Common Questions

What students said about teaching in Fall 2020... and how you can adapt in Spring 2021

Our students shared their gratitude and appreciation for your efforts in a challenging semester, and provided valuable suggestions for the spring.  We share student feedback from the CIF and Student Pandemic Academic Experience Survey, organized into commonly reported themes with research-based action steps recommended by Notre Dame Learning in What students said about teaching in Fall 2020... and how you can adapt in Spring 2021.

A similar document, Partner with Your Professor to Enhance Your Learning this Spring, was distributed to students on 2/10/2021.

How can I support student well-being?

Instructors have the opportunity to regularly impact and support student well-being by facilitating an online, in-person, or dual-mode environment that fosters a sense of connection and community. For information on how to support well-being see this guide.

Where can I get training and advice?

Notre Dame Learning units (the Kaneb Center for Teaching Excellence & Office of Digital Learning) along with OIT’s Teaching and Learning Technologies team are offering drop-in online office hours, group consultations, online workshops for all Notre Dame instructors. Click here to learn more or register. In addition, we have developed a self-paced Mini-Course on Resilient Teaching designed to accompany you as you plan for the teaching.

How do I teach online?

Please refer to the Online Teaching in a Hurry Checklist for information on moving to remote teaching.

For more extensive guidance on how to teach effectively online, please see the Effective Online Teaching guide. More information can be found in the Resilient Teaching Playbook and in the online mini-course. Additional information can be obtained from ND Learning workshops, open office hours, and individual consultations. 

What are the best ways to assess student learning?

For guidance on administering exams, please see the Assessment Planning chapter in the Preparing for Fall Teaching playbook. For additional guidance, please avail of the ND Learning workshops, open office hours, and individual consultations. 

Is there guidance for Exam Administration?

Notre Dame Learning along with the Faculty Task Force, the Advisory Committee on the Academic Code and Policy (ACACP), and the Covid Response Unit drafted this document to support you as you administer your Fall 2020 final exams. We offer information and suggestions regarding exams for students with red/yellow passes and in Quarantine/Isolation, general strategies for administering exams in these conditions, and things you can do to support academic integrity.

What technology is in my dual-mode classroom and how do I use it?

For information on what technology will be in your dual-mode classroom and how to use it, please consult the Fall 2020 Registrar and Departmental Classroom Technology List and the Getting Started with Classroom Technology guide. Additional information can be found in the Using Dual-Mode Classroom Technology in Fall 2020 section of this website. 

A limited number of classroom assistants (trained student workers) will be available to support instructors and facilitate engagement of remote students using dual-mode technology in discussion-intensive courses. This program is administered by OIT with the feedback and collaboration of ND Learning. Find out more about eligibility criteria (including room capacity limitations) and request support here.


How do I make learning materials for resilience?

To begin, we recommend reviewing the Re/Designing for Equitable Resilience section in the playbook. The Creating & Integrating Media, Worked, Example, & Screencasts chapter provides information on best practices, recommended tools, etc. for producing screencasts and worked examples. To learn more about creating learning materials for resilience, consider signing up for or reviewing a recording of the “Selecting and Creating Asynchronous Content” workshop.

How should I set up Sakai to work well?

ND Learning and the OIT Teaching and Learning Technologies group offer a number of workshops on Sakai, such as "Creating Assessments in Sakai", and "Optimizing Sakai for Resilient Teaching". Additionally, the OIT has compiled many useful Knowledge Base articles on setting up and using Sakai effectively. See Workshops & Programs for the workshop schedule and recordings of previous workshops. 

How do students report classroom seating locations/Are there seating charts?

Permanent seat assignments in classrooms are critical to the contact tracing process. All usable seats have been numbered. Instructors should remind students to report their seat location to the Coronavirus Response Unit  (CRU) using Students should choose a permanent seat at the end of the Add/Drop period and keep it. After the final list is submitted, students will no longer be asked to report seats to the CRU. If a seating change is necessary later in the semester, the student must report their new seat location to indicate the change.  Instructors do not report attendance to the CRU.

You can access your student seat number reports and blank classroom seating charts if you would like to create a seating chart for your classes.

You can also download the Instructions for Students

Prepare for Teaching

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    Online Playbook

    Advice, strategies, and action steps for redesigning your courses with resilience and flexibility in mind.

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    PDF Playbook

    The same content as our online guide, but in PDF format for users that prefer it.

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    Online Mini Course

    Self-paced course based on the same material as our Workshops and Playbook.

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Upcoming Workshops & Programs

Drop-in online office hours, group consultations, and online workshops are available for all Notre Dame instructors.

Recent Updates

More Updates
  1. Message on Reopening: Campus Shuttle, Fall Grading, Testing During Break

    Dear Colleagues:

    With just a few days remaining in the semester, it is worth reflecting for a moment on the challenges we faced together to get to this point. They began in spring and summer as we confronted the uncertainties of a global pandemic, and they continued throughout the fall, forcing us on several occasions to reset plans and expectations. What never changed was our commitment to keeping our students on track and meaningfully engaged with faculty members and fellow students.…

    Read More

  2. Message on Reopening: Clemson weekend, Winter Session, spring calendar, exit testing

    Dear Colleagues:

    For a number of reasons, the buildup to this Election Day has been unlike any other. Though it may be several days or perhaps longer for all the votes to be tallied, we continue to hope for and work toward unity and civility both within the Notre Dame community and beyond. For your awareness, Campus Ministry is hosting an Election Night prayer service for students on the Bond Quad at 7:30 p.m. tonight as a way to promote healing and unity after what has been a contentious campaign season.…

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  3. Message on Reopening: Mass of Remembrance; exit and reentry testing; Clemson game reminder

    Dear Colleagues:

    This evening at 8 p.m., the Notre Dame community will gather in Notre Dame Stadium for a Mass of Remembrance for first-year students Valeria Espinel and Olivia Laura Rojas. Though we will be physically separated and masked during the service, we will be united in prayer and by the special bonds that characterize our Notre Dame family. For those unable to attend in-person, the Mass will be live-streamed here

    Read More

About this Guide

ND Learning (Office of Digital Learning and Kaneb Center for Teaching Excellence) developed this site and the materials published in it to support effective teaching and learning at Notre Dame. These materials are based in research and scholarship, reflecting the professional expertise of the ND learning team. Contact us at