Start with Basics

Review This Preparation Checklist

The checklist below (print a pdf) will help continuity of instruction without too much additional disruption. When considering the choices below, be sure to plan for how you will provide academic accommodations for students with disabilities.

First Steps

Issue to Address Possible Solutions
Determine your primary mode of communicating with your students.
Online learning can feel isolating. Make communication easy by selecting one primary method, then use it early and use it often.
Canvas Electronic Course Management LogoELMS-Announcements ELMS-Announcements
UMD Gmail IconUMD Gmail UMD Gmail
Make your syllabus available digitally.
Shifting to a new mode of delivery can be disorienting. Ensure your syllabus provides clear deadlines and conveys high expectations for academic integrity.
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UMD Gmail IconUMD Gmail UMD Gmail
Google Drive LogoGoogle Drive Google Drive

Teaching Your Class

Decide how you will distribute documents and readings.
Learning resources need to be presented to students in a logical order and ‘chunked’ to make them understandable. ELMS modules or pages is a great way to do this.
Canvas Electronic Course Management LogoELMS-Files or pages ELMS-Files or pages
Open Book IconLibrary Services Library Services
Box IconBox Box
Designate a centralized place to collect student submissions.
If possible, avoid tracking submissions by email. ELMS allows you to gather, comment on, and grade assignments all in the same digital space.
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Google Docs IconGoogle Docs Google Docs
UMD GmailUMD Gmail UMD Gmail
Brainstorm ways you can continue class discussions.
Feeling disconnected can have an impact on student motivation. Support student-to-student interactions through discussion boards, interactive sites, social media, etc. It is not sufficient just to load content into ELMS.
Canvas Electronic Course Management LogoDiscussions or Groups Discussions or Groups
Piazza LogoPiazza Piazza
ZoomZoom Zoom
Consider recording your lectures for students to watch remotely
When providing direct instruction remotely - leverage existing videos, and graphics then consider creating your own. Record mini-lectures; one 6-minute concept at a time. Provide opportunities for reflection and practice.
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Powerpoint LogoPowerpoint Powerpoint
ZoomZoom Zoom
Select a platform for hosting live sessions, if necessary.
Relying on a live connection can add stress for you and for students. Have a back-up plan (phone only?) in case you encounter connectivity challenges. Check out this resource to prepare for live sessions.
WebEx logoWebEx WebEx
ZoomZoom Zoom

Feedback and Support

Select a mode for hosting office hours.
Choose a tool you are comfortable with and, if possible, increase the number of times when you can be available by phone or internet. Knowing you are available will ease help students feel more supported.
WebEx logoPhone


Google Meet logoGoogle Meet Google Meet
WebEx logoWebEx WebEx
Think about how your methods for evaluating student learning could be moved to a digital space.
Self- assessment activities, like integrated textbooks, ELMS quizzes and vetted simulations can help you gauge student progress. Project presentations, final exams and paper submissions can be done online as well. Also consider assessing which assignments are essential.
Canvas Electronic Course Management LogoELMS-Assignments, Quizzes, Groups, Discussion boards, etc. ELMS-Assignments, Quizzes, Groups, Discussion boards, etc.
Decide how you would provide students with grades and feedback online.
Formative feedback is crucial to learning. Use rubrics, gradebook messaging, and provide comments on assignments. Help students self-monitor their progress by using ELMS gradebook and by keeping grades available.
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Gradescope logoGradescope Gradescope
UMD Gmail IconUMD Gmail UMD Gmail