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Online Teaching: Faculty Resources: Best Practices in Online Teaching

Achieving Online Excellence

The mission of Online Education at YCCC is to support and promote excellence in the online teaching and learning environment by:

  • Encouraging effective teaching and learning practices that engage students and meet the needs of a diverse population.
  • Promoting a rigorous and rich learning environment.
  • Supporting and training faculty, staff and students in the use of online education.
  • Demonstrating college-wide commitment to support access and student success.

To achieve these goals, YCCC has adopted the Maine Community College System's Online Teaching & Learning Checklist: best practices for online education design and delivery.

Creating an Online Presence: It Starts with You!

Student Engagement

Educational technology tools that will help you to create engaging content

Screencast-o-magic: make a quick video, record your screen, embedded within Brightspace under YC Resources.

Flipgrid: A social learning platform that allows educators to ask a question, then the students respond in a video: Students are then able to respond to one another, creating a “web” of discussion. A fun complement to Brightspace tools. Here's an excellent instructor's guide.

Communicating with Students

Communicating with Students

Tip: Be proactive about reaching out to your students. Knowing that you're still "there" and being clear about what's going to happen will help soothe anxieties.

Synchronous Options

  • Virtual Classroom video conferencing (found under the Communications tab in your class)
  • Live Chat and virtual office hours (also under the Communications tab)
  • Zoom: check with your department chair for login information; how-to video to the right
  • Telephone

Asynchronous Options

Modified and excerpted from Jessica Parr.

Delivering Content

Tips for Delivering Content

1. Remember that teaching a planned online course is different than a shift in a time of disruption. It's likely worth scaling back your plans at least somewhat.

2. Keep it lower bandwidth whenever possible. For instance, if a Powerpoint with brief lecture notes will meet your pedagogical needs, consider that instead of a video lecture. PowerPoint, or a short lecture in a PDF will be easier for students who don't have high speed internet access or who are completing their course work on phones (and won't eat all their data!).

3. Give yourself permission to avail yourself of existing online resources to adjust your assignments. You're turning this thing around on a dime. 

  • Utilize online content through the YCCC Library, including excerpts from ebooks, articles, and streaming video.  Include the Library's Quick Access off-campus login information in your course.
  • Check out open access resources at this crowd-sourced repository.

Equity & Access

Be Aware of Equity and Access

1. Talk to YCCC's Coordinator for Students with Disabilities, Danielle Ebbrecht, about how to translate student accommodations to a virtual environment.  Use the Get Help tab to the right to get guidance from Maureen Simmons on universal design as needed. In general, if you're going to do media-based lectures, pre-recorded lectures with closed captions and/or transcripts will be more accessible to students who are hearing-impaired, or who have sensory processing, cognitive, or executive function challenges.

2. If your students do not have reliable access to the internet, let them know about the free wireless access in YCCC's parking lot and also these free hotspots around the region.