Welcome to ACUE’s Online Teaching Toolkit

To support instructors needing to make a quick transition to utilizing an online environment, we’re offering resources and recommendations that can be immediately put to use by instructors, to benefit both faculty and their students.

These resources are divided into six key topic areas for teaching remotely:

In the discussion forum below, we invite you to submit questions about these resources or share instructional challenges you may be facing.

Effective Online Instruction Webinars

To continue the discussion, we’ve partnered with higher ed leaders and experts in online teaching and learning for a webinar series on best-practices in key areas to ensure quality online instruction for student success. Learn more and register.

Welcome Students

Recommendation 1. Create a welcome video.

Create a welcome message designed to calm student fears and let them know that you are “in this together” and ready to fully support their continued learning.

Download

Recommendation 2. Create Q&A and social forums.

Create a question-and-answer forum in which students can post general questions about the course and assignments. If you think it would be helpful, you can also create a social forum for students to connect with one another. Monitor the Q&A forum to ensure that correct information is being shared and to address any unanswered questions (Darby & Lang, 2019, p. 29).

Download

Recommendation 3. Create an online orientation video.

Create a video that takes your students on a tour of your course in the online environment. Try to include the following on your tour: (a) how to prepare for online learning, (b) directions for navigating the course, and (c) weekly communication expectations.

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Manage Your Online Presence

Recommendation. Establish clear expectations for your teaching presence.

One of the most important aspects—if not the most important aspect—of any student’s learning is you, the instructor. Students look for you to be involved in discussions, respond to questions, provide feedback and encouragement, and reach out when you notice they may need additional assistance. This does not mean that you need to be online 24/7. Establishing expectations and routines around your online time can help students feel more supported and engaged in your course.

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Organize Your Course

Recommendation 1. Organize your course content from a student’s point of view.

Online students can become confused, frustrated, or disengaged if they find it challenging to simply navigate a course learning environment. Try to make the organization of your course as clear and intuitive as possible, ensuring students have more time and cognitive resources to engage with course content and activities (Darby, 2019).

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Recommendation 2. Provide a module roadmap.

Learning modules, or units of study, are the building blocks of an online course. Ensuring consistency in module design helps students more quickly understand your expectations and plan their work time more effectively.

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Recommendation 3. Create a predictable rhythm.

Establishing a weekly pace for your online modules, or units of study, helps students manage their time to meet course expectations. A standard rhythm often reduces stress, because the structure answers questions such as “What’s next?” (Boettcher & Conrad, 2016).

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Plan and Facilitate Effective Discussions

Recommendation 1. Provide a rubric.

To help students get the most out of discussions, set clear expectations for their participation. Providing students with discussion forum grading rubrics helps them understand, and therefore better meet, your expectations for thoughtful participation.

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Recommendation 2. Assign a reflection activity.

Assign a self-reflection activity, aligned to your discussion forum rubrics, to help students evaluate their participation in an online discussion.

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Recommendation 3. Provide strategic feedback.

The type and amount of feedback you provide at key points in a discussion should be strategic, to ensure quality discussions are taking place (Boettcher & Conrad, 2016, p. 167).

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Record Effective Microlectures

Recommendation. Create a microlecture video.

Microlectures are short (6 minutes or less), instructor-produced videos that are designed using a structured format to provide effective explanations of a single key concept or specific skill set. Use this format to help maintain student attention and allow students to reengage with the content when and if needed.

Download

Engage Students in Readings and Microlectures

Recommendation 1. Create engaging assignments with accountability.

There are a variety of ways to keep students engaged in the content and help them focus their attention on what is most important.  We can also use a variety of practices to assess how well they are learning and making key connections. Try a few of these out to find the process or set of processes that work best for you and your students.

Download

Recommendation 2. Provide skeletal outlines.

Provide students with a skeletal outline to support their learning and help them track the concepts and issues of highest importance.

Download


Special thanks to our incredibly talented and gracious contributors:

113 Comments

  • Thank you for these well organized and easy to use resources!

    Patty Kohler 13.03.2020
    • Thanks very much!

      Gail Super 15.03.2020
  • Thank you so much for releasing these quick lessons to help us all transition to a “new normal.”

    Bonnie 13.03.2020
    • This is so well organized. Thank you for putting it together. We will be using this to train faculty at Marjorie Bash College in Nigeria. Please if anyone knows about free online courses on Library management and online teaching, we’d be glad to explore such. mbashcollege@gmail.com

      Kelechi Eguzo 19.04.2020
  • These are amazing and so quickly assembled. Thank you for organizing these tips for use.

