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Getting Started with Remote Teaching

If you have not yet done so, please review the following UMass resources:  

Then take a deep breath and develop an initial plan. The plan doesn’t have to encompass the entirely of the rest of the term – just the next few weeks. Then communicate that plan to your students asap. Your students are looking to you to provide guidance and connection in a time of rapid change. The most important thing right now is that you be present for your students.  Not only should they know how to reach you, but you should develop a strategy to engage and reach out directly to them. The Center for Teaching and Learning has excellent strategies for student communication.

Can I still meet with my students?

Yes, you can! Use Zoom to hold virtual office hours or set times to meet individually online in real-time with students and/or with smaller groups. You can use your existing office hour schedule or can use a tool such as Doodle to help identify good meeting times. If you are new to Zoom visit the ITS resource pages on meeting with your class in Zoom and  using Zoom with Moodle


IMPORTANT: Be sure to review the recommendations from IT on “Zoom Bombing” Disruptions & How To Secure Your Video Conferencing Session and How to Secure Your Online Spaces


What about labs?

There are many virtual labs available but it may take some time to determine which ones fit your course outcomes. Visit this page for strategies and resources for offering labs online. Please reach out to Karen and April to discuss ideas and strategies that will work for your individual course.


IMPORTANT: All faculty directing research who believe that any continued on-site research is critical should provide a Laboratory Research Continuity Plan for prompt review.


Best Practices

Expanding resilience  - Resources on resilience for CNS Faculty. 

How do I conduct my class at a distance? Big picture questions to help with decisions about course design and technology.

What about changing assignments? How to assess your existing assignments and explore modification options and alternatives.

Online quizzes and exams - How to offer exams online and suggestions for maintaining academic integrity in the submission of online work. 

How do I set clear expectations? Setting expectations for online submission of work and helping students stay on track.

How do I maintain a supportive and resilient classroom? Techniques for building a supportive, positive remote learning environment.


IMPORTANT: Faculty are encouraged to visit the CNS Faculty Page-Remote Learning Assistance course in Moodle for up-to-date information on upcoming virtual help sessions and for additional links and resources. 


Assistance with Remote Teaching

The Center for Teaching and Learning is offering both drop-in Zoom consultations and individual scheduled teaching consultations to faculty. 

The Instructional Design, Engagement and Support (IDEAS) group is also available for assistance with teaching in Moodle or Blackboard, the use of Zoom video conferencing, Echo360 lecture capture or other UMass supported instructional tools. If you need support, do not hesitate to reach out to: instruct@umass.edu. They are available for consults and have daily webinars. If you need assistance with moving the remaining weeks of your course into Moodle or Blackboard for online instruction as well as other training and support, please take advantage of their daily Zoom drop-in sessions.    


Recommended Resources

There are many sites out there now that provide resources and ideas. Below are a few that we have found most helpful: