The purpose of this document is to provide additional recommendations and requirements for all teaching faculty based on lessons we have been learning with regard to Remote teaching and feedback received from students and faculty. The recommendations and requirements listed here have also been incorporated into the Fall 2020 Teaching Recommendations, now the Winter 2021 Teaching Recommendations.

The following principles inform the guidance outlined here:

  • The University’s commitment to the safety, success, and support of students, faculty, and staff at all times, and especially during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The importance of flexibility and compassion for student, faculty, and staff needs.
  • The need for care and attention to those members of the OSU community—including individuals of color, individuals who are vulnerable or marginalized, and those with limited financial or family support—who may face substantially greater health risks and more limited access to technology.
  • OSU’s commitment to delivering high-quality, impactful and accessible learning experiences that support learners in attaining all course and program learning outcomes.

This document was prepared with extensive input from faculty listed below, and it has been endorsed by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.

  • Bill Bogley, Professor and Head of Mathematics
  • Lynn Greenough, Associate Director of Academic Technology
  • Regan Gurung, Interim Executive Director, Center for Teaching and Learning; Director, General Psychology Program
  • Selina Heppell, Professor and Head of Fisheries and Wildlife; Faculty Senate President-elect
  • Andrew Ketsdever, Dean of Academic Affairs, OSU-Cascades
  • Wade Marcum, Professor and Associate Dean in College of Engineering
  • Rebecca Mathern, Associate Vice Provost and University Registrar
  • Carol Millie, Director of Student Conduct
  • Dwaine Plaza, Professor of Sociology; Faculty Senate President
  • Devon Quick, Senior Instructor of Integrative Biology
  • Inara Scott, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean in College of Business

For purposes of this document, the term faculty is used broadly to include all employees engaged in supporting student learning (research faculty, instructional faculty, professional faculty that engage in classroom teaching, and graduate teaching assistants).


We encourage faculty to take advantage of the following teaching resources:

  • Peer Supporters: In most colleges, Peer Supporters are available to provide instructional faculty with ongoing college-specific support in remote and blended learning. Peer Supporters draw upon the expertise and resources of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), Academic Technology, and Ecampus. >> Learn more about the Peer Teaching Resource & Support Program, your college Peer Supporter, and contact information for the Program Coordinator, Cheridy Aduviri.
  • Tech Keep Teaching Assistant (TechKTA): Faculty may request a Tech Keep Teaching Assistant (TechKTA) to assist with basic elements of teaching in Zoom, including providing coordination for questions, chats, breakout rooms, and recording operations. >> Request a TechKTA.
  • Upcoming Workshops and Webinars: OSU’s Keep Teaching team, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Faculty Media Center, and Academic Technology are collaborating to offer opportunities to help you prepare your Winter 2021 courses. >> See workshop and webinar offerings and register.
  • CTL Tuesday Teaching & Tech Talks (T4): CTL T4 events are a great place to learn about topics and methods directly relevant to your remote teaching.  >> Sign up for winter term T4 events.
  • All courses delivered in the 2020-2021 academic year must use Canvas.
  • All Canvas courses must be published with a course syllabus prior to the start of term. For winter term 2021, all courses must be published by January 1st, 2021. Students must be able to see course requirements and expectations by the first day of the term.
  • All courses must include office hours outside of the scheduled class time, though instructors may also use some scheduled class time for this purpose. Office hours must be posted either in the syllabus and/or Canvas should be readily available to students, and must be posted prior to the start of the quarter. Providing multiple times/days each week will help ensure students have access. See tips on setting up office hours in Zoom.
  • Synchronous classes must end at the scheduled time. Students must not be penalized for leaving class at the time it is scheduled to end, including by having faculty provide course information after that time.
  • Keep Zoom updated to the latest version to preserve security and avoid technical glitches. More support for Zoom, including how to update to the latest version, can be found here. We recommend you also encourage students to update to the latest version regularly (e.g., every Monday).
  • Class modality requirements: Whether In-person, Remote, Ecampus, or Blended (mix of Remote and In-person), it is best for students that as much as possible, you adhere to the official modality (i.e., as listed in the schedule of classes) for the class. Remote and Blended courses require a synchronous component. If technical issues occur, faculty must work with IT immediately to ensure students receive timely access to their instructors.
  • Connecting with students: We have heard from students that they want to engage with their faculty during class. If you don’t already, please take time to check in with your students to see how things are going for them.
  • Testing:  If you are using a take-home test format, students must be given a reasonable amount of time in which to take the test. For example, a take-home quiz or test is typically left open for 24 hours.

  • Be Flexible: Please be as flexible as possible with due dates and try not to over-penalize late work.
  • Canvas: Use Canvas as much as possible to create assignments and reminders for students. Canvas assignments with due dates will show up on student Canvas calendars, which they rely on for scheduling and time management.
  • Multiple section classes: If your class has multiple sections and you have merged sections, be sure to direct students to the correct Canvas page using an announcement or email message.
  • Zoom Expectations: You may want to provide Zoom expectations ahead of time for some issues such as how students should ask questions, using the mute button, and what is acceptable for a profile picture. Where appropriate, you may also want to plan a discussion with the class and invite them to contribute to setting expectations. This group activity may help promote professional modeling. Topics you may want to discuss include:  
    • Conduct rules in breakout sessions.
    • The use of web cameras (for example, while not requiring the use of web cameras, you may want to encourage students to turn on their cameras as this will enhance everyone’s learning and engagement).
    • How students interact with each other (for example, set the expectation that there will be no personal attacks or derogatory comments; avoid interruptions; make sure that everyone participates and gets chance to express their thoughts).
    • Expectations for class preparation and staying on topic.
  • Course time expectations: Students today are juggling classes, work, and caretaking; all students benefit from clear guidance and expectations for course time. State clearly how many hours are expected for homework, study, and class time. You may wish to note that OSU policy is that every credit hour is expected to equate to three hours of work per week in and out of class; thus a three credit class with three hours of class time would be expected to have an additional six hours of work outside of class.
  • Discussion boards: When adding discussion boards into your classes, ensure the expected participation time fits within the total course time expectations. Discussion boards should be regularly reviewed and attended by the faculty/TAs. Grading discussion boards insures participation. Consult with CTL for effective discussion board strategies.
  • Checking in with students: Teaching remotely provides challenges for students to communicate to the faculty and increases the need for deliberate outreach to students to ensure engagement and improve student success. We recommend adding regular check-ins with students that may include:
    • Informal check-ins before or after class.
    • Using ungraded surveys on Canvas or with Qualtrics to ask students how they are doing, and to get feedback on the course.
    • Modifying your delivery may help their success (consider lengthening or shortening lectures, adding more experiential and active learning options, or other issues depending on feedback you get from students).
    • General Q&A discussion boards on Canvas to provide students a mechanism to connect with you and other students.
  • Be clear how you’d like students to reach out to you (i.e., via email? Before/after class? Via Canvas message?).