Old Dominion University, Center for Learning and Teaching
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Getting Started

CLT offers this Keep Teaching site to help you accomplish your online/remote teaching.


Prepare Your Course

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Assess Your Readiness

Download as a PDF or Word document.

To help determine your overall readiness to transition your course to online delivery, complete the following self-assessment. Use these questions to identify what type of support you need from CLT.

Level of Technical Expertise

  • Do I need help to set up my work environments (hardware and software) to teach remotely? (itshelp@odu.edu, 757-683-3192)
  • What additional technical/instructional skills do I need to learn or brush up on for Blackboard (Bb), Zoom, or any other software? (See a list of CLT Workshops)
  • What additional pedagogical and facilitation skills do I need to know more about (facilitating an online discussion, engaging students, etc.)? (See a list of CLT Workshops)
  • Will I use the CLT Bb template? What changes do I need to make to the template?

Logistical and Administrative Readiness

  • How many students will be in my class?
  • Who are my students? Use the “Assess your students’ readiness” survey to learn more about your students.
  • How will the number/type of students affect my course assignments and activities?
  • How will I help my students succeed as online learners (develop self-regulated learning skills, manage their time, etc.)?
  • How will I build in accountability in order to keep my students involved?

Pedagogical Issues

Global Considerations
  • How does online/remote teaching reshape my role and my students’ roles? How will I clarify our respective roles?
  • How does online/remote teaching affect my course content and pedagogical style, or even my teaching persona?
  • What are some of my assumptions about online learning and teaching?
  • What factors could influence the quality of my students’ learning experiences in an online course (my presence, time, dedication, willingness to learn new things)?
  • What F2F teaching practices can or cannot be transferred to online/remote learning?
  • How are students going to learn in a time of uncertainty, trauma, and anxiety?
  • Is my class offered synchronously or asynchronously? How will the course be delivered? (time, date, frequency)
  • How will I build flexibility into my schedule to plan for uncertainties or current events?
  • What are some practical ways that others have found to work and teach from home?
Syllabus
  • Have I shared my contact information, mode of communication, response time?
  • What additional policies do I need to add to my syllabus?
  • What are my course expectations? (attendance, participation, etiquette, late work, makeup, grading criteria, etc.)
  • Do I need to review/tweak my course’s learning objectives?
  • How will I conduct my office hours using Zoom?
Content
  • How will I align my course objectives with my course content, assignments/activities, and assessment?
  • Do I need to use video/audio or text and graphics to welcome my students to the course?
  • Do I need to revise my course structure and sequence?
  • What is the best way to deliver my course content (recorded lectures, live lectures using Zoom, hybrid, etc.)?
  • How will I ensure that my course content meets accessibility laws/guidelines?
  • What additional content will I reuse (open education resources, TED Talks, YouTube videos, etc.)?
  • What course materials do I need to create? What type of help do I need?
  • How will I scaffold, guide, and stage my learning activities?
  • How will I involve my students in contributing to the design of the course?
Assignments
  • How many assignments/activities will I have per week?
  • What type of assignments are required or optional?
  • Which assignment can I drop if we face another emergency?
  • How do I plan to assess the achievement of my course learning objectives? Am I going to use learning checks?
Engagement, Interaction & Feedback
  • What do I need to do to keep my students engaged with my course content (send weekly emails, post announcements and reminders, manage structured discussions with clear prompts, etc.)?
  • How will I build guideposts into my syllabus, course-management system, and class meetings to help my students stay on track (due dates, reminders, checklists, etc.)?
  • How will I facilitate my students’ interaction with me (email, VoiceThread, discussion, etc.), with the course content (formative assessment/learning check, etc.), and with each other (discussion, group project, etc.)?
  • How will I provide timely, meaningful, and consistent verbal and written feedback?
  • How will I monitor my students’ progress?
Exams
  • What type of exams should I give to my students?
  • What types of low-stakes assessment (formative) and high-stakes assessment (summative) will I include?
  • Do I need to revise my grading structure?
  • Do I need to proctor my exams, or have students use a third-party proctor? Why?

Quality Assurance

  • How can I apply CLT’s Quality Assurance Checklist?
  • How will I involve my students in reviewing the course and catch any confusing assignments?

