Below is a text-only version of the July 2020 Faculty Commons Newsletter.


What to do this week (July 27 – 31)

  • Create or update rubrics.
  • Plan use of Zoom for any synchronous sessions.
    • Have you decided on the synchronous components of your course? Make sure you have scheduled out the weeks you plan to have synchronous sessions. If you have yet to use breakout rooms, polling, and other cool features that Zoom has to offer, visit the UD’s Zoom Getting Started page.
  • Plan your Canvas course.
    • Now is the time to begin planning your fall course in Canvas, if you haven’t started already. If you do not have a course shell available at this time, request a staging site so you may begin to work on your course.
    • Build module content. After working through the Backward Design process, it is time to begin planning your course modules. Visit Faculty Commons resources for building an online course and engaging your students in this learning environment.
    • Draft a list of topics or content you plan to record videos for. Unlike some traditional lecture format classes, you’ll want to consider shorter “chunked” videos that work well in an online environment. Consider how you’ll break up lectures into these chunks and develop a plan to record them (or use existing videos). If you plan to use slides (e.g. PowerPoint or Google Slides) during your videos, begin developing those slides now.

What to do next week (August 3 – 7)

  • Update your syllabus.
    • Use the syllabus template to jump start syllabus writing.
    • Consider any changes to your course policy language that may be necessary for this semester (e.g. attendance, participation, deadlines, etc.).
  • Begin building your course in Canvas.

Check out the full timeline!


July 17 Town Hall Highlights

  • Open Educational Resources (OER) are created by university faculty, often undergo peer review, are free, and will remain free and available long after your course concludes. UD’s Librarians routinely work with faculty to learn about course content and to compile high quality, freely available open resources or open textbooks. This can save faculty many hours of time as they prepare their courses.
    • Research in this area indicates that OER improves end-of-course grades and can improve course grades at greater rates and decrease DFW rates at greater rates for Pell recipient students, part-time students, and populations historically underserved by higher education.
    • Faculty members at UD, working with librarians and with CTAL on this effort have saved students around $345,323 over three years.
    • Reach out to your librarian or to Meg Grotti, who is a member of the subcommittee on online learning for support.
  • Assessment & Proctoring Options
  • UD Capture
    • Instructors that wish to opt-in for UD Capture Classroom Capture will be asked to submit requests in August when schedules and locations are finalized.

Watch the recording.


July 24 Town Hall Highlights

    • Fall semester will be predominantly online
      • Classes will meet on Labor Day, but not on Election Day. Face-to-face instruction will be suspended following Thanksgiving Break, with the final day of this instruction being Friday, November 20.
    • Supporting online students
      • Consider embedding the UD Online Student Orientation in your Canvas course to prepare students for online learning.
      • Plan to conduct virtual office hours via Zoom. Learn more about Zoom’s features, such as waiting rooms and personal meeting IDs, that can help you set up a virtual office.
    • Planning assessments

Watch the recording.

Next meeting: July 31

Submit your questions for the next Town Hall.

See what questions have already been answered.



Get a Canvas course staging site

Due to the changes being made to fall semester, fall Canvas courses are targeted to be automatically created during the first week in August. If you want to begin development of your course now, you can request a staging site through the Miscellaneous Course request form. Content you create in this staging site can be copied to your official site when it is available. Learn more.


Copyrighted Material

Get clarity on your rights to use copyrighted material in your course by consulting the Fair Use Checklist.

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