Information about remote teaching

Questions with an asterisk (*) are new or recently updated.

*Will Memorial’s learning technologies be able to accommodate the increased capacity and related support for remote learning in the fall 2020 semester?

In relation to remote learning and Memorial’s increased use of the Brightspace learning management system and related tools, instructors should be assured there are no concerns in managing and accommodating the increase in users; this includes the anticipation of additional usage with remote teaching in the fall semester.

Brightspace is cloud hosted and supported by the technology team of the vendor (D2L). As Brightspace usage increases, D2L can automatically scale to accommodate the additional capacity. Memorial’s CITL works closely with D2L to ensure appropriate resources are allocated to Memorial’s environment, and that systems are operating optimally. CITL has also increased its monitoring and support for the university’s other learning technologies, and is ready to address any increased demand as required. For questions about Brightspace and other learning technologies, please contact the CITL Support Centre.

*How do I ensure students have the appropriate learning resources/textbooks for courses?

It is important to consider how students will need to access required textbooks or other necessary learning resources. For help providing free access to course readings and other materials, the library's e-reserves integrate seamlessly with Brightspace. Simply send them your list of materials or syllabus and they do the rest, including copyright clearance. For assistance in sourcing replacements for traditional textbooks, email the bookstore.

*How can I solicit feedback from students on their learning experience?

In the absence of the Course Evaluation Questionnaire (CEQ), instructors have an option for getting anonymous feedback from students about their learning experience by using the Brightspace Survey tool.

*If there are no in-person meetings or lectures scheduled, how are remote courses being scheduled so that synchronous teaching does not happen concurrently?

If synchronous teaching is required, the original class time assigned to the course should be maintained. Where possible, courses should be transitioned to online asynchronous teaching to allow flexibility for students.

*Course weighting is calculated via credit hours but the move to remote teaching makes this measure less meaningful. How do we ensure that student workload remains the same and does not increase as we transition to remote teaching?

Instructors should make every effort to include only as much student work in remote teaching as they would in an on-campus course. It should be noted that, while online learning is normally an option for students, it is currently the only option available given the circumstances.

What privacy considerations should I be aware of when teaching remotely?

When teaching remotely, instructors should be aware of privacy considerations related to the platforms or tools used and how they are supported, as well as videoconferencing and recording your students. Learn more about privacy considerations when teaching remotely.

What resources and support are available to help me prepare for remote instruction?

The Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) can assist instructors with transitioning face-to-face courses to remote delivery, as well as provide consultations for alternative assessment strategies. CITL's Instructional Continuity webpage is being updated regularly with resources and information about support available to instructors.

*Where can I go to get help with transitioning my face-to-face course to remote delivery?

CITL has senior instructional designers and educational developers who can assist you with transitioning your course to remote delivery, and help you consider related instructional and assessment strategies. Depending on your needs, they can also liaise with our experts in technical systems and media services. Contact CITL's Support Centre to request a consultation.

*What's the first thing I should do when preparing for remote instruction?

Review your instructional plan and assess what you have to teach. Look at your assessments and consider how these will be revised to allow students to demonstrate the achievement of learning outcomes without needing an in-person evaluation. CITL's Instructional Continuity webpages provide information on how to get started, and their senior instructional designers and educational developers can provide you with additional guidance. Contact CITL's Support Centre for assistance.

What resources are available through the Libraries?

The Libraries would like to remind Memorial’s faculty and course instructors that they can distribute course materials through the Libraries’ online Course Resources (Reserves) System. If you choose to use Brightspace, this resource is linked directly to your course site. Simply send the library the items you wish to add to your reading list and we do the rest, like digitizing, purchasing items and copyright clearance. The Libraries also recommend faculty and course instructors remind their students that research support is available through its online chat service.

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