Even during emergencies or temporary impacts to traditional teaching, we are committed to continuing Ohio State’s academic mission.
This page helps you find the right strategies to keep teaching and support student success, whether you are teaching in-person, online or a combination of both. No matter the mode, you should build for flexibility, both in your course delivery and in your support for your students. Your students may need extra guidance as they learn through new and changing methods.
First steps to transition instruction
When an emergency occurs or it is clear there will be a disruption to regular instruction, address the items below as quickly as possible—within the first week—to ensure access for students and continuity for your instruction.
- Be aware of challenges and disruptions to learning: Familiarize yourself with COVID-related accommodation requests and what to expect when students are in quarantine or isolation. Students accessing course materials from overseas could encounter additional obstacles and may benefit from flexible arrangements. Connect your students to the Wellness app as a way to help work through this experience. Don’t forget your own well-being: explore COVID-19 resources for faculty/staff.
- Use Zoom while you’re in the classroom: Host concurrent Zoom meetings during your classroom sessions, record those, and share the links in Carmen. Doing this proactively will make it easier to navigate disruptions. Learn more about the technology available in classroom pool spaces or contact Classroom Services for support, equipment loans, and software installation requests.
- Communicate frequently and organize your courses in CarmenCanvas: Use Carmen as your class hub for sharing announcements, syllabus, grades, and course materials. See the videos and resources below. Provide clear directions about what to do if students feel sick, need to miss class, or need to request flexibility with an assignment or due date.
For more information, consult the toolset and teaching topics or ask for help. Communicate with your department or college leaders for questions about your own technology needs or discipline-specific teaching challenges.
Know your instruction mode and schedule
Understanding the differences between instruction modes (in-person, hybrid, distance-enhanced and distance learning) are crucial for student success. The schedule of classes will indicate the instruction mode and schedule, ideally including both any in-person and Zoom meetings. Review the glossary for explanations of each modality, and if your course includes an in-person component, learn more about your classroom and how it is supported.
Update your syllabus with key expectations
Online and hybrid courses merit special syllabus considerations. A syllabus template is available with crucial online-specific policies that may be adjusted by individual instructors. Some instructors may find it easier to copy, paste and revise specific sections of this template to incorporate into their own syllabus.
Publish your CarmenCanvas course and use Carmen as a class hub for instructions and communications with your students. Review this video introduction for setting up your Carmen course and consider using the Keep Teaching Carmen template.
Once your course is published, continue building by focusing on four essential areas.
1. Upload your updated syllabus
2. Organize your course materials
3. Organize your gradebook
4. Use Carmen Announcements
If you’re looking to improve the student experience of your course, review Carmen Common Sense, a student-authored list of ten simple suggestions for effective Carmen use.
Adapt your teaching strategies and assessments
To make key planning decisions about your class, begin by identifying your mode of instruction.
Planning ahead for assessments at a distance? There are a number of factors to take into account. From academic integrity to technologies for assignments to exam formats, explore considerations and suggestions for moving your assessments online.
Build connection and support your students
Help students understand the expectations for your course by sharing the Student Guide to Instructional Modes with them. This resource explains the different structures and characteristics of in-person, hybrid, and online courses and presents tips and time management strategies to help students succeed.
When you take simple steps to show you're available to answer questions, provide feedback, and participate in discussion, your students will feel more supported and motivated. At the start of the term—or when transitioning to a new mode of instruction—set up a clear communication plan for regular updates and check-ins. Whether you use discussion boards, CarmenZoom, announcements, or email, incorporate language in your syllabus so students know how to communicate with you and their peers. Integrate activities that build rapport and foster peer connections. Icebreakers can help you build community, while welcome videos provide context for your course and help students become familiar with you as their instructor.
Keep up the momentum to support student success throughout the semester, and maintain realistic expectations as students navigate changes in the learning environment.
- Provide a transparent rationale, clear instructions, and support resources for completing all assignments and activities.
- Give regular feedback on student progress and collect student feedback as well. Consider creating a mid-semester survey to assess how students are doing.
- Connect students to resources related to wellness, food insecurity, crisis support, digital wellness, and overall student well-being. The Ohio State: Wellness app is a great place to start.
Learn more about Supporting Student Learning in Your Course.
Students share their experiences in courses where the intructors helped reduce stress and build connection. Small changes like providing feedback outside of class and facilitating small group discussions can make a big difference.
An inclusive classroom experience is built on understanding, flexibility, respect and appreciation. Listen as students share their experiences with the inclusive classes that helped them succeed.
Students appreciate having access to resources that help them succeed, including supplemental materials, skill development opportunities and clear expectations for what's coming in their course.
Know where to get help
Whether you're teaching an in-person, hybrid, or fully online class, Ohio State provides many resources to help you build supportive learning environments for your students.
Resources and Learning Opportunities
Browse the rest of this site for curated teaching strategies and examples, Ohio State-specific documentation on the university's eLearning toolset, and upcoming workshops and learning opportunities.
Tutorials and Recordings
Explore Quick Tips for eLearning Tools and recorded workshops from the Office of Technology and Digital Innovation. View select recorded events from the Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning.
Submit a help request online or contact the Service Desk if you have questions about CarmenCanvas, CarmenZoom, or other university technology tools.
- Phone: 614-688-4357
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 614-688-4357, option 4
- Email: email@example.com
Request individualized guidance on a range of best practices and strategies to keep teaching.
- The Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning consults on a broad range of instructional strategies that support student achievement and engagement; signature programs include instructional redesign, teaching endorsements, curriculum and course design, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and development/mentorship across a teaching career.
- The Office of Technology and Digital Innovation (OTDI) provides consultations and support for using teaching strategies that incorporate or rely on technology, including strategies for distance learning, distance enhanced, and hybrid courses.