Online Faculty Learning Community

Keep Teaching Infographic

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Explore Delivery Options

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Traditional Face-to-face Course

Definition On-campus face-to-face classes using Blackboard
Pedagogical Model
  • Lecturing is the predominant pedagogical model. Instructors can promote active learning by engaging students, requiring/promoting interaction and small group activities.
  • Specify learning activities, requirements and expectations. Learning activities should promote reflection, interaction, collaboration and deep learning.
  • Technology Classrooms allow teachers and students to utilize technology in their activities and presentations.
Content Presentation
  • Content is presented synchronously through lectures. Several tools are available for faculty: PowerPoint, web-based material, overhead document camera, etc.
  • Syllabus, reading, study guides, activities, mini-lectures, assignments, etc., are posted in Blackboard.
  • The instructor controls the flow of the content presentation. In general, content is presented linearly with opportunities for interactive and group activities.
  • Instructors have more flexibility for content presentation.
  • Avoid long lectures (10- to 15-minute segments); diversify and pace course activities; intersperse lecture segments with interaction opportunities and student-centered exercises.
  • Use visual cues to adjust lecture/activities
  • Use reinforcement, review, repetition, and remediation strategies.
Access to Course Content
  • Access to course content and interaction is limited to class and lab times.
  • Access to course content can be extended by using Bb. Students are expecting faculty to post all course related material on Blackboard.
Interaction
  • Face-to-face interaction is easy to plan, promote, mediate and assess.
  • Instructors can promote active participation and collaboration, monitor students' participation and provide timely feedback. Verbal/nonverbal cues and "human contact" are among the advantages of face-to-face interaction over other delivery modes.
  • Students have more opportunities for greater interaction and immediate feedback.
  • Online tools such as threaded discussion (asynchronous) and chat (synchronous) can be used to extend classroom interaction opportunities.
Assessment and Evaluation
  • Alignment of assessment criteria and methods with stated learning outcomes.
  • Clear goals, expectations, guidelines and grading criteria or rubric.
  • Assessment can be used to reinforce learning by providing further in-depth explanations of difficult concepts; provide diagnostic feedback; evaluate students progress, etc.
  • Homework, quizzes, exams, projects, etc. are typically used to assess students.
  • No proctoring issues.

Synchronous Online Course using Zoom or WebEx

Definition Online synchronous classes using Zoom/WebEx, Blackboard and/or other technologies
Pedagogical Model
  • Lecturing is the predominant pedagogical model. Instructors are encouraged to promote active learning by engaging students, requiring/promoting interaction, and small group activities.
  • Specify learning activity requirements and expectations. Learning activities should promote reflection, interaction, collaboration, and deep learning.
  • Planning is a prerequisite for students' engagement in synchronous online courses.
Content Presentation
  • Content is presented synchronously through lectures. Several tools are available for faculty: PowerPoint, web-based material, overhead document camera, etc.
  • Syllabus, reading, study guides, activities, mini-lectures, assignments, etc., are posted on Blackboard.
  • The instructor controls the flow of the content presentation. In general, content is presented linearly with opportunities for interactive and group activities.
  • Avoid long lectures (10-15 minutes segments); diversify and pace course activities; intersperse lecture segments with interaction opportunities and student-centered exercises.
  • Use visual cues to adjust lecture/activities.
  • Use reinforcement, review, repetition, and remediation strategies.
Interaction
  • Interaction (student/instructor, student/content, student/student) is mediated by technology.
  • Classroom interaction and group activities require planning.
  • Online tools such as threaded discussion (asynchronous) and chat (synchronous) can be used to extend classroom interaction opportunities
Assessment and Evaluation
  • Alignment of assessment criteria and methods with stated learning outcomes.
  • Clear goals, expectations, guidelines, and grading criteria or rubric.
  • Assessment can be used to reinforce learning by providing further in-depth explanations of difficult concepts; provide diagnostic feedback; evaluate students' progress, etc.
  • Homework, quizzes, exams, projects, etc. are typically used to assess students.
  • Proctoring requires planning and coordination.

