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.

Recommended Syllabus Language.

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.

  • Use Canvas assignments to collect documents, media submissions, or hand-written/scanned work. Collecting assignments via Canvas saves a great deal of instructor time and allows faculty to offer students feedback directly through the Canvas gradebook. 
  • Use Canvas quizzes for quick assessment of student learning. Most Canvas quiz question types are automatically graded by Canvas.

Additional Resources:

Authentic assessment in online learning 

Assessing student learning online 

Exams: 

More information about options for assessing your students can be found on the Exams During Times of Remote Teaching web page.   .

Academic Integrity:

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. 

Academic integrity 

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 

10 tips for effective online discussions 

5 discussion ground rules for the online classroom

Using group projects online

Online students don’t have to work solo 

Creating and facilitating peer review 

Peer assessment in online courses 

Finding the instructional value in peer review discussion boards 

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.

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.  

Instructor-to-student interaction

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

5 Tips to Help Struggling Students Succeed Online

How elearning providers can help students who struggle online 

Student-to-student interaction

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:

  • Canvas discussion boards
  • For large classes and/or classes with small group work, consider setting up Canvas Groups and creating iscussions to use those groups 
  • If delivering session live via Zoom, students can interact in chat or ask questions 
  • Students can set up their own Zoom meetings outside of Canvas 

Promoting a sense of community among remote students: 

Professors share ideas of building community in online courses 

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.

Labs

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:

  • Kaltura has unlimited storage space. Don't be afraid to experiment. 
  • You can upload almost any video format into Kaltura, in resolutions up to 1920 x 1080. 
  • Upload a short (< 5 second) sample video first so you know what to expect from the recording and upload process. 

Shorter videos keep your students’ attention and are faster to upload and process:

  • Breaking up your course content into 3- to 5-minute mini-lectures is ideal. If this is not possible, then try keep it to 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Breaking your content into small chunks also makes it easier to re-record a segment in the future if you need to update information or you find a flub. Replacing a video is easier than editing a video. 

Try these important tips for uploading videos into Kaltura: 

  • Name your videos in a consistent and meaningful way.
  • Upload material in the order you need it and upload early to allow time for file upload, processing, and potential errors. 
  • Don’t upload all your course content at once, especially if you're working from home. Space it out over hours and days.  
  • Be aware of your Internet speeds. Uploading a lot of large files at once can slow down your computer and your Internet speed. 
  • Upload and processing times will lengthen when there are a lot of users uploading content. It may take a half-hour to an hour to upload a 15-minute video and process overnight. 

Recording videos:

  • Kaltura Capture is a free screen recording tool available for Mac and Windows users, accessible through your Canvas sites.
  • If you use Kaltura Capture to record your lectures, consider recording only one input, either webcam or screen. Recording both inputs doubles the file size, the time it takes to upload and process your file. Consider recording a short intro video with your webcam and the rest of your mini-lecture segments with just the screen. 
  • If you only need to record your webcam, you can do this easily with the Webcam Recorder.
  • Consider recording your lectures in Zoom. Those recordings automatically transfer into Kaltura and can be shared with your students. 
  • PowerPoint has a built-in tool for recording slide narrations and producing a video file. 

Giving your video captions will enhance accessibility and can help all your students with comprehension.

  • Use Kaltura to request "ASR" ("automatic speech recognition" or "machine captions" for your video.
  • When using the Kaltura Captions Editor, save early, save often.

Edit videos:

  • Try it out. Learn the ins and outs of the Kaltura Editor. It’s not going to replace powerful offline editing tools like Adobe Premiere or Apple Final Cut, but it’ll do most anything you need.
  • If you're using the Kaltura Editor, limit yourself to only a few edits at a time.
  • Save a Copy... Never replace your original video. 
  • Always keep your original files if possible. It's always prudent to keep backups. 

Share your videos:

Best Practices in Online Pedagogy

  • Hold synchronous class meetings only at days and time that the class is scheduled to meet. Make synchronous meetings strongly recommended but not required, and then post the recording. Be flexible on attendance policies.
  • The amount of work students are required to do should be comparable to a regular on-campus course.
  • Students should have access to instructors, TAs, and academic support.
  • TAs should work no more than the amount they were scheduled for originally.
  • Beyond Canvas and Zoom, use tools/technologies that you normally use in the course, to avoid additional costs or accessibility barriers. 

(Adapted with permission from University of Washington Center for Teaching and Learning) 

 

Remote Teaching: Harvard’s Best Practices

Take a look at our Canvas course checklist to make sure your course site is ready for class to begin.

Make sure that graduate teaching assistants and other support personnel are able to communicate with you effectively.