Keep Teaching

During Campus Service Interruptions


Classroom Lectures

If your in-class sessions consist primarily of lectures, think about ways to present your information online. Hearing your explanation of the course content will help students maintain that connection with you.

Simply recording yourself lecturing for hours and moving it online is not ideal. Long videos are time-consuming for you to create. Instead, focus on what key information your students need you to review to meet the upcoming student learning outcomes. Then, create a brief (no more than 10 minutes) media clip—i.e., video, audio, narrated slides—and post that online. One classroom lecture may need multiple videos to help students learn the content.

Think about using a variety of ways to present your course content:

  • Videos of you, 10 minutes or less, are a great approach to an abbreviated lecture. If you use lecture notes to create your video, upload your notes and place them near the video for students who want to review the text version.
  • If you don’t want to be seen, just heard, create an audio file of yourself speaking directly to your students. If you use notes, upload your notes and place them near the audio file for students who want to review the text version.
  • If you were planning to use a presentation in class, such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides, consider recording narration as you give your presentation or record a screen capture to provide step-by-step instructions on a topic.
  • The UNCG library has several media resources for you to use to supplement your course content.

Need a bit more? Check out these how-to videos for creating audio and creating video at home.

Classroom Discussion

Students still need to discuss the course content with you and their peers to help them learn. Decide early on if students need to discuss the course content synchronously, asynchronously, or a combination of both. UNCG provides the tools for both synchronous and asynchronous conversations. Each approach has its own opportunities and challenges.

Synchronous conversations

Technology: Zoom, Microsoft Teams
Synchronous means that students meet online in real time, instead of the classroom, during their assigned in-class time. Students can ask immediate questions and hear from their classmates. These conversations work well for small groups, but can become chaotic for large groups. Conduct synchronous meeting times at the same time as your campus class, since that time should already be available to your students. Facilitating synchronous conversations takes some preparation in advance and confidence with the technology. Set up your video conferencing space. Plan to spend the beginning of your first session teaching the students how to use the interface. When possible, consider recording your synchronous meetings in the event students are unable to attend.

Asynchronous conversations

Technology: Canvas Discussions, comments on Google documents, Canvas Studio, Canvas Collaborations
Asynchronous means that students access a forum, document or media clip over a period of time, and leave text or media clips in response to a question or prompt created by the instructor. Conversations over a period of time are easier to manage than synchronous conversations, but require faculty members to review all posts and replies to know what’s being said by everyone.

Instructors create an asynchronous discussion with a prompt or questions for students to answer. To make it a conversation, you want students to post their answer and then reply to the posts of other students. To do this, ask students to post their answers by an earlier date in the week and reply a certain number of times by a later date, typically later in the week.

Group Work Time

If your students are used to working in groups during class time, you can direct them to a specific online meeting technology such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams to continue their work. Students can invite you to group meets so that you can monitor their discussions.

Student Presentations

If students need to give a presentation in your course, you have a number of approaches to use. Online meeting spaces like Zoom and Microsoft Teams allow students to present in real time to their classmates. Plan to give students extra time to explore these tools and learn how to present using them before the scheduled presentation.

If you want students to record a video of themselves giving a presentation, remember that everyone with an account has their own YouTube channel. Students can log into their email and quickly upload their video to YouTube. Students can also use Canvas Studio to record either themselves or their computer screens while in Canvas.

Whatever method you recommend to your students, be sure to give them specific directions from start to finish. Consider creating your own screencast video to demonstrate the steps.


Canvas allows students to submit assignments in a variety of formats: online text, documents, links to websites or Google documents, media files, images, etc. Keep in mind that some students may not have access to a computer to complete their work. Assignment submissions should require only common software for course work. Remember that students may not be able to access our campus computer labs to use specific software.

Avoid allowing students to email you attachments to submit assignments. Large numbers of students emailing you attachments can overwhelm your inbox and make it difficult to manage.

