For Faculty

Teach Remotely

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As we prepare for a transition out of the face-to-face classroom to online resources, we have created this site to serve as a guide to remove teaching. Here you will find best practices for online pedagogy along with information on technology and tools to support your remote teaching. We are here to help. If you cannot easily find what you need please contact the eLearning Center.

You are the first and most direct line of contact to students. It is critical that you, as faculty, check in on your students and do your best to address their concerns and issues as we make the move to an online learning environment. Recognize that students’ abilities and their access to resources will vary widely at this time, and be open to creative solutions. If you are concerned about a student’s academic performance, please do not hesitate to contact their academic and faculty advisors and the Student Success. Coaches either directly or by raising an alert in Navigate. 

We want to be sensitive to the needs for those students who will remain on campus — we don’t want them to feel abandoned. As long as the university is open and we continue vigilant hygiene, faculty should make themselves available to meet with students on campus.

These challenging and difficult times require understanding, empathy, and patience from the entire Gallaudet community. But, they do not require that we settle for anything less than a top-notch education. Communication is critical. Please do your best to over-communicate. The only bad question is the one not asked.

  • Communicate with your students right away: Even if you don’t yet have a plan in place, communicate with your students as soon as possible, informing them that changes are coming. Let them know what your expectations are for checking email or Gallaudet Blackboard (Gallaudet’s learning management system), so you can get them more details when available.
  • Consider realistic goals for teaching from anywhere: As you think about continuing instruction online, consider what you think you can realistically accomplish. Do you think you can maintain your original syllabus and schedule? Do you hope students will keep up with the reading with some assignments to add structure and accountability? How will you keep them engaged with the course content?
  • Review your course schedule to determine priorities: Identify your priorities during the disruption — providing lectures, structuring new opportunities for discussion or group work, collecting assignments, etc. What activities are better rescheduled, and what can or must be done online? Give yourself flexibility in that schedule, just in case the situation takes longer to resolve than initially planned.
  • Review your syllabus for points/percentages (or grading expectations) that must change: Identify what must temporarily change in your syllabus, such as policies, due dates, or assignments, and communicate those changes to students. Ensure any change you make aligns with Gallaudet policies set forth by the Registrar’s Office.
  • Pick tools and approaches familiar to you and your students: Try to rely on tools and workflows that are familiar to you and your students, introducing new tools only when absolutely necessary. If a closure is caused by a local crisis or an infectious disease outbreak, it may be already taxing everyone’s mental and emotional energy. Introducing new tools and approaches may leave less energy and attention for learning.
  • Reset expectations for students: You will have to reconsider some of your expectations for students, including participation, communication, and deadlines. As you think through those changes, keep in mind the impact this situation may have on students’ ability to meet those expectations, including illness, lacking power or internet connections. Be ready to handle requests for extensions or accommodations equitably and understandingly.
  • Check with your department/program: Your department may issue more details about the situation and guidelines about their expectations for classes. Administrators may want to have many of the department’s classes handled in similar ways, so before doing too much planning, check with departmental leaders to get guidance.

Best Practices

This section is designed to help you think about how you’ll teach online.

Per Gallaudet syllabi guidelines, any updates to syllabi and class schedules must be communicated to students. Faculty are asked to submit updated syllabi to their chair and/or department administrative support staff so that the university can keep a record of updated syllabi. 

Submit revised syllabi to Comprehensive University Syllabi Collection: The revised syllabi should include a plan for meeting the university course credit hour requirements. The purpose of collecting and posting syllabi is 1) to serve as a resource to all faculty; 2) to provide a document room that can enable an audit of syllabi; 3) to be available for MSCHE accreditation as necessary. All updated syllabi should be submitted by March 30, 2020.

To provide all your students with greater access, while using your time more efficiently, try moving your office hours online. Getting online office hours started:

  • Step 1: Quick Start: Zoom Overview
  • Step 2: Determine a set time. Decide on a time when you can be available online, e.g., Tuesdays from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Announce this time and instructions for connecting to the online platform in class and on the syllabus. Consider that you may have students in different time zones.
  • Step 3: Connect with students! Confirm that students know when the office hour is and how to participate online.
  • Set classroom norms: If using Zoom to convene your course, circulate clear expectations around behavior. See Accessibility Tips for a better Zoom/viral meeting experience.
  • Determine your priorities: As you think about continuing instruction online, consider what you can realistically accomplish. Do you think you can maintain your original syllabus? What activities are better rescheduled, and what can or must be done online? Will you emphasize some things and de-emphasize others in order to add engagement and accountability? Keep in mind the impact this situation may have on students’ ability to meet those expectations.
  • Don’t expect to master everything on day one!

