Stay the Course – Keep Teaching

From The Center for Educational Technology (CET) …

A variety of circumstances might require you to temporarily take your class online with minimal notice: a campus closure, a family emergency, a flu outbreak. We are here to provide you some actions to take when making that shift quickly.

Make a plan

Review your syllabus and calendar – identify priorities; determine the best way to provide instruction for each priority; determine what you must change to adapt to an online platform.

Choose a method

  • Pre-recorded mini-lectures (no longer than 10-12 minutes)
  • Discussions and group work
  • Assignments to be submitted
  • Quizzes

Pick a tool

Choose from university-supported tools to adapt your course content and objectives to provide asynchronous or synchronous instruction. Also refer to the Faculty Resources web page.

Asynchronous: “anytime, anywhere”

  • Moodle – total course management; accommodates class communication, instruction, readings, discussions, quizzes, assignments, PDF documents, PowerPoints, graphics, video, and links to external resources on the Internet
  • Microsoft Teams – Record presentations or lectures
  • Screencast-O-Matic – Pre-record instruction with audio from your desktop

Synchronous: “set time to meet via the Internet; requires high-speed Internet access”

Guides for Best Practice

Communicate with students

Distribute course materials and readings

  • If you post new materials in Moodle, be sure to communicate to students what you posted and where in one of the ways listed above
  • Use PDF documents that are easily viewable using mobile devices

Online Course Quality Checklist

  • Online Course Quality Checklist – this guide explains how to organize your instructional materials in Moodle (adapted from Stephen F. Austin State University with permission)

Utilize resources and virtual labs available on the Internet to enrich your instruction

  • Merlot – materials that might help replace your lab during an emergency

Facilitate discussion among students

  • Moodle asynchronous discussion forum
  • Moodle groups
  • Microsoft Teams collaborative environment

Assess student learning

  • Moodle quizzes
  • Moodle assignment submission tool
  • Moodle discussion forum
  • Microsoft Teams presentation platform
  • Microsoft Teams group collaboration

Office 365 Collaborative Tools

  • Microsoft has placed a variety of new tools at your disposal. Click the link for details

Create accessible instruction

Accessible course materials help all students, particularly those who have visual or hearing impairments:

  • Avoid tables when possible – assistive technology doesn’t interpret tables well
  • Include Alternative Text descriptions for images, charts, graphs and other non-text visual content for individuals using assistive technology. The “alt text” will be read aloud when a screen reader encounters the visual content
  • Include a transcript for video – students with hearing impairments require a transcript
  • Use color sparingly – remember some students have visual impairments:
    • Avoid using color only to differentiate content – colors are not visible to everyone
    • Avoid low contrast – low contrast makes text difficult to read
    • Write descriptive text for links – for example, “For more information, visit the Certifications page on the Training website”
    • Use a clear structure with headings to separate different sections of instruction
    • Use closed captioning for recorded video

Who to Contact

Get in touch with the CET Staff using Email and the CET Academic IT Faculty Support Teams Group

How to use Moodle – Cindy Smith

How to use Teams or Screencast-O-Matic – Travis Carter

How to structure learning content – Gail Weatherly

Find out what resources we have at UTHSCT – Darlene Davis

How to utilize technology – Roland Williams


The Center for Educational Technology
We can do this … together.