Designing for Online Relationships in the COVID-19 Crisis: Thoughts on Dealing with Missing Work
In the current COVID-19 crisis, wherein various jurisdictions are declaring states of emergency and closing schools, more and more teachers and students will be moving their programs online. Not all students are equally suited to online learning, but that's not going to change our circumstances. Naturally, with increased distance, comes decreased accountability. It can be an interesting challenge to maintain control over an online classroom AND build positive relationships at the same time... especially when it comes to dealing with missing work.
Generally, I try to reach out to students and their parents as soon as possible when I realize that a student has failed to submit an assignment.
When I first draft such an email, it often seems cold and demanding. I then go about revising the email until it becomes more of an encouraging email than a disciplinary email.
Here's an example of what I mean:
It seems that I still do not have your Trade Show Financial Plan (spreadsheet package and justification document) for your Unit #3 summative.
I'm hoping that you can either submit this work within the next few days, or email me any questions you may need to ask in order to get you back on track with this assignment.
Here are some key resources you may wish to look at:
I've marked a number of these assignments at this point, and I can tell you that this assignment is not nearly as scary as it may seem. Once you get going, it might only take you an hour or two to finish it. (Spreadsheets are great. They do so much work for us!)
Hope to hear from you soon.
Here's the general structure I use to create a 'missing work' email:
I've found this general approach and structure to be fairly effective, so I thought I would share it with my fellow educators. I suspect our circumstances may be calling on us to write a number of 'missing work' emails in the days and weeks ahead.
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