Below are resources and tips to help faculty and staff develop online courses and assignments. Many of these resources were gathered during Spring and Summer 2020.
Important Questions/Considerations for Choosing an Online Platform
- Will the meeting/event/seminar be interactive?
- In what way(s) will it be interactive? That is, will it be important to interact in real-time? Should video be enabled for all participants or will an instant messaging application suffice?
- If interactive in real-time, how many participants at once are you expecting?
- What audio-visual elements do you need for the event?
- Sound only?
- Visual presentation only? (such as a PowerPoint, Prezi, or website)
- Sound and visual presentation? (such as a voice-over PowerPoint)
- Sound, visual presentation, and a view of the speaker?
- How long-lasting/ephemeral do you want the presentation to be?
- Single use only?
- Single, interactive event plus a recording that can be viewed later?
- Long-term viewing only?
- Do you want to control or limit who sees the presentation/event?
- Do you only want a particular audience to have access to the presentation/event, or are you interested in sharing the presentation/event with individuals beyond your target audience (and possibly beyond your university)?
- Does the platform need to be freely available for use?
- Is it important for you to use an open-source platform?
- Does your university have a site-wide subscription to any particular services/platforms that you can use for academic purposes free of charge?
- Do you need tech support from your university’s staff and other personnel?
- Would you be able to get by with online/YouTube tutorials, or do you need more hands-on help?
Online Platform: Chart
For a chart showing how various platforms break down along the above questions, please see the PDF below (created by Christian Howard-Sukhil, July 2020).
- Blogs – helps with asynchronous teaching and writing; stimulates informal conversations
- Google Docs – a great platform for collaboration in either synchronous or asynchronous time
- PowerPoint – Microsoft’s signature slide deck, with a voice-over feature
- Presentious – allows you easily record over slide decks; creates automatic transcripts of your recordings for easy searchability
- Slack – an instant messaging platform that allows you to communicate with students easily in synchronous or asynchronous time
- Twitter – a social media site that can help initiate informal conversations beyond the classroom (virtual or otherwise)
- Zoom – a video conferencing tool that allows you to deliver and record virtual lectures
General Tips and Advice
- “Communicating with Your Students during the Coronavirus,” by Rachel Hicks
- “Experience, Not Content, Is King – Especially Online,” by Jim Vanides
- “General Tips on Presenting on Camera,” by UNC Greensboro
- “How to Be a Better Online Teacher,” by Flower Darby
- “Humanizing Online Teaching,” by Mary Raygoza, Raina León, and Aaminah Norris
- “Moving Online Now: How to Keep Teaching during Coronavirus,” by The Chronicle of Higher Education
- “Preparing Teachers and Students for Online Learning,” by MERLOT
- “The Ten Fundamentals of Teaching Online for Faculty and Instructors,” by Tony Bates