Teaching Tips: Online Delivery

    1. Be patient - with yourself and with your students. This is new for everyone. Compassion goes a long way.
    2. Consider providing a quick orientation to your online class for your students. Remember to show your students where to find the course materials. This is new for them too.

    3. Your online presence will help students to re-engage with you and the course. Encourage students to connect with one another as well as you so that an online sense of community is established. Keep in mind that online learning may be new for many of your students; virtual connection with your students may help alleviate the uncertainty.

    4. Survey your class, see what technology they’re working with so that you’re aware.  The technology they have may change the way you’re planning to teach online. Consider that students may have rural internet or family commitments.

    5. Simplicity is key – for yourself and your students.

      1. Keep the course organization simple

      2. Chunk your course content into manageable pieces. Present material in smaller chunks. For example, consider making several short videos rather than one longer video. This will help students grasp the content as well as facilitate downloading videos.

    6. Find ways to engage your students. Form discussion posts and/or pose a scenario that requires students to collaborate and apply their knowledge and/or skills. If you do this after each module or topic, it’ll give students a chance to connect with their peers as well as process the information and/or practice their skills. Or, if you choose to use Virtual Classroom, embed Polls after each module or topic so students can do a knowledge check. This type of formative assessment scaffolds learning and supports the achievement of a broader concept or set of skills as evaluated through summative assessments.

    7. Ensure your videos are accessible and include captions. Instructions for video accessibility instructions coming March 25th. For example, if you are using Teams for video meetings or synchronous delivery, ensure that you and your students are working on the downloaded app version of Teams and use the ‘meet now’ video meetings option (resources available on our Teams page.) Your students will need to turn on live captioning at their end. The downloaded app can be used on any of the following: tablet, phone, laptop, desktop.

    8. Ensure your documents are accessible. The Learning Portal from College Libraries Ontario provides an abundance of step-by-step resources on creating an accessible learning environment.

      1. See this link to learn how to make Word documents accessible.

      2. See this link to learn how to make your PowerPoint accessible.

    9. You do not have to engage in synchronous (i.e., live interaction) teaching. There may be challenges associated with access to internet at a particular time and/or other commitments.

    10. Asynchronous delivery can be engaging by embedding discussion board questions that require students to collaborate for example. Check out this link from Stanford University to get tips on how to develop good discussion questions.

    11. Stay connected with your colleagues! The CAFE has an online faculty Community of Practice in which you can learn from your colleagues, share your own tips, and be notified of PD opportunities. See this link to join!

    12. Keep checking the CAFE website. We’re updating the information regularly! And, reach out to us if you need support.

Synchronous (live) Tech Tips

Remember – synchronous classes aren’t for everyone. Consider the content you’re teaching and the technology your students have.

    1. Consider recording your session. If students are having connectivity issues (or other commitments), they can refer to the recording. If sessions are not recorded, students will miss the lesson. To remember to record your session, consider adding a slide to the beginning of your PowerPoint as a reminder.

    2. Notify students that the session is being recorded, before recording.

    3. Use a headset. Your voice will be clear for everyone to understand.

    4. If you find that your internet signal is weak, turn off your camera. Extend this same tip to your students. In Microsoft Teams and DC Connect’s Virtual Classroom, you’d press “Unshare Camera”.

    5. Outline your expectations for the synchronous session at the beginning, such as how should students ask questions.