    Kathy Jackson 13.03.2020
  • Excellent and practical advice with examples of how to accomplish each topic! Adding self videos was new to me this year in Canvas and I appreciate the ideas generated from this video clip section. Having to suddenly switch from “face to face” to all online for my courses is an exciting, new adventure. After reviewing this information, I see how some of my current inclass coursework and instruction has to be adjusted. With the help of this information, I am anxious to make appropriate revisions and share with my students. Thanks!

    Susan Saint John 13.03.2020
  • As a facilitator of an ACUE cohort, I get to see these valuable resources in all of your modules. Kudos to ACUE for creating and sharing these timely resources to support all faculty teaching remotely during the COVID 19 crisis. Thank you!

    Jodi Robson 13.03.2020
  • Thanks for making this available to all faculty, not just those in the program. It’s a brave new world for many new to online learning and the guidance is appreciated!

    Deborah 13.03.2020
  • Please note that the following URL does not work. https://www.apple.com/au/support/imovie/tutorial/

    Michael B. Wood 13.03.2020
  • Thanks for sharing these materials! Looking forward to taking your Teaching Online module in June!

    Bahiyyih Hardacre 14.03.2020
  • I work for a University in Pakistan that encourages faculty to use virtual learning environments for teaching and learning purposes. Due to the worldwide COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation, all academic institutions in the country are closed.

    We would like to immediately equip all our faculty with the necessary skills and knowledge to start teaching online synchronously and asynchronously in these hard times. For this purpose, I would like to request and seek your permission to reuse and adapt online resources https://acue.org/online-teaching-toolkit/ available on your website. I found this resource extremely useful.

    Time is an important factor for us because face to face classes are all stopped and we have to shift programs/courses online.

    I look forward to hearing from you and appreciate you for developing this resource for larger community.

    Much appreciated.

    Khurram 14.03.2020
    • Hi Khurram,

      Please feel free to distribute these resources to anyone you think may find them useful. Please let us know if there’s anything else we can do to be helpful. These are certainly challenging times!

      ACUE

      ACUE 15.03.2020
      • Hello,

        Would permission to link to this resource extend to a government agency? I work for Montana’s Office of Public Instruction and we are creating a course for all eductors to transition online and we’d like to link to this resource. Thank you!

        Carli Cockrell 16.03.2020
        • Hi Carli, absolutely. Technically these resources are licensed as all rights reserved by ACUE, but we intend to treat them more along the lines of Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0). Consider this note as permission for you to link to or utilize these resources as needed for Montana’s Office of Public Instruction. Good luck.

          bradfelix 16.03.2020
  • Beautiful!!!!!–organized, practical, and professional!!!!!
    Ludy

    Ludwika Goodson 14.03.2020
  • This is very helpful. I am a big Michael fan anyway since his work with Visual Syllabi. His Tedx is great as well.

  • Thank you so much for sharing! Everything is outstanding and enormously helpful and organized. Your contribution with assisting us is appreciated beyond any words of gratitude. Humbled and grateful to experience this assistance from all of you!

    Elaine 14.03.2020
  • Thank you so much for producing this. You are helping many of us transition to remote teaching during a stressful time. Love the short microlectures–I will be sure to implement them! Please keep it coming. ( ;

    Nicol Epple 14.03.2020
  • Well done. Extremely help ideas on spicing up the remote teaching approach.

    David Porter 15.03.2020
  • These are tremendous resources. I would like to request captioning on your videos. Any chance you can “turn-on” this option from your end?

    Amy Malm 15.03.2020
    • Hi Amy,
      Thank you for the request. We are currently. working on it!

      ACUE 16.03.2020
    • Hi Amy,

      The captioning has been added to the videos. Thanks for your note!
      ACUE

      ACUE 16.03.2020
  • ACUE, you are wonderful. Thank you for reaching out to faculty and students during this critical time. Your resources and your kindness are greatly appreciated. On behalf of my students and myself, we thank you.

    Sheila Bridges-Bond 16.03.2020
  • Thank you very much for sharing. It was very easy to follow.

    Doris E Sanchez 17.03.2020
  • Thank you for making this great resource available, ACUE. My tech-savvy alter ego and I agree that it’s helpful to reluctant and skilled online teachers alike 🙂

    Lit Phudd 17.03.2020
  • Thank you, outstanding resources. I am especially appreciative of the rubrics.

