Quick Transition to Remote Instruction

The following resources are designed to provide support for instructors who need to quickly adapt their courses for fully remote instruction in emergency-response scenarios.

Teaching Strategies for Remote Instruction

Note: Synchronous activities involve students participating “live” during the same time that class normally is held — live lectures, discussions, interactive lessons. Asynchronous activities involve students who are expected to complete coursework independently/not live; e.g., pre-recorded lectures, online quizzes based on the reading, worksheets.

StrategySynchronous ActivitiesAsynchronous Activities
LecturesInstructor shares slides or camera in real-time while also recording for other students. Recorded videos of instructor and/or visuals, students watch and take notes.
Group Projects Students choose their own times to meet synchronously in small groups via Zoom, with or without instructor presence.Students create discussion forums or other channels for asynchronous contributions. Instructor may provide input.
PollingStudents raise hands on camera or use “digital hands”; instructor opens a live poll with link and students can be placed in “break out” rooms for discussion.Discussion boards or self-paced set of survey questions are available for a period of time.
Small Group DiscussionStudents raise hands on camera or use “digital hands”; instructor opens a live poll with link and students can be placed in “break out” rooms for discussion.Asynchronous: Discussion boards often with structured prompts and guidelines about how many posts and replies are required?
Whole Class DiscussionDiscussions with voice, camera, chat and guidelines about how to enter into the discussion.Discussion boards often with structured prompts and guidelines about how many posts and replies are required.
Writing/Drawing on BoardInstructor shares digital whiteboard and writes for students, in real time while also recording for other students.Recorded videos of instructor writing/drawing on a digital whiteboard

See the Remote Only Implementation Guide for practical tips and solutions.

Explore the Center for Faculty Excellence’s self-paced Essentials for Remote Teaching and Learning course.

General Best Practices for Emergency Remote Instruction

The following practices will help you and your students navigate this challenging time:

Stay up to date on the latest campus developments.

  • Receive Notifications  from AlertCarolina on your cell phone, LiveSafe app, or Twitter.
  • Bookmark AlertCarolina to view current campus operating conditions and contact information for campus safety resources.
  • Bookmark https://itsstatus.unc.edu/ to view status of campus IT systems.

Communicate often and share resources.

  • Update students as you make (or plan to make) any revisions to your course.
  • Share with students how to keep in contact with you (e.g., email, online office hours, phone) and when you are available to support them.
  • Expect that more frequent communication—via a variety of channels—may be required compared to on-campus class sessions.

Identify which course adjustments must be made immediately.

  • Delay due dates of assignments for those in which you have the flexibility to do so.
  • Prioritize readings and learning activities that are central to the course.
  • Where possible, offer multiple options for students to express what they’ve learned related to course learning objectives.
  • Outline how these changes impact elements of the course and remaining assignments.

Help students navigate changes to your course.

  • Share how to access campus and library resources when students are off-campus.
  • Introduce any tools that are new to your course by offering students opportunities to practice using them.
  • Invite help from students who can assist peers in learning to use the tools.
  • Remind students of revised deadlines and grading criteria to help them remain oriented to the flow of the course.

Anticipate that your teaching and your students’ experiences will be different.

  • Adjust your expectations for student participation and communication, considering that they may lack reliable internet access, or may need to address personal or family concerns.
  • Be ready to handle requests for extensions and adjustments to coursework equitably.

COVID-19 and Students Needing Accommodations:

  • Some students with disabilities or medical conditions may encounter challenges that may not have been apparent in in-person classes. Students making these known to you should be encouraged to self-identify with Accessibility Resources and Service  as soon as possible.
  • Work with ARS to find appropriate accommodations for these circumstances.