College During COVID-19: DELTA’s Tips For Teaching In 2021

Students working at the Hunt Library on Centennial Campus find ample space to social distance, with undergraduate classes moved online for the remainder of the fall 2020 semester. Photo by Becky Kirkland.

As this semester winds down, it is the perfect time for faculty to begin planning for their spring 2021 classes. Recently, DELTA polled its staff of technology and pedagogy experts to suggest tips for faculty preparing for a new semester of online, hybrid and in-person classes.

Classrooms

  • Whether you are teaching an in-person or hybrid course, determine what technology is available in your assigned room and learn how to use it prior to teaching. 
  • If you are assigned a ClassTech-supported classroom, read the instructions about the equipment and enroll in available training. 

Instructional Tools

  • Use your time in December to get your class setup in Moodle and other WolfWare tools you will use. 
  • Check-in with LearnTech to see if there have been changes or updates to tools that you already use and to see if there are new tools that might be helpful to you.
  • Decide which activities work for which modality. In other words, what should be asynchronous and what should be synchronous. Not everything should be a Zoom lecture.

Design

  • Browse sample courses in Moodle to get an idea of what other instructors are doing, particularly those that have been certified by Quality Matters
  • Starting from scratch or looking for a more streamlined course? Consider using the Moodle Quick Start Course Shell. This is a fully customizable template that organizes your Moodle course, adds student resources and gives your course a clean look.
  • Check your availability date for your Moodle site, if applicable, to ensure your course will open on your preferred date.
  • After setting up your Moodle course, switch your user role and go through the course as a student. Be sure to review online course content and assignments to confirm dates are correct and links are functional. 
  • Consider how much time is needed for each assignment and if that matches the number of hours you would like students to realistically spend completing activities and assessments for your course. For a typical semester-long, three-credit-hour course, you would want no more than nine hours per week of total time a student spends on tasks. Learn more about balancing workload
  • Pay attention to how assignment deadlines are realigned if and when semesters are shortened, helping students manage their workload if they have to complete extra material in a shorter amount of time.

Other

  • Submit requests for course reserves to the NC State Libraries. The course reserves system provides readings and other materials loaned to currently registered NC State students in support of faculty instruction. Many of these materials are available online. 
  • Consider recording your online courses for the spring. DELTA offers Mini-Studios to pre-record and/or schedule lectures. If interested in using a DELTA-supported facility, please complete the Online and Distance Education Classroom Reservation Form

Need more help?