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Teaching Support for Business Faculty: General Online Teaching Resources

A guide to resources & tools in support of best practices in remote/online instruction for College of Business & all BGSU faculty.

General Teaching Resources

Academic Partnerships

Academic Partnerships Logo   

Course Design Assistance

The firm, Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities expand their influence through the online delivery of instruction and programs. BGSU and AP entered into a partnership to offer online MBA. In this partnership, AP is responsible for marketing, recruiting, retention, and student progression. AP uses omni-channel marketing techniques to recruit and select students based on our selection criteria. AP also provides instructional development services to faculty. Using research-based best practices for online education, their team assists faculty and university instructional design teams with program planning, course design, development and review.

Sample Online Courses/Templates

If BGSU faculty are looking for sample online courses, AP has sample online course in their faculty ecommons site. For the CoB, AP has assisted Connie Disbro, MBA Coordinator for the Online and Full-Time MBA Programs, Graduate and Executive Programs in Business.

AP’s information is password protected since they partner with BGSU, so it is not available to the public.  The username and password to access their course templates through Faculty E-Commons can be found on the CoB's R: drive.   [R:\CBA\College\Academic Partnership].

Education Advisory Board (EAB)

Education Advisory Board (EAB) is a best practices firm which helps schools by providing data driven analytic tools for Enrollment Success, Student Success, and Institutional Success. At present, they have served more than 1,500 institutions and 3.7 million students with their Student Success Management System. BGSU is one of their partner institutions and use their suite of tools in all three areas mentioned above. EAB also has a library of over 7,500 peer-tested best practices.

Here is a link to their resources: (also provided below is relevant information from this link)

https://eab.com/research/strategy/resource-center/support-your-campus-through-the-coronavirus-crisis/

General Guidance for all Remote Instruction

No matter what kind of course you’re teaching, you will likely be navigating unfamiliar software, supporting students with little to no experience in a remote learning environment, and managing students’ (and your own) wellbeing during this unprecedented crisis. Below are considerations to develop minimum viable quality remote courses, regardless of course type or discipline.

Orientation and Logistics

  • Orient students to the new remote learning environment (e.g., how to navigate the LMS, how to access course materials, how to access assignments)
  • Clearly address any changes to the syllabus or other course policies since the move to remote instruction
  • Share your contact information, communication preferences (e.g., how students should contact you), and communication expectations (e.g., how long students should expect to wait for a response)
  • Ensure that students know what technology they will need to succeed in the course, and how to troubleshoot any tech issues that may arise
  • Identify which students, if any, do not have reliable access to WiFi and develop customized support plans for them (see next section)

Supporting Students without Sufficient Tech and Internet Access

  • Loan a laptop, tablet, and/or WiFi hotspot from the institution to the student, or provide funds to the student to purchase or rent one on the institution’s behalf
  • Help the student identify places to access free community WiFi (e.g., public WiFi hotspots, public library parking lots, open areas at a local college or university)
  • Mail critical course material to student’s homes, and allow them to mail assignments and projects back to you
  • Develop alternative lesson plans using materials and resources the student has access to at home or in their community

Lecture Materials

  • Share your presentation slides, lecture script or notes, and any other supplementary materials
  • Link to (and cite appropriately) external resources that supplement your course materials and provide students with additional opportunities to engage with concepts on their own time
  • Share a recording of your class if you’ve taught remotely in previous years
  • Develop sample workplans with clear informal deadlines to help students stay on track to complete larger assignments without in-person accountability. Do the same for TAs/GAs.

Support Student Learning

  • Develop clear guiding questions to help focus students’ attention as they review learning materials
  • Consider including “knowledge check” activities with simple, low-stakes quizzes or simplified online discussions in between larger assignments
  • Set up a peer review of student work, such as homework problem-sets or drafts of writing assignments, with clear and specific instructions for what to consider when reviewing each other’s work. A structured worksheet, provided to students in advance, can allow students to respond to guided questions as they review their peers’ work.

Managing Online Discussion

  • Set clear expectations for student discussion, and develop discussion rubrics to guide student behavior
  • Acknowledge and encourage student participation as much as possible
  • Promote civil peer-to-peer discussion and clearly outline what behaviors are unacceptable
  • Prompt and encourage deeper thinking and engagement with the material when students share their thoughts and observations
  • Provide expertise where needed to keep conversation on track and progressing

Instructor-Student Engagement and Feedback

  • Acknowledge receipt of submitted assignments so students don’t worry that a technical issue has gotten in the way
  • Provide timely feedback on submitted assignments according to the expectations you set at the beginning of the remote instruction period (e.g., email responses within 24 hours).
  • Hold virtual office hours where students can engage directly with you over chat, discussion forum, video, or phone
  • Use your institution’s LMS chat and/or discussion forum functions to allow students to engage with you and with one another on their own time

Considerations for lecture and seminar courses

The majority of your institution’s courses likely use a lecture or seminar format, which means many faculty members will be working to ensure that they can still teach classes of varying sizes effectively while maintaining student-to-student and student-to-faculty engagement. The latter will be particularly challenging for large lecture courses, so we have provided additional guidance for those course types in each of the following sections. The first consideration every faculty member must make is whether to attempt to deliver the course synchronously or asynchronously. It will be tempting to try to replicate every aspect of an in-person class for a remote environment, but that is rarely the right answer. Faculty should be encouraged to simplify their syllabi and course requirements to focus on core concepts.

