College of Arts & Letters Remote Teaching Process
In the event of an unexpected campus closure, whether due to health emergencies or severe weather, you might need to move your teaching to a digital environment.
Remote teaching is a way to continue instruction when face-to-face meetings are disrupted and you are not able to meet in person.Teaching a fully online course requires careful planning and many hours of preparation whereas remote teaching is more reactionary in nature. Remote teaching might not afford you the ability to be overly strategic. It instead focuses on keeping continuity for what you have already started in a face-to-face environment.
Step 1: Communicate to Students
As soon as possible, send an email to your students (use D2L mail feature or Registrar Instructor tools) letting them know that you are in the process of making plans for what changes will need to be made. Even if you have not yet finalized all the changes to your course, it is important to send a message to your students so they know how to reach you.
To get started, here is a sample email you might send to your class(es) that informs the students of your intent to use Zoom and/or D2L. Feel free to modify or write your own. The key is to be in communication with your students as soon as possible:
Dear [insert course name here],
I’m writing to let you know that the University is implementing a remote teaching strategy that is currently scheduled to last until April 20, 2020, in response to the novel coronavirus. What this means for you is that we will not be meeting at our normal class location. Instead, we will meet online at the same time our class normally meets, and I will be hosting the class through Zoom. We also will be using our D2L course site to deliver and collect materials for the class. To access the course, go to https://d2l.msu.edu/. Once you log in with your NetID and password, you should see our course listed under “My Courses”.
Over the next few days, I will keep you informed about how our course experience will change. Know for now that we are planning to move forward with the course, and please be patient while we get things shifted for this new mode. I will be back in touch soon with more details.
[Insert your name]
Step 2: Plan for Remote Teaching
Michigan State University has shifted to remote teaching, which means your course will be moving to a digital environment. Remote teaching is a way to continue instruction when face-to-face meetings are disrupted and you are not able to meet in person.
Teaching a fully online course requires careful planning and many hours of preparation, whereas remote teaching is more reactionary in nature. Remote teaching might not afford you the ability to be overly strategic. It instead focuses on keeping continuity for what you have already started in a face-to-face environment.
In the planning step, consider your course outcomes that remain, which of these can be accomplished in the way you had originally planned (e.g. papers, readings, viewing assignments) and which ones will need to be modified to fit with a remote course (e.g. presentations, exhibitions, lab activities)? Make a list of what needs to change and how. If you need help brainstorming or implementing your changes, contact the CAL Help Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Step 3: Modify Your Courses
As you think about your course and remote teaching, consider the following:
- Look over your syllabus, identify your learning objectives and activities/assignments for the remainder of the semester.
- Consider how to modify expectations and course elements such as:
- Will you expect to hold online video-based classes?
- Ensure that you schedule your online sessions during the time that your course already occupies. This guarantees that students already have the availability in their schedule and you will not be impinging on their other courses or outside obligations.
- What tools will you use to deliver content (e.g. Zoom, Mediaspace, D2L)?
- How will students engage with one another?
- How will students be assessed moving forward?
- What changes might need to be made to assignments?
- Which activities and assignments are already being done remotely (e.g. papers, reading, etc.) and which need to be modified in order to accomplish them remotely?
- Will you expect to hold online video-based classes?
- Tell students how they can contact you and how soon they can expect a reply from you.
- Consider using the D2L announcements and discussion board tools to push out course-level communications.
Step 4: Implement Your Plan
D2L is the recommended, MSU-supported tool to use as the space to host your course. Here is a list of ways to engage with D2L. If you need more help or have questions, please contact the help desk at email@example.com.
- Log into D2L and make sure your course is active
- Create video for students that explains what will happen since class will occur remotely
- Send video to students
- Post as an announcement in D2L and send via email
- Plan for students without access to high-speed Internet
- Having all classes done over Zoom is not sustainable
- Provide multiple methods for students to access materials (post written materials in downloadable format, post slide decks with lecture notes or transcripts)
- Record all live sessions and post them in a downloadable format. Use the machine captions option in Kaltura Mediaspace.
- Keep all shared documents in an MS Office format if possible
- All students have access to MS Office products
- Use the Microsoft Accessibility Checker before sharing your document.
- Update and Upload Syllabus
- Have dates changed?
- Have assessments changed?
- Create modules for the remaining weeks
- Create assignment folders and attach dates to them
- Recreate quizzes/exams (if there is enough time)
- Making a Quiz
- Think about possibly replacing exams with a project
- Think about making exams open book (if possible)
- Set up Zoom meetings (if planning on having live lectures)
- Begin recording lectures (if planning on having recorded lectures)
- Insert Zoom meeting links, or recorded lectures into appropriate week modules
Need More Help?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or needs you have. The CAL Academic Technology Team is working diligently to support your teaching during this process. Please be sure to tell us:
- What do you need help with?
- What tool(s) are you using?
- What is your timeframe?
- Any other information that will help?
Workshops are being held in the coming days. Confirmed face-to-face workshops are below. Online opportunities and future face-to-face workshops will be announced on the http://keepteaching.msu.edu/ website and via messages from your department chairs.
See our Events Page for information about upcoming events.