Online Learning Resource Guide for Faculty

This guide is intended to provide faculty with materials to transition their courses to online instruction. It offers resources on how to think about online instruction as a method, key tools to help as you begin this process, and contact information for Research, Instruction, Technology staff who can help.

This guide is inspired by the Covid-19 Resources for Alternative Modes of Learning by Smith College.

RIT Updates

For news and updates from the Research, Instruction, Technology division, check “Instructional Continuity.”

Table of Contents

Getting Ready to Go Online

General Resources for Online Teaching

Conduct a Student Survey

Revise Syllabus Materials

Revise E-Communication Policy

Moodle Site Set-Up

Prepare Asynchronous Lectures or Presentations

Real Time Lectures with Class Discussion

Organizing Class Discussions

Office Hours

Assignments (Posting and Collecting)

Exams/Quizzes

Labs

Student Feedback

Remote Access to Software

Accessibility

Resources to Address Student Concerns

COVID-19 Resources

Wellness Resources

Getting Ready to Go Online:

Fundamentally, the most important things to think about in moving to remote instruction are: how and how often will I communicate with students; where will I put stuff (resources, assignments) for them; and where will they put stuff (completed work) for me? None of these depend on a specific technology.

To prepare your class to transition to online instruction, you should review and revise the following documents on hand:

  • Revised syllabus
  • Course schedule (this revised schedule should note which class meetings (lectures and discussions) will be presented live vs. asynchronous recordings or other assignments)
  • A list of technology students will use to do online work
  • Revised e-communication policy
  • COVID-19 Resources and wellness materials to make available to students

General Resources for Online Teaching

Conduct a Student Survey

Description: While revising your syllabus to teach remotely, you may want to ask your classes to fill out a brief survey to let you know what technology they have access to at home, what methods may be most effective for them in completing class work and discussions, and to create a space to disclose any questions or concerns they may have.

Tools: Microsoft Forms

Trinity Resource:

Sample Surveys:

Revise Syllabus Materials

Description: Review your syllabus and assess what needs to change to accommodate online teaching (means of instruction, assignment types, due dates, etc.). It is also helpful to update your course schedule to let students know what class meetings will now consist of asynchronous lectures (recorded in advance as narrated PowerPoints or Zoom recordings – see below), or as real-time lectures with class discussions.

Trinity Resources:

Resources:

Revise E-Communication Policy

Description: Students will benefit from clear instructions on how they can interact with you and their classmates in this new online environment. This includes guidelines for email, office hours, and group study. You will want to write up some suggestions for how students can reach you during virtual office hours and group study using Zoom (for instructions, see below) or phone calls, and what kinds of communications are appropriate for email. This may also afford you the opportunity to reframe how you will assess participation in class and set new norms based on the platforms you choose. For example, if your main means of communications with students is email you might ask students to email with regular check-ins, or offer instruction on how to participate in Zoom discussions by raising their hands, etc. (further resources available below)

Tools: Email (Outlook) | Moodle | Zoom

Resources:

Moodle Site Set-Up

Description: Moodle is a convenient means of organizing and sharing class materials with students. If you have not yet set up a Moodle site, now is the time to do so. Use the below materials to get started, or contact your instructional technologist. If you’re already using Moodle, you may find it useful to learn new features such as the Zoom integration which can support class discussions or real-time teaching and the assignment/quiz features (see below)

Tool: Moodle

Trinity Resources:

Other:

Prepare Asynchronous Lectures or Presentations

Description: We strongly recommend faculty prepare lectures that they record and upload to Moodle in advance of class discussions or other activities. Asynchronous lectures or presentations offer the most accessible means of content delivery for students in a remote environment. Even in classes with less than ten students, real time class meetings would have to account for differences in time zones and a reliable internet connection for everyone involved. (A “reliable internet connection” is not a static thing: As the entire global education system, as well as many large corporations, close or move to remote work, the infrastructure is likely to fray.) These are the two methods we recommend for providing recorded lectures or presentations to students:  

            Kaltura Capture

Description: Kaltura Capture is a desktop application that will record screencasts, webcam and presentations. You can choose any combination of on-screen activity, voice, and webcam and then upload your work to My Media. From there, you can edit your recording, order captions, and share it with students. Kaltura Capture can also be used from within Moodle or Mediaspace. If you intend to use your recording mainly within Moodle, then it makes sense to login to Moodle and work from there.

Tools: Kaltura Capture

Trinity Resources:

Other:

Narrated PowerPoint

Description: You may find it helpful to record yourself delivering a lecture to accompany a PowerPoint presentation. You can then upload both the PowerPoint with audio to your Moodle site to share with students.

