First Day Checklist for Moving Courses to Online Instruction

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.