Strategies and Tools for Rapidly Moving Your Course OnlineFor tutorials on how to accomplish specific tasks using OWL or other Western Technologies, please see the links on the lefthand menu. For useful strategies and tools, please see the recommendations and other information below.
- I’m New to OWL and Using eLearning Tools
- I’m Comfortable with eLearning Tools, Including OWL
- Specific Strategies and Tools
- Communication is Key. No matter how you structure your course online, communicating to students should be a priority. Choose a communication method (e.g. OWL announcements, email, OWL messages) and be consistent in it’s use. You will need to communicate:
- where and how to access course material
- important dates
- how to submit assignments
- preferred method for students to communicate with you and your TAs, as well as a respected response time
- You may need to simplify aspects of a course, but should endeavouring to preserve its learning outcomes. For example, some assignments may be altered or cancelled and existing assessments may be reweighted, but the essential requirements of the course should remain constant.
- Keep Your Course Site Simple. A main goal of putting courses rapidly online is to enable students to complete their courses during the regular academic term. Priority should be placed on quickly putting learning resources, activities, and assessments online rather than creating a “perfect” online experience
- Use OWL as the main portal for sharing and linking to course information and content so that students have a single point of access for all their course materials and activities.
- Where possible, used Western’s centrally-supported eLearning tools. Western has dedicated student and instructor supports in place for these tools and then do not require individuals to access, sign up for, or learn new tools
- Working with TAs: Workshops will be open to GTAs, but course instructors remain responsible for the form and content of the online material, as well as for their GTAs’ hours of employment. Under the current circumstances it is reasonable to substitute new duties not previously outlined in the Duties Specification Agreement, but they should not exceed the number of hours remaining in the contract. Supervisors should also be aware that attendance at workshops or any other time spent acquiring new competencies must be counted as part of the GTA’s workload.
- Clearly communicate to students where and how to access course material as well as important dates, how to submit assignments, and the preferred method for students to communicate with you and your Teaching Assistants for the duration of the course.
- Focus on providing asynchronous content (i.e., posting pre-created material rather than providing “live” lectures). This will minimize technical issues that may disrupt the flow of instruction.
- Focus on a more basic use of OWL to do the following:
- Create the OWL course site (if not already done)
- Uploading simple course content files (e.g., Lecture notes, readings, PowerPoints, videos, weblinks) to OWL using the Resources or Lessons Tools
- You may need to modify assignments so that they can be submitted digitally. See the chart below for suggestions. Where applicable, use the OWL Assignments tool for students to submit their work
- If student presentations are required, encourage students to submit video/audio content
- Clearly communicate to students where and how to access course material as well as important dates, how to submit assignments, and the preferred method for students to communicate with you and your Teaching Assistants for the duration of the course
- Use the eLearning tools with which you are already comfortable to move the course online to OWL
- Instructors who use synchronous technologies (i.e., “live” classroom experiences) are encouraged to continue to use these services. Institutionally supported tools—Blackboard Collaborate and/or Zoom—are recommended.
|Live video chat/virtual office hours*|
|Communicating events and deadlines|
|Create course FAQ|
*Instructors are encouraged to continue or increase office hours to allow students to ask
questions about course content and other course requirements
|Post links to course readings in OWL|
|Link to documents, video, podcasts|
|Post lecture notes to OWL|
|Record video presentations and embed in OWL|
|Create a narrated or annotated PowerPoint|
|Embed or create links to other online content
(including Open Education Resources, Merlot.org,
OASIS and others)
|Host a live online class|
|Sharing, editing, and collaborating on documents
(e.g., Word, Excel)
|Have students work on case studies or other
|Share, link to, or embed online simulations,
collections, or demonstrations for discussion, critique,
|Share, link to, or embed raw data or digital media for
|Share or link to case studies for discussion and
|Students submit video or digital recording of their
presentations, performances, or skill application
|Student give a live demonstration/presentation|
*the POD network has compiled a list of online labs currently available for rapid adoption
Break students into smaller groups
Sharing Group Presentations and Projects
Explore online assessments such as reflective writing, written or photo essays, research
reports, critiques, simulations, scenarios, simulations, scenarios or case studies,
presentations, online quizzes.
|Providing individual feedback|
|Providing feedback to a group or course
|Administering Quizzes and Tests|