As I wrap up my Spring semester online courses, I'm starting to think about next Fall when (hopefully) our university will return to full in-person classes. Because of COVID, over the last year I have more-or-less turned 3 of my in-person courses into fully on-line courses. My main question here essentially is: what's the best way to change them back into in-person courses?

For one of these courses (call it "Course 1"), I was already half way through transitioning to a flipped-classroom and so being forced to record a bunch of video lectures just moved that along quicker. When we're back in-person, class time will consist of a short intro or review, mostly focus on students working on problems/homework in groups and presenting solutions, and finish with a quick summary.

For "Course 2" I can mostly do the same as Course 1, but I have very few in-class problem sets created. In-class group work was nonexistent in this course before and during COVID, but I can imagine working in that direction. Both Course 1 and 2 are courses that I've realized lecture alone isn't working as well as one would like, and so I'm happy to work toward giving students more time-on-task.

The main issue is "Course 3" which is a bit higher level than the other two. First of all, the thought of creating suitable problem sets for group work for even half of the class time is overwhelming. Pre-COVID the students in this class had a lot of success with a lecture-only format, so I feel less pressure to change the mode. Yet I now possess the whole course in video form, so certainly there's an advantage to be had somehow. It seems foolish to just return to what I was doing pre-COVID and keep all my digital materials secret from the in-person students.

I'm sure all of us are in a similar situation with our own individual nuances. So I'm looking for advice from anyone who has successfully turned an online course into an in-person course.

  • What did you keep and make available for your in-person students?
  • Was there anything pre-existing that you decided against using in order to re-create it live in the classroom (e.g. certain lectures)?
  • We all know now that it takes a ton of writing/creating to go from in-person to online. How much new material did you have to write/create to move from online to in-person?

(Not that it really matters, but just in case: Course 1 and 2 are first and second semester calculus. Course 3 is an introduction to Discrete Math.)

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I'd keep the lectures available. As a student, I'd still want to come to class so I could ask questions in person. It gives you freedom to be more interactive during your in-person lectures. $\endgroup$
    – Sue VanHattum
    Apr 28 '21 at 20:55
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ A few years ago, administrators would pay university faculty to convert classes to online because they saw competition and financial opportunities. Now maybe we can turn the table, and ask them to support us converting online to in-person delivery in a classroom. $\endgroup$
    – user52817
    Apr 29 '21 at 16:05

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