Over the summer, I applied to teach in adult education, which I haven’t done for a few years, at Assabet After Dark, teaching the TEAS test. I won’t be teaching the course until November, but I am using my time in August to prepare the material. I’ve never taught the class, I’ve never taken the TEAS (goodness knows you don’t want me near any nursing of any kind), and no one has ever taught it remotely so….yeah, starting prep early. On the one hand, this is going to be an experience of “firsts,” but, at the same time, I will need to apply what I know to be best practice in online teaching, so I thought I would try to document my experiences to continue my thinking about what are best practice for virtual education.
As with any teaching, I began with the objectives, given in the TEAS testing manual.
Number and algebra (23 questions)
- Convert among non-negative fractions, decimals, and percentages
- Perform arithmetic operations with rational numbers
- Compare and order rational numbers
- Solve equations in one variable
- Solve real-world one- or multi-step problems with rational numbers
- Solve real-world problems involving percentages
- Apply estimation strategies and rounding rules to real-world problems
- Solve real-world problems involving proportions
- Solve real-world problems involving rates and rates of change
- Translate phrases and sentences into expressions, equations, and inequalities
Measurement and data (9 questions)
- Interpret relevant information from tables, charts, and graphs
- Evaluate the information in tables, charts, and graphs using statistics
- Explain the relationship between two variables
- Calculate geometric quantitates
- Convert within and between standard and metric systems
I then decided to start poking around online, which inspired me to open a Google Doc and start taking notes, with some organization and structure starting to come together. For example, yes I had a list of topics, but I also noticed that I could get some test prep materials online:
I also knew that I would need to have a wide range of materials available to the students on each topic, since students would be coming in at all different levels. The classes also run for 2.5 hours a night, which is a long time for a class, for four nights, which is not much time total to cover that whole list of topics! As I started putting the pieces together in my head, it became clear I was going to need a hyperdoc. As a teacher in one of my graduate courses recently pointed out to me, she will use a hyperdoc, versus a template or graphic organizer, when she is putting together work with a lot of choice. This TEAS program was, by definition, going to need a lot of choice! I was also going to need to find ways to help the students self-identify what they know and don’t know each time we switch topics, since we’ll be doing more than one topic a night, so I’ll need some self-assessments. And we’ll need online practice resources, like Khan Academy, which means more links and that means we’ll need the organization of a hyperdoc, especially in the world of COVID and distance learning.
So, what’s my plan? I will need to do a few things, in no particular/linear order:
- determine what material I will cover each of the four nights
- write a hyperdoc for each night
- write the self-assessments and/or find an assessment resource
- figure out how to bring in practice assessment to ensure students have enough exposure to the test format, not just the test content
- write a Google Form to gather information about my students–personal information, distance learning information (i.e., what is the set-up at the house, etc.), expectations around homework, etc.
- think about whether to give practice tests in earlier nights or leave them to later; this will impact the amount of material covered in the hyperdocs each night
- determine how to use the hyperdoc to assign homework–without Google Classroom, where I can “give every student a copy,” how can I have students interact with the hyperdoc? I would like for students to personalize the hyperdoc, writing their own homework, areas of need, plan for study, etc. Full disclosure? Irene and I have been talking about trying something like this for distance learning, so this is a chance to give it a try. I also think I should include a blank (dated) calendar on every hyperdoc so the concept of planning is reinforced.
- reach out to director to ask how, under remote and without a platform like Google Classroom, how will I be able to reach out to students, share materials, etc?
- find online content materials, probably by copying each of the module titles in the list above into Khan Academy to start, then putting all the links into a master hyperdoc for now–I can sort them out as I sort out the content across the four weeks and as I make decisions about the practice tests
I began by gathering links from Khan Academy to have a baseline collection of videos, notes, and practice:
I also bought two test prep books so I can learn the material and the style, but, ultimately, it will all have to be online due to COVID, so I can’t build a course with paper resources. I would need to find other high-quality, electronic/online resources to fill in the blanks in the material. One thing I promised myself was that I would NOT take on making recordings and/or notes myself. There is just too much material already available online to add that to my to-do list. I can commit to putting time into gathering and organizing materials and content, plus, of course, the actual teaching, but I cannot add content creation to my list.