This page is an archive of COVID response resources. It is no longer being updated.
- If you need 24/7 technical support, please contact the Help Desk at Teaching and Learning with Technology.
- If you need help finding solutions for your specific pedagogical needs, e-mail the SAS Teaching and Learning Team and an instructional designer will get back to you within 2 business days.
Workshops, Events, and Office Hours
Our team is available for consult - please reach out if you would like to schedule an appointment.
Join Tea & Teaching with Jenevieve DeLosSantos every Friday at 10 AM! This is a casual space for discussion and Q&A with weekly guests. For the link and to join, e-mail Nicole Gangino.
Recordings are available for all Rutgers RUOnline Presentations
FAQ, Tips, and Guides
Keep Teaching FAQ — updated 4/16
Asynchronous Engagement: Tips for Providing Flexibility Without Losing Student Engagement — new 4/17
What We're Learning About Teaching Through an Emergency —discussion forum for faculty to post ideas, tips, and advice
As soon as you become aware that you need to accommodate students who cannot attend face-to-face course meetings or if you need to move your course online quickly, consider the following:
Get details about the closure or event
To find campus information go to: newbrunswick.rutgers.edu/status
Check in with your department
Your departmental leaders may have more information to share with you regarding details of the situation and guidelines, expectations, and policies for your class. Ensure that you have approval for teaching online from your department chair or dean.
Set up your course site
Ensure that your course has an activated Sakai or Canvas site to easily communicate with students online. If you need help please contact the Help Desk at Teaching and Learning with Technology.
Communicate with your students right away
Early communication is important. Even if you do not know all the details yet you can share that changes are coming and let your students know how you will communicate those changes with them. Be sure to keep communication consistent, up-to-date, and provide a way for students to get in touch with you. If you use the Canvas Inbox tool or Sakai Mailtool you can communicate directly with the students who cannot attend face-to-face course meetings rather than communicating with the whole class.
Consider realistic avenues for students to meet the course learning goals
Determine what it looks like for students to meet the course learning goals. Will you maintain your original syllabus and schedule for all students? Do you need to adjust some assignments or activities so that all students will still be able to meet the course learning goals? Consider what your priorities are for the course and if you need to identify new expectations for the students. When possible, include tools and approaches that are familiar to your students. Consider what aspects of your course are most essential so you can plan to refocus on those elements in the event that completing all missed work becomes impossible or unreasonable.
Review your syllabus for points that must change
Does anything have to temporarily change in your syllabus, such as policies, due dates, and assignments?
Identify new expectations for your students
Please keep in mind that you will have to reconsider some of your expectations for students, including participation, communication, and deadlines. Students’ ability to meet expectations will be impacted if they are ill, if they do not have access to computers and/or internet connections, if they need to care for family members, or other emergency circumstances. Special accommodations may need to be made for these students.
Strategies for Remote Instruction
As you move your class online to accommodate students who cannot attend face-to-face course meetings, focus on what tasks will help students meet the course learning goals. You may need to consider adjusting assignments and creating online activities that replace face-to-face active learning strategies you are using to achieve some learning goals
Communicate with students
Communicating often is one of the most important strategies to stay in touch with your students and keep them informed of any changes as they occur. Set clear expectations so students know how you will communicate with them, how often, and how quickly they can expect a response. Be sure to manage your communication load. If you receive a lot of individual requests, consider keeping track of frequently asked questions in a public discussion forum or as an announcement so all students can benefit from the information.
Distribute course materials and readings
Make sure that all students have access to course materials and readings. When you are posting new course material online make sure students know when new material is posted. PDFs are recommended since they are a mobile-friendly format in case students only have their phone available in a crisis.
Consider recording your lectures so all students will have access to them. This can be done using Kaltura Personal Capture from your computer or on any of the classroom computers.
Foster communication and collaboration among students
Consider ways that you can still foster communication and collaboration among students. If some of your students cannot attend face-to-face meetings using the collaboration tools built into your Learning Management System can help to maintain a sense of community for your course. A few things to consider when you want to foster communication and collaboration among students: 1) Try to use asynchronous tools because synchronous communication may be hard to schedule 2) Make sure the student-to-student interactions align to your course learning goals.
Many instructors already collect work electronically so this may be a seamless transition. Use the tools of the learning management system for collecting assignments. Having students email you with attachments could quickly become overwhelming.
Assess student learning
If some students cannot attend face-to-face course meetings be sure to consider concerns about academic integrity. There are different tools available depending on the type of assessments you give in your course. If you assign essays and papers utilize the plagiarism review service TurnItIn. If you assign exams utilize Proctortrack for online proctoring. If you assess students orally set up one-on-one conferences with your students or have them record their oral assessment so you can view it and grade it at your convenience.
