First Day Checklist for Moving Courses to Online Instruction
The Taskforce for Remote Teaching and the Office for Faculty Advancement invites MSU faculty to use the following 7 point checklist to ensure readiness for Day 1.
For each class or section you teach, make sure you have:
___ Communicated with your students.
- Identified best ways to communicate with you, including establishing virtual office hours if you are a full-time instructor.
- Summarized your plans for transitioning to remote instruction, making clear to students what resources they will need (e.g., audio/video capacities, specific technological tools) and encouraging students to inform you of resource issues they may face.
- Provided resources to help students to be successful online, including
___ Published and updated your Canvas course page.
___ Revised your syllabus to focus on essential learning outcomes; included specific assignments with due dates, methods for submission, and a clear strategy for assessments. Consider
- Students may be trying to complete the course via smartphone, rather than a computer, and may have limited bandwidth off-campus.
- Assignments you planned at the beginning of the course may not translate well to online formats and will pose challenges (e.g., group presentations or group papers, debates, etc.).
- Changes in the course may necessitate changes in your assessments.
___ Developed and uploaded instructional material for the first week at a minimum.
___ Planned for a mix of synchronous (students and instructor meet virtually in real-time) and asynchronous activities (students complete activities independently and at their own time) that is appropriate to your course and discipline.
- Synchronous activities maintain communication, engagement, and continuity with the pre-COVID-19 learning environment; they also help students avoid procrastination and negative behavior.
- Asynchronous activities allow for the flexibility that people may need in times of crisis; they also enable focused reading, viewing, writing, and creating.
___ Developed strategies for creating community, student engagement, and instructor presence through a range of tools from online discussion, chat features, virtual office hours, email communication, brief assignments, and frequent faculty communications.
___ Made contingency plans for the following:
- Reduction in instructional time, necessitating achievement of critical course objectives and submitting final grades without fulfilling all components of the original syllabus.
- Technologies slowing or being faulty due to high usage–know whom to call to report (IT Service Desk, 973-655-7971; or through chat or email).
- Accommodating individual students who present unanticipated difficulties.
More information for faculty members about making the conversion from in-person to online instruction is available in the Guide for Faculty in Transitioning to Online Teaching, and throughout the Office for Faculty Advancement and Instruction Technology and Design Services websites.