Here at the Koehler Center, we know and understand that having to prepare to maintain instructional continuity is not an easy task. Furthermore, we know the process can create anxiety over a large number of intertwined factors, such as the quality of your course, ensuring you reach every student, technical skills you may need, and the biggest one of all—time. We have gathered the information below to help answer questions and provide guidance on ways to adapt your instructional delivery and student assessment methods.
How do I transition my face-to-face class sessions to a remote format?
Questions to think through:
- What are the core pieces of the course that are essential to student learning that I want to retain?
- How will I transfer or adapt this to an online format?
- What new pieces do I need to find to supplement or support?
- Tell students how the course will use TCU Online.
- If you are using Zoom or other synchronous tools, schedule this during your regular class meeting time (but be prepared to accommodate students who are not able to join you at that time).
- Use announcements to remind students about upcoming activities and due dates.
- If you have more content than time, reflect on the student learning outcomes for your course and focus on those that are the most important.
- Take advantage of colleagues’ ideas, departmental practices, and resources from your discipline-specific organizations.
- Request a one-to-one consultation if you would like individual assistance regarding how to move elements of your course to an online format.
Practices to Avoid
- Extending class meetings or the overall course schedule beyond the registrar-designated time.
- Increasing the amount of work students are expected to do.
- Teaching via individual consultation and tutorial (unless that was the initial structure of your course).
- Adapting the course in a way that requires your TAs to work more than 20 hours per week.
Many thanks to the University of Washington Center for Teaching and Learning for their wording on recommended practices and practices to avoid.
Common examples for transitioning face-to-face class elements to remote delivery:
- In class: I give lectures with slides.
- In class: I give students handouts
- Remote: I can upload pdfs or Word docs, create text pages, or add links to modules in the Content tool
- In class: I show brief in-person demonstrations
- Remote: I can record using Video Note (30 min max per note with auto captioning)
- In class: I have students write responses to prompts
- Remote: I can create a submission folder to collect their responses in the Assignments tool
- In class: I have students engage in a whole-class discussion
- In class: I have students discuss in groups about a topic or question
- In class: I have students do presentations
- In class: I meet with students for conferencing
- In class: I have students take a quiz
- Remote: I can create a quiz with time limits, lockdown browser, and student accommodation needs with the Quizzes tool
- In class: I do active learning strategies with my students
- Remote: I can request a time to meet with the Koehler Center to discuss specific ideas and use cases
Download the list above as a single-page resource document with links.
General Guidance for Remote Instruction
- Be kind to yourself and your students. Everyone is stressed, even if they’re playing cool. Remember to take the time to check in with yourself and your students about how things are going.
- You will not recreate your classroom, and you cannot hold yourself to that standard. Moving a class to a remote delivery model will ask you to prioritize by focusing on the learning outcomes and the essential skills students must learn. Be patient with yourself and your students during this time.
- Be transparent with students. Talk to them about WHY you’re prioritizing certain things or asking them to read or do certain things. This will improve student buy-in because they know content and delivery are purposeful, even if there are a few hiccups at first.
- Be particularly kind to your graduating students. This is an extraordinarily stressful time for them. If you teach a class where they need to have completed something for certification, a job, to apply to grad school, etc., figure out plan B in concert with them and your department/program.
- If you’re making videos, student viewership drops off precipitously at 5 minutes. Consider multiple short videos. Do not assume your audio is good enough or that students can understand without transcription. Students who do need this may not feel comfortable asking or when they do ask, your focus may already be elsewhere. Consider uploading videos to YouTube or creating them with TCU’s Panopto license so that they will automatically be transcribed, and you can then edit the captions as needed – this is a place where being proactive can save you some work down the road.
- Consider accessibility in materials you upload or link to – are there closed captions, are items formatted correctly, do images have text describing the content of the image, etc.?
- Offer low-stakes or practice activities if you’re using a new platform. Get students used to just using the platform. Then you can do something with a larger potential impact on the course grade.
- Ask for help from colleagues, your department/program/college Instructional Continuity Facilitator, or the Koehler Center if needed.
List adapted from work by Amy Young, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication, Chair of the Department of Communication, Pacific Lutheran University.
- TCU’s IT “Keep Working” webpage will give you a quick list of all the tools you might need to continue working remotely.
- Read about things to consider for online course development in TCU Online.
- Read some tips for creating instructor presence when working with students online.
- Read about different ways to use discussions in online or face-to-face courses.
- Read about Transforming Your Online Teaching From Crisis to Community.
- Read about Completing a Face-to-Face Course Following a Campus Mandate.