Remotely teaching a large enrollment introduction to forensic science course.
During the fall semester, an introductory course in forensic science is typically taught face to face with a maximum enrollment of 300 students. This is done in a large lecture hall with stadium seating. Due to social distancing restrictions according to the CDC, the lecture hall which typically holds roughly 420 students could only allow 73 students at one time. Therefore, teaching online at a distance was the only option available to teach the course.
Many decisions needed to be made on the teaching model of the course and how students would be engaged in the course content. There were a wide variety of options for distance learning and teaching mode. It was decided the hybrid distance model would best benefit the students and instructor for the large lecture course. Distance hybrid includes up to 75% asynchronous instruction with at least 25% of synchronous live teaching done completely remotely.
Determining the best tools and technology to use as well as what material to cover during both types of teaching was a challenge. Online video conferencing tools were not typically used in large live lectures and needed to be adapted to engage students with the course materials. The learning management system (LMS), typically used to record grades and collect assignments, now needed to house all the learning materials and assessments as well as be organized in a way that students could easily find the correct resources. This will address the challenges and resolutions for teaching large lectures remotely.