BEFORE venturing into e-learning

BEFORE venturing into e-learning

Many teachers around the country (& the world) are being asked to transition to e-learning and many, like myself, have never taught online. I am a full-bodied, full-classroom, activity-based teacher so I was afraid that online learning with suck all the joy out of life for me. But I also like a challenge and like learning new things, so I figured this would be a fun experiment on how I can still “be myself” virtually to my students.

Before I spend hours creating new modes of delivering content I wanted to ask my AP students how THEY would like to learn online for the next few weeks. Most of them have taken a virtual class or two so I figured they would be able to provide me with some insight about what they’d like and not like on this grand e-learning adventure.

Each class and teacher are different so these same questions may not work for you (& I probably forgot something!) but if you are about to embark on the e-learning path maybe think of asking students for feedback before you begin.

*Note: I created this survey using “New Quizzes” on Canvas; the survey will be up for 5 days and I am allowing my students to take it multiple times.

Here are the questions I gave to my students (feel free to use):

#1. Below are a list of e-learning strategies I may use over the next few weeks. Please drag them in order from your FAVORITE (top) to LEAST FAVORITE (bottom). I will change up the things that we do, for example we are not going to do just video lectures for hours on end, but I what to know what types of stuff to avoid or favor in my content creation.

  • 5-10 minute YouTube videos
  • 15-30 minute YouTube videos
  • Textbook reading quizzes
  • SAQ-style discussion posts & peer edits
  • NO VIDEOS – articles only
  • Furiosi “live” video or video lecture (no more than 10 minutes)
  • Textbook notes
  • Internet articles & discussion posts

#2. Right now, my plan is to create “mini” assignments that can be done in small chunks. For example instead of a 50-minute lecture on WWII I would break it up into maybe a short video on military technology, images of propaganda, a short article on the atomic bomb, and then a discussion post. I don’t have it all figured out yet but I would appreciate any feedback you have for me on how you would like to learn AP World History over the next few weeks.

You guys know my personality and how I teach, as you can imagine it is difficult to translate what I do in the classroom to the online world but I am trying!

*Their answer is in free-response format.

#3. I have to share a computer/laptop with one of more members of my household

  • True
  • False

#4. I have access to a printer at home (*Note: this is to know if I need to modify the review packets I made for them)

  • True
  • False

#5. I have spotty or intermittent internet access at home.

  • True
  • False

#6. What writing skill do you want to work on THE MOST? (We will not be writing full long essays while on e-learning.)

  • SAQ
  • DBQ
  • LEQ

#7. Choose ALL of the options that you like best for communication with ME during this e-learning period.

  • I will just email Mrs. Furiosi when I have questions.
  • I literally don’t need to talk to the teacher; I’ve got this on my own. (okkkayyyy sure)
  • I would like Mrs. Furiosi to keep office hours a few days a week when she is “live” online (there is a separate question for office hour options).
  • I would like there to be an “open” discussion board where I can post questions at my leisure and Mrs. Furiosi or other students can interact at their own pace.
  • I want Mrs. Furiosi to call my parents every day to check in with me (not happening! I just needed some humor)

*Yes, these is the EXACT wording in my questionnaire. I’m hilariously awkward, I know.

#8. Choose the time period that you would PREFER I keep virtual office hours (aka when I am “live” and online to chat). These times will fluctuate a little with “real”life, but if you and I are chatting at 10:59 know that I will not boot you out. Also I will probably be online much more than these hours but sometimes not able to live chat.

  • M-F 8-10am
  • MWF 8-11am
  • TTh 8-12pm
  • M-F 1-3pm
  • MWF 1-4pm
  • TTh 1-4:30pm
  • ONE day a week 8am-2pm
  • A mix of a morning, afternoon, & evening time; each once a week

#9. Choose your #1 preferred method of course pacing during our e-learning time.

  • Daily due dates
  • Weekly due dates
  • More self-paced program with a FEW hard deadlines
  • TOTALLY self-paced program, no “late” work

#10. The textbook is the foundation of this class, it provides the vehicle for you to get a lot of your information. However, there is a level of complexity with textbook notes with e-learning. Choose the BEST option from the list below:

  • Get rid of textbook notes for other internet videos & articles
  • Keep posting textbook outlines but have us take reading quizzes or do discussion posts instead of “turning in” notes
  • What textbook? 😉
  • Keep making us do textbook notes & we will upload images of our notes for you to grade
  • Keep posting textbook outlines for us to choose to do but do not grade them

#11. Do you want me to provide you a suggested pacing for the review packets that correspond to the lessons we do online? For example: if I make you watch a video on the United Nations and read their Declaration of Human Rights, do you want me to tell you where you can find the information in your review packets to complete?

  • Yes
  • No

#12. If you have taken an online class before…tell me some things you loved about it that I  could use during our e-learning period?

*Their answer is in free-response format.

#13. If you have taken an online class before…tell me some things you hated about the experience that I should know about during our e-learning period?

*Their answer is in free-response format.


P.S. I treat my class like a democracy but with an ultimate dictator; if something is not working or I don’t like it, I change it immediately but I like to give my kids an opportunity for their voices to be heard.


  1. You’re giving your students a whole lot more agency than I am! I pretty much just checked in with students about tech availability and moved ahead with my own plans. I already had an outline for teaching this course in hybrid format though, so I had worked through a lot of this before.

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