October 11, 2021

5 ways to support student academic success mid-semester

As we reach the midpoint of the autumn 2021 semester and continue to navigate COVID-related challenges, here are a few tips for how you can set yourself and your students up for success.

Thanks to many across the university, including the Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning, the Office of Distance Education and eLearning, the Office of Student Academic Success, the Office of Student Life and the Suicide Prevention Program, for putting these resources together.

  1. Solicit midterm feedback. At this point in the semester, you and your students have both settled into your courses. So, this is a good time to check in with students via midterm feedback to find out what's working for them and what changes might help them learn better. The Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning put together some information about midterm feedback, and there’s a Carmen Canvas Commons midterm feedback template that you can import into your courses.
  2. Accommodate students affected by COVID. As Vice Provost for Academic Policy and Faculty Resources Helen Malone shared in a recent email, “you may be asked to formally or informally accommodate one or more students who are unable to attend your in-person class because they are sick or in quarantine. Our students are expected to stay home when they are ill, and they rely on your accommodations to be successful. Please work with students who stay home because they are experiencing symptoms. For the health and safety of our entire university community, staying home when sick is the right thing to do.” Here are some resources that Vice Provost Malone shared that can help you support these students:
      • On-site assistance
        You can request a consultation or on-site assistance from ODEE's Classroom Services team. They can teach you how to use specific classroom technologies and come up with strategies to meet student accommodations.
      • CarmenZoom resources
        The Teaching and Learning Resource Center offers guidance for using CarmenZoom to either simulcast your class session to allow remote students to participate, or to record your class session and share with remote students.
      • Other possible strategies
        • Provide the opportunity to make up missed exams and/or have exams conducted via Carmen
        • Have students volunteer to record classes for peers who are in quarantine or isolation, out sick, or taking a personal day from class
        • Help your students build a buddy system, where students zoom their buddy into class so they don't have to be absent
        • Consider offering equivalent work that could be offered for missing class so students don't get penalized for missing class due to illness
      • Reach out with questions
        You can also reach out to classroomhelp@osu.edu if you have other questions or classroom needs.
  3. Clearly state expectations around exams. More students than usual will be taking exams in person for the first time this semester. So, take some time to set clear expectations of how to prepare and what an in-person (versus online) exam will look like.
  4. Share resources about study spaces. Many students may not know the ins and outs of campus study spaces. The Office of Distance Education and eLearning has put together a list of technology-enhanced, informal learning spaces across campus, from Baker to Stillman Hall.
  5. Take advantage of wellness offerings and encourage your students to do the same. In order to support students, you need to feel supported, too. The university has put together a number of different programs to support faculty, student and staff wellness (and many of them don’t require adding another Zoom meeting to your calendar!). You can download the Wellness app and encourage your students to do the same. You can also check out some of the faculty offerings on the Health and Wellness page, and check out some student offerings on the Student Wellness Center page.

Thanks for everything you’re doing to help our students be as successful as they can possibly be!