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Teaching and Learning Committee - Online Teaching Toolkit

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Adapting a session to an online environment will take longer than preparing for an in-person session, whether it's a new or repeat class. Keep this in mind when communicating with instructors, and be honest about the work this entails to avoid overloading yourself. In lieu of formal instruction, small group consultations, digital handshakes and tutorial videos can be as effective as a synchronous remote session. See Synchronous & Asynchronous Teaching for additional information.

Questions to Ask

Asking questions about the proposed class session is the first step to creating an enriching online learning experience. In addition to the typical questions about the purpose of the session and learning outcomes, consider how the online format affects the session. 

General questions

  • What skills or information do you want students to take away? 
  • What is the purpose of the class? Is there an assignment or project the session is supporting? 
    • If the session is not supporting an immediate need it may be a good opportunity to design a lesson around lesser-covered information literacy topics such as the scholarly conversation, lines of inquiry, or information creation processes.  The ACRL Information Literacy Sandbox is a good place to look at unique lesson plans.
  • How far will students have progressed through the assignment when they receive Library support? 
  • What related assignments and projects have the students done already? 

Class information

  • Does your class typically meeting synchronously, asynchronously, or hybrid? 
  • If synchronous: ​
    • What is the class size? 
    • What date and time do you meet?
    • What platform do you use to meet?  
    • What features do you use in course sessions that the students are familiar with? (i.e., would they be comfortable with breakout rooms, polls, etc.) 
  • If asynchronous:
    • What is the class size? 
    • Do you regularly use any technology other than Canvas for student interaction (Perusal, PollEverywhere, etc).  
    • What specific kind of support are you looking for? (i.e., Canvas embed, LibGuides, video tutorials)
    • Canvas Embed - What days/weeks would you like me to be interacting with your students?  Would you like me to provide assignment feedback? Will I interact with students in any other platforms? Will there be discussion? Offer a regular time to check course materials and communicate that time to both the instructor and students.
    • LibGuides, Videos, or Tutorials - Would an existing guide work or will you need to create a new one?  Would the instructor consider offering completion-credit for a low-stakes survey or quiz? You may want to forward the information for how to embed  research guides and videos in canvas.  LibWizard allows easy creation of surveys and quizzes.
  • If hybrid
    • How many students will attend in person and how many online?
    • Will you be in the classroom or online?  Would you prefer that I be in the classroom or online?
    • The library classroom is using [Insert classroom tech] technology.  Would you prefer to meet there or in your classroom?  What technology does your classroom have to support hybrid learning?
    • Will the professor serve as a chat-monitor or should you ask another librarian for support?  Can all students be asked to log into zoom to participate equally in chat?  If not, can the zoom students and chat be projected somewhere in the classroom?
    • How can you distribute class materials so that they will be accessible to online and in-person students?