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I am looking for advice for September with a new format for our daily schedules for high school CS.

As part of my board's grade 9-12 return to school plan, students will be in one of 3 cohorts of a class. They will take two courses at a time over 10 weeks. Daily class time is greater than normal, whether in school or online.

  • cohort A & cohort B alternate coming to school and working synchronously online
  • cohort A & B also alternate which course (of their 2) that they attend when they are at school. A cohort only attends one course per day at school
  • cohort C is online only
  • when one cohort is in class, the other two are designated to be online doing synchronous learning.
  • cohorts are all in the same class/section
  • over a 4 week sample, a student in cohort A would have a day focused on their CS class for 5 days in class, and for 5 days online. The other 10 school days would be for another class. They are spaced out in what seems like a sporadic way

Looking for advice on program delivery from any angle. Course format, assessment, student communication, and related tools.

I am having a hard time visualizing anything other than treating it like an online course where some days some of the students happen to be in the same room as me.

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  • $\begingroup$ I've been thinking about this question myself, being in a similar position. I'll post an answer if I have any helpful thoughts, but so far I'm in the same place as you. $\endgroup$ – Ben I. Aug 23 at 23:38
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I am in an almost identical situation to you, and I suspect that many, many CS teachers around the world are in similar boats right now.

I think you're right about the fundamental truth of it; you cannot keep different students coordinated if they do different things, and you cannot have them do the same thing unless the online-only cohort can also participate. This leaves us with the sole (unappealing) option to treat everything like distance learning.

That doesn't mean that there are no advantages to the new arrangement!

  1. The kids who will be with you in person will be able to easily and directly ask you questions.
  2. The kids in front of you will also be easier for you to informally poll if you want to check in and make sure that what you're saying isn't losing the majority of the people. (When I say informally poll I also mean to just scan your eyes around the room, and use your teacher-instinct to see whether many kids seem lost. This was very hard to do during purely online education.)
  3. Some kids were getting lost during purely virtual instruction, and having them in person some of the time will give you a chance to talk to them face to face, and hopefully to reel those students back in. I suspect that coming in to school at least some of the time will make the entire thing seem more real, both for you and for the students.

If your in-class kids each have an electronic device, you should make sure that they have headphones to avoid audio feedback issues. If they don't all have devices at school, you may need to do some photocopying, or "play" your materials at them from the front of the room.

Here's to hoping that this whole mess is very temporary.

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