Developing Remote Courses
Tips and tools to assist you as you develop online courses.
There is no single correct approach to teaching a course online. You need to decide what will work best for your course. A helpful way to strategize online instruction is to think about student and instructor engagement as falling into one of two time-use categories: synchronous or asynchronous.
Synchronous activities are where participants interact with each other in a live setting much like an in-class experience, or where participants engage in a simultaneous assessment (like a quiz, poll, or timed exam, or small-group discussions).
Tools for this approach include Zoom, Google Hangouts/Meet, and (for synchronous assessments) Moodle. If you plan to meet electronically with the whole class or a large subgroup, using your assigned course time (e.g., MWF 10-11:05 CST) will minimize time conflicts.
Asynchronous activities are where learning and assessment materials are readily available for students and instructors to engage with at a time of their choice.
It may include distributing content via recorded lecture, voice-overs on PowerPoints, or readings, but can also include discussion boards, assignments, and polls to promote class interaction. Moodle is a common tool. Zoom and various google applications can be used to make materials available asynchronously.
Evaluating which Approach to Use
Synchronous activities may help reduce the instructor’s time spent monitoring student engagement online, and they may help maintain students’ senses of class community.
Asynchronous activities may be essential when students are in distant time zones, and the fallout of temporary technical problems is less severe than during synchronous events.
There are many resources that are freely accessible, openly licensed, and available for use in courses. These resources include textbooks, websites, quizzes, activities, simulations, etc.
If you want to record a presentation or lecture you can use narration tools in Google Slides or Powerpoint. All students should have free access to Powerpoint through Microsoft 365.
Alternatively, a solo Zoom session can be recorded including video of your computer screen and include a whiteboard option.
If the recording (audio and video) includes only the instructor, it is not a student educational record and not subject to FERPA guidelines.
- Using Zoom to Create Quick and Easy Screen Recordings – Southern Methodist University
There are many resources available online to help you adapt your course.
- Accessible Teaching in the Time of COVID-19 – The Mapping Access; includes survey questions for students about their capabilities to access technology.
- Are your students prepared for a fully online course? Find out by asking them. – American Geophysical Union
- Bringing Your Course Online – Humanities Commons
- Building Community in Asynchronous Online Courses – Duke University
- How to go online in a hurry – Chronicle of Higher Education
- Inclusive Approaches to Support Student Assignments During Times of Disruption - Brown University
- Ten Tips for Quickly Converting Courses for Online Delivery – Higher Education Whisperer
Specific Disciplines or Courses
- Temporary Remote/Online Teaching and Learning Guide: Fieldwork, Group Work, and Lab Classes – James Madison University Libraries
Pandemic Prepping in the Language Class – The FLTMAG