Asynchronous Remote Courses

Asynchronous course delivery is the quickest and easiest way to migrate a lecture or seminar course online and mitigates many of the access issues students without strong internet connections or WiFi-enabled devices at home encounter. This is also a lower tech option for faculty members unfamiliar with videoconferencing software and other tools of synchronous remote instruction and may be the only available option for students sharing a space with others or responsible for unplanned childcare, eldercare, or other commitments. Of course, asynchronous delivery can be augmented by synchronous office hours, study sessions, or discussion groups.

If you choose to structure your lecture or seminar course for asynchronous delivery, use the following diagnostic checklist to ensure that instructors and students are ready to succeed:

  • Distill key teaching points from your lectures into multiple, shorter videos of 6-10 minutes of content—this maintains student attention and allows them to reengage with the content when necessary
  • If possible, improve accessibility by captioning your lectures with captioning assistance from your institution, student workers or graduate assistants, YouTube’s video captioning tools, or other means. Unfortunately, most free tools are fairly low quality, so a standardized approach should be prioritized in of the next phase of remote course development.
  • Provide guiding questions and review frameworks that accompany all lectures and other course materials to help students engage with these materials in a structured way
  • Do not underestimate the benefit of uploading a written lecture or lecture outline that students can read rather than watch
  • Set clear expectations for when and how students should engage with the course materials that you post online. Give extended windows of time (e.g., multiple days) for students to access, review, and respond to materials to accommodate student schedules affected by the crisis.
  • Set up a discussion for students in your LMS or discussion forum, where they can respond to discussion questions related to course content. Participate at predetermined times to help keep the conversation on track and encourage participation from less active students.
  • Consider assigning roles to students so that they understand when and how they might respond to you, TAs, or their peers. For example, students might adopt a particular perspective from which to respond, or you might ask them to perform particular tasks (e.g., be a summarizer, a respondent, a connector with outside resources).

Additional Considerations for Large Lecture Courses:

  • Given bandwidth restraints and caps on number of participants built into some videoconferencing platforms, asynchronous delivery might be the only option for some larger lecture courses
  • Divide your students into smaller groups and subgroups, and host office hours, review sessions, and other activities with smaller groups to ensure that all students receive instructor or TA attention if they want it. Use subgroups for peer review and think-pair-share-type activities.
  • Set up a peer review of student work, such as homework problem-sets or drafts of writing assignments, with clear instructions for what to consider when reviewing each other’s work. Include a structured worksheet that allows students to respond to guided questions as they review their peers’ work.

Synchronous Remote Courses

Synchronous remote courses allow you to more closely replicate the in-person experience of lecture and seminar courses with real-time discussion. It also provides much-needed contact and community during this stressful time, as students can see and hear one another and engage in a shared pursuit. However, it is also a more high tech and internet-reliant option that requires greater technical proficiency on the part of the instructor, and is less accessible to students with limited or no internet connectivity in their homes or communities.

If you choose to structure your lecture or seminar course for synchronous delivery, take the following steps into consideration:

  • Select and familiarize yourself with a presentation tool(s). Common platforms include:
  • Distill key teaching points from your lessons into multiple, shorter lectures of 6-10 minutes of content broken up with discussion or student-led activities, which maintains and focuses student attention
  • Use breakout rooms to divide students into smaller groups of 20 or fewer to facilitate discussion
    • Option 1: Automatically generate break-out rooms based on the number of “rooms” or groups you want to create
    • Option 2: Manually assign break-out rooms by selecting which participants should be matched within groups
  • Obtain informed consent from students before recording any sessions they’re included in
  • Use videoconferencing tools or discussion forum platforms, to allow students to communicate with one another outside of synchronous class sessions. Limit or eliminate requirements that students meet with one another outside of designated class times.
  • Consider developing a digital “queue” for TA or instructor office hour time, allowing students to sign up on chat or a synchronous word editor such as Google Docs, with the instructor or TA connecting one-on-one or in small groups when they become available
  • Include asynchronous components to the course, such as posting lecture videos, notes, and other materials online, and using discussion forum technology to allow students to connect with you and with one another outside of lectures
  • Consider relaxing in-person participation course requirements to accommodate students with shifting schedules and responsibilities at home, or limited or no internet connectivity (see this Resource Center’s “Accessibility and Equity Considerations in Remote Instruction” section for further guidance)

Additional Considerations for Large Lecture Courses:

  • Divide your students into smaller groups and subgroups, and host office hours, review sessions, and other activities with smaller groups to ensure that all students receive instructor or TA attention if they want it. Use subgroups for peer review and think-pair-share-type activities.
  • Set up a peer review of student work, such as homework problem-sets or drafts of writing assignments, with clear instructions for what to consider when reviewing each other’s work. Include a structured worksheet that allows students to respond to guided questions as they review their peers’ work.

Additional Resources for Remote Lecture and Seminar Courses

Instructors, staff, and students across higher education have come together like never before to crowdsource remote instruction strategies and solutions and help ensure that everyone is able to maintain academic continuity in this time of crisis. The robust online resource hubs and discussion communities below can help you migrate your lecture and seminar courses (and beyond) to remote instruction, and to connect with others in this trying time.