Remote Teaching Recommendations

Today’s Faculty Learning Corner gives you resources, tips, and recommendations for moving forward with remote teaching.  The form was adapted from Oregon State University. Let the Helpdesk, CELT, and your instructional designers know what issues you run into as we transition to remote learning.

Identify Expectations for Students

Consider some of your expectations for students, including participation, communication, and deadlines.  Keep in mind the impact this situation may have on students’ abilities to meet those expectations, including illness, lacking power or internet connections, or needing to care for family members.  Be ready to equitably handle requests for extensions or accommodations.  Adjust your syllabi and course activities, including graded work, to reflect what will happen as of March 23rd based on changing circumstances due to COVID-19.  Flexibility will be important going forward.

Tech Set Up and Checking

At a minimum, instructors should be prepared to use both Blackboard and a collaboration tool (Collaborate Ultra is recommended).  Prepare to work from home.  You’ll need a computer and an internet connection.  You can use a cell phone or tablet for basic communication, such as recording an announcement or lecture.  It’s important to test your equipment and connections well in advance.  Contact CELT if you just need to test or try something out (See links at the end of this document to find someone to contact).  Put the UAS Helpdesk on speed-dial and don’t be afraid to call them!!  Phone at 877-465-6400 or e-mail at

Communication With Support Personnel and Staff

Make sure that you have phone numbers of support personnel and staff that you might need to contact.  You will want the contact info for the Helpdesk and CELT.  Most will probably have phones forwarded, but make sure rather than assume.  Also, make sure that others can communicate with you also, by watching your e-mail and forwarding your campus phone.

Helpdesk Phone at 877-465-6400 or e-mail at
CELT email at

Forwarding your phone (must be done at your Cisco phone) –

Communication with Students

Post an announcement in Blackboard to inform students about how the course will continue to be delivered, how additional communications about changes will be communicated, and what your expectations are regarding how often they should be checking their course.

As an alternative, you can also bulk email students from the Blackboard Grade Center, or use student’s emails from the Classlist.  Under the current circumstances, you may find that students miss Blackboard announcements, but might respond to direct email.

Determine How Lectures Will Be Delivered

Consider whether you will prepare pre-recorded lectures or give synchronous lectures. Synchronous lectures can be recorded by the instructor in Collaborate Ultra. Recordings can easily be shared with students through Blackboard.  In Collaborate Ultra you can also go in yourself and pre-record a lecture or message.  The recordings will be in your Blackboard course and available to students. 

Blackboard Ultra Recordings

Preparation and Delivery of Course Materials

When creating content in Blackboard, instructors can place links to materials directly in the content area. These can help tie course content together and help students stay focused on the course. Use the instructions below to learn more about Blackboard.

Understanding and Managing Your Course Site

Adding Files and Links

Editing, deleting and moving content 

Hiding Content or Assessments

Discussion Board

Tests / Assessments

Grade Center

Preparation and Delivery of Assignments/Exams

High-stakes assessments will be challenging, so consider ways to break up high-stakes assessments into smaller, more regular assessments throughout the Semester.

Use Blackboard Assignments to collect documents or hand-written/scanned work.

Create Tests within Blackboard for quick assessment of student learning. Some Blackboard assessments can be graded automatically within Blackboard.

Think about other ways to have students show they’ve mastered learning outcomes.  You can assess through students work in online discussions, short recorded oral presentations, or short essay assignments. 

At this time assume that proctoring is not available.  You will need to talk to testing representatives on your individual campus to find out your ability to remote proctor.

Class Interaction Between Faculty and Students

In order to maintain substantive interaction with your students during a remote-teaching period, you should do this via the Blackboard discussion board and/or Collaborate Ultra. 


  • Blackboard announcements
  • E-Mail messages
  • Collaborate Ultra office hours/help sessions 
  • Phone Help
  • VoiceThread


For large classes and/or classes with small group work, consider setting up Group work in Collaborate Ultra. 

If delivering session live via Collaborate Ultra, students can interact in chat, breakout sessions, or ask questions. Students can set up their own Zoom meetings outside of Blackboard. 

Practices to Avoid


Do not hold synchronous class meetings, such as via Collaborate Ultra, at a time and day the class is not scheduled to meet 

Do not extend class beyond the time the class usually meets 

Do not add a class session during finals week 

Do not extend the course so that it ends after finals week 

Do not reschedule finals


Do not increase the amount of work students are expected to do, in fact you may need to reduce the amount of work as students get acclimated to their new working surroundings and technology.

Do not ask students to do the same amount and kind of work the syllabus initially expected them to do while:

  1. compressing the work into a shorter time period and/or
  2. reducing their access to instructor, peer or campus resources.

If you have more content than time, reflect on the student learning outcomes for your course and focus on those that are the most important.

Do not teach via individual consultation and tutorial unless you were going to do that anyway, such as office hour and normal individual email communications 


Outside of Blackboard and Collaborate Ultra, do not use additional technologies or tools you don’t normally use in the course. They can create significant barriers for students due to inaccessibility or additional costs. 

CELT Site and Links

Helpdesk Phone at 877-465-6400 or e-mail at

CELT email at

Here is a link to the UAS CELT (Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching) website:

UAS Instructional Design Network – Resources and “How To”