Some things your students might want to know for online learning

Mar 24, 2020

  • Where is the course content: readings/ lectures/ images/ videos/ sound recordings?
  • How will you be participating in the course: synchronous (real-time) communications or asynchronous discussion boards; quizzes; uploading responses, papers, audio, or video files?
  • What synchronous communication platform will your course be using (Zoom, something else)?
  • At what times will assignments be due and how do you submit them?
  • How will you be communicating critical information?
  • Will you be hosting virtual office hours?
  • Who else is in the class and how can you be in touch with them?

We are all working through these disorienting times and doing our best. Another wise approach to beginning the quarter comes from a faculty member at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill:


  1. Nobody signed up for this.
    • Not for the sickness, not for the social distancing, not for the sudden end of our collective lives together on campus
    • Not for an online class, not for teaching remotely, not for learning from home, not for mastering new technologies, not for varied access to learning materials
  2. The humane option is the best option.
    • We are going to prioritize supporting each other as humans
    • We are going to prioritize simple solutions that make sense for the most
    • We are going to prioritize sharing resources and communicating clearly
  3. We cannot just do the same thing online.
    • Some assignments are no longer possible
    • Some expectations are no longer reasonable
    • Some objectives are no longer valuable
  4. We will foster intellectual nourishment, social connection, and personal accommodation.
    • Accessible asynchronous content for diverse access, time zones, and contexts
    • Optional synchronous discussion to learn together and combat isolation
  5. We will remain flexible and adjust to the situation.
    • Nobody knows where this is going and what we’ll need to adapt
    • Everybody needs support and understanding in this unprecedented moment

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