Below you’ll find steps to help you walk through the process of moving in-person courses and activities online at short notice. Remember to keep it simple. Make your expectations realistic, explicit, and kind for your students and yourself.

We can also provide guidance through a one-on-one consultation. Submit a course consultation request. You can also find additional resources and tools for transitioning from a face-to face to an online modality on the Teaching Online and HyFlex page.

Step 1: Assess Your Course for Changes

Use the questions below to assess your course and determine the appropriate course of action.

  • Are you familiar with Zoom so that you can teach online in real-time (synchronously)?
  • Do you have adequate computer hardware at home to be able to teach online? Teaching and Learning Services has a variety of equipment available that instructors can borrow.
  • Is your Brightspace page set up so that all assessment, grading and class communications can take place there? Be sure to check out the Instructor Support site, the dedicated Brightspace MediaSpace channel, and/or request a course consultation for help.
  • Review your original weekly plan for course content, keeping in mind that your students are going to experience some disorientation as a result of the changes. What content needs to stay, and what content is less vital to your learning outcomes and/or assessments?
  • Review your original assessment plan for the course. What changes, if any, are needed as a result of your course moving from in-person to a fully online modality?
  • Do you have pre-recorded videos and/or other resources you can (re)use? If not, you can record upcoming lectures using Kaltura Capture and share them via MediaSpace and Brightspace.
  • Have you set up class meeting times/office hours online? Use Zoom to host these.
  • Review your plan for day-to-day in-class activities. Do they need to be modified?
    • Discussions: consider using Zoom (for synchronous discussions) or Discussions in Brightspace (for asynchronous discussions)
    • Participation: consider small Quizzes, regular Poll Everywhere questions, and/or simple Worksheets
    • Group Work: use breakout rooms for synchronous team-based work and collaborative documents (e.g., Teams) to allow students to work synchronously or asynchronously on tasks

Step 2: Communicate Changes to Students

Once you have reviewed your course and made any required adjustments to shift online, communicate these changes to your students.

  • Update and communicate any changes to your course syllabus as soon as you can, using your preferred method:
    • Create a Course Announcement or send an email to your students
    • Create a track-change version of your original syllabus or highlight important changes
    • Create a voice-over-document recording using Kaltura Capture and MediaSpace
  • Once you have sent out the important update about the plan for the rest of the semester, be sure to communicate regularly with your students. Consider at least one weekly ‘update’ email that reviews the content/assignment(s) from the previous week, and that looks forward to the content/assignment(s) for the coming week.
  • Consider hosting (and recording) a transition class once you have finalized the plans to move online, so you can discuss the changes students can expect and offer them the opportunity to ask questions.
  • Consider holding office hours and/or drop-in sessions using Zoom to help students stay connected and engaged with your course.

Step 3: Help Students Find Support

Remember that students will also be impacted by the shift online. Carleton has an extensive set of offices and resources in place to help support students experiencing difficulties. Be aware of and, where appropriate, recommend resources below:

Was this page helpful?

7 people found this useful