Preparing to Offer Your Course Online

Will you be offering your course online in a future semester or term? Do you need help preparing?  Here is a run down of available resources from instructional technology. Because you are busy, our focus is on providing on-demand help and giving you entry points to get you started in the knowledge domain of online pedagogy.

As experts in your own knowledge domain, you understand what it takes to develop expertise in new areas, so we are giving you the scaffolding and threshold concepts that will jump start your understanding of the theory and practice of online teaching and learning.

  • Top 5 questions to ask as you are making decisions about setting up your course for summer, along with a menu of answers 
  • Generic Online Course Syllabus Template: You can use this template or just copy out useful policy statements (e.g., substantive interaction to take the place of attendance) and descriptions of academic support services for online courses.
  • Community Wisdom: COVID-19 remote instruction workplace group–share your tips and questions and hear from other faculty teaching remotely as you draw on the collective wisdom of our community
  • Just in Time Support Are you stuck?  Send an email to support@stedwards.edu.
  • On Demand Technology Help: Search our knowledge base at support.stedwards.edu
  • Instructional Design Consultation: Want to meet with an instructional designer with expertise in online teaching and learning to optimize your course?  One hour of work with an instructional designer could save you hours of development time later.  When you begin working on your course reach out to us by emailing support@stedwards.edu and using the phrase “instructional design” in your email. To ensure instructional designer availability, please sign up by May 1 for summer courses.  After that date, help will be provided as available.  For example, instructional designers can help with:
    • Translating face-to-face learning activities to online versions
    • Setting up assignments and gradebook in Canvas
    • Creating and sharing video lectures
  • Self-paced training: Have a little more time (2-4 hours)?  Instructional Technology has two self-paced courses in Canvas that give you a deeper dive into online course design and best practices for teaching online and model Canvas course shell design.  A little time here can save you a lot of frustration at a later date.  Each course takes 1- 2 hours to go through; then go back later to access the linked resources, as needed.  Request access by emailing support@stedwards.edu.
    • Building Online Courses — proven strategies for online learning activities and assessments, student engagement, and course set up in Canvas
    • Teaching Online — proven strategies for getting and keeping students engaged and on track and managing grading and other workload
  • Sample Canvas course shell — no need to stare at a blank course–this design gives you a head start on building your course the way you want. Request access by emailing support@stedwards.edu.
  • Course Design Review Standards: A rubric of proven, research-based practices for online course design. This link goes to the first page of the standards broken down by category, with annotations, but you can also download a pdf of all standards. (Advanced knowledge)

Top 5 Questions for Moving Your Course Online

Are you moving a traditional face-to-face course online? This page will lead you through the top 5 questions to think through for a successful transition. You will receive our best recommendations for building your online course based on your responses. Just click on your answer(s) to each question below to see recommendations; you may have more than one answer to each question.

Please contact Instructional Technology at support@stedwards.edu if you would like to learn more about these options.

1. Content Delivery: How will you deliver lectures and other content you would typically cover in class?

For required synchronous live sessions, we recommend Zoom.

  • Use a Pro Zoom account for conducting class sessions. Contact support@stedwards.edu to request one.
  • Meet at your scheduled class time, as if you were meeting on campus, to avoid creating conflicts with other classes.
  • Reference this article for tips on scheduling Zoom meetings to conduct class or office hours.

For optional synchronous live sessions, we recommend Zoom.

  • Use a Pro Zoom account for conducting class sessions. Contact support@stedwards.edu to request one.
  • Meet at your scheduled class time to avoid creating conflicts with other classes.
  • To give credit for those who cannot attend a live session, record the session, post the link in Canvas, and have students post a summary of what was covered.
  • Reference this article for tips on scheduling Zoom meetings to conduct class or office hours.

For pre-recorded lectures, we recommend Panopto.

  • Review this article to get started using Panopto to record lectures.
  • Consider chunking your recorded lectures into short segments of no more than 10 minutes. 

When locating existing resources, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Check for accessibility: videos should have captions, text should be formatted with headings, images should include concise descriptive text.
  • Link to videos in Canvas rather than downloading/uploading the video file.

Have other ideas on how to deliver lectures and other course content? Great! Contact support@stedwards.edu if you would like to consult with Instructional Technology staff about how to implement them.

 

2. Interaction: How will your students interact with each other?

Suggestions for facilitating student interaction during synchronous live sessions in Zoom:

Suggestions for setting up discussion boards in Canvas to promote student engagement:

  • Enable the setting that requires students to post before viewing other students' posts.
  • Require that each student respond to at least 1 or 2 other students' posts.
  • Model quality discussion posts by participating in your discussion boards.

Suggestions for facilitating group assignments:

  • Have students use GSuite tools like Google Drive, Docs, Slides, and Meet.
  • Have students record virtual meetings.
  • Assign a peer evaluation to assess group member participation.

For social annotation, we recommend Hypothesis or Zoom.

  • Review our support article for information on setting up Hypothesis for social annotation in Canvas.
  • Review this support article for information on using Zoom annotation tools.

This support article reviews the steps for setting up and using a Google chat room.

Have other ideas on how to have students interact online? Great! Contact support@stedwards.edu if you would like to consult with Instructional Technology staff about how to implement them.

 

3. Student Assessment: What types of graded assignments will students need to complete?

Papers, projects and other work typically done on paper can all be submitted online through Canvas. Review best practices for creating Canvas Assignments.

Quizzes and exams can be set up in Canvas:

  • Review your options for creating quizzes in Canvas.
  • You can create many different question types; some types, such as multiple choice, true-false and matching are auto-graded, while short answer and essay questions are graded using SpeedGrader.

Discussion boards can promote student interaction and engagement:

  • Review the steps to create a discussion in Canvas.
  • Discussions can be graded or ungraded. For graded discussions, consider using a rubric to clearly explain your expectations for each post.
  • Consider requiring that students respond to one or more of their peers to encourage more interaction.

Digital media projects such as videos and websites can enhance the learning experience for students and/or provide engaging alternatives to papers and exams. You can request a consultation on developing digital media projects by contacting support@stedwards.edu.

Have other ideas on how to assess your students? Great! Contact support@stedwards.edu if you would like to consult with Instructional Technology staff about how to implement them.

 

4. Student Presentations: How will students conduct presentations they would typically deliver in class?

For live student presentations, we recommend Zoom:

  • Be sure to enable screen sharing so students can present their slides. 
  • Recording the session will allow you to go back and review the presentations later for assessment.

For recorded individual student presentations, we recommend Panopto:

For live group presentations, we recommend Zoom:

  • Be sure to enable screen sharing so students can present their slides. 
  • Recording the session will allow you to go back and review the presentations later for assessment.

For recorded group student presentations, we recommend a combination of Panopto and Zoom:

If your class does not require student presentation, move on to Question 5.

 

5. Technology Requirements: Will your course require any specialized technology?

Great! All St. Edward’s University students have access to Microsoft Office and GSuite applications for free with their student credentials.

Refer to our list of available academic tools to see if St. Edward’s provides access to the software you need. Contact support@stedwards.edu to verify whether students have access to required software off-campus.

TurnItIn is a tool you can use to identify unoriginal content in student submissions. Refer to our support article to learn more about Turnitin, best practices for using it, and how to set up an assignment with it in Canvas.

Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor provide options for remote exam proctoring. 

  • Review the steps for proctoring an online exam with Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor.
  • Respondus Monitor has specific hardware requirements that may pose a challenge for your students (they must have macOS, Windows PC or iPad with a webcam, microphone and stable internet; not compatible with Chromebooks or smartphones). Communicate these needs early to make sure all students have what they need.
  • Consider alternative forms of assessment that can promote academic integrity and provide your students more flexibility.

If your class will require students to have this technology (for videoconferencing, recording, or remote proctoring, for example) inform students early on and verify that all students have access.

If your class requires additional specialized hardware and/or software, inform students early on and verify that all students have access.

 

6. What’s next?

This page is intended to jump start your efforts to develop your online course, but there is much more to learn.  To review resources for developing your expertise in online pedagogy visit our page on Preparing to Offer Your Course Online, which includes a full list of available development options.

Faculty Learning Community: February & March Sessions

Join Instructional Technology and the Center for Teaching Excellence for our February faculty development events. These sessions will mostly be delivered virtually using Zoom and each one is geared specifically towards teaching online. Sessions will be 30 minutes or less and, whether you are teaching online or just want to know more, these practical sessions will help you expand your pedagogical toolbox without setting foot on campus!

