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Opportunities, challenges and proposed solutions for remote activities

Remote activities bring with them situations outside of the traditional campus activities. Here we list the pedagogical opportunities with remote activities and the suggested solutions for the most common challenges: social isolation, the unfamiliar way to work and the technology and tools used.

Opportunities with remote activities

Remote activities are appreciated by many students and work well for some educational activities. For example, lectures, group discussions and presentations.

The following list contains some of the opportunities when an activity is remote instead of on campus:

  • Distance and travel time is not an obstacle.
  • More students dare to ask questions when they can ask in private chat messages.
  • Disturbances can be reduced as the teacher has greater control over the meeting room.
  • Inclusion and equality can increase, especially for disabled students who often have better adaptions in their home than on campus.
  • Digital tools can be introduced more naturally.

It is important to note that some opportunities require work to be effective. For example, as a teacher, you need to be knowledgeable in Zoom to have greater control over the meeting room than you have over a lecture hall.

Pedagogical challenges and proposed solutions

Remote activities have other challenges than campus activites, in addition to the students not being able to physically interact with each other. In the tables below you will find some of the most common challenges and proposed solutions.

The challenges are grouped by:

  • the social isolation that can occur during remote activities
  • that remote activities are an unfamiliar way to work for many students
  • the challenges that come from the technology and tools used.
Challenges: Social isolation
Challenge Proposed solution
Increased sense of distance; the activity feels like a video for the students. Include more interactive elements or try another pedagogical model, such as a Flipped classroom.
Students feel isolated from their classmates. Encourage social gatherings and make room for it before and after Zoom activities by leaving the room open.
Reduced contact between students and teachers. Be more available to the students. For example, you can be available for questions in Zoom five minutes before and after the activities.
Challenges: Unfamiliar way to work
Challenge Proposed solution

The home environment distracts more easily.

Engage students more often, for example with discussions or other interactive elements.

Many communication channels make it unclear which one to use.

Inform students about how and when you can be contacted, preferably in writing. Repeat the prefered communication channels at the beginning of the activity and stick to them.

Students leave their computer and can therefore not participate in the interactive moments. Inform students early in the course about the activities and possible requirements for their equipment and surroundings. Remind them at the beginning of the activity and before the interactive moment begins.
Challenges: Technology and tools
Challenge Proposed solution

Higher technical requirements, which highlights inequality.

Inform the students about the tools well in advance, and be flexible if individual students require other solutions.

Each new digital tool raises the course’s learning threshold.

Introduce the tools gradually and have a dialogue with the students, such as if they are used to other tools that provide a similar experience

Get started with remote activities

Read more about the recommended first steps to get started with remote activities, such as lectures, group discussions and presentations.

Get started with remote activities over Zoom .