Remote Teaching FAQs

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We’re hearing some common questions as we explore different ways to teach remotely. This post will try to answer those frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Remote Classes

When we’re making decisions about how to configure our classes for the upcoming weeks we need to keep our students in mind. Unlike face-to-face classes, we cannot assume that students will be able to attend remote classes. They may not have reliable internet, they may be anxious about this different way of learning, or they may be ill themselves. Anything we can do to provide alternative ways of learning will be helpful.

Do I have to go “high-tech”?

There is no requirement for you to switch to a virtual delivery format like narrated PowerPoint slides or Zoom, but it can be used to provide flexible access to mini-lessons on key concepts. Whatever methods you choose, do what you can to provide easy access to varied resources that will help your students learn.

What’s the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning?

Synchronous learning is learning that occurs at the same time but not in the same place. In this type of learning environment, the professor delivers a class live using some form of video conferencing software and students attend that class from wherever they happen to be. Assignments and evaluations are scheduled as they would be for a face-to-face class.
Asynchronous learning occurs at different times, in different places. The professor prepares and posts text and media-based learning resources to a learning management system. Students access the material at times that are convenient for them. Assignments and evaluations are scheduled as they would be for a face-to-face class.

Supporting Remote Learning

There are many ways that we can support remote learning. Take this as an opportunity to explore different ways of sharing content, presenting materials, and assessing students.

What alternative methods can I use instead of synchronous delivery?

This diagram from Daniel Stanford (@dstanford) offers a number of alternatives you can use to support remote learning.

To read the full post see Videoconferencing Alternatives

Using Zoom

Zoom is a video conferencing and collaboration application that allows us to virtually connect with our students.

How can I use Zoom to support my learners?

  • You can use Zoom for:
    • virtual office hours (preferably scheduled during your normal class time)
    • a meeting space for students to discuss group projects or assignments
    • recording short video segments (5 – 10 minutes) explaining key concepts your students need to understand (these should get uploaded to YouTube so students can access them whenever they are able)
    • a problem-solving whiteboard where you show the steps required to solve problems or work through a process (post these recordings too)
    • record feedback for students (mark up drawings, highlight strengths or areas to improve, etc.)
    • sharing live short slide presentations (again no longer than 5 – 10 minutes) with students who can join (please record and post these so students who cannot attend can watch them later)

Can you get me up and running in Zoom quickly?

Visit the IT Support Zoom page for tutorial videos and training opportunities in using Zoom.

Using PowerPoint

Many of us rely on PowerPoint to deliver our content during class. Check out how you can leverage the work you’ve already done to help students remotely learn the same content.

How can I use the PP slides I already have prepared?

  • You can use your slides in several different ways:
    • post them in eConestoga along with a handout that describes what you would normally talk about when presenting;
    • post your slides in eConestoga and ask students to complete a series of questions in a printable handout, an eConestoga survey (no grades associated) or posted on an eConestoga discussion board;
    • narrate your slides using the features built into PP and upload them for your students to access whenever they can (please break them into smaller sections so that the finished videos are no longer than 10 minutes). This video should be uploaded for student access.

Nancy Nelson

Nancy Nelson, M.Sc (T), Ph.D. Candidate, FEC, P. Eng joined Conestoga's Teaching and Learning team after teaching in the School of Engineering and Technology for 35 years. She has received multiple national teaching awards and is a real advocate for active learning in the post-secondary classroom. Nancy's focus is primarily on programs in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (STEM), but is available to support teaching and learning at all campuses.

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