Keep Teaching

In any course, there may be times when faculty and students are unable to meet face to face.  In the event that a public, university-wide, or personal emergency disrupts the residential learning environment, this guide provides faculty with options and resources designed to lessen the impact on student learning by allowing you to rapidly transform your courses in order to keep teaching.  

Using the principles of resilience—the capacity to maintain function in the face of disturbance—resilient pedagogy will strengthen your learners’ ability to persevere in the event that you can’t always meet in person, due to public health or other emergencies, student, faculty, or family illness, or other reasons that may disrupt your course plan. Resilient pedagogy is about both what and how you teach; it is designing a flexible and inclusive course that fosters learning, growth, and belonging, and that can withstand disturbances.

Resilience in the age of COVID requires that we be prepared to teach in multiple environments.  Our face-to-face interactions have become precious in their scarcity, and we can honor that by choosing carefully what we do in person.  In your course planning, reserve the sacred space of the classroom for activities that are genuinely enhanced by gathering together.  

Three Tools for Flexible Instruction

CITL-email-icon

Radford University Course Email Alias

Standard format: 
RU-COURSE-SECTION-SEMESTER@radford.edu

Ex: ru-engl449-01-spring@radford.edu

Functions

  • Quickly and easily broadcast messages to all students in class
  • Spaced distribution of class announcements, assignments and learning support documents to all students in class
  • Distribution of text-based assignments such as ‘written lectures’, probing questions, case studies, etc.

Detailed instructions about course email alias

CITL-zoom-icon

Zoom–Voice/Video/Document Conferencing

Zoom can be used in various ways, including: real-time audio-only (phone) meetings; video meetings; and web conferencing with document sharing.

Functions

  • Class lecture/meeting
  • Live Class Discussions
  • Software demonstrations and presentations via screen sharing
  • Individual student consultations / office hours
  • Student group/team/partner meetings

Detailed instructions about Zoom/Video/Document Conferencing

Video tutorial for Zoom conferencing

Radford Zoom backgrounds [zip]

Instructions for enabling a virtual background in Zoom

CITL-D2L-icon

Desire2Learn - Online Learning Management System

All courses automatically have a course shell in D2L, our Online Learning Managment System.

Functions

  • Class assignment distribution / collection
  • Quizzes / tests
  • Document download via link (e.g. PowerPoint, PDF, Word, jpg, png, etc.)
  • Threaded discussion
  • Resource linking

Detailed instructions about D2L

Quick Start D2L

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Faculty Know Their Courses Best:  The resources here are recommendations based on high impact teaching and learning practices using a variety of modes and technologies.  While most faculty would likely use D2L as a vehicle for academic continuity, Zoom and other synchronous and asynchronous options for teaching remotely are available.  In addition, some faculty may find that it makes more sense to use individual projects to enhance and assess student learning.
  • Remember Access:  Please note that internet access may be variable among our students (and possibly our faculty).  We recommend using a CHECKLIST or SURVEY with students to assess their access to technology as you make decisions about adapting your course.  Remember also to consider students who may have accommodations as you adapt your course activities. Check out guidelines for accessibility resources from CAS.
  • Be Inclusive:  Whether face to face or online, consider the indentities and experiences of yourself and others.  Academic Programs' cultural competency webpage has resources for faculty to exlore their own biases, to make their classrooms inclusive and welcoming, and to instill a sense of belonging for all students.
  • Be Kind and Be Flexible:  We are living through a difficult time.  Students, as well as faculty, are experiencing varying degrees of anxiety and trauma which may affect their performance.  We encourage you to practice humane and trauma-informed pedagogy.  Teaching to the particular context is a benefit in many ways.  It makes student persistance more likely, it makes your teaching more resilient in the face of disruption, and it allows for you to incorporate into your course current events and local and world "wicked" problems as they may arise during the semester.  We hope that the disruption to higher education that has resulted from the pandemic is an opportunity for you to experiment with different kinds of learning environments, and that you set new goals for growth and development as an instructor as a result.
  • Keep It Simple and Clear:  Remember that students will be experiencing multiple courses which are much different.  Establish clear expectations, routines, and communication methods. 
  • Practice:  Work with the technology to see what you’re comfortable with.  Also, allow students to “practice” with the new learning environment by adding some low-or-no-stakes assignments for them to turn in.
  • Student Support:  You are also encouraged to communicate with your students about resources continually available to them, such the Center for Accessibility ServicesRUC Academic Support, and the Harvey Knowledge Center (where online academic coaching is available). The HKC offers face-to-face and phone appointments using Zoom, email appointments, and NetTutor Live and Drop-off services (live tutoring requires webcam and mic/speakers).  Send your students to the Harvey Knowledge Center's Keep Learning page for more resources.
  • Keep Advising: Keep in mind that mentoring and advising is needed more than ever in the event of a disruption.   Please read these instructions from the Academic Advising Centers for continuing strong advising relationships with your students.  
  • Seek Help:  Colleagues in the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, Division of Information Technology, and McConnell and RUC Libraries are available to you via email or Zoom.
  • Keep Researching:  Remote teaching offers some flexibility that may be conducive to keeping up with your own research projects and creative work.  On the other hand, sometimes structure is what we most need to keep our work going.  If that’s the case, you might try an accountability tool (this might be good to share with your students, as well!).  You could also consider starting or participating in an accountability group.  Contact Heather Keith (hkeith1@radford.edu) if you’re interested in participating in a weekly campus group via Zoom.
  • Stay Well:  Check out the Keep Learning Home Wellness page for resources regarding maintaining your own mental and physical health.  The Human Resources' Keep Working page also has information about wellness.

Additional Resources

Contact a CITL Professional

Name Contact Information Specializations
Samantha Blevins sblevins@radford.edu
Schedule a Zoom Meeting
Instructional Strategies
Instructional Design
Assessment Design
Eportfolio
Reflective Practices
Charley Cosmato ccosmato@radford.edu
Schedule a Zoom Meeting
Instructional Design
Instructional Strategies
Creative solutions
David Halpin dhalpin1@radford.edu Instructional Design
Online Course Design
Assessment Design
Instructional Audio/Video
Blackboard/D2L
John Hildreth jhildret@radford.edu Instructional Design
Instructional Strategies
Creative Assignments
Instructional Audio/Video Media Development
Media Production
Heather Keith hkeith1@radford.edu Instructional Strategies
General Instructional Design
Maintaining a Creative or Research Work Agenda
Faculty Development
Managing Difficult Discussions
Tom Snediker tsnediker@radford.edu Instructional Design
Online Course Design
Instructional Audio/Video Media Development
Instructional Strategies
D2L Teaching Strategies
Merrie Winfrey mwinfrey3@radford.edu
Schedule a Zoom Meeting
Instructional Design
Instructional Strategies
Making Courses and Content Accessible to All Learners
Inclusive Pedagogy