Rutgers and Other Resources
- Rutgers University Teaching and Learning with Technology: Emergency Preparedness
- University-Wide COVID-19 Information — also see the updated university-wide FAQ
- Remote Teaching and Working
- Digital Classroom Services: Academic Continuity
- Office of Disability Services: Adjusting Online Exam Time
- School of Communication and Information Teaching and Learning Resources
- Center for Teaching Advancement & Assessment Research
- Go2Knowledge teaching & learning webinars (Rutgers institutional subscription): create an account at https://www.go2knowledge.com/rutgers-newbrunswick
- Indiana University “Keep Teaching During Prolonged Campus or Building Closures.” https://keepteaching.iu.edu/
- Pepperdine University “Keep on Teaching” https://community.pepperdine.edu/seaver/center-teaching-excellence/keep-on-teaching/
- Brown University “Teaching Continuity Guide” https://dld.brown.edu/teaching-continuity-guide
- Dartmouth “Academic Continuity During Disruption” https://dcal.dartmouth.edu/resources/course-design-preparation/academic-continuity-during-disruption
- Northwestern University “How to Hold Your Class During Emergency Closures” https://digitallearning.northwestern.edu/article/2019/02/20/how-hold-your-class-during-emergency-closures
- Emory University “Using Canvas During University Closures” https://canvas-support.emory.edu/design/contingency-planning.html
- Western Washington University “Keep Teaching: Checklist for Temporary Remote Teaching” https://atus.wwu.edu/kb/keep-teaching-checklist-temporary-remote-teaching
- Inside Higher Ed (3/10/20) provided a link to a spreadsheet with links to remote teaching resources from more than 130 colleges and universities and growing. This spreadsheet was created by Daniel Stanford, director of faculty development and technology innovation at DePaul University’s Center for Teaching and Learning
Tools and Documentation
There are many tools available at Rutgers to help you to accommodate students who cannot attend face-to-face course meetings or if you need to move your course online quickly. It is best to try and use tools that both you and your students are already familiar with. Next to each tool is a brief description of how this tool might be useful. Click on the link to find step-by-step guides on how to use the tools.
Some faculty may be concerned about sharing their content online. Rutgers University Policy 50.3.7 indicates that you own copyright to pedagogical materials that you develop in the regular course of your teaching duties.
Share Course Content
Modules (Canvas) – Use this tool to organize your course content
Files (Canvas) – You can upload files that can be shared with students in your course
Resources (Sakai) – You can upload files that can be shared with students in your course
Lessons (Sakai) - Use this tool to organize your course content
NEW Instructors of lab courses may want to consult the resources and advice provided by Harvard's Bok Center.
Announcements (Canvas and Sakai) – Send announcements to your students when you need to communicate information to the whole class.
Inbox (Canvas) – You can send emails to individual students, a group of students, or the whole class when you need to communicate information.
Mailtool (Sakai) – You can send emails to individual students, a group of students, or the whole class when you need to communicate information.
Kaltura Personal Capture – This tool is best used to record lectures. You can download this software on your personal computer. You can also run Kaltura Personal Capture in all classrooms. All larger rooms have microphones that can be used to record instructor audio. If a classroom doesn’t have a microphone you can request one from Digital Classroom Services.
Captioning online videos is an important aspect of online accessibility. Kaltura videos are automatically captioned using automatic speech recognition. This service provides 70-95% accuracy. Video owners will need to review and edit their captions for accuracy.
Broadcasting/Web Conferencing/Office Hours
Note: be flexible and ready to shift to low-bandwidth alternatives, at least occasionally. This page provides some useful alternatives to high-bandwidth videoconferencing. For questions about your specific circumstance, contact SAS Instructional Design and Technology Specialist Eliza Blau.
WebEx – This tool is best used to broadcast live with students who are remote.
To activate a WebEx account go to: http://webex.rutgers.edu and click on the "Sign Up" button.
You will be directed to the NetID service activation page.
Check the box next to "Rutgers Webex" and then click on the "Active Services" button.
See more information about your Personal Webex Account, such as how to join a meeting or schedule a meeting.
Conferences: BigBlueButton (Canvas) – You can hold office hours and hold virtual conferences of up to about 100 students
Meetings: BigBlueButton (Sakai) – You can hold office hours and hold virtual conferences
Assessing Student Learning
Playposit – Allows you to add interactions into Kaltura videos or other MP4 videos
VoiceThread – Allows you to create multimedia discussions and projects for your course.
Collaborations – Allows students to share and collaborate using Google Documents