No matter the question, we have support resources to get you the help you need.
No matter the question, we have support resources to get you the help you need.
What if I don't have internet?
If you are not in a location with consistent internet access, contact your course coordinator or chair to create a plan for someone to respond to urgent student needs or in case of your prolonged absence from Carmen. If possible, get as much of the course materials posted with clear directions so students are able to work asynchronously while you are offline. Find out if and when you will have internet access, and set expectations for students about when you’ll be online to read email or interact in the course.
You can take advantage of eduroam (education roaming), a secure network service provided on Ohio State campuses and at institutions around the world. Ohio State faculty, staff and students can connect to this network using their Ohio State username (name.#) and password. View a map of where you can connect to eduroam.
You can also explore the collection of free and reduced-cost internet options highlighted on the Keep Learning site for students.
What if some of my students don't have internet?
Student internet access may be disrupted. Provide opportunities for students to share their limitations and be flexible and supportive. They may have solutions in mind for their specific barriers. As you choose strategies for moving online, look for materials that can be streamed or downloaded with slower internet or on multiple devices. Provide options for students who aren’t able to log in at scheduled class time: lectures or Zoom discussions should be recorded so students can watch later if joining live isn’t an option. You can also consider sharing slides with notes instead of hosting a live or recorded lecture. Expand windows of time for participation or submission so students who have reduced access can submit work across a full day or two.
You can also remind your students about eduroam (education roaming), a secure network service provided on Ohio State campuses and institutions around the world. Ohio State faculty, staff and students can connect to this network using their Ohio State username (name.#) and password. Share this map of where you can connect to eduroam in your Carmen course to help students locate connection points that could be nearby.
You can also let students know that there is a collection of free and reduced-cost internet options highlighted on the Keep Learning site.
How do I keep my data secure while teaching remotely?
Continue to employ security best practices as you work remotely, including keeping your systems and software up-to-date, running anti-virus software and backing up your data. If you are working with sensitive information, be sure to keep any paperwork secured and to lock your computer when you are not using it. When using Zoom for live discussions, don't share your Zoom meeting links publicly. Consider choosing the option "Only authenticated users can join" in your Zoom meeting settings to avoid unwanted attendees.
Also, be on the lookout for an increased number of COVID-19 related phishing emails and scams. Even if they are offering accurate information, if you click on the link in an email or open an attachment, it could infect your computer with malware. If you think you have received a suspicious email, forward it to email@example.com.
Will my students have the technology they need to learn at a distance?
Our students, whether familiar with online learning or not, are experiencing major disruptions in their lives. There will be individual limitations to access that require your flexibility. Stay in communication with your students to assess their changing needs and be flexible in due dates, participation windows, and alternative ways to access course content.
Some common technology disruption your students might experience are:
Loss of access to their preferred device and related software.
Loss of access to high-speed internet.
Sharing internet and device access with others in a way that limits the windows of course interaction.
Increased personal illness, childcare, eldercare, or work requirements that limit the windows of course interaction.
These are just a few general guidelines that may assist your planning:
If you plan synchronous course activities (lecture, discussions, group work), offer asynchronous alternatives to participate such as recordings to watch later, ungraded quizzes to practice or check for understanding, or discussion threads to contribute to class.
If specific software is required (anything that might normally take place in a computer lab such as statistical software, CAD, GIS, etc.) identify Ohio State resources that may be available as free downloads. If students cannot access the software on their current devices, work with Ohio State subject librarians to explore open access resources as alternatives. Link download instructions directly into your Carmen course in multiple places such as the syllabus, an announcement, and any relevant course assignments.
Extend due dates and reduce the stakes of assignments wherever possible. Keep the focus on learning rather than high-stakes assessment.
What if I have students who need accommodations because of disabilities?
Student Life Disability Services is still available to provide support for these accommodations. If you’re giving an exam in CarmenCanvas, you may want to familiarize yourself with the options for extending the time limit for specific students. If you plan to hold a live Zoom class session, Disability Services can work with you to provide interpreting or captioning support, if needed. Create a supportive line of communication with all students so they can share their needs.
Do I need to record video lectures?
Video has many effective uses in teaching, and you might choose to use videoconferencing or to record videos in advance as part of your teaching strategies.
There’s no expectation, however, that you record full-length video class sessions. In fact, shorter video recordings would be easier for students to consume, given that longer videos can have buffering issues in areas without stable Wi-Fi.
You might host a Zoom video meeting (recorded and captioned for later) from home once a week, scheduled during one of your scheduled class times. Use to connect with your students and talk them through the week’s reading or assignments, and then the rest of their activity and discussion could take place in Carmen. If equipment or physical spaces are a key component of your class, then you might use your phone or a camera to record video of a process or location.
What if I can't record my lecture or build online activities in time?
The goal is to make adjustments so that students can continue learning. While the university has a range of elearning tools to support teaching at a distance, it’s important to keep expectations realistic—to be pragmatic and make the best choices you can.
This site presents a range of options and tools, and you can choose what makes the most sense for you and your students with the resources you have. Don’t let the technology tools create unrealistic expectations for yourself or students. You don’t need to host and record multiple Zoom class sessions each week; there are a range of possibilities for getting students information, giving them practice, and engaging in dialogue with them.
As the semester proceeds, you’ll want to identify the core teaching strategies that make sense for you—ways you can interact with students on a regular basis with your expertise, guidance, and feedback. You can get help making those decisions on the Planning Strategies page, in conversations with your colleagues and your students, or with workshops and direct support.
What if I have a performance/hands-on lab, or service learning class?
Acknowledge to students (and yourself) that it will be impossible to exactly replicate the planned experiences for this course type and you are doing your best with a difficult situation. Learn more on the Planning Strategies page about first steps for adapting simple labs in STEM and field experience courses, and adapting application and performance experiences in the short term. This should provide at least a few ideas for activities students can engage with in the short term while you explore more complex options as necessary.
If you teach a service learning course, you can find suggested adjustments and other considerations from the Office of Student Academic Success.
Faculty and staff across the university are working to develop solutions for specific contexts and constraints, and more information and guidance will follow.
What if I’ve never taught online before and I don’t know where to start? What if my students don’t know where to begin?
Many Ohio State instructors will be moving courses online for the first time. You are not alone and are not expected to seamlessly create a fully-realized online experience. Start small and utilize the supports available to you at each stage of this transition. Your first steps should be to complete the Carmen Key Three. Watch the video tutorials and if you’re still struggling, get direct support. There are both live and on-demand resources available. Finally, lean on our Buckeye community; reach out to peers who may be a few steps farther along than you and ask for help and offer help to those who ask.
Students are receiving general guidance at keeplearning.osu.edu and basic directions for accessing Carmen and other key tools. Your role as their instructor is to prepare and communicate expectations for how to navigate and keep learning in your specific course. Use the Announcement tool to orient them to what you’re planning and what their next steps should be. In this context, err on the side of overexplaining. A to-do list with actions and dates can be very helpful and reassuring as students adjust to a new mode of learning under stressful circumstances.
What resources should I be sharing with students?
In a prominent place in your Carmen course, you should share some essential resources with your students:
Overall, acknowledge that this is a challenging time for everyone. Show compassion towards your students in your communications and in the way you structure your course for the rest of the semester. Be understanding, and remember to breathe (and share YP4H’s JustBreathe resources)!