Even if you are planning for in-person instruction, you will still likely face situations where you will need to reach students in quarantine or other situations of remote participation. Without a plan and support, this can be a daunting task.

Best Practices

Here are a few quick tips and resources to help you succeed in flexible teaching scenarios. For more detailed guidance on in-person and remote course design and instruction, see the Implementation Guides.

Before Class

  • Test your classroom technology
    • Sound/microphone
    • Ability to share PowerPoint slides locally in the classroom and via Zoom
    • Zoom settings
    • Recording
  • Provide students with participation guidelines and think about how you will encourage and equitably assess participation from both remote and in-person students. Be sure that all students have equal opportunity to engage and that participation grades are appropriate for all situations.
  • Designate a student volunteer or TA in advance to monitor chats, call out online questions, and describe activity occurring outside the scope of vision to remote students.
  • Think about whether some activities will need to be revised for remote students. If there are in-class activities (i.e., small group discussions, demonstrations, presentations) have a plan for how remote students will participate or provide alternate assignments that accomplish the same learning objectives.
  • Consider creating polls to engage both in-person and remote students in lectures.

During Class

  • Start off with an activity that encourages remote students to engage right away, preferably with cameras on.
  • Run Zoom on the classroom computer and share your screen when showing slides so remote students can see your presented content.
  • Turn on live automated transcripts/closed captions for Zoom meetings to help everyone understand the audio.
  • Mute all participants upon entry; ensure you’re not muted. To prevent audio feedback problems, make sure that students in the classroom do not to join the Zoom session.
  • Set reminders for yourself throughout the class session to check in with remote students and give them an opportunity to ask questions or call out technical issues. If you have a TA or student volunteer keeping an eye on Zoom chat, check in with them periodically.
  • Be sure that questions and comments from in-person students can be heard or repeat them back to the class if the student commenting is too far from a microphone.
  • Remind all students in the class to keep an eye on the Zoom participant(s) and encourage them to alert you to any technical issues.
  • Use your course’s Sakai site to share course resources such as hand-outs.
  • Record your class sessions and post the recordings to Sakai.

More Resources for Planning and Teaching