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Remote teaching and learning
This page offers suggestions for instructors looking to continue offering a student-centred learning experience in an online learning environment. We aim to provide some practical solutions for moving your teaching online, but please be aware that these guidelines are not intended to support you in developing a complete state-of-the-art online course.
Moving your class online
A first choice is whether you’d like to teach in real-time (synchronously) or not (asynchronously). The latter often works better, so consider whether synchronous activities are really necessary.
You are mostly only teaching one or two courses, but your students are taking more than just your course. They need your support and they need clarity: what do you expect of them and how they can achieve that expectation?
- Provide clear instructions to guide students in what to do and when.
- You can use announcements in Brightspace and/or use the Brightspace classlist for email.
Online does not necessarily mean synchronous and it is not always a lecture. Your lessons can consist of various activities that can be done online by your students at different times. You can instruct your students to do a combination, e.g.:
- Watch a video or listen to a podcast.
- Read an article.
- Complete an assignment with interactive tools.
- Discuss/ask questions/give feedback on the discussion board in Brightspace. Use specific, structured questions, and let students know expectations for their responses.
- If really needed you can add a chat or short online live video conference for office hours.
- Stuck for ideas? Check out: https://www.gillysalmon.com/e-tivities.html
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If content is already available, then reuse it! Share it via your Brightspace course. Some websites you can consult:
- Keep videos short (8 minutes maximum). It is better to create several short videos than one long video. Consider what type of video suits your course best. See Tools to create and upload video.
- Audio is important: test the audio first and consider using a headset with an external microphone.
- Upload the video to a streaming server (at TU Delft we use Kaltura) so your students don’t have to download very large files. You can share the link or embed it in Brightspace. More info
- Add interaction with a quiz, discussion forum, chat.
- Refer to the Video factsheets on the Online Learning Hub for more information. They can be found under 'Resources' on the right side of the page.
- Check the overview Compare Online Meeting Tools, to decide which tools are most suited to your situation.
- Stick to the core; online education can be very intense. Try to limit the duration of your teaching session and stick to the essentials.
- Structure your slides in a way that is easy to follow. Add chapter slides in a bright color, add slides to indicate that students can ask questions, and add breaks. Make sure that students know how long the break is and when you will continue. For more tips see this webinar or look at this factsheet.
- Add interactivity to your session. Use polling (YouSeeU, Teams, Zoom) to ask questions, ask students to ask questions in the chat, or use breakout rooms so students can discuss in small groups.
- Open the session at least 10 minutes before it starts
- Mute all the participants at the beginning of your session. Background noises (such as coughs, washing machines, etc.) can be distracting.
- When you are recording online lectures, be extra aware of the privacy of students. Ask students to turn off their cameras before initiating a recorded lecture and if it is necessary to include the student(s) images in the recording, make sure to clearly explain it in advance to the class.
- Visit our Quickstart guide to Brightspace.
- You can also use more advanced Brightspace options, such as quizzes, assignments, checklists, discussion forums, or self assessments.
- If you need more functionalities, please take a look at the TU Delft tool overview.
- Get your colleagues and/or TAs to help you out when trying out a new tool (e.g. get together in Virtual Classroom (Bongo) and try out all its functionalities from a student’s perspective).
- Trust your students to help you out: ask what they prefer.
- Ask all questions you have (see Support below).
TU Delft tools
Make sure to choose learning tools which are supported by the TU Delft. This ensures that you comply with the GDPR legislation. See this overview of tools you can use (Green = Save to use)
TU Delft offers a wide variety of tools for education. We’ve listed the most important once for remote education.
Video recording tools
- Kaltura: Do-it-yourself video tool for recording from webcam/screencasting (i.e., ppt or screen) and video repository for videos created with Kaltura tool or other video tools. From the repository, videos can be integrated and reused in Brightspace course content.
Unsupported tools (you’re on your own!)
- Screenrecorder: PowerPoint (Windows, macOS), Camtasia (Paid, Windows & macOS), OBS Studio (OpenSource, Windows, macOS, Linux), Screencast-o-matic (Free/Paid, Web), Snagit (Paid, Windows & macOS) Quicktime (Free, macOS)
- Editing: Camtasia (paid, Windows & macOS), Shotcut (OpenSource, Windows & macOS), iMovie (Free, macOS)
- Phone: You can also use your phone to record (short) video clips)
Video lecturing tools & Live stream
- There are multiple tools to give a video lecture/synchronous session. See the overview Comparing Online Meeting Tools to decide which tool is best for you.
- For live streaming and recordings of your lectures (in a lecture hall), please contact Collegerama
- To record a video in a (Do-It-Yourself) studio, please contact the New Media Centre.
Remote teaching tools
TU Delft offers a wide range of remote teaching tools.
How to get assistance if necessary:
- Teaching Support: Support on Brightspace, educational tools, and educational advise.
- Training and workshops for instructors. If you are interested in a (virtual) workshop, but the date does not suit you; contact TLS@tudelft.nl
- Teaching Academy: find peers and inspiration on education. Also check the webinars on remote education.
- Collegerama: For live-streaming and recording of your lectures
- New Media Centre: for video recording in a studio, or to book a Do-It-Yourself studio.
Here are some helpful links from our colleagues in the higher education sector:
- SURF: Online onderwijs vraagbaak (only in Dutch)
- MIT Teach Remote
- Harvard Teach Remotely
- The Chronicle of higher education: Going Online in a Hurry: What to Do and Where to Start
- Inside HigherEd: Prepare to Move Online (in a Hurry)
- Moses Writes: Online education in a time of uncertainty
Thanks to Teaching Effectively During Times of Disruption, for SIS and PWR by Jenae Cohn and Beth Seltzer, Stanford Edu. CC-BY-NC-SA