Telling the Story of Your Course in the Online Classroom, Rebecca Davis
Tuesday, February 11, 3:30 – 4 pm in Zoom

Framing and contextualizing learning is an important element in any course to keep students oriented and engaged. In a traditional course, this might be the time spent at the beginning of a class or week. In an online course, that same process of “setting the scene” needs to be explicitly stated through the course introduction video, overviews for weeks or units, and weekly announcements. In this session, we’ll look at how you can build the story of your course and touch on this narrative over and over again. Participants will leave with a sense of their course’s story and how to tell it in the course shell.

Transparent Assignment Design,
Rebecca Davis
Friday, February 14, 12:30 -1 pm in Zoom

Data shows that transparency in teaching can positively affect student success by fostering academic confidence, a sense of belonging, and mastery of skills. What does transparency in teaching look like? In this session, we’ll review transparent assignment models, try out templates for transparent assignment design, and provide you with simple strategies to make assignments clearer in terms of directions, purpose, and outcomes.

How to Calculate Course Workload using the Rice Course Workload Estimator, Rebecca Davis
Friday, February 21, 12:30 -1 pm in Zoom

How much time are students working on assignments for your class? In this session, we’ll take a closer look at time. The Rice Course Workload Estimator is a tool to help instructors quantify and compare student workloads across their course. We’ll try it out, discuss pros, cons, and caveats, and discuss other ways of estimating course workload when planning online courses or documenting course rigor for accreditation bodies.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Friday, February 28, 12:30 – 1:30 pm in Holy Cross Hall 101

Join the Center for Teaching Excellence and Instructional Technology for a hands-on workshop on Universal Design for Learning.

RSVP

Interested in reconsidering your content?  Want to craft assignments for different modalities? Curious about intentional community building? Join us for this workshop on Universal Design for Learning where we’ll discuss general principles of the framework and then have time for application to your own courses. The goal with this lunch session is to provide you with resources to implement changes, both immediately and long-term, into your courses.

We recommend that you watch this video in advance of the session:

Using Hypothesis for Social Annotation in Canvas
Rebecca Davis

Friday, March 6, 12:30 – 1 pm in Zoom
Social annotation helps students better engage in digital texts through shared highlighting and comments. For online classes, this interaction can take the place of shared reading of texts in the face-to-face classroom and can be especially helpful when students are approaching new kinds of texts like academic articles. This session will demonstrate the Hypothesis plug-in for Canvas and examples for using social annotation in online classes.

Getting Started with Accessibility in Online Classes
David Cuevas and Brenda Adrian
Tuesday, March 10, 3:30 – 4 pm in Zoom
Accessibility can be an overwhelming topic, but this session will get you started with some practical steps you can take to make your Canvas courses, presentations, and videos more accessible for your students with disabilities. These strategies will also benefit all of your students.

Best Practices for Making Videos
Jessica Vargas, Eric Trimble, Mike Bell
Friday March 27 at 12:30pm  in Zoom
Join us online to learn about evidence-based best practices for creating course videos.  We’ll talk about making instructional videos and recording presentations or mini-lectures.  You’ll learn more about optimum length, legibility, accessibility, scripting, best ways to record, sound & video quality, framing, lighting and captioning.

Designing Assignments with Instructor Workload in Mind – in Zoom
Mike Weston
Tues March 31 at 3:30pm
In this 30 minute session, we’ll take a look at Assignments from the Instructor perspective. Specifically, we’ll look at techniques for grading efficiently, using rubrics and different types of assignments.

Open Educational Resources

Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that are freely available and openly licensed, allowing you and your students to access and use them in your courses for free. OER include textbooks, curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, video, audio, simulations, assessments, and any other content used in education (ELI 2018).

Have you considered incorporating OER into your courses? Use of OER reduces cost for students and ensures all students have access to course materials from day one, thus breaking down barriers to access and affordability. As an instructor, using OER allows you to choose the most current, meaningful content and customize materials to your specific course learning outcomes.

