Key elements to consider when teaching remotely include increasing instructor presence, engaging students, and facilitating active learning and student interaction.Remote teaching is different from teaching Ecampus courses in that you have options to engage synchronously (at the same time) with your students during the time your class was scheduled to meet.Consider these strategies as you move forward.
Synchronous or asynchronous?
Wondering how to decide what is best for you and your course? Compare pros and cons of synchronous vs. asynchronous teaching, as well as implementation tips for each method.
If you want to use lectures in your course, consider whether you will prepare pre-recorded lectures or give synchronous lectures. Recordings made through Zoom or using Kaltura Capture can easily be shared with students through Canvas. See our guide on recording synchronous or asynchronous lectures.
Use your materials from existing online courses:
If there is an Ecampus version of your course, you may use some of the online materials from that version of the course. Follow directions for copying content from one section to another. Remember that you can selectively import materials if needed.
Consider your expectations for students in light of the COVID-19 situation. Factors such as lack of internet connections or needing to care for family members can diminish students' capacity to meet course requirements. Be ready to equitably handle requests for extensions or accommodations. Your college may issue specific guidance or requirements for you to follow as well.Syllabi and course activities including graded work may need to be adjusted after the start of the term based on changing circumstances.
At a minimum, instructors should be prepared to use both Canvas and Zoom. You’ll need a computer and an internet connection to use Canvas or Zoom. You can use a cell phone or tablet for basic communication, such as recording an announcement or lecture. It's important to test your equipment and connections well in advance.
Remote Teaching and Assessments:
The goal of assessment is to encourage and promote learning. Instructors can take approaches to assessment that will help to create a positive and effective learning community and environment. High-stakes assessments will be challenging while teaching remotely, so consider ways to break up high-stakes assessments into smaller, more frequent assessments throughout the term. Low-stakes, formative assessments keep students engaged, provide feedback to both students and the instructor to gauge learning, and they provide the instructor with a continuous flow of information about whether mid-course corrections are necessary.
Below are a couple of possible options for delivering assessments and collecting student submissions in Canvas.
More information about options for assessing your students can be found on the Exams During Times of Remote Teaching web page. .
Remote teaching raises concerns about cheating (e.g., plagiarism, unsanctioned collaboration). Instructors need to communicate the importance and expectations of academic integrity in a remote course. This should be done at the beginning of the term in the syllabus or related documents so that students are clear on the expectations and consequences.
There are three main categories of solutions to consider: changing forms of assessment, modifying the administration of assessment and changing the culture of assessment and testing. Read Academic Honesty in Remote Instruction or view the recorded webinar for more information.
It is important that students don’t feel isolated in their remote courses. As an extension to any synchronous sessions you may be doing with your students, faculty can design class activities/assessment to encourage and foster peer-to-peer communication and collaboration through both synchronous and asynchronous activities.
Designing and facilitating discussions
Using group projects online
Creating and facilitating peer review
Use Regan Gurung's A Memo to Students on Punching through the Pandemic as the basis for a start-of-term message to your students. You could either use the original version or edit and revise it to fit your voice and approach to remote teaching. You could send it as a Canvas announcement or make it a page in your Start Here module.
Maintaining student engagement in online courses - strategies for individual and group work
Although not having the opportunity to see students in person may pose some challenges, online communication also has its strengths. As written communication plays a more central role in the online environment, it allows more time for both the instructor and students to compose questions and/or comments, and this may increase the depth and quality of the conversations.
Being very proactive about communicating with students will help them to feel more comfortable during a time of high anxiety. Faculty can help ease the adjustment for students who have never taken an online class, and who may not want to (i.e. try to make the class feel "different" than a strictly online class).
Maintain substantive interaction with your students via the Canvas discussion board and/or Zoom. Make sure to include links for your students to our student tech support guide and to our guide on Canvas student tools.
For instructor-to-student interaction, options include synchronous class meetings via Zoom, Canvas announcements, Canvas messages, or Zoom office hours/help sessions. See our guides on how to communicate with your students via Canvas and to set up virtual office hours using Zoom.
Identifying and supporting struggling students
For student-to-student interaction, there are options for interacting during live sessions, one-one-one, in a small group or with the whole class, such as:
Promoting a sense of community among remote students:
When creating content in Canvas, instructors can place links to materials directly in the content. These can help tie course content together and help students stay focused on the course. Use the instructions below to learn more.
Is your content accessible to all students? DAS resources may be limited; take some simple steps to make your content more accessible.
Check out our Teaching Remote Labs page for ideas.
Kaltura is where all your Oregon State University videos go, from Zoom recordings to lecture captures and screen recordings:
Shorter videos keep your students’ attention and are faster to upload and process:
Try these important tips for uploading videos into Kaltura:
Giving your video captions will enhance accessibility and can help all your students with comprehension.
Share your videos:
(Adapted with permission from University of Washington Center for Teaching and Learning)