Moving Your In-Person Course Online


In attempts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, some schools are requiring faculty to convert their in-person courses to online courses in the middle of the term. What issues come up in this transition, and what are good ways to handle them?

Here are some matters to address:

1. Class Meetings

Will you be holding whole-class meetings online, at the same times and durations, to simulate in-class meetings? Or will you break up your class periods to have multiple online sessions during that time with fewer students in each? Or will you be switching to a more asynchronous learning format (in the manner of some fully-online courses) in which you post lecture notes or videos of you lecturing?

2. Technology

If you are planning on using videoconferencing to teach with, which software/platform are you using, and why? If you plan on using online discussion without video as part of the course, what application are you using for that? How might class size affect these decisions?

3. Assignments & Requirements

Are you changing the required assignments at all? Dropping any? Adding new ones? Is there a way to fruitfully preserve in-class presentations or group work as part of your course? If participation counts as part of your students’ grade, how is that affected by the move from a in-person class space?

Suggestions on any of these issues, or of other issues to address, are welcome.

UPDATE (3/9/20): A list of various guidelines and suggestions for emergency online teaching from dozens of schools.

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