation, but also retain flexibility.


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