Quizzes and Exams

Assessments can be administered via Canvas using the Quiz feature. Canvas quizzes require students to review text, look at images, watch videos or listen to audio files, depending on how the instructor sets up the quiz. Quizzes can be set to be available only during specific dates and times so that students are taking the quiz during your assigned in-class meeting time if you wish.

Address academic integrity concerns with online quizzing by using the following approaches:

  • Consider using question banks and randomize questions so that students are asked different questions.
  • Shuffle questions during the quiz so that students see the questions in a different order.
  • Consider using Respondus LockDown browser to prevent students from copying, printing, visiting another website, or opening other applications during the quiz.
  • Delay feedback from quiz submissions to ensure that all students have completed the quiz before seeing the correct answers.
  • Limit the number of attempts to a quiz. Use the timer functionality to minimize the time the student has to look up the possible answers. Set the quiz to display one question at a time.

Final Assessments

When moving to remote instruction, you may need to modify your final assessments, especially multiple-choice exams. These are some key considerations as you ensure instructional continuity.

  • Evaluate and Re-evaluate Learning Objectives. Identify and review the core skills and concepts in your course and design your remaining assignments and interactions around these. Next, think through how students will demonstrate their mastery of learning objectives during remote instruction.
  • Consider Equivalent Alternatives. Explore equivalent options for assignments that provide flexibility and creativity for yourself and your students. Can the mode of assessment be updated to better reflect the shift in instruction? Can students demonstrate mastery through lower stakes assignments that will mitigate student stress and grader burden? Here are some final assessment ideas to get you started.
  • Mitigate Student Anxiety. In times of crisis, your students may feel concerned about their ability to complete their final assessments successfully. To manage student anxiety, be sure to keep lines of communication open and be flexible with due dates, submission types, and deliverables. Direct students to resources. Look at the situation from their perspective.
  • Use Rubrics to Manage Expectations. Develop clear rubrics for any non-traditional assessment tools. Rubrics should include the components being assessed, percentage weighting of each component, and descriptions of A-work, B-work, C-work, etc. for each component. Share rubrics with students before they begin the exam. When students know the target they are supposed to hit, they do a lot better at hitting it. Besides, having a clear rubric will make an assessment of the work a lot more accurate and efficient for the instructor.
  • Design with Academic Integrity in Mind. Create assignments that are specific to the course and your unique students. Break up large assignments into component parts to take the pressure off any single assignment. Let students practice the most important concepts/tasks and show them how to be successful. Make sure the students know you’re actively reviewing their work throughout the course. For more specific tips, read these Academic Integrity Guidelines.
  • Check for Accessibility. As you transition your assessments online and require students to submit their work in certain formats, check materials for accessibility to ensure all students can participate. Consult for help.
  • Review Final Exam Policies. Help students avoid conflicting exams by scheduling exams to occur during the designated time for your class in the Final Exam Schedules, coordinated by the University Registrar’s Office. For more details about when to schedule tests around the exam period, view the Final Exam Policy.

Lab Activities

The biggest challenge during moments of academic disruption is finding interactive ways to meet the learning outcomes during the lab portions of an on-campus class. Labs require specific equipment that our students don’t have at home. Please work with your department to discuss possible strategies for this important instructional time.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Think about what part of the lab you can recreate online. What are the non-physical practice portions of your lab experience that students can do at home, such as pre- and post-lab work? Save the physical practice portions for when lab access is restored.
  • Create video recordings of the physical aspects of the lab experience, and ask students to explain what is happening as an assignment.
  • Engage with students through Canvas Studio by integrating video and audio with comments and insights that allow all to delve deeper into the learning experience.
  • Use online resources such as Merlot, Khan Academy, textbook publisher resources or resources from professional academic organizations to provide content for online lab activities.
  • Provide students with data for analysis. If students can’t come to the lab to generate their own data, provide access to data for analysis to practice specific course concepts, demonstrate their learning, and prepare for future in-class lab sessions.