Teaching Remotely

Teaching Everywhere blog

In response to the coronavirus outbreak — and without in-person classes — UW faculty are transitioning at warp speed to teaching remotely. They’re using technologies like Zoom, Panopto, and Canvas to make sure their students are learning, no matter where they are located.

Casting around for ideas on what to tell students about how you’ll be teaching and why? How you’ll be grading? Wondering what your colleagues at the UW and beyond are doing? You’ve come to the right place.

Once a month, we will let you know what other UW instructors are doing to teach well remotely. What do we want students to learn to do? How can we reassure students (and ourselves) that the wheels haven’t come off the bus?

Submit your ideas, examples, and questions to our blog submission form (use your UW Google account to sign-in).


  • Why choose asynchronous?

    August 25, 2020

    By Aimee Kelly, Reed Garber-Pearson, and Sara Vannini, UW Integrated Social Sciences

    Since February 2020, most classes around the globe have moved online. Higher education is preparing for continued online and hybrid models of instruction and learning going forward. We want to advocate for examining course design more critically. What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous? Why should instructors choose one or the other?

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  • Strategies for successful asynchronous courses

    August 25, 2020

    By Aimee Kelly, Reed Garber-Pearson, Sara Vannini, UW Integrated Social Sciences

    A well-developed asynchronous learning experience usually requires significant work before the quarter begins. It is critical to align the overall course objectives, the individual lesson objectives, and associated course materials and assignments to create a coherent structure.

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  • Take-away strategies for asynchronous online learning

    August 25, 2020

    By Aimee Kelly, Reed Garber-Pearson, Sara Vannini, UW Integrated Social Sciences

    Strategies for asynchronous online learning from the Integrated Social Sciences Program, including: thinking about your lessons in terms of a flipped classroom environment, designing a space to foster social learning and community building, and working on your instructor presence.

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  • Using Team Operating Rules to foster collaboration

    July 30, 2020

    By Jennifer Diamond and Julie Scales, Project Management Certificate (UW Professional & Continuing Education, Continuum College)

    Collaborative projects are a key component of many UW courses. But before project work begins, teams need to connect, set ground rules, and articulate norms for shared work and outcomes. For the Certificate in Project Management capstone course, we developed an assignment that models this activity.

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  • Online finals: Providing flexibility & opportunities for creativity

    July 23, 2020

    By Ileana M. Rodríguez-Silva, History

    For HSTLAC 289: The Cuban Revolutionary Experiment, I initially planned to offer a final exam, similar to the mid-term, but changed my mind. Instead, I asked my 26 students to do a final assignment.

    The final assignment prompted students to pretend to be a TA for an upcoming study abroad program taking a group of Environmental Studies undergraduates to Cuba for two weeks. Because students had more autonomy for this assignment, they engaged with the material differently.

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  • Flexible finals in the pandemic

    June 3, 2020

    By Holly Barker, Anthropology

    Research in Critical Sport Studies (ANTH 269) is a course for first-generation to college and/or students underrepresented in research. I don't give midterms, and I don't give final exams in the class. Instead, I collaborate with students to create final projects that apply their learning from the class in ways that are meaningful or practical to them.

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  • Art is a dialogue

    June 2, 2020

    By Timea Tihanyi, School of Art + Art History + Design

    Because art is a dialogue, much of what the Interdisciplinary Visual Arts seniors have been doing in ART 400 this quarter has been synchronous. Instead of the white-box gallery exhibition, students are presenting their work in a virtual "gallery" for which each student created both a senior project and an art portfolio website. By still presenting the work publicly, we're trying to create a sense of normalcy.

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  • Teaching Spanish: A multi-day "finale" instead of a final exam

    May 28, 2020

    Samuel Jaffee, Spanish and Portuguese Studies

    By Samuel Jaffee, Spanish & Portuguese Studies 

    This spring quarter I'm teaching Spanish 302 and Spanish 303, both of which guide students in developing writing strategies in Spanish (creative fiction, business letters, reportage, argument and counterargument, and literary and visual analysis). In lieu of a final exam, both classes will enjoy a multi-day "finale."

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  • Teaching physics: Videos instead of midterms

    April 23, 2020

    By Peter Selkin, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Tacoma.

    For the past two quarters, I've used an approach based on an idea adapted from Andy Rundquist, a physics professor at Hamline University in Minnesota. Instead of a midterm and a final (and in addition to weekly content quizzes), students submit short videos walking the viewer through solutions to physics problems of their choice.

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  • Math in the time of coronavirus

    April 21, 2020

    By Jennifer Quinn, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at UW Tacoma 

    The COVID-19 viral disruption affects us all, particularly our most vulnerable citizens. It's vital to find ways to connect our students and humanize this unprecedented and isolating experience. These days I'm trying to worry less about the integrity of online examinations and the quality of online content — and think more about the people.

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  • Concerned that with everyone going online, your teaching tools may not keep up?

    April 7, 2020

    Will Zoom, Panopto and Canvas have the capacity to support your course as you move it online?
    The short answer is yes.

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  • Teaching from everywhere

    March 19, 2020

    Rick Mohler, UW Architecture

    Find out how Rick Mohler, UW associate professor of architecture, is teaching his Research Design Studio students, as they discuss how they have re-imagined six Seattle neighborhoods.

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  • Fun with virtual backgrounds!

    March 12, 2020

    Ryan Calo, UW School of Law

    Your Zoom background doesn’t have to feature your office file cabinet covered with stickies. By changing your virtual background in Zoom, you can teach from (virtually) anywhere in the world.

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  • What to say and how to say it

    March 12, 2020

    Communicating with your students is vitally important these days, especially without in-person classes and final exams. Where to start? Here is how the Law School explained finals to their students...

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