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Online Library & Learning Services Support during COVID-19

What to consider when transitioning from face to face to online instruction 

Technology: access and expertise

Consider your students’ access to technology and working spaces, as well as students’ (and your own) technical experience.

  • Consider that many students may only have access to a mobile device, so be mindful of how you present information (e.g. chunk information, use bulleted lists, post in PDF format).
  • Consider that many students may have children at home, be sharing working spaces with other family members, or have other similar distractions they can’t avoid and that may affect their ability to demonstrate their learning.
  • Consider that some students may not have reliable access to the Internet when they are off-campus.
  • Consider confidentially polling your students (e.g. by email) to determine what access they have to devices and internet, as well as other accessibility considerations. This will help inform some of the options that will need to be provided to students.
  • Whatever tool you are using for assessment, give your students a no-stakes practice run in the tool so they, and you, can get familiar with how it works.
  • Allow multiple attempts at online quizzes, making testing a learning experience (and to prevent technical issues on one attempt affecting students’ grades).

Organization / Logistics

  • Share detailed criteria with students in advance of the assignment in the form of rubrics or guidelines.
  • Ensure that questions, instructions, and rubrics are clear (students won’t be able to ask for clarification as readily as they can in a face-to-face environment).
  • Record synchronous meetings so that students can watch at a later time if necessary
  • Provide a space for students to ask questions, such as a discussion board, so that all students have equal access to information.
  • Provide opportunities for students to contribute to asynchronous discussion boards or complete online quizzes at times that are most convenient to them.
  • Start with practice tests using the test-taking platform before completing a quiz on the same platform so students can become comfortable and familiar with its use.
  • Set realistic expectations for assignments/projects, bearing in mind students’ access to resources and the ability of teams to meet in person.