researchED Home 2020

Ten Tips for Emergency Remote Teaching?

Paul Kirschner

Because of the Corona/Covid-19 pandemic, we’re all going through a period that none of us has ever experienced. With respect to teaching and learning, kids can’t attend school and we must help them learn at home. And this might last weeks or months. Fortunately, online education offers a solution, but the instructional techniques involved are not (completely) the same as what we do in the classroom during face-to-face education. This presentation will present 10 useful tips to help you and your students.

Q and A Paul Kirschner researchEDHome

Georgie Holdom 02:17 PM: I mean for the different tips ‐ could he do a languages or geography or English example of how it would look

Sorry, but it’s not possible to give an example for all of the tips for specific areas. There are two reasons: First, one would need to be a domain area expert in all of those areas to give optimal answers (and I’m not). Second, it would take too long.

Esther 02:17 PM: How do we ensure that thought or thinking is deep?

By asking questions and giving assignments that stimulate deep thinking. I use the term epistemic questions (who, what, where, when, why…) and what Stellan Ohlsson calls epistemic tasks or activities (see

Susan Strachan 02:19 PM: Is epistemic questioning linked to metacognition?

Yes, but they aren’t the same. Metacognition is “cognition about cognition”, “thinking about thinking”, “knowing about knowing”, becoming “aware of one’s awareness” and higher‐order thinking skills. It can take many forms including knowledge about when and how to use particular strategies for learning or problem‐solving. There are generally two components of metacognition: (1) knowledge about cognition and (2) regulation of cognition

CharlotteChild 02:20 PM: Can we see that last slide again please?

The slides have been appended to the blurb of the video.

Sarah 02:24 PM: What type of learning activities do you think are best suited to meet the key goals
that you mentioned?

If the goal is to activate prior knowledge the evening before, then ask for it. If it’s aimed at activating a previously acquired skill, then ask the student to carry out that skill or apply the knowledge. If the goal is to stimulate deep processing then use epistemic questions or tasks/activities. If the goal is retrieval practice, have them make flashcards, answer quizzes, make Cornell‐notes. And so the list goes on.

Lucas Silva Didier 02:25 PM: In How Learning Happens, you present the common three questions
that feedback should take care off. In other sources also you can find that these 3 questions are use
in formative assessment. How you integrated both views?

Feedback as I often discuss it should inform the learner about the what (corrective), how (directive), and why (epistemic) of their learning process (single, double, and triple loop feedback respectively). Hattie & Timperley speak of feedforward, feed through, and feedback. This too is directed towards informing learners of their learning process. Formative assessment is often a tool for the teacher to determine similar things. Then (s)he can use that to give proper feedback. The question is, thus, for whom is the tool meant.

Rachelle Cook 02:25 PM: Is there any advice for schools where all teaching is asynchronous in terms
of keeping lessons short. Is it better to deliver one large piece of work to students, or smaller bits
throughout the week?

Smaller bits!

Maida Ali 02:25 PM: Do you believe Social Media can be used to intrinsically motivate students who
are not motivated to learn? I have had students who didn’t respond via our LMS or other online
resources but they were happy to submit their work via Instagram and Twitter.

No! First, a dull lesson in a multimedia lesson is not motivating! I think what you’re actually referring to is how at home the user is with the environment and not motivation. Most LMSs are not user friendly, require completely different activities than what people are used to, and are thus not efficient nor easy to use. You see this often where students at universities are given email addresses within an LMS but continue to use their Gmail. Also, Twitter or Instagram are also not only familiar, but re also easier. In an LMS, uploading a video or other type of file is labourious while social media are easy. It has more to do with ease of use and appropriation than motivation.

Drew Burrett 02:25 PM: Without there being any direct teaching ‐ i.e. purely asynchronous delivery ‐
is it better to accumulate student work until a deadline, then feedback on all submissions after
deadline, or feedback as soon as possible after submission?

No. Feedback should be given as close to the completion of the task as possible. Feedback after a week or two is practically worthless if the goal is to learn from it.

Suzanne 02:26 PM: Can you give examples of effective online feedback your point 10)? In the case of
teaching writing, this seems extra difficult for teachers who try distance teaching.

We did a study where we did this with writing and it wasn’t. See ‐ If you can’t access it, I can send it.

Helen Langsam 02:27 PM: How can we motivate students to engage in the work? The average state
school has 30 percent online engagement from students.

Have them experience success. Success leads to motivation and more engagement, not the other way around. See‐the‐stable‐doors‐

Sian Collins 02:27 PM: How would you suggest tackling the challenge of accountability in
asynchronous teaching, i.e. where the school has not adopted video conferencing?

I don’t understand the question. If you mean ‘are the kids working?’. then give them things to do and require it to be handed it for example.

Karen TB 02:29 PM: What is the best way to interact with students online? For example: asking
questions and eliciting answers… at any stage of the session?

Continuously! Think of how often you look at your students to see if they understood what you said, whether their thoughts are wandering, and so forth. Now you have to do the same, but without being able to see them directly.

Riyaz 02:37 PM: What is your opinion on the schools that feel pupils’ should be completing 5 hours a
day of learning? Is this fair for them, while they have to deal with a variety of other variables in their
home ‐ and the stark difference between different pupils experiences.

I think the schools are crazy. Period!

Rahima Yousuf 02:42 PM: What are your preferred elearning platforms for retrieval practice?

Simple answer: I have no preferred platform. Use the tools you need. One thing to keep in mind is privacy. Zoom, for example, isn’t safe and you also know that Microsoft or Google or… will be misusing learner data for their revenue model. They’re not in it for altruistic reasons!

Martijn Leensen: What is the ideal timespan between the lesson and testing that learning material?

The same day (that evening?), a day later, a week later and a month later. Read Barak Rosenshine on this.

Martijn Leensen: How do I prepare my learners for an optimal switch to the educational life after

The best you can do is to get an accurate idea of how much they’ve gained or lost in the time they were away and use that as a starting point.

yusuf: hi, I am working on adult education, what are professor’s suggestions for virtual classroom
sessions for professional workers.

I would suggest you look at the book that I wrote with Mirjam Neelen ‘Evidence‐Informed Learning Design’. Here’s a link:‐informed‐

Martijn Leensen: Is this lockdown a blessing in disguise for our educational system?

Only time will tell 🙂