Mar 24
Bandwidth and Best Practices

We have many tech tools at our disposal, and the College has a robust IT infrastructure to support our online needs. However, many of our students may be suffering at their own home-based desk with slow or no computers, and limited, patchy or no internet access.

That means we have to know – and take into account – their IT realities.

But if you think in terms of “bandwidth capacity" and the importance (or not) of “immediacy", you'll deliver solid teaching without requiring technology tools that students may not have.

Daniel Stanford, Director of Faculty Development and Technology Innovation at DePaul University's Center for Teaching and Learning, posted a clear and concise overview of the “Bandwidth Immediacy Matrix". Read about it here and learn how the “underappreciated workhorses" of email, discussion boards and recorded readings can deliver high impact learning to students who may have low-grade internet access.

How are you handling the varied tech needs of your students? What have you learned about the internet access your students are dealing with? ​


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This line really hit home a...

This line really hit home about students with low bandwidth: "(it can) create a sense of shame and anxiety, and leave them feeling like second-class citizens." It's good to be mindful of this. I really like the quadrants in this article as well; they're very clear to understand. Thanks for sharing!
Picture Placeholder: Sherry L Seymour
  • Sherry L Seymour
 on 3/24/2020 10:18 AM

I think that a properly des...

I think that a properly designed and moderated discussion assignment in LEARN's discussion tool can be a fantastic learning opportunity. Students can build their understanding together, and it doesn't require much bandwidth or people to all be doing it at the same time.
Picture Placeholder: Matt Miles
  • Matt Miles
 on 3/24/2020 10:24 AM

You raise a very good point...

You raise a very good point about some students having limited bandwidth and the disadvantages that this might create for them.  Luckily our program only has 5 students and yesterday we met virtually through WebEx and it worked seamlessly.  I really like how Daniel Staford depicts instructional technologies into a visual four "zone" chart - it totally makes sense. 
Picture Placeholder: Cynthia L Kulczycki
  • Cynthia L Kulczycki
 on 3/24/2020 10:40 AM

Great topic!  I've been add...

Great topic!  I've been adding short bits of audio within PowerPoint.  This adds substance to the course material, without requiring too much IT/bandwidth capacity.  Using "Groups" and "Discussions" within Learn has also been useful in setting up online debates, using the platform students already know well (Learn).
Picture Placeholder: Lindsay Mulholland
  • Lindsay Mulholland
 on 3/24/2020 5:21 PM