Remote Teaching Tips

By Bonnie Budd, Director, Online Learning

  1. When using Blackboard Discussion Boards, students who tend to be more quiet in class are sharing their ideas more freely. Creating effective prompts and learning to skillfully moderate these discussions can increase engagement among all students and allow you to hear from those students whose voices may otherwise be missing from the dialogue.
  2. When teaching live using Zoom or Collaborate, lecturing for a long stretch of time is not an ideal learning experience for your students. Instead, leverage features like Breakout Rooms, Polling, Chat, and Reactions to use these times for active discussion, collaboration, and community building. Review the checklist for Designing a Live Class. Though written for Zoom, the concepts apply equally to Collaborate.
  3. When recording lectures using Zoom or Panopto, keep them short and focused. Production quality need not be perfect; you don’t need to spend a lot of time getting everything “just right”. Here’s a fun tip for recording videos.
  4. When securing sessions from “Zoom bombers”, ask your students to register at bryant.zoom.us and change your meeting settings to only allow authenticated Bryant users. To secure your session in real time, use the “Security” option in the Zoom toolbar to immediately enable the waiting room, turn off participant screen sharing, and/or “lock” the session from new attendees.
  5. When planning to teach on a particular topic, plan a mix of asynchronous (self-paced) and synchronous (live) experiences that allow students to engage with the material in various ways. Look for opportunities to align learning objectives with the teaching strategy to which each are best suited. 
    1. That is, consider what needs to be done live and what would benefit from allowing students to take more time, set their own pace, and review as needed. 
    2. What would benefit from real time discussion, problem-solving, and questions/answers, and what can a student reasonably do on their own before or after a live session?
  6. When holding students accountable, consider the other realities they may be facing in the current moment. Exercise empathy while encouraging success in your class.
  7. When facilitating group work, consider helping students develop a Charter for their collaborative work together – even an informal conversation about norms, values, and procedures can go a long way toward avoiding problems down the line. Consider adopting a Peer Evaluation form they can use to keep you apprised of any potential issues they may be encountering.
  8. When seeking student feedback, consider copying and adapting the Weekly Feedback Survey for use in your course.
  9. When administering quizzes, tests, and final exams in Blackboard, consider using Respondus Monitor to proctor the delivery. The system uses artificial intelligence to capture the session and inform you of any possible “events” such as another person coming into the frame, the student potentially looking down at a book, or other possible indications of cheating. Visit the “Assessing Learning” section of Part 2: Continuous Design and Assessment in the Teaching Online in a Pinch course site for specific steps and more resources.
  10. When grading students’ work in the Blackboard Full Grade Center, click the column headers to sort as needed. Use the dropdown menu for each column to send messages to students, see item-level average grades, or update assignment information.