Virtual Planning and Collaborating
Virtual collaborations can be effective when group members equally share in the responsibility of communicating and sharing the workload. This document suggests a process for your Peer Microteaching Group as you begin to plan, develop, and practice your upcoming Microteaching with students in a synchronous session. The work will be challenging for certain, so remember the value of maintaining a Growth Mindset toward your success. And don’t forget that the experience of teaching a lesson in an online synchronous session is the goal. You are expected to make some mistakes, so accept them as a necessary byproduct of your efforts.
The following guidelines should be reviewed and implemented as you collaborate with your Peer Microteaching Group:
Personal commitment and respect for others – Collaborative tasks like this one require careful planning as a group and as an individual to ensure that the effective functioning of both the group and the individual group members. Given the time frame and task at hand, you demonstrate respect for yourself and for your PMG when you take the time now to consider all that is happening in your life over the time span of this activity. Make sure family and friends are aware of your involvement in this project, and ask for their patience and support so that you can meet deadlines for your work, so that you can be on time for scheduled meetings, and so that once completed, you can take pride in how you performed as an individual and as a group member.
Scheduling – We are all busy as educators, even during the summer! So to minimize the email discussion around group meeting and planning times, consider using a free tool that makes it easy to see everyone’s availability and identify the best times for meeting like whenisgood.net (Links to an external site.). As a rule of thumb, if you devote more than three emails to a discussion, then it is time to pick up the phone! Consider whenisgood.net (Links to an external site.) to schedule your meetings or minimally, to determine a time when you can first meet initially via Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom, etc. to discuss your planning schedule!
Identify group tasks and timeline – One of your initial tasks should include a timeline for completing your work. You might consider a backward design approach where you identify 1) when you must have all materials ready, 2) when you will have practiced with your PMG members, and 3) how you will divide the tasks of developing the learning plan.
Sharing your learning plan and resources – Given your group is geographically situated in different places, it is important for you to consider how you will document, share, and develop your plan so that all can see. Thankfully, Google Documents makes it easy for one of your members to create a document, then share it with edit rights to all group members. We suggest you create a shareable folder to house all of the documents and resources included slides with images/text, etc. If you are not familiar with how to share Google Documents, Google Slides, and Folders, see Share files and folders (Links to an external site.)
Planning joint online learning experiences requires communication, collaboration, creativity, problem-solving and accountability, which are all 21st century skills (Links to an external site.) we can model for our language students! We hope this guide supports you in the planning and delivery of your CSUSB microteaching.
As always, if you have questions, you may post them in our Technical Assistance and General Questions Forum. Our language specialists (Links to an external site.) are also ready to provide feedback and support.