Whether or not your program is intending on using Soundcheck, I wanted to offer up some tips and recommendations I’ve learned from hundreds of hours of conversations with educators since the onset of the pandemic.
Where it stands now, social restrictions are unpredictable. There have been multiple occasions where I’d be on a call with an educator who was uncertain about whether classes will be held on campus or online. During the call they would get an email from their administrators saying that classes are fully committing to online with only a few weeks notice. I would witness their shock and concern with how they would continue. This is not a lot of time to prepare content for new delivery.
Not Your Typical “First Day”
Generally, the first day of school is routine as it is every year. Everything is more or less right where you left it. You know what to expect and to expect the unexpected… but not like this… For the first time, we are all experiencing a new kind of “first day” for pro-audio courses. Pro-Audio Engineering is a subject that requires hands-on training in parallel with lectures and theory.
How should educators be approaching the new semester?
Here are my recommendations as the “middle-man” between the student & educator paradigm:
Don’t Cram Standard Lectures into Zoom Calls
If classes are being delivered online, lectures are going to be a different pace and student engagement is going to vary. Typically, a class might have met in-person several times a week for several hours and there would be lab sessions. Now, there are no labs, lecture durations will be shortened and topics will need to be reinforced if students are to truly benefit from lesson content. You don’t want students to go into “Zombie Mode” where nothing is being absorbed. Content delivery needs to be quick and effective.
- Identify what are the essential outcomes for students.
- Identify tangible exercises to reinforce core lesson topics
For Soundcheck users, there are lessonplans that are used to inspire quick lessons and exercises to be performed at home. These lessons can be made to work with varied durations. They could even be used for courses that are not using Soundcheck!
Take a look at our lessonplans and exercises: Here
Encourage Independent Learning
Students are going to be spending less time collaborating in-person if they even get any chance at all. Independent learning is going to be taking place online. Encourage students to learn and practice on their own or in collaborations using online resources and exercises to personalize engagement. There are plenty of communities students should start learning about.
- Identify tangible ways for students to engage with the industry and practices on their own.
- Encourage projects that expand their career opportunities.
Influence New Pedagogies from Derived Data
This is a fresh start for everyone. For most educators, they don’t know what to expect from themselves let alone from the students. Now is the opportune time to be learning how to measure our own metrics as educators. We need to be asking ourselves many questions as the semester commences:
Are students becoming more engaged?
What might be deterring their interests?
Is the class grading average sustaining?
Can I improve efficiency in order to incorporate more content into my class?
As shocked as we may be going into this semester, we also need to be preparing for the following semester. Adapting to the changes from data derived over the course of the semester will influence new pedagogical approached next semester. This is all new territory in a new era of pro-audio education. We need to be learning from each other AND ourselves!
There’s no reason to feel a deer in the headlights when preparing for the upcoming semester. You are an educator with experience and knowledge that students are seeking to learn from. It’s part of our jobs as professionals to troubleshoot and ensure that “the show must go on” for audio education. There are many solutions out there to consider but what’s important are finding ways to spotlight essential outcomes and independent learning.
Drop me a line through the website if you are struggling with preparations for the fall or if you have any suggestions that you have for this coming semester to be shared with others.
Wishing you the best and thank you,
Founder & CEO – AudioFusion LLC
Developer of Soundcheck & VirtualStudio3D