You will likely need to provide additional course materials for your changing plans, from updated schedules to reading that allows you to shift more – or all – instructions online. Considerations when posting new course materials:

  • Make sure students know when new material is posted
  • Keep things accessible and mobile-friendly
  • Students have a range of abilities, not everyone will disclose: There are likely students in your course with learning or sensory disabilities. They are not required to tell you, and they may not feel comfortable telling anyone. They may have developed effective skills for optimizing their learning experience in face to face settings, yet these skills may not transfer easily to the online experience.
  • Provide additional processing time: In times of crisis, it is especially important to repeat information and provide it in several formats. Provide transcripts and chat logs for later review. When you show images or videos via screen-share, provide those files for students to download. This will especially help students with dyslexia and other reading impediments.
  • Creating and uploading materials: Put your slides in a consistent and distributable format (e.g., pdf).
  • Break up your presentation slides: Be aware that online, perhaps even more than in the classroom, students will read first and listen second. Consider PowerPoint’s feature that allows you to show just a bullet or two at a time.
  • Keep your normal pace: Just because things are delivered electronically does not mean you should speed up or slow down. Your students will still absorb and process information at the same rate. But you should check in with your students more frequently than you might normally, to make sure that they follow the material and remain engaged.Be visible: even when using Lecture Capture, it’s good practice to make sure your face and hands are visible on a side screen while the materials are being displayed.

Our guiding principle is “do no harm.” To make the learning experience as equitable as possible, the University will adopt the following guidelines for grading for Spring 2020:

  • Faculty will record letter grades in Bison at the end of the semester as usual.
  • Undergraduate course grades will be converted to Pass (P) or No Grade (NG) by the Registrar:
    • Letter grades of A through D will be converted to Pass (P). This grade has no impact on a student’s GPA and they will earn credit for the course.
    • Letter grades of F will be converted to No Grade (NG). This grade has no impact on a student’s GPA either, and they will not earn credit for the course. 
  • Graduate course grades will be converted to Pass (P) or No Grade (NG) by the Registrar:
    • Letter grades of A through B- will be converted to Pass (P). This grade has no impact on a student’s GPA and they will earn credit for the course.
    • Letter grades of C+ and below will be converted to No Grade (NG). This grade has no impact on a student’s GPA, and they will not earn credit for the course.

We recognize that the above guidelines will have an impact on many areas. We are reassuring everyone that we will continue to follow the principle of “do no harm.” This means we will follow through with any exceptions to current policy that are necessary for continued success, e.g.: 

  • A grade of P will satisfy all requirements of general education as well as in all majors and concentrations.
  • A grade of P will not negatively impact those on Academic Probation or those who need to re-take courses.
  • A grade of P will permit graduating students to proceed with graduation this semester.

If they wish, students may request documentation of letter grades for specific courses from the Registrar’s Office via an online form to be made available on their website soon. Such documentation can help with satisfying certain program requirements as well as seeking employment, advanced training and/or scholarships in the future.

Technology and Tools

  • Quick Start: Zoom Overview
  • Start a class and send an invitation to students (Please note that students will not need to register for an account to join.)
  • Virtual Office Hours

University Resources

Gallaudet Technology Services is offering walk-in hours for training every weekday through the week of March 23-27 from 1 to 5 p.m. in MLC B220. GTS will also host a Zoom walk-in hours from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily. GTS is also hosting live streaming workshops on specific topics during the week of March 23-27.  GTS online resources are regularly updated. However, many faculty use software and resources, not on the GTS list. If this applies to you, please let GTS know so that they can add it to their list and ensure that the IT Service Desk can provide an appropriate level of response. Faculty also should check in on their students’ academics and well-being. Being informed, being prepared, and being flexible are the three linchpins of an effective transition to online teaching and learning to ensure academic quality and continuity, as well as a successful conclusion to the semester. Faculty should check the Gallaudet University coronavirus website for updated information.

