Determine Your Teaching Strategies

There are many ways to conduct remote teaching. Below are some strategies for mirroring activities you would conduct in your in-person course.

  • Hold real-time meetings during normal class hours.   
    • Try to keep the structure of the student’s day like it was before the closure.  
    • Set up meetings to allow for phone calls so students with limited or no internet access can easily participate.  
  • Record short (5 minutes or less) videos, in Blackboard Collaborate or a tool of your choice (e.g., PowerPoint, ScreenCastify), for students to watch instead of a synchronous lecture.   

Individual work is the same for remote teaching as it is for in-person teaching. Make students aware of how you want to receive assignments. If you use Blackboard as your place to gather submissions:  

  • Communicate expectations with students in advance.  
  • Remember to create an assignment in the gradebook for grading.  
  • Share with students how and where they should submit their work. 
  • Communicate clear due dates and submission guidelines. 

It is possible to facilitate discussions and group work in multiple ways when teaching remotely.  

  • Use discussion boards in Blackboard as a way for students to work together and converse in their small teams. 
  • Assign students to groups prior to the remote work and let them choose their preferred method of meeting. Not all students will have access to the internet or data from home, so this may be a great time for students to set up team meetings via the phone or in other formats that are most accessible to them.  
  • When group work is graded, remember to follow the procedures listed in the Determine Your Remote Teaching Strategies: Individual Work  section to communicate expectations and collect submissions from students.  

Lab activities can be particularly difficult to conduct remotely. Labs and clinical experiences usually require special equipment and tools to work properly. Unlike a traditional online experience, remote labs are even more difficult to teach because of the lack of time to prepare students for remote connection to lab content. An approach that might work for some labs and clinical experiences is to divide lab experiences into three sections: NEED TO KNOW, NEED TO SHOW, and NEED TO DO. 

  • Provide students with NEED TO KNOW materials through short videos, notes, readings, and virtual lectures.  
  • For content that you NEED TO SHOW, develop or find short videos to demonstrate the concept or idea virtually. Blackboard Collaborate is one tool you could use to record quick demonstrations, but you may also find many excellent resources online using websites such as YouTubeKhan Academy, your College library, The OrangeGrove, and OER Commons 
  • Depending on the course content you teach, you may have to save NEED TO DO materials until students return to the classroom. 
  • Students can present in real-time using Blackboard Collaborate during a class session. Using Collaborate, students can speak, use video (even on their smartphones), and upload documents.
  • Most of today’s students know how to record short videos using their mobile device or home computer. These recordings can be saved (as MP4 files or on YouTube) and uploaded to Blackboard as an assignment. You’ll need to set up an assignment or discussion board with clear instructions on how students should expect to submit content.  

Plan for quizzes and tests using online and offline processes. 

  • Blackboard tests are a great way to give timed and untimed quizzes and exams to students.  
    • These assessments can be no-, low-, and high-stakes, although high-stakes exams should be used sparingly during times of remote teaching. 
    • To limit the occurrence of cheating: 
      • Set time limits 
      • Set questions to randomly select from a test bank 
      • Develop open-ended questions that require synthesis and application of information rather than simple recall 
    • Because they require setup in advance and possible limited access to necessary resources, proctored exams should not be a part of the remote teaching experience
  • Develop take-home exams for students to complete during remote teaching periods. These tests are best when they require higher-level learning and synthesis and application of materials. For example, consider asking students to explain or defend concepts and ideas.  
  • Create other forms of assessments. Consider asking students to prepare to teach or explain concepts during a class meeting.  

Feedback can often be simpler when teaching in-person classes than it is when teaching remotely. Here are some ways you might consider continuing to share progress with your students and letting them know how they are progressing in your course.  

Remember, as with in-person classes, feedback to individuals should be private. Do not provide feedback in any manner that could allow multiple students to see feedback intended for only one student.  

  • Provide packets of “at home” work for upcoming units of study. Ask students to complete these during their time away and have them returned when classes resume. 
  • Communicate with students about how they should access, complete, and submit the learning packets.  
  • Ideas for packet content include: 
    • Worksheets 
    • Reading guides 
    • Writing assignments 
    • Textbook chapter questions 
  • Hold the guest session during the regularly scheduled guest speaker time.   
  • Set up Blackboard Collaborate meetings to allow for phone calls so everyone with limited or no internet access can easily participate.  
  • Provide your guest speaker with the same phone number that you provided to your students via the Remote Teaching form (pdf)