FAQ for Staff

1) What do I need to know prior to course start-up?

Please refer to the eLearning Teaching Semester Helpful Hint Checklist for a detailed list. It is encouraged that staff teaching the same e-Learning course in the same year collaborate on building common assessment strategies. They must also have the same final 30 evaluation. Class sizes for eLearning courses are usually capped at 35, at which point students are waitlisted. Class sizes are subject to the Pupil Teacher Contact (PTC) ratios set out in the collective agreement. 

2) How does the course begin?

Teachers will post:
An introduction via text or video that will include:
-name of teacher and teacher’s home school
-contact information: school phone number, email  
- "a little bit about yourself"

Following this, ensure that all course material is accessible and that students are logging into d2l. Ensure that course information as well as Assignment & Evaluation information remains posted all semester. 

3) How can I set students up for ultimate success, and provide extra help?

Some ways to help students include:
- Email: many questions can be solved by email. eLearning teachers need to make sure they check their email regularly during the school day in order to provide prompt responses to students in need
- Google Meet: teachers can use Google Meet to host online meetings and share their desktop. This allows voice and visuals to answer students’ specific questions 
- Phone calls: the student should have your school phone number and extension
- Help in their home school: you can direct the student to the guidance department or to the eLearning contact for their school for non-subject specific help. Also consult the school's Teacher-Librarian for resources, devices and space to work. If the student has an IEP, they can further be directed to the Learning Resource Teacher/Staff. For a complete list of contacts, please consult this link
- Consult the eLearning Campus calendar for dates of in-school visits

4) What are the expectations of teachers for online students?
- Timely, descriptive feedback
- Reasonable flexibility with logins, due dates, etc.
- Consistent support
- Tech support from an in-school student success-type of teacher
- To work in a non-traditional environment with differentiated assignments
- Recover/rescue their credit
- Be explicitly taught how to be successful (i.e. how NOT to plagiarize, how to write a ‘good’ discussion post, etc.)
- Expect students to exemplify mindful digital citizenship

Please refer to the HDSB Resource, Acceptable Use ICT which outlines supported IT device use. 

5) What do assessments and evaluations look like?
Teachers should use their professional judgment in accordance with guidelines outlined in Growing Success, as well as the Halton District School Board’s Assessment and Evaluation Practices (Grades 7-12) Administrative Procedure.

Strategies to improve student learning include:
- Giving timely and detailed feedback on student assignments, and ensuring students are accessing this feedback to improve their learning
- Soliciting and considering student input and collaborating with other staff to coordinate the timing of major assignments
- Sharing assignment timelines and reminders on the news page for their course on D2L. You may also do this through other means, including classroom web pages, wikis, blogs, email and text reminders 
- Assisting students to manage time effectively and monitoring student progress at each stage of a complex assignment
-  Allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways
- Anticipating which students may require additional supports to complete assigned tasks
- Contacting parents and/or legal guardians to discuss strategies for keeping students on track when they are falling behind

Cheating and Plagiarism:
All online teachers should review and make their students familiar with the HDSB policy on Cheating and Plagiarism, HDSB Admin Procedure - Meeting Timelines and Academic Honesty Document. All teachers have access to Turnitin through D2L.

6) What are attendance procedures?

The e-Learning program expects students to regularly “attend” (log in regularly, read notices, etc.) and appreciate the unique nature of online learning and work with the teacher and fellow classmates.

Regular attendance and participation in the e-Learning course is crucial for student success. Attendance will be taken using TRILLIUM WEB ATTENDANCE. For the first two weeks of the semester, attendance is taken daily and then once a week for the rest of the semester (Mondays).

Within the first week of student enrollment in your class, if a student has not attended it is imperative that you contact the student. You should use the following methods to find out what is going on: first e-mail student, then e-mail legal guardian. Next, phone student, then phone legal guardian at home, at work and on their cell. Finally, contact the home school. (see FAQ #3, “How can I set students up for ultimate success, and provide extra help?”)

These methods are to be used for the remainder of the semester for any student concerns. 
When you complete your attendance on Mondays, you can also fill out the Student Support Form for any students requiring some extra attention. The eLearning team will then sort that data by school, and store it until "transmission day" (on a weekly basis, we will push the reports to home school student success staff).

7) How can both staff and students track their online learning?

As with face to face classes, it is extremely important to get a handle on how your students learn early in the course. This can be a challenge in the online environment where exemplary learning skills and work habits may take on a slightly different form than in your face to face class. 

It is important to have a system where the students have an opportunity to reflect on their own learning skills. It is also important to be able to produce documentation of how you came up with a particular ranking if asked. There are many ways to do this. Often teachers will make use of some sort of an individual student tracker. This Learning Skills Tracker link is a sample.  

8) What are the expected reporting periods for eLearning?

All important dates are added to the eLearning campus calendar. 

Teachers can and should give their students regular updates of their progress. These should be communicated via email. If a student is at risk, a progress report should be sent to the home school and to the parent. Formal reports should be sent to the student’s home school contacts when a student is at risk, in addition to the reports sent home.  

eLearning Vice-principal will send out information regarding reports just prior to the reporting date.