    Simon Tanner 17.03.2020
  • Thank you for your ideas of “Micro-lecturing”, “Skeletal Outlines” and “Creating a Rubric”. I’ve never had to teach online before and I totally welcome this adventure.

    Valerie Butler-Harris 18.03.2020
  • Extremely helpful advice, efficiently delivered.

    Leo 19.03.2020
  • These are amazing tips that I can use, thank you!

    Monica 19.03.2020
  • i would like to thank you for the guide
    as it is for every one it is the only way to communicate with the students
    i can send a comments after use the guide and the response from our students
    it is a challenge for all of us

    samia 20.03.2020
  • Thank you for sharing this well organized tips on online teaching.

    salam 20.03.2020
  • This is Awesome! very timely! Thank you so much for providing this resource especially in this current climate of COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to ask for permision to print/ share with other faculty

    Ngozi 20.03.2020
    • Hi Ngozi, absolutely. Technically these resources are licensed as all rights reserved by ACUE, but we intend to treat them more along the lines of Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0). Consider this note as permission for you to link to or utilize these resources as needed your faculty. Good luck.

      ACUE 20.03.2020
  • Could ACUE please post the latest link to the free version of DaVinci Resolve? There seem to be a lot of potential URLs out there. A little concerned about choosing one that is not legit and infecting my computer.

    Marlene 20.03.2020
  • Thank you very much for your support. I teach nursing courses. I quickly learned some techniques for online discussions that students can post. However, I still am looking into discussions and asking questions during the lecture portion of the course and how can I engage the students instead of me just talking? I will use Kahoot at the beginning and end of the lecture. I can use a case study instead of lecturing on that topic. Clinical is a challenge but we assigned case studies, care mapping, care plans, and the use of ATI which is a platform for students to engage in self-learning. We will meet online to discuss all of these. I feel I am overloading students with work and adding to their stress. We must account for hours of instruction for clinical which is straining on the students. Any comments would be appreciated.
    Joanne

    JoAnne Diamantidis 23.03.2020
  • Thank you so much for these resources! Such a quick response to the current situation and well-curated materials! I really appreciate the quality and professionalism!

    Kathleen 26.03.2020
  • Thank you so very much for sharing your expertise with us! I feel more relaxed and confident going into this online journey with my first-year freshmen students.

    Kim F. Smith 26.03.2020
  • Wonderful resources supporting the end-user experience. May I request to share the link to your resources with teachers?

    Jaime Orozco 30.03.2020
    • Hi Jaime, absolutely. Technically these resources are licensed as all rights reserved by ACUE, but we intend to treat them more along the lines of Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0). Consider this note as permission for you to link to or utilize these resources as needed your faculty. Good luck.

      ACUE 30.03.2020
  • Thank you for your ideas to apply especially in this current climate of COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first time I will be teaching online and I totally welcome this awesome adventure.

    Ramiro Vazquez 31.03.2020
  • Well organised! Very useful and clear for understanding. What is more – ACUE – you are Humans! Kind, supportive and intelligent.

    Svetlana Balyunova 31.03.2020
  • I really enjoy the video very useful very easy to teacher

    Demetrius Williams 31.03.2020
  • Thank you so much for the valuable materials! I really appreciate that.

    Uyni Dao 02.04.2020
  • Thank you very much for sharing all these resources. Very helpful to deal with the present shift to ’emergency online teaching’, and very opportune to develop the future capacity for online teaching and learning.

    Mustafa Malik 02.04.2020
  • Thank you for all your support and efforts. The resources are awesome.

    LISA HUNTER 04.04.2020
  • Thank you for sharing all these valuable resources. It’s a new challenging route for me to pass. Helping each other and taking each other’s hands make passing easy.

    Maryam Arefcol 04.04.2020
  • This was very useful. Feel a lot better about this new way of teaching.
    Thank you for taking the time to put this together!

    Sandra 04.04.2020
  • Thank you so much for creating these very clear and helpful resources. We would love to share them with our faculty here at our university in Alberta. May we request permission to do so?

    Erin R. 07.04.2020
  • I just want to thank you for these very useful tips. I already use some of them, but I like the idea of minilectures with pre-recorded video clips. We still have a few more weeks to go this semester, so I intend to make good use of that idea… for those of us whose student population includes non-native speakers of English, engaging students with a variety of approaches is essential. Thanks again for sharing!

    Etienne A. Kouakou 09.04.2020
  • Thanks for the nice videos and organized pdf resources.

