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 when the Coronavirus pandemic necessitated the (temporary) turn to online teaching. For information specifically about Digital Humanities (DH) pedagogy, please visit the DH Pedagogy page.
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