  • We are looking for volunteers 

If you are particularly adept or experienced at teaching online and willing to provide support to faculty who need some help, please contact Jacquelyn Lally: jacquelyn.lally @gallaudet.edu. We will compile a list of names and faculty who need help transitioning to online teaching will be paired with a “faculty tech expert.” 

  • Student access 

Before choosing what resources you will use for your online course, it is important to check with each student to find out what technology they have access to for the rest of the semester. This will drive what resources you can use to ensure everyone has access.

  • Gallaudet-issued desktop computers during the Coronavirus pandemic  

To provide the University employees the ability to continue working remotely, employees will be allowed to bring their Gallaudet-issued desktop to their home. For more information, please go to this link.

  • Textbooks/Online Software 

An increasing number of publishers and software companies are providing their content online for free. Faculty should check with the publishers to see what options they might have. 

We are following legal advice from national sources regarding “fair use” definitions for digitization and scanning mechanisms during this period of the public health crisis. We have been advised that under the “public good” terms of fair use, we are able to digitize and post for instructional usage materials from any published work during this period of remote instruction, social distancing, and campus closures. We will also be prudent in that if texts are needed, we may need to limit digitization to chapters or sections needed for the remainder of the semester, for example, if you have completed chapters 1-7, we can digitize chapters 8-12, provided we have the text or the professor can provide a PDF scanned copy.  We will treat each request for full-text digitization on a case-by-case reviewal process. We are investigating additional electronic information services and providers for greater access to resources such as video streaming and additional electronic databases to support remote teaching and learning. Information on the library website will be updated regularly. Please contact us at (library.reserves@gallaudet.edu) to submit requests for additional documents or materials to be added to your Blackboard.  If you have questions about copyright, posting materials or making requests to support instruction at this time, you can also email us at (library.help@gallaudet.edu).  For inquiries for the Archives, please contact (archives@gallaudet.edu).

GIS will be in touch directly with faculty who have communication access services in their classes to gather information and collaborate on plans for continued access in an online format. Please watch for direct communication from GIS with more information. If you have any questions, please contact GIS (gis@gallaudet.edu).

In anticipation of converting your face-to-face classes to on-line courses, please keep in mind that you want to ensure the material and activities are fully accessible to your students with disabilities, including students who are deafblind. Blackboard Ally, available in all courses, can assist you in flagging content that may be inaccessible. We strongly encourage each faculty to reach out to your students who are receiving OSWD services to discuss accessibility needs and to help ensure that your academic content is accessible to them in light of the changed format.  If you are uncertain how to respond to a student’s request, question or concern, OSWD is available to assist you and can be reached at oswd@gallaudet.edu.

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) continues to monitor grant agencies’ guidance on the possible effects of Covid-19 (“Coronavirus”) on existing grants and grants to be awarded. In-person contact with human subjects is suspended pending further guidance from IRB. Additionally, OSP has set up a task force to address research-and grant-related issues. In addition to following the general prevention guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, the OSP recommends that you keep in close contact with your designated agency program officer and check your funding agency’s news alerts regularly. Contact coronavirus@gallaudet.edu for questions or concerns related to your grant or contract.

Gallaudet has brought in an Instructional Designer to support faculty in creating effective learning experiences for students. Her name is Lisa Fisher and she previously worked as Senior eLearning Specialist. We are very excited to have her back with us as our Instructional Designer. While eLearning will continue to provide support for faculty in learning how to use technology to teach effectively, our Instructional Designer, Lisa, will work with faculty on

  • Advising and assisting faculty with ideas to enhance student learning in a remote environment
  • Recommending strategies for bilingual teaching and learning
  • Reviewing online courses from an instructional design perspective using Standards established by Quality Matters (QM)
  • Identifying/advising/supporting faculty in choosing best tools for their course
  • Facilitating the eCurriculum training for faculty who want to become certified to teach online courses for Gallaudet University

Beginning Sunday, March 29, Instructional Designer Services available via Zoom (https://gallaudet.zoom.us/j/4317054522) during the following days and hours, or by appointment (Hours are subject to change):

  • Sunday 6 – 10 pm Eastern
  • Monday & Tuesday 11:30 am to 4 pm Eastern 
  • Wednesday & Thursday 11:30 am to 3 pm Eastern
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