3.3. Teaching Fully Online

While some instructors with accommodations will teach remotely for the full semester (and should check out a more in-depth discussion of the theory and practice of Online Teaching, everyone needs to be prepared for a quick transition to fully online teaching. A few key things to remember if that happens:

  • You should still aim to hold some portion of your class synchronously, even if it moves to Zoom. This means that you should plan to meet during your scheduled course time. Do not add mandatory synchronous class activities outside of your scheduled class meeting time. 
  • We know from student feedback that students especially value interaction with their professors and classmates during remote instruction, and that they have a harder time focusing on extended lectures via Zoom. Be sure that your remote synchronous instruction is interactive and engaging!
    • Zoom offers many tools to support interactive learning. Make use of breakout rooms, the chat feature, yes/no voting, and more to best support student learning (and see the section on active learning above for more ideas!).
      • Give clear instructions and expectations before sending students to Zoom breakout rooms - what activity should they be completing? How long will they have? Are there any specific steps they need to remember?
  • In remote instruction, it takes extra effort to establish an approachable instructor presence. You’ll want to be in frequent communication, and consider video messages if you have a longer than usual gap between zoom sessions so that students maintain a feeling of connection.
    • For intentional, clear communication, consider setting a weekly communication plan such as a weekly roundup email - see the section on student communication for more.