Remote Teaching in a Hurry

Free Webinar on Remote Teaching

Resources for Remote Teaching for Community Colleges

Dr. Vickie S. Cook, Executive Director of Online Professional & Engaged Learning and Research Professor, University of Illinois Springfield provided resources and tips for instructors transitioning into remote teaching.  View the recorded webinar.


Interviews with UIS Experts

Best Practices in Emergency Response through Online Learning

Best practices in emergency response to the COVID-19 outbreak through online learning from UIS Associate Vice Chancellor for Online Learning, Ray Schroeder. Ray responds based on 25 years in the field and having played an instrumental role in the 2005 Sloan Semester emergency response to Hurricane Katrina.

Advice for Faculty Members Moving Online

Advice for faculty members who have to quickly transition their courses to an online or remote instructional format

Free Teaching Technology Resources

General Resources

Free and Discounted Educational Tools during the Crisis from Campus Technology

Moving to Digital Learning Fast – Where to Start from Campus Technology

UPCEA Remote Teaching and Learning Resources, Curated by Julie Uranis

Free LMS Options

Google Classroom

Blackboard Course Sites

Canvas — Free for Teachers

Video Lectures

Screencast by Techsmith

YouTube to publish videos

Document Creation and Sharing

Microsoft Office 365

Google Suite — Docs

Synchronous Web Conferencing


Google Hangouts Chat

Zoom web conferences

Communication Tools

Google Groups listserv

Remind — allows students to subscribe to updates on email or text

Administration Guide

Communicate to Faculty, Staff, and Students

The top priority in any major change, as we all know, is communicating to constituents. Keep everyone informed of developments. Multiple email updates can become overwhelming. People may miss messages. Create a website that contains all updates and developing information regarding the changes.

Create Resource Guides

Curate a list of recommended or available resources for your faculty. Having recommended tools will help your faculty move their courses more quickly. If faculty are using the same tools, it provides consistency for students and make student support much simpler.

Identify Faculty as Remote Teaching Champions

Contact faculty who are skilled in using technology or with previous experience teaching online. Ask them to serve as a resource for colleagues as they move to teaching remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to provide letters to HR and academic administration to recognize their service.

Resources to Share

Faculty Guide

In the event that you are required to temporarily teach your class remotely due to a campus closure, the following process may be of help.

Step 1: Quickly communicate with your students

Contact them through email, or a learning management system (LMS), if you have one. If you don’t have an LMS, consider creating a course site using one of these free options: Google Classroom, Blackboard CourseSites, or Canvas.

Inform your students of the change of plans and that you will provide them with more details soon.  Let them know how you intend to communicate with them, how they should communicate with you, and how quickly they should get a response from you.

The Quality Matters Emergency Remote Instruction Checklist provides a list of additional considerations as you move from an on-ground course to a course delivered in an alternative format. The ION Quality Online Course Checklist has been abbreviated

Step 2: Review your course schedule and syllabus

By reflecting on your original course schedule, you can begin to identify your priorities in teaching remotely.

  • Can your syllabus continue as planned by using technologies to deliver your lessons and facilitate activities in real-time?
  • What lessons and activities, if any, need to be shifted to adjust to a short-term closure?
  • What will you do if the closure is longer than anticipated?
  • Do you need to adjust any due dates or other policies in your syllabus?

Discipline-Specific Online Content Resources

As the UIS discovers discipline-specific online content resources that may be useful, we will add them to our Online Teaching & Technology blog post on Discipline-Specific Resources for Teaching Remotely.

Step 3: Decide how you would like to deliver content to your students

You should decide whether you want to move forward in a synchronous or asynchronous manner with your students.

By teaching synchronously, you can continue the sense of community that you developed with your students in the classroom.  However, some students connecting remotely may not have the technological capabilities,  connectivity speeds, or home environment that will allow them to collaborate in real-time.  Many web conferencing tools provide telephone numbers to call to connect with a session.

By teaching asynchronously, your students will be able to access the content on their own time and at their own pace.  However, your students will not have the opportunity to ask questions in real-time.

Content Delivery Options Available Technologies Where to Find Help
Synchronously Zoom or Google Hangouts Synchronous tools like Zoom or Google Hangouts can be useful for meeting students in real-time or holding virtual office hours and extra-help sessions with your students.

Best practices for organizing a synchronous virtual class session is available on the UIS COLRS Online Teaching & Technology Blog.

Asynchronously via video YouTube and Screencast You can use Screencast to pre-record video content for your students.  Once the video is created and hosted on YouTube for students to access
Asynchronously using an annotated Word document or PowerPoint file Office 365 or Google Docs You can create, annotate, and share documents and presentations using Office 365 or Google Docs. You can share the links to the files with your students via e-mail.

Step 4: Identify additional technologies that will support your instructional goals

UIS has many technologies that can help facilitate various course activities virtually. In addition, there is a growing, curated list of free (or nearly free) tech products that can be used to teach remotely.

Instructional Activity Available Technologies Where to Find Help
Facilitating discussions Any open LMS listed in the free teaching technology section You can use the Discussion Board to create online discussions with your students.  You should clearly articulate with your students your expectations for engagement, including the number of postings and the frequency of postings.

Engaging discussions benefit from having well-written discussion prompts that evoke meaningful responses.  For ideas on creating discussion prompts, see the resources provided by the University of Wisconsin OshKosh and CUNY.

Examples of discussion board grading rubrics are available on the UIS Online Teaching & Technology blog.

Collecting assignments and providing feedback Any open LMS listed in the free teaching technology section You can use the submission tools collect assignment files from your students.  Feedback can also be provided to students on the collected assignments through the the grade center on these tools.
Administering exams remotely Any open LMS listed in the free teaching technology section Each of the free LMS tools have testing options.

Google Classroom Quiz Assignment

Canvas Quiz

Blackboard Test

Accommodating students with special needs Your local disability services office If you have a student who has a documented disability with the your school’s disability services office. Please consider their unique learning needs as you adapt to a virtual classroom.  Even if you do not have a student who has a documented disability in your course, a virtual classroom environment may create learning challenges for students who may not have those challenges in a face-to-face environment.  As an extra resource, UIS COLRS has accessibility resources and a searchable accessibility blog that provides guidance on improving the accessibility of digital content.

Step 5: Execute and share your plan with your students

As you finalize and execute your plan for teaching your course virtually, share those plans with your students.  Remind them how you intend to communicate with them, how they should communicate with you, and how quickly they should get a response from you. Let them know how you will share content with them.

Step 6: Ask for help when you need it.

If you need additional assistance teaching your course virtually, locate the experts on your campus.