    Can Inci 10.04.2020
  • Suddenly, everything changed. Enter covid-19. In one week we had to move from the traditional class lectures to online classes. Something we hadn’t really thought about nor prepared well enough for. So it started with searching for tips to get started to best practices. Found everything here. Many thanks and the show goes on.

    pc 11.04.2020
  • THANK you!
    Excellent suppoting material and information for educational staff and teachers who are starting to teach remotely and on-line. I have a clearer idea on how to guide my teachers at school. I am the head of the English area at a private school in Peru, where we teach English as a foreign language.

    Ana Ishiki 13.04.2020
  • Thank you for an excellent set of resources. I appreciate that you include a link to the webinar recordings along with 1-3 key recommendations for each, all on one page! This is so clearly organized. I’ve encouraged our faculty to attend these webinars and have linked to them from our own Course Continuity Guide. (Augustana University, SD)

    Sharon Gray 15.04.2020
  • Thank you so much! If only, I could meet you two months ago. At the beginning of March I started my first online course in Italy at the University of Padua as an absolute beginners. So many mistakes! Never mind. I will be very helpful for the future.

    Marnie Campagnaro 15.04.2020
  • Thank you for such a well structured resource. It has provided step by step guidelines on making online teaching/learning effective

    Benedicta 16.04.2020
  • Thank you so much for sharing the instructors’ creative expertise. The Welcome Video will aid in making the class -upclose and personal. It will set a tone for the semester. Effective Micro-lectures are going to be my personal goal for future classes.

    Paula Herbert 17.04.2020
  • I appreciate the information provided yesterday in the “Record Effective Microlectures” session and l look forward to “Engage Students in Readings and Microlectures” on Monday. The resources provided in each of the 6 sessions are clear and very helpful. After 21 years as an Adjunct, I had planned on this semester being my last (I just turned 70.) These video workshops have me thinking about maybe continuing as an online instructor.
    Thanks.

    Steve Bocian 18.04.2020
  • These events have been amazing! I was reminded of the importance of faculty teaching faculty – the presenters provided actionable and attainable suggestions for improving the learning experience of our students in online courses and bolstered the confidence of our faculty! Thank you!

    Karen McComas 18.04.2020
  • Thank you for these resources!

    Holly Price 20.04.2020
  • It’s a great resource and good strategy in the era of information overload. Powerful and effective.

    Mehrdad 20.04.2020
  • Thank you for these awesome resources!

    Brenda Riddick 21.04.2020
  • Thank you. These resources are very helpful!

    Claire Sutherland 22.04.2020
  • Thank you!

    Ljiljana 26.04.2020
  • Thank you! These are great resources!

    Teresa 27.04.2020
  • I love these resources. These answer my question as to how I start my online class. Thank you.

    Dhan Timothy Ibojo 28.04.2020
  • I am grateful for the well researched resources and presentation. These resources will facilitate the transition to distance learning for our faculty. Thank you.

    Orsete Dias 29.04.2020
  • This set of videos was very helpful. Thank you!

    Raymond Garrison 29.04.2020
  • Very useful resource and lucidly explained.

    Anirban Ghosh 02.05.2020
  • Hello,

    Many thanks for this wonderfully made guide. Being new to this, I would like to know if the resource is free for public use.

    Many thanks in advance
    Tony Kiangebeni

    Tony Alma Kiangebeni 04.05.2020
  • This is such useful information. I can’t wait to start to implement

    LaKisha 04.05.2020
  • This is an amazing guide for professors-teachers. Thank you!!

    Cagla Pistana 04.05.2020
  • There are many good ideas, and topics one does not think about when just get familiar with the newness of online instruction. This is good as a go back to after one has gotten adjusted and dialed into the new WAY. It is very helpful, and another reason we need to keep on learning.

    Jeff 04.05.2020
  • Excellent resources; presented in a succinct, easy yet thought provoking manner. Thank you!

    Joyce Crandall 05.05.2020
  • What an adventure this has been. Thanks for all the great tips. We’re all in this together!

    Mitch Kern 05.05.2020
  • Very resourceful, well organized content. to the team, thumbs up for for your support as we go through the transition times

    Mary 08.05.2020
  • Thank you. So many new things one can use.

    Chandrika 08.05.2020
  • Well organized.

    Hildah Makgabana 09.05.2020
  • This was really helpful. I now have many new ideas. Thank you!

    Concettina Pagano 19.05.2020
  • Very helpful tips to creating an online course. I am not one for liking being filmed, so your frankness and tips were much appreciated. I do like the idea of the Introduction recording at the beginning of the course to create more of a community. This is will try! Seeing the basic organization of Canvas was also helpful as this is a new tool for our University. Overall, very well done and extremely helpful.