Hybrid Course

Definition Live session (on-campus or using Zoom/Webex) and asynchronous using Blackboard and other technologies
Pedagogical Model
  • Lecturing can be used to present critical and important concepts. Instructors can promote active learning by engaging students, requiring/promoting interaction and small group activities.
  • Specify learning activity requirements and expectations. Learning activities should promote reflection, interaction, collaboration and deep learning.
Content Presentation
  • Syllabus, reading, study guides, activities, mini-lectures, assignments, etc., are posted in Blackboard.
  • Content is presented and shared using various formats: text, images, audio and video.
  • Synchronous sessions are usually reserved for housekeeping, guidelines, mini-lectures, group activities, group review and feedback.
  • Combination of linear and non-linear presentation of material.
  • Getting the right mix requires careful planning and understanding of technology options. Effective hybrid courses require a combination of paced and un-paced, synchronous and asynchronous activities.
Access to Course Content
  • Accessibility (pace and depth) and flexibility (media type) of content provide a higher learner control. Students are more active participants in the learning process.
  • Access to course content and interaction is available via in-class activities as well as online activities via Blackboard.
Interaction
  • A combination of face-to-face interaction and interaction through online tools such as threaded discussion (asynchronous) and chat (synchronous).
  • Creating and maintaining dynamic learning communities requires planning, clear goals, guidelines and expectations.
  • Provide multiple opportunities for sharing ideas and opinions and higher learner-to-learner interactivity.
Assessment and Evaluation
  • Alignment of assessment criteria and methods with stated learning outcomes.
  • Clear goals, expectations, guidelines and grading criteria or rubric.
  • Assessment can be used to reinforce learning by providing further in-depth explanations of difficult concepts; provide diagnostic feedback; evaluate students' progress, etc.
  • Homework, quizzes, exams, projects, etc. are typically used to assess students. No proctoring issues.
  • Timeliness of feedback: automated responses.

Asynchronous Online Course

Definition Asynchronous online courses using Blackboard and other technologies
Pedagogical Model
  • Syllabus, reading, study guides, activities, mini-lectures, assignments, etc., are posted in Blackboard.
  • Content is presented and shared using various formats: text, images, audio and video.
  • Flexible navigation: instructor/ student-led.
  • Effective online courses require a combination of paced and un-paced, synchronous and asynchronous activities.
Access to Course Content
  • Accessibility (pace and depth) and flexibility (media type) of content provide a higher learner control. Students are more active participants in the learning process.
  • Access to course content and interaction is available via in-class activities as well as online activities via Blackboard.
Interaction
  • Interaction is conducted through online tools such as threaded discussion (asynchronous) and chat (synchronous).
  • Creating and maintaining dynamic learning communities requires planning, clear goals, guidelines and expectations.
  • Provide multiple opportunities for sharing ideas and opinions and higher learner-to-learner interactivity.
Assessment and Evaluation
  • Alignment of assessment criteria and methods with stated learning outcomes.
  • Clear goals, expectations, guidelines and grading criteria or rubric.
  • Assessment can be used to reinforce learning by providing further in-depth explanations of difficult concepts; provide diagnostic feedback; evaluate students' progress, etc.
  • Homework, quizzes, exams, projects, etc. are typically used to assess students. Proctoring might be an issue.
  • Timeliness of feedback: automated responses.

Prepare Your Course Outline

Outlining your course content in a logical and structured way not only facilitates your course creation process but also ensures an effective learning experience for your students. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind:
  • Outline your course content around modules, topics, or concepts, while keeping your course learning objectives in mind: where do I start and where do I end?
  • Scaffold your course content building blocks from generic to specific, easy to difficult concepts
  • Chunk your course content into manageable sections, easy to follow by your students
  • Plan your lectures, discussion topics, assignments, activities, and tests associated with each module/week
  • Think about ways to keep your course content flexible so that you can reorganize/edit/update the content easily

Keep Accessibility in Mind

Creating accessible content requires forethought and planning. Leverage existing software tools to provide:
  • clear structure and format for your document (headings, lists, tables with headers, etc.)
  • text alternatives such as transcripts for ALL your audio/video content
  • clear descriptors for your images
  • strong color contrast background
  • meaningful links

For more information, please enroll in our Online Accessibility Workshop Series

Blackboard Course Template

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Check Out Our Blackboard Course Template

Request access to CLT’s Blackboard Course Template.

This ready-to-use Blackboard template includes a typical online course structure and resources. Once we add you to the template, you can copy it to your Blackboard course and customize it to accommodate your specific course needs and requirements.

Update Your Syllabus

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Review the Syllabus Checklist

  • Make sure to address course expectations, procedures, due dates, assignments, students' responsibilities, policies, etc.
  • Use the Learner-Centered Syllabus Template to update your course syllabus
  • Include specific information about Academic Integrity and the consequences of violations; add the ODU Honor Code to your Bb exams and assignments
    • Ask your students to run their similarity check in Bb
    • Refer your students to the ODU libraries plagiarism website.