Check out this video for a brief overview of OER and research on their effectiveness:

To get started using OER, we encourage you to visit Educause’s Open Educational Resources page, which provides some key resources for understanding and integrating these resources into your courses as well as links to OER repositories. Prefer to talk to someone in person? Contact an Instructional Technology staff member to set up a consultation.

We also invite you to two events we are hosting on the topic of OER in the coming weeks:

Reference

“7 Things You Should Know About Open Education: Content.” 7 Things You Should Know About Open Education: Content, ELI, June 2018, https://library.educause.edu/resources/2018/6/7-things-you-should-know-about-open-education-content.

Faculty Recognition Gathering 4/30/19 4-6 pm

Please join us for the 2019 Faculty Recognition Gathering to recognize your colleagues’ accomplishments.

Tuesday, April 30
4:00–6:00 pm
Mabee Ballroom

The program will open at 4:00 p.m. with the awards presentation. The ceremony will be immediately followed by a reception with food, wine, other drinks, and the music of St. Edward’s Band.

Those individuals who will be recognized include:

  • the Distinguished Teaching Awards for Full-Time Faculty and Outstanding Teaching Award for Adjunct Faculty recipients and finalist;
  • the Sr. Donna Jurick Distinguished Career Award recipient;
  • the Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction recipient and finalist;
  • the Center for Teaching Excellence Mission-Informed Teaching Champion awards;
  • those who were promoted and/or tenured;
  • the 2019-2020 Innovation Fellows;
  • the 2019 Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grant recipients;
  • those who have piloted new technologies on behalf of the university in the 2018-2019 academic year;
  • the 2019 Presidential Excellence Research Grant recipients;
  • and those who have applied for grants, both external and internal.

This gathering is sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Department of Instructional Technology, the Office of Sponsored Programs, and the Office of Academic Affairs.

What’s New in Campus Technology This Fall

Transitioning from summer to the fall semester can be tough, particularly when there are changes to the technology you use to teach. To help get you on track for a great semester, we wanted to highlight some updates across the Office of Information Technology you need to be aware of.

G Suite Has (Finally) Arrived

Yes, it’s true! All faculty, students and staff have access to these core G Suite applications:

You’ll notice there’s overlap between some of these services and other tools at the university — notably Google Drive and Box. Sometimes, that overlap is perfectly fine; at other times, we may find we can condense our tools into one. We’ll be looking at each area individually.

That said, a note about Google Classroom: Despite its name, Google Classroom is not a full Learning Management System. You are welcome to use it, if you think it’s a fit for your class, but the only supported LMS at St. Edward’s is still Canvas.

For more information — including comparisons of functionality with existing tools — search “Google” at support.stedwards.edu.

A Reminder About Your Password

In the spring, we rolled out a new university Password Policy. As part of this policy, everyone at the university is required to change their password once a year. (For 30 days before your password expires, you’ll get notifications when you log in.)

Want to get ahead of the game? You can find out when your password is set to expire and reset it at any time by logging in to account.stedwards.edu.

Having trouble logging in? Your password may have expired over the summer. We can get you back into your account at (512) 448.8443 or Moody 309.

Introducing myHilltop Mobile

Available for both iOS and Android devices, the new myHilltop mobile app makes getting things done on the go even easier. In the app, you can search myHilltop tasks (mobile-friendly tasks appear by default) and find contact information for campus offices. There’s also a handy link to the campus map and an easy button to get to Canvas.

The app is in active development, so it will continue to grow and evolve. For now, consider it a fast pass to the university’s one-stop shop.

Some Things Never Change

Like us! If you need help starting your semester, ending it or just managing the middle, we’re here to help. Our Instructional Technology staff is a key resource when it comes to your courses, but they’re not the only place you can turn to for assistance.

Help Desk
The first line of defense against technology issues and the router of all things OIT support. 
Moody 309
M-Th: 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
S: 9 a.m.-noon

Instructional Technology Hub
Faculty-focused support in a faculty-centric space.
Holy Cross 101
M-F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Digital Media Center
Lights, camera, action! Digital production education and execution in a high-tech space.
Munday Library 246
M-F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Not on campus? Search support articles or submit a case at support.stedwards.edu or give us a call at 512-448-844. To stay in the know throughout the semester, you can follow us on TwitterFacebook or Instagram, where we post updates and events.