Teach Online

You will likely find that teaching online is not the same as teaching in person. However, online teaching can be just as effective in helping your students learn.

Designing Your Online Course

Building a robust online course is not simply a matter of selecting the right tools to replicate a traditional course. To help you design an online experience that will have the greatest impact, please visit our Design Your Online Course page.

Communicating with students

Frequent communication with students is a key aspect of online teaching under any circumstances. It’s doubly important during an unexpected switch from face-to-face teaching. Let students know your plan for continuing the course as soon as you have one. Where can they find course content? How can they reach out to you? How will you have office hours? Will any due dates change? 

Delivering content / lecturing

With few exceptions, there is little content that you would give students in a face-to-face course that you can’t give them in an online course. 

Discussions and group work

Rich discussions and collaboration among your students are still possible when you move online, regardless of whether students work in groups or discuss synchronously (live and at the same time) or asynchronously (anytime). 

Assessing student learning

As in face-to-face teaching, it’s necessary to have a plan to assess how well students are doing. Are they meeting your learning goals? As you move your assessments online, you will want to consider the following.

  • If you normally include attendance and/or participation in your grading, think about how that manifests in the online version of your class. What evidence do you need to count a student as a participant in the online environment? Communication of these expectations is important.
  • If you regularly use clickers or similar tools for obtaining a snapshot of student learning, you can find virtual tools within both Zoom and Canvas that can serve your needs. Learn about Zoom's polling feature. In Canvas, a great way to poll students is to create an ungraded survey, within quizzes.
  • The Canvas quiz feature allows for the creation and grading of both short quizzes and full-sized exams. For some types of questions, such as multiple choice, you can also automate the grading.
  • Although you could just have students email you electronic copies of assignments, Canvas’s Assignments feature provides a one-stop venue for sharing assignment instructions, receiving the assignment from the students, and grading assignments. 
  • Students can use many of the same tools to do online presentations that you’ll be employing to deliver content online. You’ll want to think about whether to add the students’ ability to work in the online environment to your rubric. On the one hand, it rewards those students who master the technology. On the other hand, it isn’t necessarily one of your course goals that they do so.
  • The SpeedGrader tool allows you to leave written or audio/video feedback, which can speed up turnaround time for drafts of papers. Canvas also allows the creation of easy-to-use rubrics. Grades from any quizzes, exams, and other assignments submitted to Canvas can automatically be fed to the Canvas gradebook, which can be configured to match the final grade breakdown in your syllabus. 
  • Proctoring: The university is providing Proctorio, an auto-proctoring solution to be used if you need to give proctored exams while teaching in an online environment. Here's a handy guide that you can provide to students on how they will use Proctorio.
Library Resources for Online Teaching

Our friends at Temple Libraries have produced a Library Support guide outline the help they can provide. They've worked with publishers to make a large number of new resources available. And don't miss the streaming video options available through the library as well as the new one-page guide to Adding Video to Your Online Course.

We’re here to help


CAT is running a series of webinars on various topics related to online teaching. We also have online drop-in help hours Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm with no appointment needed, and consultation times available during the week, on weekends, and in the evenings. Faculty members have also volunteered to assist their colleagues. Additionally, note that you have access to 24/7 Zoom and Canvas support.

See our training schedule and register for a session or watch one of the webinars in our archive.

Portions of this guidance have been adapted, with permission, from Indiana University’s Keep Teaching site.

Scroll to Top