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Best Practices for Remote Instruction

Teaching online - or using remote delivery methods - involves a lot more than use of spiffy technology (even if we eLearning folks think the tools are half the fun). In order to help encourage excellency in the face of adversity, we have collected many guides and resources related to remote instruction.

Click on the topic you are interested in learning about to expand more details!

Please note that this page is iterative and we will be continuing to add resources as we build and collect them. ~ eLearning Staff
Getting Started - Recommendations for beginners and first-time remote teachers

If you've never taught in an online or remote environment before, we understand it might feel intimidating! Before you dive in here, we would recommend you review the preparation timeline. This matrix was developed specifically to help orient faculty and students for the exceptional circumstances surrounding the 2020 Spring term.

1. 'Getting Started'

Creating a new content area with the express purpose of collecting the most important details for how to get started working in your class is hugely helpful for students. Things to include would be: contact info, your syllabus, course objectives, a short course navigation guide, and a self-introduction.

 
 

2. Define Expectations

Think about what you would typically outline in your first week of a class meeting. Where will you be meeting? Will lectures be help synchronously, asynchronously, or both? Do you students know when assignments are typically due, and where to turn in their work?

3. Organize Content Intuitively

Online course materials require more up-front context. If you add something to your class, explain what it is and why you've chosen to include it, preferably in the context of your module objectives. This doesn't need to be extensive - even a sentence will do!

 
 

 

4. Be Present

Basically, show up to class! Instructor presence is a huge factor in student satisfaction and success in online courses. Some examples of how to 'show up' when your class is remote include: 

  • Posting a weekly announcement introducing new topics and recapping the previous week
  • Answering questions quickly and publicly, if appropriate (ie: clarifying an assignment question)
  • Return graded work in the timeline you set, with feedback
  • Interact with students periodically in online discussions
 
 

5. Provide Support

COCC support services for students have also moved largely to remote delivery. Do your students know where and how to contact those services? You do not have to be an expert in these services yourself. But including links to essential services and making them visible and available is important.



Effective Online Teaching - Essential Skills

Here you can find several articles and documents which contain step-by-step guides for building and interacting in an online or remote environment. We recognize that the course building process is, by its nature neither simple or quick, but we hope that these can help structure your thinking when it comes to potentially altering content for remote delivery. You'll find a lot of similarity in these guides. If we were to distill these articles down to five bullet points, we'd choose:

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate!
  • Establish a consistent structure that supports your objectives
  • Be clear in your expectations for assessment
  • Be present in the course and the material
  • Provide multiple opportunities for student interaction

Remote Teaching Plan - A worksheet for assessing your curriculum with Backwards Design

A guide to Regular and Substantive Interaction (PDF)

Simple essentials to include in your online course (PDF)

Designing an Online Course Step-by-Step (article)

How to be a Better Online Teacher (article)

Communication Checklist - Use this checklist to assess your readiness and planning for alternative delivery options. Missing something? See the list of resources below!



Incorporating principles of Universal Design for Learning

UDL is "a set of principles that provide a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs."

Applying UDL principles into your classroom allows students to learn and demonstrate that learning in a variety of methods which promotes greater engagement and success in the class as a whole. It's also a hugely important element in creating accessible classrooms!

COCC Guide to Universal Design for Learning

An introduction to Universal Design for Learning (PPT)

Leveraging UDL in Blackboard (PPT)



Do This, Not That! - Pedagogical Recommendations for Remote Instruction

 

Technology Resources and Links

Using Zoom

Zoom offers one alternative for synchronous delivery. While Zoom is a free resource for anyone with mobile devices or computer access, please note that the level of participation available to your students may vary. We recommend reviewing your planned activities and considering how they will work for students with potentially limited access (ie: no available microphone).

Other Resources and Info

  1. Quality Matters Emergency Remote Instruction Checklist
  2. Distance Education Resources for Writing Instructors
  3. Toolkit for Online Instructors
  4. Chronicle of Higher Ed - Going Online in a Hurry
  5. 'Intro to Softchalk' Daily Webinars