Instructors: Tips on How to Support Students

  • Create an outline / keep an assignment page for due dates.
  • Set expectations but talk to the students to see what works best for them. 
  • Communication
    • Email often.
    • Keep open channels of communication for both yourself and between students.
    • Have a way for students and faculty to engage with one another.
    • Find a way to move office hours online, too (or be flexible with setting up times to call/Skype with students who need it).
    • Be responsive with regard to communication. Remember that this is all new to your students as well and they will probably be panic emailing you. Be responsive and understanding.
  • Don’t post everything at once, roll it out slowly so students do not get overwhelmed.
    • Make content in small bites to avoid overloading students.
    • Keep things simple.
  • Send out slides/handouts ahead of time if possible or afterward for people who may miss sessions/have trouble connecting/want to review.
  • Focus on meeting your outcomes.
  • Have checkpoints as you go for students to make sure they are doing things correctly, and for you to know they understand-could be simple like a Google form “quiz.”
  • Make sure your course follows proper accessibility guidelines
  • Respecting student privacy, especially if you’re using technologies that aren’t provided through the university or your institution.

Instructors: Tips for Asynchronous Instruction

  • Make content in small bites to avoid overloading students
    • Don’t record hour-long lectures; break them up into shorter videos based on a topic or learning outcome
    • Focus on the basics: keep it simple, accessible, don’t overload on information 
    • Think of the lesson’s organization before putting it online and be flexible in deleting material out
    • Focus on meeting your outcomes
    • Don’t post everything at once, roll it out slowly so students do not get overwhelmed
  • Screencasts are a great way to teach a concept that is not easily read and immediately understood-they also help include verbal instruction to not overload learners.
    • Don’t worry about using video, audio with slides (a.k.a. ScreenCastomatic) is just fine!
    • Caption your videos
      • YouTube has free captioning software, but you must edit the automatically generated captions so that they’re accurate 
    • Keep slides relatively simple: focus on what you would be working on if you were in a face to face lesson. If you wouldn’t add graphics/pictures/sounds in class, don’t put it in your slides.
    • Don’t just type your whole lecture onto your slides
  • Create an outline/ keep an assignment page for due dates and assignment instructions
  • Make sure you build assessments into your lessons
    • For example, have checkpoints as you go for students to make sure they are doing things right, and for you to know they understand–could be simple like a google form “quiz”
  • Allow for multiple avenues for students to express themselves
    • For example, forum posts could be in many different forms, not just a standard written response (videos? gifs?)
  • Have a way for students and facility to engage with one another
    • Keep open channels of communication for both yourself and between students.
    • For example Introductions, Exit slips, Places to provide feedback and comments, open forums
  • Encourage students to stay on top of each week’s assignments 
    • For example, send emails weekly about due dates
    • Be flexible with deadlines, everyone is adjusting to a lot and may have to move/find a place to stay, may not have consistent internet access/bandwidth, etc.

 

Instructors: Tips for Synchronous Instruction

    • Course Management
      • Offer alternative “attendance” options (completing an activity, etc.)  to students who can’t make it to an online classroom for whatever reason.
      • Make sure you’re respecting student privacy, especially if you’re using technologies that aren’t provided through the university or your institution.
      •  
      • Be flexible with deadlines, everyone is adjusting a lot and may have to move/find a place to stay.

 

  • Make sure all documents/materials are accessible – use Universal Design methods
  • Class Content

 

      • Keep your lesson plans flexible.
      • Keep slides relatively simple: focus on what you would be working on if you were in a face to face lesson. If you wouldn’t add graphics/pictures/sounds in class, don’t put it in your slides. Don’t worry about using video, audio with slides is just fine!

 

  • Make sure to save a recording for students who can’t make it to the live class session or want to review material.
  • Don’t worry about using video, audio with slides is just fine.

 

      • Create an outline and an assignment page for due dates
      • For synchronous lessons, let students have time to work in groups. There is a learning curve at first, but it helps keep lessons moving rather than just lecture.
      • Create opportunities for interaction, if possible.
      • Let students have time to work in groups. There is a learning curve at first, but it helps keep lessons moving rather than lecture only.

 

  • Communication

 

      • Encourage students to use the microphone in class.
      • Have multiple ways for students to communicate with you (text, phone, email, etc.)
      • Find a way to move office hours online too (or be flexible with setting up times to call/video chat with students who need it.
    • General Tips: 
      • Don’t just type your whole lecture onto your slides
      • Allow for multiple avenues for students to express themselves

 

  • Send out slides/handouts ahead of time if possible, or afterward for people who may miss sessions/have trouble connecting/want to review.
  • Watch informational videos on how to use the platform you’re going to utilize