Lucas Center Blog

Additional Online/Remote Teaching Resources

March 14, 2020  / Bill Reynolds, PhD  / Tags: inclusion, learning, equity, teaching, online, remote, resources, covid

At the end of this post I offer some resources to aid your transition to online/remote teaching. To begin, though, I want to share a few words about how we can reduce the stress of this disruption for our students. 

As you make this transition, issues related to equity and inclusive teaching may not be at the forefront of your planning and implementation of remote instruction. To whatever extent possible, though, please try to help all students feel as if they belong in the new educational space you’re creating. Small gestures can be immensely meaningful to students who are feeling vulnerable and unmoored from the secure base the university provides. Ask them where they are, how they are coping, whether they have a consistent internet connection that enables them to maintain their participation in course activities. Offer them an opportunity to speak to you on the phone individually or on a conference call if online options are limited for them, and when you do connect, ask them for suggestions about how you can continue to provide for their learning given the challenges we all face. (You can host up to five people on an iPhone conference call-- An attitude of caring will be tremendously meaningful.

In a depressingly pessimistic op ed in the New York Times the other day, David Brooks wrote about how “Pandemics Kill Compassion, Too.” But they don’t have to. When our students reflect back on this particular moment in their educational journey, my strong suspicion is that they will not remember the video lecture you posted online or anything in particular about your Canvas course. Their affective, emotional experience of this disruption is going to largely shape their ongoing perceptions of it, and how they perceive you treated them will be significant to that overall experience. I would love for our students to look back on this time and be able to say that the prevailing disposition in their interactions with faculty, staff, administrators, and each other during a major public health emergency was compassion. A line in Brooks’ op ed states “You might not like who you’re about to become.” I reject that dark outlook, and I entreat our community to prove Brooks’ prediction wrong.

In addition to the wonderful resources for online/remote teaching provided by our colleagues in Digital Learning (, our more distant colleagues around the country have been assembling information that can be helpful for us in our transition to remote teaching. One organization that is producing quite useful information is the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE). Here is a link to their online teaching toolkit-- Topics include:

  1. Welcome students to the online environment
  2. Manage your online presence
  3. Organize your online course
  4. Plan and facilitating quality discussions
  5. Record effective micro-lectures, and
  6. Engage students in readings and micro-lectures

In addition, a couple of the ACUE videos provide guidance about making and utilizing effective micro-lectures, a topic that is relevant for many of us in all circumstances, but especially now.