    Erin Hall 20.05.2020
  • This is very helpful advice, although I will not be making videos.

    Ibis Gomez-Vega 27.05.2020
  • Thank you for some direct, candid online teaching tips and direction. I liked the honesty and vulnerability that you expressed in relation to the new teaching world that we find outselves in. Well done. It has lifted some of my anxieties about online teaching.

    Veronica Kelly 28.05.2020
  • These resources are fantastic! I really enjoyed the videos and that you seem to practice what you preach, in that all videos you share are less than 6 min. On behalf of myself and my students, thank you!

    Arya Alami 28.05.2020
  • Thank you for sharing all these valuable resources. All the advice is very helpful.

    Kenneth Mercury 31.05.2020
  • I like your videos and materials. They are very helpful for preparing my online classes. Specifically, I like the idea of Skeleton outlines. Thank you.

    Jeong Kim 03.06.2020
  • Very well done and extremely useful! Topics discussed are exactly what I need. Thank you.

    Whitney Donnelly 04.06.2020
  • I have enjoyed reading these resources. They will be helpful in my classes.

    Mattie Booker 13.06.2020
  • Thank you for all the, extremely necessary, guidance.

    Michelle Joseph 14.06.2020
  • Thank you for providing us with such valuable resources.

    Saddek 18.06.2020
  • Teaching online is quite intimidating for a very traditional “senior” educator. I appreciate the advice, suggestions and resources provided in these video clips. Thank you!

    Ronnie Feder 24.06.2020
  • Thank you so much! These resources are so valuable!

    Corina Tabacaru 08.07.2020
  • These resources are simply amazing! Thanks a million for your fantastic work!

    Cintia Costa 09.07.2020
  • Great information. I too struggle with being comfortable on camera and am excited to try shorter micro lectures.

    Teresa Crow 11.07.2020
  • MUCHAS GRACIAS POR EL MATERIAL

    TAMARA TREJO 12.07.2020
  • At last I found some real practical tips and examples for me to actually use!!! THANK YOU!

    Jyoti Abraham 14.07.2020
  • For people like me who are so new, I am not even comfortable looking at myself on the video so I know I have a long way to go but I am ready to learn! Thanks you!

    Jyoti Abraham 14.07.2020
  • skeletal out line will help. any tricks on how to make a video

    ken paul 15.07.2020
  • These are great! They are easily transformed for use in the HS setting as well. Thank you.

    Daniel E Delgado 16.07.2020
  • Very helpful. As an art teacher it does not all apply of course to the special needs of studio work, but the overall concepts are valuable and certainly can be applied.

    gregory sholette 17.07.2020
  • Thank you! This is very useful information!

    Fernanda Chavez 20.07.2020
  • Thank you so much as I prepare for fall. I taught online for several years before moving to in seat classes. The reminders and resources are super helpful!

    Tina R. Olson 22.07.2020
  • Thanks great information especially for someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience to online learning.

    Norma Zink 24.07.2020
  • I have been teaching online for a long time and I do use the Zoom for virtual classes and office hours. I have been hesitant to record micro lectures but now I feel motivated to do so. Thank you.

    filiz Cicek 25.07.2020
  • Informative videos and quite helpful in this new normal! I have been teaching online for more than a decade but what necessitates now is to make sure that the students who are visual learners only can adapt to the online environment.

    Salma Asif 31.07.2020
  • I found this resources very useful. Can I use it for engaging others on online teaching, including government training programs?

    Darshan Bhatt 31.07.2020
  • I enjoyed these videos and found them all useful – they provide an over arching framework for online teaching regardless of our subjects. In my case it is physics. So the challenge is alternative to real labs. I teach IB physics. Also focusing on Core concepts and skills since the teaching time is reduced.

    Rafia Ali 01.08.2020
  • Agradezco mucho todos sus tips para que podamos realizar mejor esta nueva forma de enseñanza invertida. Parece fácil, porque se centra en las personas, para no hacer todo mecánico. GRacias

    CEFORA CERON PEREZ 04.08.2020
  • Very helpful. Thank you. I plan to use it when school reopens in a week’s time.

    Joe D'Silva 12.08.2020
  • Thank you for your suggestions. Encouraging and useful.

    Raji Iyer 30.08.2020
  • Very Insightful information. Much appreciated

    RAJESHRI NILESH SONI 07.09.2020
  • Very helpful

  • Thank you! Very easy to follow.

    Erin Hall 06.10.2020

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