Northwestern has resources to help faculty and students work remotely. This article contains guidance and resources to help you modify your teaching to work in an online format while achieving your planned learning objectives. It also connects you to tools that allow you to continue facilitating courses via Canvas and other online tools.
The University continues to update the Coronavirus/COVID-19 frequently asked questions (FAQ). To access answers related to school-specific questions and resources, teaching remotely, academic issues for faculty, and more, you can review the Academics section of the FAQ. You can also refer to the College and Schools Coronavirus Websites.
Please sign-up for ongoing workshops and training with Teaching and Learning Technologies as well as trainings with the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching. Please refer to the Canvas Learning Center for in-depth information on Canvas.
Remote Instruction for Spring 2020
As you think through the changes to your courses discussed here, consider the impact that the circumstances may have on students’ ability to meet expectations, including illness, lack of internet connectivity, or needing to care for family members. Also, keep in mind your own planning and preparation needs in adapting to a new way of teaching.
- Be ready to handle requests for extensions or accommodations equitably.
- Identify your priorities, such as providing lectures, structuring new opportunities for discussion or group work, and collecting assignments.
- Prepare for your priorities by following recommendations and best practices for a successful quarter start from the Teaching and Learning Technologies team.
- Decide which activities are better rescheduled, and which can be done online.
- Consider which elements of your course can be delivered synchronously and which might be more successful in an asynchronous format. Review a Teaching and Learning Technologies blog post on this topic for guidance.
Read the Update on Course Reserves
The Libraries will continue to provide links to electronic content for courses. Scanning of book chapters and capture of video content is temporarily suspended. These services will resume upon the return to campus. Previously digitized content remains available. Read the Libraries blog for more details on updates to course reserves.
- Review the Zoom Readiness Checklist.
- Protect against Zoombombing by reviewing guidance on Zoom security and privacy for meetings and recordings.
Assignments in Canvas allows students to submit assignments online and also permits instructors to grade and provide feedback online. One point to consider when adapting your course is that some students may be depending on their phones as their primary source of internet access. Students can easily submit assignments on a mobile device by using the Canvas Student app. If you have a large class, avoid collecting assignments via email attachment; instead, use Canvas Assignments to collect submissions.
- Learn how to create an Assignment for online submission in Canvas.
- Learn about implementing Turnitin to check for plagiarism.
- Learn how to grade student work and offer feedback through SpeedGrader.
Consider Flexible Exam Options
As the University continues to adapt in response to new and changing realities, consider designing courses with flexible exam options. There are multiple ways to offer exam flexibility to your students. These include:
- Changing the exam to another kind of assessment, such as an essay.
- Changing the exam to a series of assessments worth fewer points, such as quizzes and presentations.
- Use Zoom or BlueJeans to host a virtual session for your students to give their presentations to the class.
- Offering the exam online. The University offers tools that allow instructors to lock down students’ web browsers so that they cannot leave the exam to look up information, as well as another tool that provides remote proctoring of the exam.
If an instructor chooses to offer an exam online, students with accessibility accommodations may need extra time to complete the exam. Here’s how to add extra time to quizzes and exams in Canvas. For other accommodations questions, contact AccessibleNU.
A schedule of ongoing workshops and training with Teaching and Learning Technologies as well as trainings with the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching is available.
- Chat with Canvas Support (Instructors and Admins) - Live chat or call 833-879-0860
- Chat with Canvas Support (Students) - Live chat or call 855-680-0126
- Chat with a Canvas Support Chatbot (automated, 24x7 resource for all Canvas users) – Helps with enrollments, file storage increases, frequently asked questions, and escalates issues to IT Support
- Canvas Learning Center
- Canvas Student Center
Zoom offers 24/7 live support, including national holidays. You will find Support in the upper-right-hand section of your account page or via the blue Help button on the bottom-right-hand side of your screen. We encourage you to bookmark Zoom Support and take advantage of the following support options.
- Zoom Help Center - Provides access to a host of helpful videos and instructions; you can also watch video tutorials on most Zoom features
- Live Training - Allows you to join live Zoom training sessions
- Live Chat or call 1.888.799.0125
- Submit an Email Request to Zoom Support
You may sign-up for a 45-minute consultation to get help with moving to remote instruction if you require additional assistance after using all immediately available resources.
In some cases, Northwestern schools offer individualized or supplementary support for their faculty and students through their IT organizations. This online teaching and learning support is provided in addition to the resources offered centrally by Northwestern IT and may be most useful for applications and programs that are specific to a given school. Learn more about school-specific support options.