Tips for Online Instruction
Your faculty colleagues have gathered links to a collection of resources regarding tips and tools for successful remote learning.
How Do I...?
Receive Training, Guidance, or Consultation
The Center is maintaining a continually updated listing of opportunities, both internal and external, for faculty to explore and expand upon remote learning pedagogy, technology, and operations. See support for remote teaching
Faculty members may also wish to review the following resources:
Live remote training for new key platforms such as Zoom is available from ITS technologists daily. For a full schedule and to register for upcoming trainings visit:
Members of the Learning and Applied Innovation group offer 1:1 and small group consultations to discuss ideas and resources for supporting teaching and learning remotely.
Linkedin Learning is an on-demand online training platform with an extensive library of tutorials and training for a wide array of subjects, software, and more. This can be accessed through the Colgate Portal.
Engage students in the discussion of course readings online
Web-based collaborative annotation using Hypothes.is
Hypothes.is is a free tool that enables multiple people to asynchronously add comments in the margins of web-pages or other documents found online. This practice of web-based collaborative annotation can transform the solitary act of reading into a social experience. Hypothes.is provides students with a space where they can make their thinking visible to their peers as they read while enabling instructors to assess student understanding of concepts. Courses can collaboratively annotate web-pages, PDF documents and other textual internet resources as part of a private Hypothes.is group or within a Moodle course. Hypothes.is can also complement the use of Zoom. For example, students can use Hypothes.is to annotate course readings in advance of a discussion during a synchronous (real-time) class meeting in Zoom.
- See the basic features of Hypothes.is
- View this video to see a demonstration of the Hypothes.is tool in action on a web page.
- To learn more, visit the Hypothes.is Teacher Resource Guide. This comprehensive resource provides detailed tutorials for using the tool across different types of documents on the web. It also provides example assignments (see section below) and links to Hypothes.is guides designed for students. Faculty wishing to further explore the pedagogy of social annotation can view webinars, blog posts and research articles linked at the bottom of the Teacher Resource Guide
Organize a Class Meeting, Group Discussion or Office Hours When In-Person Meetings Are Not Possible
Online Audio / Video Conferencing
Zoom is an audio / video conferencing application where many individuals can join the same meeting and share audio alone or audio and video. Zoom is a powerful platform that allows you to even use your phone to call into a conference when others are using computers. Among other tools, Zoom allows for screen sharing, presentation mode, and the option to record the session to your computer so that you can upload it to Moodle for individuals to view on demand.
Colgate University has an institutional license, so users can immediately access the tool by going to colgate.zoom.us and logging in using their Colgate credentials. Faculty are automatically granted a Licensed Pro Zoom account upon logging in, allowing them access to advanced Zoom features and no time limits on hosted meetings. Please contact the ITS Service Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Once you are logged in to Zoom you can begin to schedule sessions for a future date or host one immediately. Your individual Zoom sessions will have a URL, that can be shared via email or posted as a link on a course site in Moodle.
- Computer with a webcam and good internet connection
- Headphones or earbuds (optional) Headset with Mic
- Microphone (a separate microphone is better than your device's built in)
Facilitating a Zoom Session for Your Class
Facilitating a class session on a web-based platform like Zoom is obviously much different than teaching face-to-face. Beyond learning the mechanics of using Zoom for web-conferencing, it’s important to consider how you might use Zoom to teach a class session.
Review this guide for teaching a class session using Zoom.
Pre-Record Lectures for Students
Ensemble Anthem is an application that creates screen capture and webcam recordings. This platform allows you to record your voice, image, and screen; complete easy edits; and upload your video to a place where students can view it in Moodle. Every faculty member already has access to this tool.
- Open any browser, go to medialibrary.colgate.edu. Log in with your Colgate credentials and make sure the Identity Provider says “Colgate”.
- You will see a red Record button on your main Media Library page. The first time a user clicks the Record button, they will be presented with a new window to download the Anthem application. Please allow up to 30 seconds for the application to detect and choose the proper installer before the download window appears.
- Once the Anthem application is installed, the Record button will launch Anthem and configure the application to connect with the currently selected Media Library.
- Consider chunking your content into 8–10 minute sections instead of trying to deliver a complete 40–minute lecture. This makes it easier on you to record, and easier on the audience to absorb.
- Introduce each segment’s topic, and end each segment with a lead-in for the next segment.
- Create a script or outline if you aren’t using slides.
- Decide if you want to use your laptop’s camera so that you can be seen by your audience along with your slides.
- Use an external microphone, your computer microphone is not good enough. Some options include:
- Earbuds with inline mic
- Headset with mic
- Tabletop microphone
- Make a couple of practice recordings until you are comfortable
To learn more about Ensemble and Anthem, or to ask questions, contact the ITS Help Desk (email@example.com)
Digitally Collect Student Assignments
Moodle is Colgate’s choice for course management and the institution offers support for this versatile software platform.
Moodle has features to collect assignments digitally, provide students feedback, and share student grades confidentially and digitally.
With the “Google Assignment” tool, instructors can collect assignments created or saved on Colgate Google Drive accounts via Moodle. Students can upload any file type saved on their Colgate Google Drive.
Digitally Facilitate Exams, Quizzes, or Tests
Moodle has a fairly capable online assessment feature that allows instructors to author multiple choice and open-ended questions fairly easily. It also allows support for both matching and fill-in the blank question types. The options available within Test/ quizzes allow you to control when each quiz is available and what is released to students. You can also analyze how students perform by question and see general information about a student's performance on the assessment (time to complete, etc.).
