PSYCH250: Social Psychology — Brittany Liu

Registration: 2 sections of 25

My plan is to conduct my Social Psychology class all online. I’m combining my favorite parts of asynchronous and synchronous teaching online. I also am trying to be as flexible as possible, knowing that some students and their families are not out of the woods yet, that home responsibilities may take priority occasionally, or a student may become ill!

It’s a Tues/Thurs class. For Tuesdays and Thursdays, there will be mini-lectures (about 20 minutes) students will watch before we meet online (they’ll be posted about 20 hours in advance). Then we will meet virtually for about 45 minutes every Tuesday and Thursday. I want to use the mini video lectures to cover content I used to do in class, and use the 45 minutes of in-person time to introduce an activity, problem, or discussion topic.

A typical 45-minute class session

  • First 10 minutes introduce the activity/problem and any content that didn’t fit in my mini-lecture;
  • 15-20 minutes where students work in pairs (and I can pop in and out of their groups);
  • 15 minutes to debrief the activity together, have a pair or 2 share their work and I can give feedback on their response.
  • 5 min for technical difficulties

Planning for Contingencies

If a student misses a class session due to illness, an emergency, or other responsibilities, then I’ll allow them to do the activity/problem on their own. I’ll have a copy of the problem/activity, and the student will write-up their response. I expect this to be the exception rather than regular way students engage with the class.

This idea of a contingency plan has come up in conversations our department has been having over Teams. Another idea that allows flexibility is to require something like 8 out of 10 of the class meetings or class components (and also “secretly” add in a last opportunity event that’s not announced ahead of time, to help students who’ve fallen behind for whatever reason – then I don’t have to make a determination of which excuses/reasons are more deserving than others).

A typical week


  • post mini-lecture by noon


  • students watch lecture before class
  • 20-minute office hour before class
  • 45-minute synchronous class online


  • post mini-lecture by noon


  • students watch lecture before class
  • 20-minute office hour before class
  • 45-minute synchronous class online

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