Clarify Your Expectations

  • Adjust your policies on late and incomplete work as needed
  • Be flexible, especially with sick or quarantined students (if any)
  • Be aware that some of your students might have limited access to laptops and the internet

Review Course Schedule

  • Review your course schedule and decide how to proceed with course lectures, assignment due dates, activities, exams, etc.
  • Think of low-/high-tech options, for content and activities
  • Think creatively on how to enable your students to complete your course objectives.

Reach Out to Students

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Assess Students' Readiness

To assess your students’ readiness to learn online, you can import and deploy the Student Online Readiness Survey (Zip) into your course. Please encourage your students to review the Keep Learning site resources, particularly the section on how to learn remotely.

Establish a Communication Plan

Prepare to communicate with students online:
  • Will you use Blackboard email only? Discussion board? Another method?
  • What is your turnaround time for answering questions and giving feedback?
  • Will you hold virtual office hours? When (date/time)? Where (Zoom, Bb Collaborate)?
  • How will you share the course content (handouts, slides, documents, etc.)?
  • Are you going to deliver live lectures?
  • Are you going to record your lectures?
  • How will students submit their assignments?
  • How will students take their exams?
  • How will students ask for technical help?

Share your Communication Plan

  • Post your communication plan as an Announcement in Bb.
  • Use Bb email to share your communication plan with your students
  • Introduce new tools, technologies, and activities slowly, and allow students to practice
  • Encourage students to provide feedback on their online learning experience
  • Keep a journal to reflect, revise, and update your activities every week.

Establish Your Online Presence

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Foster Inclusion and Student Interaction

Foster communication among students to maintain course interaction and sense of community.
  • Clarify your expectations about students participation:
    • Post your expectations of what is appropriate to students to discuss
    • Remind students about netiquette
    • Encourage your students to keep a learning journal
    • Encourage your students to post their reflections on Bb discussion boards
  • Encourage discussions:
    • Asynchronous discussions:
      • Use the Bb discussion board to have your students participate in online discussion
      • VoiceThread
    • Synchronous discussions:
      • Invite your students to join in live Zoom sessions
      • Use breakout rooms in Zoom for group activities

Conduct Online Office Hours

  • Offer real-time feedback to students.
  • Schedule Zoom virtual office hours.
  • Post/announce your office hours schedule in Bb.

Update Your Course Content

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Outline Course Modules

Outlining your course modules in a logical and structured way facilitates students' completion of various tasks associated with each module. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind:
  • Outline your course modules while keeping your course learning objectives in mind: where do I start, and where do I end?
  • Scaffold your course module from generic to specific, easy to difficult concepts
  • Chunk your course modules into manageable sections, easy to follow by your students
  • Plan your module's lecture, discussion topics, assignments, activities, and tests associated with each module/week
  • Keep your module structure consistent
  • Think about ways to keep your module flexible so that you can reorganize/edit/update your course module easily

Design Assignments

To design an effective online course assignment, you need to
  • connect your assignment to the course learning objectives:
    • how does this assignment align with my course learning objecives?
  • articulate a clear rationale, purpose and expectations for your assignment:
    • what do I want my student to learn?
  • provide detailed instruction to guide students to complete their instructions:
    • are the assignment instructions clear and doable?
  • provide clear grading criteria, including rubric when deemed important:
    • how will the assigement be graded?
  • provide multiple options and types of answers:
    • is there more than one way to complete the assignment?
  • provide good and bad examples when necessary:
    • what are the pitfalls that I want my student to avoid?

Record Lectures

You have several options to record your course lectures: narrated PowerPoint, video, audio with graphics. Deciding on which option to use requires you to ask yourself: which recording option enables me to share my course content engagingly and excitingly?
  • Draft a script or outline to guide your presentation. Remember to align your presentation with your course objectives.
  • Organize your lecture into 7- to 12-minute segments/topics
  • Record your screen and/or narrate your PowerPoints
  • Record yourself with a webcam.
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Include questions, quizzes, or prompts after each segment to engage your students
  • Use headphones with a microphone to minimize the surrounding noise
  • Share your videos with your students using the Kaltura Media tool.
For more information refer to the CLT how-to guides on recording your course lectures.

Distribute Course Material

  • Add content onto Bb pages; don’t just upload PDFs or attachments
  • Post course readings, assignment instructions, PowerPoint slides, handouts, etc.
  • Organize your lecture materials or videos by week or by topic
  • Contact your ODU Libraries Subject Liaison if you need digital copies of journal articles or media
  • Do not scan textbook chapters or course readings; scanned documents are not screenreader accessible
  • Check for open educational resources (OER):
  • Ask colleagues to share or recommend discipline-specific resources.