Receive Assistance with Course Materials and Technology Hardware
ITS staff will provide direct support for content creation using the Lightboard in the Case 100 Burke Video studio. Additional basic content support stations have been erected in the Case 100 Burke Audio Studio and Case 441. All requests for content creation support and facility use may be scheduled through the ITS Service Desk.
Requests to have media digitized are made through the Library. ITS will provide digitization services upon request. Media will be uploaded to Ensemble and a link provided. Assistance linking your Ensemble media with your Moodle course is available.
Those employees with hardware that can easily be transported away from campus, such as laptops, should use these resources to continue their work remotely.
For faculty who do not normally have such equipment issued to them, ITS has increased its supply and number of items offered for loan at the ITS Service Desk. Browse available resources or contact the Service Desk 315-228-7111 to set up an appointment to discuss options.
When faculty are working remotely, any and all equipment and materials must be stored in safe and secure locations.
Access On-campus Software and Files
Colgate's GlobalProtect VPN allows students to access software, files, and computers on campus from their computers at home. For access to some campus resources and software, a VPN connection will be required.
The GlobalProtect VPN is a stand-alone program that can be downloaded and installed:
Colgate has licenses available for a variety of software packages that faculty may install on their Colgate-issued computers.
Most licensed software that can be installed on University owned machines is either pre-installed or can be found in the Software Center (found in the Start menu of Windows computers)
For reference, there are a number of software packages available to students.
Typically, some advanced software packages are available for faculty members and students to use in campus computer labs. In order to facilitate remote access to such software, the AWS Appstream 2.0 service has been established.
This is a streaming service allowing faculty members and students to remotely login to a computer with all regular computer lab software installed. Software available through this service includes:
- Adobe Creative Cloud
- Microsoft Office.
Direct access to Google Drive is available, allowing faculty members and students to save and share their work for access elsewhere.
Mac OS X software is not available at this time.
Note that after 15 minutes of inactivity, the session will be interrupted, but can be reconnected without data loss for up to 45 minutes. After a total of 60 minutes of inactivity, the session will be lost, as well as any unsaved data.
While connected to the GlobalProtect VPN service, faculty and students may have the ability to use remote desktop to connect to campus machines.
Note that this needs to be set up and tested while on campus. Please contact ITS Research Computing at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional help setting this up.
Use Moodle in the New Remote Context
Moodle has not changed and remains the recommended way for faculty to share course-related resources with students.
Perform General Office Management Tasks
You can forward your line to your home phone or mobile number. Follow our call forwarding instructions, or contact ITS if you are not able to physically visit your desk phone to turn on/off call forwarding.
With the assistance of ITS, you may set up Cisco Jabber software on your Mac or Windows computer. This will allow your computer to function just like your regular in-office desktop phone. Please contact the ITS Service desk for information about installing this option.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Use Zoom, phone, or a teleconference to host interactive online office-hours.
Within the framework of remote instruction, you are expected to maintain regular instructional communication with your students.
Not all classrooms will have this technology. You should rely on your own computer or work with ITS.
Be specific with students about how you intend to measure participation, or eliminate that part of the grade. Be as flexible and clear with your students as possible. Please resolve issues or hurdles in a manner most advantageous to your students.
We recommend that you either teach via Zoom at the same time as your class, or be prepared to upload your content so that students may view it any time and from any location.
- Don’t assume students are on email all the time—or at all. Explicitly establish a shared expectation about when and where students should check for announcements or other communications.
- Use Moodle Announcements to communicate with the whole class so that important messages don’t get lost among other emails.
You may use Zoom for synchronous teaching, or Anthem to record for asynchronous content. If you will be expecting all students in your course to be available at a set time and day, you should use the assigned days and times assigned to your face-to-face course.
We advise that you find an option that works for all your students. Avoid creating a situation in which some, but not all, students can participate.
No. Continue to lecture for about 90 minutes (via Zoom or by prerecording the lecture on Anthem). Then put the students in small virtual groups or into Zoom chat or active learning.
If university operations are suspended instructors may not require students to finish labs or complete projects in person. All projects should be designed so they can be completed and submitted remotely.
Instructors may not require students to come to campus to complete or submit materials. All coursework must be submitted online or electronically.
Instructors may not require students to come to campus if university operations are suspended. If previously assigned coursework requires use of Colgate facilities, instructors should provide students with an alternative or waive that assignment (or the relevant portion of the assignment).
Zoom is easy for groups or teams to use. They can meet and discuss in real time, from wherever they are.
Faculty can use Zoom for student submissions (performance) or individual lessons, as possible.
If a student in your class is ill and unable to complete their assignments by the deadline, please accommodate the student so that they can recover and complete their assignment when they are able. This may require that you extend deadlines or even adjust the nature of the assignments due to the extent and duration of illness. No doctor’s note is needed.
Be as flexible and clear with your students as possible. Please resolve issues or hurdles in a manner most advantageous to your students.
If your Internet connection is weak or intermittent, there is not much you can do but there may be some useful adaptations.
- Make sure that you shut down all unnecessary applications and close all unnecessary browser tabs. It is also a good idea to restart your computer before joining a class in Zoom.
- If possible, try to connect with ethernet rather than wifi. Ethernet connections are often faster and more reliable.
- If you are sharing your Internet with others, try to arrange to have them limit their use during your class meetings if possible.
- Zoom is also accessible on mobile devices, so if your Internet is not strong, you can connect on your phone.
If you are not able to connect reliably, communicate with the course teaching staff to arrange an alternative way to complete the course work.