Teaching Resources

Last-Minute Remote Teaching

Resource Overview

Tips and ideas for when classes are shifted to remote learning without advance notice

When there’s a snowstorm, ice storm, or other emergency that requires the university to make a last-minute pivot to remote education, what are some first steps to take in regards to teaching?

Decide on class mode

Synchronous: The most common option is to move your class onto Zoom. This works especially well for lecture-based courses, but can also work with more interactive classes as well. You can even set up the Zoom meeting right in Canvas. Remember, though, that teaching on Zoom isn’t the same as teaching in-person in a physical classroom. Take a look at our resource Best Practices in Teaching Online. While not all of these suggestions can be implemented on the fly, they should give you an idea of what aspects of your planned class might still work well and what might need to be adapted for the online environment.

Asynchronous: Another option is to create asynchronous activities on the same material that would have been covered in person instead of meeting on Zoom. This may include Canvas discussion boards, other online discussion tools, writing assignments, problem sets, additional readings, exercises on tools like Hypothesis, etc.

Communicate clearly with students

Whatever you decide regarding the mode of your class session, communicate your decision and expectations clearly to your students. Send a quick announcement via Canvas or an email.

Be kind to yourself and your students

Last-minute transitions can be stressful and it’s ok if they’re not perfect. Concentrate on making the most out of the remote teaching opportunity given the limited time and resources available when preparing for a last-minute transition.

Further Resources

Have suggestions?

If you have suggestions of resources we might add to these pages, please contact us:

ctl@wustl.edu(314) 935-6810Mon - Fri, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.