Developing Your Online Instructional Plan
There are steps you can take to develop your plans for courses in which you are a TA. Be sure to refer tothe Faculty Innovation Center’s Instructional Continuity Resource page. This resource will be regularly and continually updated. Please check back daily for content and resource updates.
If you are a graduate student instructor, we encourage you to meet with your Instructor of Record and discuss the course structure, learning outcomes, and your role in the course. It is important to have this conversation as soon as possible and have a shared understanding of your plans and responsibilities, especially if this is a new format of online course instruction. Some guiding questions for this conversation may include:
Do you need to offer additional office hours since students will no longer meet with you face-to-face? (see Virtual Office Hours section below)
Are there media you need to get captioned (e.g., videos, audio files)? If so, visit UT’s Captioning and Transcription Services website.
Are you expected to lead your discussion sections synchronously or asynchronously?
Grading and Attendance
If the instructor of record incorporates asynchronous or synchronous discussion requirements in the course, what are your responsibilities? How often are you expected to monitor and/or make posts? What is the grading structure?
Do you need access or special permissions in Canvas?
Are there online tools the instructor will use conferencing or capturing lectures? If so, what are they? Do you need to set up an account if you do not already have access?
Virtual Office Hours
Incorporating virtual office hours in your class is an inclusive practice, regardless of a change to online teaching. By offering virtual office hours, you can engage students who might not have readily access to campus, such as those who commute, are parents or caregivers, those who don’t have flexible work arrangements, or have mobility issues. You can choose your format for virtual office hours: video, chat, or both. Consider tools such as Zoom, Canvas Chat for real-time communication with students in your course or Canvas Conferences to hold group office hours, or Google Hangout.
There are many ways you can create opportunities for engagement for your students through discussions. See the Instructional Activities section on the FIC Instructional Continuity page for concrete steps you can take to continue offering small group, interactive discussions and other instructional activities.
Communicating with Students
Many students will come to you with specific questions about the course, assignments, and even technical issues. We encourage you to connect students to resources for technical issues and not try to troubleshoot them yourself. If you don’t already have a policy about email response times, determine what a reasonable amount of time is to field their responses and communicate this with students. For example, can they expect responses within 24 hours? A business day? Are there times of the day you will not check or respond to emails or messages?
Consider creating and sharing a Google Doc for students to write specific questions so you may answer their questions within the document. It’s a convenient, one-stop place for them to access answers to common questions and it may cut down on the number of individual emails and responses you may be responsible for answering.
After you have consulted with your supervising faculty, create a communication plan for how to share changes with students and address their questions. Canvas Announcements is a way to keep students informed.
There are online tools to proctor exams remotely. Proctorio is a secure monitoring platform that integrates with Canvas and ONLY works within the Chrome web browser. This automated system lets instructors decide which settings to use for each exam with the click of a mouse. Read more about Proctorio integration in Canvas.
Please check the FIC Instrutional Continuity page for updated information about exam proctoring software tools available for UT instructors.