            Tools: PowerPoint | Kaltura | Moodle

            Trinity Resources:

Other:

            Zoom Recording

Description: While Zoom is perhaps best known for facilitating real time class meetings and discussions, it can also be used to record asynchronous lectures and presentations. Advantages of using Zoom for this purpose include the ability to share materials and slides through the “share your screen” feature.

            Tools: Zoom

            Resources:

Real Time Lectures with Class Discussion

Description: Zoom is a helpful tool for offering real time lectures with class discussion. Through the “share screen” feature, instructors can share PowerPoint slides or other class materials with students while lecturing and leading class discussions. Note: Not all students will be in the same time zone and internet speeds and access are at times unpredictable, so we recommend asynchronous methods of instruction when possible.  

Tools: Zoom

Trinity Resources:

Other:

Organizing Class Discussions

Description: Instructors can organize forums for students in Moodle or hold discussions using Zoom.

Tools: Moodle | Zoom

Trinity Resources:

Other:

Office Hours

Description: Some instructors may find email the most efficient way to answer student questions. For audio/video consultations, faculty can offer office hours using Zoom.

Tools: Email (Outlook) | Zoom

Trinity Resources:

Other:

Assignments (Posting and Collecting)

Description: In addition to email, Moodle offers an easy way to collect and organize student work.

Tools: Email (Outlook) | Moodle

Trinity Resources:

Other:

Exams/Quizzes

Description: Moodle and Kaltura Video streaming offer means of assessing student work. Moodle offers a means to administer exams and quizzes while instructors can also use Kaltura to create video quizzes they can upload to their Moodle site.

Tools: Moodle | Kaltura

Trinity Resources:

Other:

Labs

Description: Please contact RIT staff to discuss the best methods of transitioning to lab activities in an online environment. Below you’ll find crowd-sourced activities and options from peer institutions.

Other:

  • List of Simulations and Virtual Labs
    • Crowd-sourced list of simulations and virtual labs in: Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, Cell Biology/Genetics, Chemistry, Civics, Comparative Neuroanatomy, Environmental Science, Geology, Math, Physics, Physiology, Engineering, Epidemiology, etc.

Student Feedback

Description:Considering the kinds of assignments and points of assessment in your online class, you will want to determine appropriate means of providing student feedback and keeping communication open. If your class consists of mostly written assignments, for example, you may want to provide feedback using track changes in Word documents. Verbal feedback may also be useful, in which case, you may want to arrange a window for drop-in office hours on Zoom.

Tools: Word |Email (Outlook) | Zoom

Resources:

Remote Access to Software, Servers, and Library Resources

Description: Information Services is working on providing remote access to a variety of software packages, such as Adobe, SPSS, STATA, Matlab, and Atlas.ti. More information will be forthcoming over spring break about the method(s) for accessing these programs.

To access Trinity servers from off-campus, use the appropriate VPN client (Windows | Mac). To access a specific computer, use Microsoft Remote Desktop (Windows | Mac).

Accessing Trinity library resources does not require VPN, but can be done simply through an EZProxy connection.

Tools: SPSS  | STATA

Trinity Resources:

Other:

Accessibility

Description: Trinity is committed to providing accessible teaching materials. All materials should be made available in accessible formats, and we use SensusAccess to make this possible along with various means of providing captioning to slides and videos. You can assess your students’ ability to engage with your remote instruction by providing course materials in advance of the transition to online learning and scheduling a meet up to test Moodle discussion boards, Zoom discussion sessions, or other new technologies they will use. Ask students to submit any further accessibility documentation for any supplemental accommodations they may need for the remainder of the semester. Please contact Lori Clapis at the Student Accessibility Resource Center with any questions on accessibility.

Tools: SensusAccess | KalturaZoom | Trint

Trinity Resources:

Other:

Resources to Address Student Concerns

Access to Internet

  • 2-free months of internet available to new customers in “Internet Essentials” program which could be a help to students without access to internet at home. (Comcast)
  • Free Xfinity hotspots for 60 days (Comcast)

International Student VISA Questions:

COVID-19 Resources 

Description: Providing students with reliable, real-time information on the state of the COVID-19 virus is one means of acknowledging the reality of this situation and managing anxieties around it. You might add links to continually updated sources of information to your revised syllabus and check in with students about this as you reintroduce your class when it launches online.

Trinity Resources:

Other:

Wellness Resources

Description: Students will now be working through your course materials in a new context and may benefit from these wellness materials to manage this new learning environment and any and all new anxieties that accompany it.

Trinity Resources:

Other:

Mary Mahoney