Remote Teaching Tips
Below are some tips and tricks for instructors who are teaching remotely.
What I do in a face-to-face class
How do I do this remotely?
Tips & Tricks
Communicating With Students
I make announcements in class
Post announcements with the Blackboard Announcements tool. These announcements also get sent to students via email (optional).
Write your Blackboard Announcement ahead of time and delay posting until a specific date and/or time.
I give verbal instructions about how to do something in class.
Create video and/or written instructions.
Include a rationale in your instructions--i.e., explain why students are completing each task and show how each task links to the objectives
I ask students to email me with questions.
Keep doing it! Add a Blackboard FAQ’s Discussion Forum and ask students to help answer each other
If you have more than one class, ask students to include their name and the course name at the top of their emails. ("Hi teacher! It's Monica Morales from your English 110 class. I have a question about...")
I hold regular office hours. AND/OR I make one-on-one appointments with students.
If multiple students show up in the office hours, you can do a group Q&A session. You can also set up private appointments with Google Docs or use a waiting room in Zoom.
Sharing & Organizing Course Materials
I give lectures.
Ask your students about their access to computers, mobile devices and strong Internet connections. Provide suggested alternatives if students need them.
I give paper handouts to students.
If you need digital materials, you can find resources created by other teachers at sites like MERLOT. Also, explore Open Educational Resources.
I assign readings (textbook pages, journal articles).
Provide clear instructions.
Provide a reading prompt guiding student comprehension, such as key questions to answer.
I give live demos in a lab.
Create a video of the lab experiment. Use either YuJa, Snagit or Jing to record brief videos.
Post lab demo video in VoiceThread and ask students to watch and comment
I facilitate discussions involving the whole class.
Reply to students in the discussion thread to ask guiding questions, summarize trends, and keep the conversation going. Also consider sending out “global” feedback in one announcement or email.
I assign small group activities.
Make sure your instructions for groupwork are very clear. Provide scaffolding for students: how should they get in touch? What exactly should each member complete? For example, if assigning a group Google Doc project with four questions, each group member can be responsible for and graded on one question.
I weave activities into my lectures.
I poll students in class OR I collect student feedback
Once you collect the feedback, respond! You can do a short video or text response synthesizing the feedback you received.
I give proctored quizzes / exams in a classroom.
There are pedagogical and technical strategies to prevent cheating on tests.
I assign student presentations.
I assign lab practicum work.
Link to a virtual lab or simulation.
Break the lab experience into component parts--setting up experiment, interpreting data, reporting results--and assess the part(s) that align with your learning objectives.
I assign essays.
Ask students to submit essays via the Blackboard Assignment tool.
Depending on the technology you use, make sure you share lots of tutorials and guidance for students about how to upload, post or send essays as attachments.