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Know your instruction mode and schedule

Understanding the differences between instruction modes (in-person, hybrid, distance-enhanced and distance learning) are crucial for student success. The schedule of classes will indicate the instruction mode and schedule, ideally including both any in-person and Zoom meetings. Review the Keep Learning site to discover expectations students might have for each instruction mode. If your course includes an in-person component, learn more about your classroom and how it is supported.

Update your syllabus with key expectations

Online and hybrid courses merit special syllabus considerations. A syllabus template is available with crucial online-specific policies that may be adjusted by individual instructors. Some instructors may find it easier to copy, paste and revise specific sections of this template to incorporate into their own syllabus.

Organize your course in CarmenCanvas

Publish your CarmenCanvas course and use Carmen as a class hub for instructions and communications with your students. Review this video introduction for setting up your Carmen course and consider using the Keep Teaching Carmen template.

Once your course is published, continue building by focusing on four essential areas:

1. Upload your updated syllabus

Learn more in the Teaching and Learning Resource Center: Post Your Syllabus, Online and Hybrid Syllabus Template

3. Organize your gradebook

Learn more in the Teaching and Learning Resource Center: Assignment (Gradebook) Setup

2. Organize your course materials

Learn more in the Teaching and Learning Resource Center: Setting Up Course Content, Carmen Template

4. Utilize Carmen Announcements

Learn more in the Teaching and Learning Resource Center: Communicating with Students, Announcement Templates

Build connection at the start of the semester

When instructors take simple steps to show they’re available to answer questions, provide feedback and participate in discussion, students feel supported, motivated and engaged in distance and hybrid courses. Icebreakers help build community, while welcome videos provide context for a course and help students become familiar with instructors. Learn more about online instructor presence in the Teaching and Learning Resource Center.

Know where to get help

Whether you're teaching an in-person, hybrid or fully online class, Keep Teaching and the Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning are your hubs for workshops and resources to build supportive learning environments for your students, from using CarmenCanvas to assessing student learning.


After updating your syllabus and setting up your course in Carmen, you're ready to consider your teaching strategy, learn how to integrate tactics to support student success, find your tools and prepare for assessments: