There are two options for instructors to facilitate class sessions remotely:
- Synchronous: Instructors and students gather at the same time and interact in "real time" with a very short or "near-real time" exchange between instructors and students.
- Asynchronous: Instructors prepare course materials for students in advance of students' access. Students may access the course materials at a time of their choosing and will interact with each over a longer period of time.
Instructors may choose to engage their students synchronously or asynchronously depending on the course content or material that needs to be taught.
You have many tools at your disposal (see links below) to deliver your class synchronously or aschronously. While synchronous tools can help you easily replicate what you do in the regular classroom, there might be content or activities that are better left in an asynchronous format, such as readings or discussions. Consider balancing your synchronous and asynchronous strategies as you move forward.
Also keep in mind that many students may not have computers or internet access. Rather, they may be compelled to access your content using their phones. In this case video content may be inconsistent and choppy and may also carry with it data charges for the student.
Zoom is a video-conferencing platform for which CU Denver owns a license. Zoom allows you to engage in live Web conversations with your students using audio, video, and text-based chat features.
- Integrate a Zoom video conference session into your Canvas course shell (if you use Canvas for your course)
- You can also sign directly into Zoom to set up a video conference session for your class.
- Keep in mind that not all students may have reliable internet access or a computer.
- Be sure to post slides and notes in your Canvas shell or via email so students can access the content in alternative ways.
- Position your computer so that students can see and hear you as well as possible.
- Use a headset with a microphone if possible.
- Use slides and screen sharing within Zoom (look for "share screen" at bottom)
- Solicit input from Zoom participants.
- Ask students to use "chat" function to ask questions and contribute to discussion.
- If you are feeling fancy, use Zoom "Breakout Rooms" to divide students into small groups for discussion.
- Share handouts and slides in advance in your Canvas course or via email.
- Rethink classroom activities;
- Use Google Docs for students to work collaboratively
If you are not comfortable presenting live, another good option is to pre-record any lecture material and upload it into your Canvas course. We recommend that you pre-record lectures using TechSmith Relay or Zoom. TechSmith Relay is a platform for creating educational videos.
- Post your notes or script so that students who do not have a computer or internet access (or have trouble viewing the video) can access the content in written form.
- Keep videos SHORT (4-5 minutes) and lively. Chunk up the content of your lecture into smaller bits that become the topics of several video presentations.
- Integrate interaction with lecture material. Set up a quiz in TechSmith Relay or in Canvas to break up the work related to listening to lectures and to allow students to test their knowledge.
- Support your lecture material with other online resources like TedTalks, online labs, or other virtual learning materials.
- Rethink classroom activities:
- Use Google Docs to encourage students to collaborate and interact.
Many online courses do not have a video component at all. If you are not sure you have the right tools and are uncomfortable with the tech setup, this might be a good option, at least for the short term.
- Annotate your PowerPoint slides with notes and share this with students using Canvas or email.
- Set up a discussion for students in Canvas. Use specific, structured questions, and let students know expectations for their responses.
- Share links to outside resoures. Encourage students to watch videos, read articles, solve problems etc.
- Use Chat to have a live, text-based chat session with students.
Set up virtual office hours to meet with students using your webcam, share your computer screen or collaborate using Zoom's whiteboard feature. If you are more comfortable, you can also give students your phone number to call, or you can set up an online chat in Canvas.
- Integrate Zoom into your Canvas shell and use this to set up meetings with students.
- Set up a standing Zoom Personal Meeting ID for yourself that you can use for office hours.
There are a variety of tools available that will help you to deliver your course content remotely.
- Canvas is the Learning Management System CU Denver uses for all our classes. There are tools within canvas that will help you deliver your content, communicate with students, and share materials.
- Zoom is a video conferencing tool you can use to meet with your class or record you class presentations.
- TechSmith Relay is an easy to use educational video platform that you can use to create videos for your class.