Guides for Different Course Types and Challenging Activities

Some of the activities that we’ve come to rely on in class can be challenging to try to reproduce in a virtual environment.

  • How do we run labs online?
  • How can we simulate live performances?
  • What do we do about specialized software?
  • What are options for experiential learning?
  • How do I manage large scale simulations?
  • How do I teach language courses virtually?

Below we offer some suggestions to give you a start toward developing your own creative solution. If you do come up with a promising approach, please let us know and we’ll share it with the community. 

In addition to the suggestions below, you might search for professional and academic associations in your area. Many are publishing approaches to common problems in the sciences, art and performance studies, and community-based learning. One such example is a crowdsourced spreadsheet coming out of NVCC—the originator, Breanna Bayraktar, invites you to use and contribute to this list.

Handling Assignments Remotely

When teaching remotely, you may have to rethink any assignments you previously designed for face-to-face contexts: Handling Assignments Online tipsheet

Teaching Large Lectures Remotely

Delivering lectures live to large groups of students online can in some ways be similar to how it’s done in person. You just have to lean on some applications to help you do it. Teaching Large Lectures Online tipsheet

Experiential Learning in Virtual Spaces

Experiential Learning can take many forms—and, in an online environment, it may need to take on altogether new forms: Experiential Learning Online tipsheet

Handling Small Group Work Remotely

Teaching online is different from teaching in-person, but it does still allow for small group work: Small Group Work Online tipsheet

Teaching Studio and Performing Arts Remotely

Visual and Performing Arts courses tend to be constructed around the expectation of an in-person experience. Obviously, an online environment necessitates change and creative thinking: Teaching Studio and Performing Arts Remotely tipsheet

Adapting Lab Teaching to an Online Environment

People used to facilitating in-person lab experiences will necessarily have to make some adjustments in an online environment. But it’s still possible to pursue your learning goals—and learning goals will be the key: Lab Teaching Online tipsheet

Teaching Language at a Distance 

Teaching language courses at a distance poses challenges for instructors who want to help their students develop the four core competencies of listening, speaking, reading and writing—but the tips and suggestions on our Teaching Language at a Distance tipsheet may give you some ideas for how to make that learning happen.

CNDLS Office Hours

CNDLS provides virtual office hours for support with tools and tips for teaching online.  During Study Days and the exam period (May 10-June 4), we will hold these office hours by appointment.  Please email and you’ll be connected with a member of our digital learning team. Drop-in hours will resume during the summer sessions, beginning June 7th.

For information on daily office hours offered by CETS, UIS and other partners, please visit the contact page.

Tip of the Week

Please join us for our annual institute on teaching (TLISI)! This year, we’ll be bookending the summer with TLISI events. Join us in the afternoons from Tuesday, May 25 to Thursday, May 27 for panel discussions, and then again on Friday, August 20 and Monday, August 23 for continued discussion on our theme “Looking Back, Looking Forward.” You can register for the May sessions (and submit a session proposal for the August dates) on our TLISI website.

CNDLS Calendar

Visit the CNDLS calendar to learn about upcoming programs and workshops.