This is a resource page for faculty needing to transition on-campus courses to a remote teaching format on a temporary basis. It provides a guide for creating a course continuity plan.
The Office of Distance Learning has online resources and staff available to help you move your course matter online. If you have questions not listed here, email firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to your contact information, please include the course number and relevant assignment information so we can better help you.
We also have a Remote Learner resource page you can make available to your students.
Visit our Remote Teaching Start-Up Guide to begin setting up your course in Moodle.
Find the answer:
How will I teach my course?
- Use Moodle: The University's Learning Management System, Moodle, offers a secure online space for course materials, assessment, and discussion. Every course taught at the University has a pre-generated Moodle course. Login to Moodle to search for your current semester courses.
- Use EduTools: The University supports several tools to help faculty teach courses remotely. These tools are referred to as “EduTools.” They include video conferencing tools (Zoom), video lecture-capture tools (e.g., Panopto and VoiceThread), exam proctoring tools (ProctorU), plagiarism detection tools (Turnitin), and several other recommended tools.
Plan an asynchronous approach: Teaching remotely requires you to rethink how you will conduct essential course activities. A fundamental difference is that you will need to consider how to teach asynchronously. Face-to-face courses rely on synchronous activity — coming together at the same time in the same space. Remote learning relies mainly on asynchronous activity — placing required course materials and activities online for students to access and complete at their own pace, usually by a specific weekly deadline. An asynchronous approach takes advantage of the many resources provided by Moodle and EduTools. The question is not, “how will I use technology to teach the same way that I have in the physical classroom,” but, “how will I use technology to achieve the same learning outcomes through different means.”
- Synchronous Learning: While you should plan to teach most of your course asynchronously, you can still use technology to include limited synchronous communication if necessary. With a basic Zoom license, you can meet with your class for up to 40 minutes before the session expires, OR you can meet with up to one student for as long as you like (say, to conduct office hours). Email email@example.com to request a basic Zoom license.
- Hurdles to Synchronous Learning: Be aware that some students may experience problems joining synchronous meetings for a variety of reasons: a) technical difficulties; b) lack of access to a reliable computer with a working microphone and camera; c) lack of access to a reliable and fast internet connection; d) lack of access to a quiet space; e) scheduling conflicts. For these reasons, asynchronous learning is preferable.
- Create a continuity plan and communicate changes with your students: Before switching to a remote approach, create a continuity plan for how you will move essential resources and activities online. Then, communicate that plan to your students. The more organized and transparent you are, the less confused and better prepared your students will be.
How will I communicate with students?
- Email: Connect with students individually through University Outlook email or Moodle's QuickMail module.
- Announcements: Moodle allows you to update all students in a particular course through the Announcements forum. Post notices, deadline reminders, or other instructions. Students will receive the announcements through their University email and see a notification in Moodle.
- Virtual Office Hours: Hold virtual office hours, allowing students to contact you and receive prompt feedback through email, Moodle Chat, or web conference via Zoom.
How will I put my course materials online?
- Upload files to Moodle: Share materials with your students that you would normally provide in a classroom setting, such as course syllabus, PowerPoints, articles, textbook readings, and lecture transcripts.
- Consider recording lectures: Lecture capture software such as Panopto and VoiceThread is available for any faculty member to use. These tools integrate with Moodle and allow you to talk to the camera or talk over a presentation screen (like PowerPoint). Capturing handwritten problem solving on screen is possible, as well. If video or audio recording is not an option, consider providing a text version of what your lecture would normally contain.
- Include internet resources: There are a variety of open educational resources (OERs) —resources that are openly licensed and freely available online — that you can link to in your course. These resources include textbooks, scholarly journal articles, newspaper articles, reports, lecture videos, demonstration videos, podcasts, tutorials, and activities. Dupre Library provides an OER guide with links to resources. There are also subscription resources you can link to in Dupre Library.
How will I provide learning activities?
- Plan to use discussion forums: Moodle Discussion Forums allow students to interact, re-creating classroom conversations. You can also participate, ensuring that the conversation stays on track and provides meaningful connections. Forums can also create a question-and-answer dialog between you and your students.
Consider alternatives to lab work: While alternatives to a traditional lab experience do not perfectly replicate a lab setting, these can be used to prevent interruption of a student’s education in their chosen field.
- Provide data for students to analyze: Instead of having students collect data in the laboratory, provide them with a description of the data collection process followed by data values. The students can then focus on analyzing and drawing conclusions from the data as the source of their grade for this activity.
- Utilize online simulations: Simulations are freely available that can provide students with real-time observations of scientific concepts. The PhET website provides simulations for topics in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Mathematics, and Physics. For construction or civil engineering-specific simulations, letsbuild.com is a useful resource.
- Plan alternate activities: There may be activities that a student can perform at home with typical household items. There may be online re-enactments of experiments that students can watch and critique. Consider finding or developing some activities that students can perform that will still familiarize them with the course concepts while they are off-site.
- Issue and provide feedback on assignments: Moodle Assignments allows students to submit a document or enter text that will be graded by the instructor, replacing the need for students to physically hand-in or submit work via email. There are a large variety of types of work that can be handed in using this tool, including reports, essays, problem solving, diagrams, graphs, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. You can then grade and provide feedback to each separate student as text or as an uploaded response file..
How will I give my exams?
- Use Moodle Quizzes: The Moodle Quiz enables you to construct a large variety of question types to best measure student learning in your course. Quizzes can be configured to automatically start and stop at a specific date and time. They can also include a time limit and a password to be used with a proctoring service. The quiz is a very robust feature of Moodle, featuring both automatically graded questions as well as questions that must be graded by hand. The question types are effective for both qualitative and quantitative courses.
- Explore Proctoring: ProctorU will verify a student’s identity and monitor their testing experience to ensure academic integrity throughout the testing process. It is highly recommended to use a proctoring service for high stakes testing in your course. ProctorU is integrated into Moodle, and each student is charged $15 per test. This fee must be disclosed to students before the exam.
Other Strategies: If proctoring is not the right choice for your class, consider other strategies to decrease academic dishonesty on your exams. These include:
- Creating large question pools: You can create a large group questions on the same subject and then instruct the Moodle Quiz to randomly assign a small number of them for an exam. This ensures each student will see different questions on each exam.
- Shuffle choices within questions: This will ensure that Choice A for one student will be different from Choice A for another student.
- Using a time limit: Choose a time limit that is appropriate to the amount of work that the students must do on the exam but avoid adding extra time if it is not needed.
- Use a small testing window: Use your traditional classroom meeting time as a starting point to calculate an effective start and stop time for your exam. Leaving the exam available for students to access for an extended time is not recommended unless a proctor is also used.
- Ask open-ended questions: Consider using the Essay question type to ask students questions wherein the answer may vary from student to student.
Note: Use Moodle Gradebook to keep students informed of their current grades on each assignment or activity in the course. Each student can only see their individual grades, thus protecting student privacy. Final course grades will still be submitted through Banner. To learn more, please watch this webinar on Moodle Gradebook.
How can I create course accommodations?
- Create accessible documents: Provide PDF documents that are selectable and searchable. Avoid Word documents, as there are issues accessing them on mobile devices and with screen reader technologies.
- Create accessible videos: All the video tools the University supports (Zoom, Panopto, and VoiceThread) have speech-to-text functions to create captions. If you’re using other types of video, you’ll need to provide a transcript or captions.
- Create user overrides: Moodle quizzes allow you to add additional time for students who need accommodations.
Find more Accessibility tips under our Best Practices for Online Education section.
The Office of Disability Services provides additional guidance on its website.