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EIU Faculty Development and Innovation Center

Teaching Remotely

Eastern Illinois University has many resources available to help you develop an instructional continuity plan. Following are prioritized considerations in making your plans. Think of them as a continuity checklist.

On this page, our faculty will find:

  1. What do you need to start teaching remotely?
  2. How will you communicate?
  3. How will you deliver content?
  4. How will your students and you complete learning activities?
  5. How will you assess student learning?
  6. How to request help or support?

Also in the left navigation, you will find links to:

1. What do you need to start teaching remotely?

  • Required technologies:
    • Laptop or desktop computer
    • High-speed internet connection
    • Updated web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, etc.)
    • A learning management system (LMS) to organize your teaching materials. D2L Brightspace is the LMS that we support at EIU.
  •  Optional technologies:
    • A webcam
    • A microphone
    • Some type of video tool for conferencing and/or communication (Collaborate Ultra is recommended).

2. How will you communicate?

 3. How will you deliver content?

  • Instructional technology: EIU provides a host of tools and software that can assist teaching and learning by supporting interaction and collaboration, feedback and assessment, and instruction and content delivery.
  • D2L Brightspace: Take advantage of the D2L Brightspace to provide updates, feedback on assignments, and opportunities for virtual engagement between students, and with you (How to use D2L Brightspace for teaching remotely.). Every course listed in banner has a D2L course shell already, and you need to activate your courses in D2L before you start teaching (How to activate your courses in D2L.). Post any content that is part of the path to successful completion of the course to D2L Brightspace. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Course syllabus and revised schedule
    • Learning materials (readings, lecture recordings, lecturing slides, etc.)
    • Assignments
    • Assessments (quizzes, exams, etc.)
    • Grades
  • Delivery: Asynchronous (recommended) delivery allows students to access course content on their own time. Lectures can be recorded on campus or at home. You can record videos by using Collaborate Ultra embedded in D2L, Kaltura, or any programs that you are familiar with (How to use Collaborate Ultra to record a narrated PowerPoint presentation video.). To meet ADA compliance, you may need to create a closed caption for each of your videos (How to use Stream to create Closed Captions for videos.).
  • Delivery: Synchronous can be used sparingly when your students and you are working remotely. Even if you have previously conducted web-conferencing successfully using tools such as Collaborate Ultra, students’ schedules will be disrupted (How to conduct a synchronous meeting with your students.). You can also record your live session and for later use in your courses.  
  • Course materials: Post items such as syllabus, handouts, readings, presentation slides, and assignments on the content area in D2L Brightspace. Consider what materials, assignments, and assessments are essential to successfully achieving the course learning outcomes. You may need to be flexible with submission deadlines, within the parameters of the academic calendar. 

4. How will your students and you complete learning activities?

  • Consider alternative approaches: Teaching remotely may require new approaches to your course activities. Consider, with the tools available, how you could modify or replicate activities quickly and in ways that students can understand when working by themselves remotely. Rethink what you planned to do during the time the students would normally be in the class. 
  • Course Discussions: Students can easily continue to communicate with one another via the discussion boards built into D2L Brightspace. (How to create, monitor, and grade discussions in D2L.) When setting up a discussion be sure to:
    • Provide specific discussion prompts that are more likely to incite discussions to guide student responses. 
    • Share clear expectations for student posts.
    • Give the students time (at least a few days) to post and reply to each discussion prompt.
  • Assignments:  Students can easily submit assigned material through D2L Brightspace (How to create an assignment in D2L.). In addition, Turnitin embedded in D2L assignment dropboxes also helps you to prevent student plagiarism. When creating assignments, be sure to:
    • Stick to formats that are commonly available to you and your students. Everyone at EIU can freely download Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus, which includes OneDrive, Word, Excel, OneNote, Teams, and much more (A quick start of Microsoft Office 365 at EIU.).
    • Give a clear indication of the assignment and expectations for the students.
    • Communicate due dates of assignments.

5. How will you assess student learning?

  • Exams: D2L Brightpsace integrates a Gradebook, Dropbox Assignments, and a Quiz Tool. What follows are considerations for assessment when teaching remotely. Respondus may help you to proctor exams teaching remotely. Respondus Monitor is a companion application for LockDown Browser that uses webcam and video technology to prevent cheating during online exams (How to use Respondus to proctor online exams.). In addition, to minimize incidents of academic integrity violations for online exams while still ensuring they accurately reflect student learning, consider the following principles in creating and modifying exams:
    • Allowing exams to be open-book/source: Assume students will use resources while taking an exam, and even encourage them to do so. Try to ask questions that probe deeper levels of knowledge and understanding, enabling students to apply, assess, and evaluate concepts and facts in meaningful ways. Encourage students to share and cite where they get information from and what resources they use. 
    • Encourage students to collaborate/share questions and ideas: Students will likely work together when they are stuck or confused. You can encourage working in small teams and ask them to include who they work with and in what ways.
    • Focus on solving problems while showing work and explanations: In many cases, students may get the same answer, but showing their work reveals meaningful differences in understanding. Sometimes there may only be a few ways to show work, so you may ask for brief prose explanations, or have students record a video of them talking through the process to solve a question.
    • Use question pools: If you have short-answer or multiple-choice questions, create pools in your D2L Brightspace so that students receive different sets of questions (this can also be done with essays and more complex questions).
    • Ensure clarity in questions and prompts: Especially if your test is timed, your students may not have a chance to ask a question and get a response. It is vital that questions and prompts are clear.
    • Consider question formats leading to essays, videos, pictures, and other personal responses: If your class lends itself to it, having students express their learning through essays, videos, pictures, or other personalized forms of writing/speaking/communicating means that everyone needs to create their own. You can also have students post their responses for each other and assess each other’s work through peer grading. Rubrics can help guide students.
    • Respect your own time: Most of these ideas take time to grade. Try to determine what is feasible in your situation, and use feedback-based or hand-grading intensive assessments sparingly. Also consider how much feedback students actually need/will use. Many times feedback can be created for the whole group based on common challenges or problems.

6. How to request help or support?

  • FDIC, ITS, and your ISS are working together to provide help to all faculty needing it. If you need help getting started, or questions, please submit a request online  or contact us through 581-HELP or support@eiu.eduYou can also chat live with our support team by clicking 'Live Chat' on this page.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Dr. Newton Key, Director, FDIC

1116 Booth
Schedule a meeting

Julie Lockett, Director of Learning Innovation

1105 Booth
Schedule a meeting

Faculty Development and Innovation Center

1105 Booth
Schedule a meeting

Dr. Lu Ding, Instructional Designer

1009 Booth
Schedule a meeting

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