Skip to main content

Teaching Remotely During A Disruption

Pedagogy and Practice

Making a rapid transition to online learning during times of need may seem daunting. We recommend you implement only those technologies and methods that will best meet the needs of you and your students. You are the best judge of what will suit your course. 

That said, you may find that replicating your face-to-face teaching environment online is an untenable effort. Quick collaborative activities that may take only a few minutes when you are all gathered together can be much harder to facilitate online, even if you are running a live class via Zoom. Students may have access to fewer or different technologies; what each member of the class can do will vary based on what devices they do or do not have available, or the consistency of their Internet connections. Asynchronous conversations on Moodle forums, or even live discussions via Zoom, will have a different feel than your in-person discussions.

Remember, the goal is to try to replicate the essential learning goals in a new format, not necessarily replicate the original course design.

Contact Hours

One helpful guideline is to think in terms of contact hours. According to our Faculty Legislation, each credit should equal about 3 contact hours per week of class. So a 4-credit course should require about 12 hours of work from the student.

As you translate your course into this new format, these charts may be useful:

Contact Hours
Discussion board post (writing 200 words or ~1 paragraph) 10 minutes
Discussion board participation per post (reading 200 words or ~1 paragraph) 1 minute
Prepare a 15-minute presentation 2 hours
Watching or listening to instructor feedback via video or audio file 1 minute = 1 minute
Watching or participating in a live or prerecorded video lecture 1 minute = 1 minute
Reading faculty lecture notes 50 minutes
Reading instructor feedback 10 minutes per graded assignment
Reviewing external web sites for class 20 minutes per URL

Homework Hours

Read (30 pages, book or article): 1 hour
Studying for a quiz 1 hour
Studying for an exam 5-10 hours
Research for a paper or project 2 hours per page written
Write a paper 1 page = 1 hour
Taking a quiz 1 hour
Taking an exam 2-3 hours

Multimodal Learning

We recommend that you structure different types of activities and engagement. Mix the occasional synchronous meeting with asynchronous discussion, or web interactives with additional reading. If there is room in your syllabus for some low-stakes learning opportunities, now is a great time to experiment with a new tool alongside your students - for example, using to annotate a course reading together, or using Google Draw to create a visual representation of course material as a group.

If technology allows, please encourage your students to become creators of original digital content. Encourage them to use the devices available to them to record audio and video responses to course readings. Have them take turns using Zoom to present to their classmates. 

Please also consider creating multimodal learning experiences for your students, incorporating some combination of text, images, audio, and video. Providing multiple means of representation will assist students in the acquisition of your course content.

MHC Accessibility Barriers Form