Preparing for Remote Teaching

In the event of any disruption, it is important to identify remote teaching plans and communicate your expectations to students quickly so they know what procedures will be implemented and have the ability to plan for these changes. Remember that many disruptions can impact not just faculty schedules and availability but can also affect students’ safety and ability to effectively participate in your courses.

Try to rely on tools and procedures that are familiar to you and your students and roll out new tools only when absolutely necessary. Introduction of new tools or procedures may leave less energy and attention for teaching and learning.

The tools and tips below list key decisions to make when developing alternate modes of course delivery. For each step, we also list available best practices and available technology solutions to enable remote delivery of content. Many of these tools may already be familiar to you and your students as these are widely used on campus. Although all of the resources mentioned here are available to all UGA faculty, staff, and students, internet access may not be available to every student. Therefore, please exercise some flexibility in delivering instruction remotely.

In addition to the information below, the Center for Teaching and Learning has produced this four-page document (PDF) to guide your teaching decisions for a rapid move to online instruction, and this three-page document (PDF) to guide your work with your TAs. In addition, an eLC course has been made available to UGA instructors, the Guide to Emergency Remote Instruction. If you are not enrolled in this course and would like to request access, please reach out to the CTL.

CTL has also produced this guide (PDF) for Student Evaluations of Teaching During Significant Disruptions, which has been sent to department heads and associate deans.

UGA Library Systems offers additional support for faculty preparing for online instruction.

Steps to Prepare

  • Set up your eLC course page (PDF).

  • Decide how to communicate with your students.

    The best practice is to use eLC for all communication. You may also use UGA Email, but never use non-UGA email for communications with students. Make alternate arrangements (e.g., telephone) for students without internet access.

  • Make your revised syllabus available digitally on eLC.

    Circulating a revised syllabus highlighting any changes in format, schedules, or technology used to address the class disruption will ensure that students have the most up-to-date information. This will allow you to focus on teaching and learning, instead of addressing administrative inquiries.

  • Upload documents, assignments, and readings to eLC content page.

    eLC can support more complex organization of materials, dissemination, group activities, and other instructional functionality. If any copyrighted (non-public domain) materials will be used, consult Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines for UGA Faculty and Staff.

  • Establish a method for collecting submissions and assignments from students.

    Ensure all students have access to and are aware of this method. One method is through an assignment submission folder in eLC.

  • Determine how to provide lecture content remotely.

    For smaller classes, a synchronous lecture often works well; for large classes, it is often better to have an asynchronous lecture followed by some form of a “live” discussion in the virtual classroom. Asynchronous content is better for accessibility.

    See notes on Video Conferencing Options (for Zoom and Blackboard Collaborate) below. The best practice is to deliver these at your regularly scheduled class time.

    Zoom lectures can be pre-recorded and its URL can be shared via email; likewise, recordings generated via Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate may be uploaded to Kaltura for sharing in eLC. Kaltura can also be used to generate screen or lecture capture videos, which may be uploaded via Kaltura for sharing in eLC.

    Powerpoint also offers an option to record a slide with narration and slide timings.

  • Update students on whether and how you will hold office hours virtually.

    Office hours might be held virtually via video, eLC discussion board, over the phone or via UGA email.

  • Establish a procedure for assessing student learning in the digital space.

    The eLC Quizzes tool enables you to assess students using a variety of questions and delivery options. Quizzes may be set to auto-grade or manual grade.

    eLC should be used to distribute student grades to protect student privacy.

  • Establish a procedure for providing students with grades and feedback on their work.

Additional Considerations When Teaching Online

Disruptions to your regular teaching schedule and formats brings additional challenges. Here are a few things to consider when making alternate plans to complete your courses:

  • Re-evaluate the attendance policies in the context of the disruption to your classes. Remember that all students may not have equal access to technology or other resources for the revised format of your classes.
  • Consider developing learning activities that could be completed independently or in small groups and embed them into your courses. Instead of relying on in-class activities, you may want to develop a larger set of activities that students can complete remotely.
  • Be aware of any accommodations that your students may need. For example, some students may require closed captioning while others may have challenges with visual acuity. The Disability Resource Center as well as the Office of Online Learning may be able to assist with some solutions. For certain needs, efforts such as working in small groups or pairs, and note-sharing can also help. Note that synchronous lectures may require different support services than asynchronous lectures. Consider that students ​who have returned to home ​states or countries may be in different time zones.
  • Consider best practices around academic honesty while remote teaching and learning. Visit the Office of Academic Honesty for tips for teachers and students.