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Guide to Hybrid & Online Teaching at JMU

Fieldwork, Group Work, and Lab Classes

Field, clinical, group-based, or lab settings may require different considerations from classroom-based courses when you are planning to teach in online or hybrid modes.

On this page:

How should absence for illness be addressed in the attendance policy for field or clinical settings?

It is very important that course attendance policies clearly state that students should not go to field or clinical settings if they are not feeling well. They should not risk possibly transmitting an illness to practitioners or clients in these settings. Students who are unable to meet their off-campus field or clinical responsibilities should immediately call their off-campus supervisor as well as their JMU instructor. If students are healthy and enrolled in field-based courses in areas not impacted by travel restrictions, they may proceed with the course as scheduled at the discretion of the faculty member in consultation with the academic unit head and dean, or his or her designee. The faculty member is responsible for communicating with the students enrolled in the course.

How can students work in teams asynchronously to complete assignments/projects?

Within a Group in Canvas, students can exchange files, post to a discussion board, and send email. You can set up a group for your students by selecting Manage Groups from the People menu. Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, and GroupMe are popular apps that enable asynchronous interaction but also offer synchronous functions and may be used for group work.

When selecting an app for group work, consider the following requirements:

  • synchronous vs. asynchronous (with video or audio expectations or not)
  • file sharing vs. meeting for communication only
  • whether there is an assessment component
  • most importantly, how students are equipped in terms of computer/phone access and bandwidth.

How can students work in teams synchronously to complete assignments/projects?

Webex is a web-based, synchronous, collaborative learning environment with real-time, interactive functionality: two-way audio and video, whiteboard and image markup, text-based messaging, application sharing, guided website viewing, session recording, and archiving. Moderator-participant roles can be easily assigned, promoting students to an active role in building course content and as discussion/session leaders. Sessions can be created quickly through easily accessible controls integrated into your Canvas course site. (Note: Please refer to subject-specific HIPPA guidelines for recordings and video conferencing involving observing clinical sessions, telemedicine activities, discussing patient information, etc.)

What are some alternative assignments that can address the same learning objectives?

If you cannot find a good simulation or data set, students can write a paper, make predictions, and/or design experiments. The learning objectives of the lab may be able to be realized outside the actual lab experience, so you may consider revisiting the purpose of the lab activity and use the learning objectives to generate an assignment that students can complete and submit electronically. 

What are some alternatives to a hands-on lab that address the same learning objectives?

The thought of replacing a real-life lab experience with an online alternative may be daunting, but under certain circumstances, there are some reasonable replacement options.

What are some creative solutions to scheduling labs and lab make-ups?

  • Set up a “make up” day in your syllabus. Many JMU lab courses already do this, but if your class doesn’t, then you can add a make up week or designate an alternative time or location where labs will meet. 

Find more topics in this guide on the A-Z Page List or in the menu.