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Q: How should I communicate with my students in an online environment?

A: In an online environment, being clear with how and when you wish to communicate with students is extremely important, since they may not have the benefit of seeing you in a physical classroom space. Be sure to include in your syllabus how you would like students to contact you if they have questions, as well as how they should expect to receive communications from you, such as class announcements, changes, etc. There are a variety of methods that work in an online setting. Visit Student Engagement and Collaboration for more specific information.

Q: How should I develop an online lesson plan?

A: As in face-to-face settings, lesson plans are most effective when they are created to meet your course learning objectives. Visit Best Practices for tutorials about designing quality lesson plans and to view samples submitted by other EKU faculty.

Q: Are there any Toolkits available for creating a short-term course?

A: The Noel Studio and FCT&L have a toolkit specifically designing your accelerated courses.  These courses often require different interactions between students, faculty, and the material.  The toolkit can be found here.

Q: What equipment do I need to begin working remotely when necessary?

A: At a basic level, you will need an electricity supply, access to the internet, and a computer or tablet. However, depending on the job you need to perform, there are other recommendations for equipment or connections that may be needed. Please visit IT’s Working Remotely page for more detailed information on this topic and to make equipment requests. We recommend using EKU supplied equipment instead of personal for your classroom. 

Q: What online tools do you recommend for an online classroom?

A: Tools needed in an online classroom will vary depending on how you wish to convey course material. Some tools for interactive lessons and lectures are available through Blackboard, and many others, such as Zoom, are available from outside companies (often at no cost). Refer to the Teaching Tools page for a curated list of online resources to improve your class.

Q: Should I use an Asynchronous or Synchronous class structure?

A: Regularly scheduled class meetings can be valuable to students. A structured meeting time to ask questions and to socialize with both you and the classroom can improve their participation in discussions. Keep in mind, that students may have difficulty connecting to live sessions due to a lack of reliable internet and/or conditions at home. If you do offer live sessions, consider making them optional. Also, remember that requiring students to keep their camera on during synchronous sessions is not recommended, as this practice can present privacy concerns. With the nature of an online environment, technical issues are to be anticipated and workaround prepared. Review the Student Engagement and Collaboration page for more information and helpful tips on this topic.

Q: What strategies can I employ for exams using Open-Note/Open-Book?

A: Open-note/open-book exams are recommended for a number of reasons. In an online learning environment, it is difficult to ensure that students do not consult outside materials while taking an exam. Often this leads to the use of inconvenient and costly proctoring services. Read more about Open-Note/Open-Book Exam Strategies here.

Q: What alternatives are there for proctoring exams online?

A: One of the common questions for faculty making the move to remote learning is how to uphold academic integrity on student assessments. While online proctoring services do exist, such services are often expensive, controversial, and inconvenient for students. Learn more about Alternatives to Exams and Exam Proctoring to Encourage Student Learning.

Q: How do I request a Zoom license?

A: You can request a licensed zoom account by clicking here. Zoom licenses are only required for meetings with three or more participants in sessions longer than 40 minutes. For a full list of differences from the licensed and unlicensed account click here. One-on-One meetings do not require a license.

Q: How do I use Zoom?

A: Zoom is user-friendly for both instructors and students, and has many useful features including screen sharing, breakout rooms, and chat. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, IT has a basic guide on getting started in Zoom perfect for beginners here.

Q: How safe is Zoom?

A: Zoom and other online tools have become a prime target for phishing and hacking scams. To best protect you and your students, please refer to IT’s resources on keeping your online presence secure here.

Q: How do I use Blackboard?

A: Many students are familiar with Blackboard, and find it helpful for interacting with other students, course material, and the instructor. Blackboard is highly recommended for online instruction. For getting started using Blackboard as a new user, refer to this collection of Blackboard tutorials from the IDC, this guide from IT, or sign up for the “PD1 - Introduction to Blackboard” online course. 

Q: What strategies do you recommend for use in a synchronous class?

A: The Noel Studio and FCT&L have prepared a list of curated tips and strategies for use in Zoom/Blackboard for your classes.  Ideas such as polling, office hours, and ways to engage students are some of the best practices outlined.  You can view the Synchronous Learning Toolkit here.

Q: How does FERPA tie into an online classroom?

A: As we move toward remote course delivery and the use of online platforms to teach and communicate, it will be important to remember our responsibility to maintain the privacy of student information and education records. Additionally, with more communication happening virtually, keep in mind that some people may use these unique circumstances to try to gain access to information they should not have. For details on FERPA and how it ties into the online environment, please refer to the registrar’s office guide here.

Q: What are the "Dos and Don'ts" for Remote Teaching?

A: The following guide contains information regarding remote teaching. The guide can be found here.

Have a question that’s not answered? Please send us your questions by completing this brief form.

Q:  Does EKU have any pre-made templates I can use?

A: EKU's Communications and Brand Management page has an excellent collection of pre-made templates to use for social media, PowerPoint presentations, research posters, flyers, and more. The full list of these templates can be found here.

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