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Remote Teaching

 Online Teaching & Learning

Various circumstances can lead to teaching and learning disruption, such as the current COVID-19 outbreak or family emergencies. This site provides resources and offers suggestions to consider in an effort to maintain teaching continuity. Although, some of these suggestions leverage technology, we encourage you to prioritize simplicity and accessibility.

Remote Teaching Strategies

  • Revisit your curricular goals and communicate to the students what is realistic and manageable for the time being. 
  • Communicate to the students the need for all of us to be flexible, creative, and patient.
  • Use technology and instructional approaches that you and your students are already familiar with. 
  • If it’s a new tool, consider asking yourself the "why" for using it before the "how" to. 
  • If you want to hold virtual office hours, you can use the Zoom Pro web-conferencing system or similar platforms. To make the best of these meetings, encourage students to come prepared with identified areas in which they welcome feedback or guidance.
  • Inform students when they should expect to hear from you, and how. Try to use emails for critical information and keep the rest through resources that students can access on their own.
  • Consider expanding communication options to Zoom, WhatsUpp, Skype, LMS, etc.
  • Be present for your learners by checking communication platforms often, responding frequently, and letting students know you are there to support them. 
  • Focus on sharing pre-created content (PowerPoint slides with your own notes, PDFs, documents, etc.).
  • Consider narrating your lecture. Most students are familiar with PowerPoint, and this tool offers a slide-by-slide narration recording option using the Record Slide Show feature. In onQ you will need to download the file first to be able to listen to the recording.
  • If your course has an online presence already in Elentra or onQ use it to post academic content, collect assignments, and submit grades. 
  • IT Services has created a webpage dedicated to useful information regarding Connecting, Collaborating and Teaching remotely.
  • If you have a TA, you might consider repurposing their role (e.g. focus on communication with students, engage in discussion). 
  • Leverage Open Educational Resources, where possible.
  • Revisit the learning outcomes or your competency-based objectives; can you change “demonstrate” to “observe”? 
  • Consider using the Accessibility Checker tool in Word to ensure your documents are accessible. 
Remote Active Learning

This Active Learning Guide For Remote Teaching by @UCSD_Commons contains 30 activities adaptable for a variety of disciplines, class sizes, etc. The guide also includes specific strategies for integrating activities in synchronously and asynchronously in remote classrooms.

  • Utilize discussion boards; consider adding guiding questions to elicit conversation and engagement. 
  • Consider asking students to share their notes with their peers. 
  • If you are comfortable with the Breakout Room feature in Zoom you can utilize it synchronous collaboration. 
  • Suggest platforms like Google docs or Microsoft Teams in Office 365 (already deployed at Queen’s) to students for collaboration.
  • Microsoft Teams: A How-To Guide
  • Students can also obtain a free copy of Zoom but their meeting with this licence is limited to 40 minutes. Instructors use the Zoom Pro licenses with no limitations to meeting times.
Assignments & Assessment
  • Students' ability to meet deadlines or course expectations may be compromised (for health reasons, lack of WiFi, etc.). 
  • Revisit outstanding assessments, consider what further assignments are still needed and are essential. 
  • Readjust assignment weights where possible. 
  • Students can submit assignments electronically in Elentra or onQ.
  • Ask students to properly label the files they upload [e.g. Last name_Assignment type_Course] 
  • Consider different methods of providing feedback to the students (written, audio, video, screencast).
  • Consider alternative assessment formats: 
    • Final essay: Consider changing to an annotated bibliography or critique while addressing the same learning outcome(s) or competency.
    • In-class presentations: students could be asked to submit a narrated presentation. 
    • Lab work: Consider changing the outcome from collecting data to interpreting data sets that you could give to the students. Simulations could also be an alternative.
    • OSCEs: These are more challenging to implement in alternative formats. Are you still moving forward with OSCEs? If so, do the learners have access to a consenting person in their household who can act as a standardized patient? Can the learners record their interaction and submit? Is it possible for learners to submit videos of themselves performing a range of practical tasks? 
    • Quizzes and Tests: Low stakes quizzes can be administered via the Elentra or onQ quiz tool. To promote academic integrity with quizzes and tests, you could include more application-type questions, randomize the order of questions, or implement a specific availability of the quiz.
Academic Integrity
  • Consider emphasizing Queen’s academic integrity statement online on assignments and exam cover pages:

“Academic integrity is central to every part of your education at university. It means not plagiarizing or cheating on assignments, creating an environment of trust so that there is a free sharing of ideas without the fear of them being stolen from you, respect for your fellow students, instructors, and support staff, acting responsibly by turning assignments in on time and completing readings for class and having the courage not to cheat even when pressured to by your peers”. 

See the Academic Integrity @ Queen's page for more information.

  • Another recommended practice is to ask students to agree in writing to an honour code or pledge. Example:

"I will be fair and honest in my coursework. I will neither give nor receive unauthorized aid on any assignments, quizzes, or exams" or “I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this quiz/exam" 

(Konheim-Kalkstein et al., 2008, p. 3) 

  • You could utilize Remote Proctoring Tools like Examity.
Using Zoom
  • If you have not used Zoom before, you will have to download an applet to make it work. Instructions on how to do this can be found here. Download Zoom in advance of the class/meeting date. 
  • If you are using Zoom for the first time, consider watching any of these 1 min long short videos on Scheduling and Joining Meetings, Audio, Video, and Screen Sharing.  
  • Keep your mic muted until you want to speak to the group.
  • Remember, if your video camera or mic are on, everyone on Zoom can see/hear you.
  • If you are finding your sound is lagging, try turning off your video camera to reduce data use.
  • Consider using headphones to limit audio feedback.
  • Notes about setting up Breakout Rooms in a Zoom meeting
    • Click the icon in the meeting controls for Breakout Rooms
      • If you don't immediately see it in the Meeting Controls at the bottom of the window, stretch your window left-right, or click on More to see additional icons.
      • If you are using a different Zoom account than the ones being set up by your school for the synchronous sessions, and Breakout Rooms is not visible, this functionality will need to be enabled before you can use Breakout Rooms on that account.
    • You will then get a pop-up box and you can specify the number of breakout rooms, and select either Automatically or Manually.
      • If you are not using pre-set teams, the fastest way is automatically. Zoom will do the sorting of participants using an algorithm.
      • If you are using pre-set teams, you must do it manually.
      • Zoom will then provide you with a list of breakout rooms, and you click on Assign to put participants into those rooms.
  • Consider these short instructions for more information on Teaching with Zoom.


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