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Continuity in Teaching and Learning for Fall 2020

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Continuity in Teaching and Learning for Fall 2020

Course Design and Development Resources

CETL has information on considerations for teaching online, how to build community and engagement online, and considerations for remote testing.

TLOS has information and resources on available technology tools and how to implement them in courses.

Graduate students teaching in the fall may be interested in the Virginia Tech Academy for Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) Excellence. For questions you have about teaching related concerns or resources, see the Ask a Graduate Teaching Fellow page.

The following are the five areas that faculty and instructional personnel have expressed the most concern about as Virginia Tech continues to deliver a quality education in the challenging circumstances presented by COVID19. Each area has targeted resources that can provide a starting point. There are more in-depth resources that can be found on CETL and TLOS websites and both units provide individual consultations upon request.

The Community of Practice section of this site highlights information relevant to faculty led discussions on the arts, large courses, science and engineering labs, discussion-based courses, and writing intensive courses.


Classroom Management: Guiding Health and Safety in the Classroom; Managing Online Learning Environments

Management of Classrooms and Online Environments

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences also developed the following resources that might be of interest to university wide: Presentation: Syllabus Presentation; a handout on Improving Syllabi during COVID-19: Fall 2020 Recommendations; and additional considerations for addressing student concerns through syllabi and other teaching resources can be found in this handout: Teaching in a Time of COVID.

University Fall 2020 Attendance and Grading, and Sample Syllabus Statements Guidance revised 07/13 describes the requirements for faculty to provide clear expectations for all elements of a course through the syllabus, including attendance and assignment of grades and provides university sample syllabus statements.

Fall 2020 Classroom Conduct Guidance revised 07/13 describes the responsibility of an instructor (any faculty rank or graduate teaching assistant) to maintain a positive learning environment.

The  University Registrar has current information about health and safety guidelines for General Assignment classrooms and labs as well as updates to classroom capacities. This site also has a direct link to the COVID-19 Health and Safety FAQs.

Student Engagement, Managing Online Interactions, and Creating Inclusive Community

Creating Videos and Recording Lectures

Testing, Proctoring, and Assessment

  • Detailed information about testing, proctoring, and assessment considerations can be found here that was compiled by CETL, TLOS, and other members of the Testing and Proctoring Working Group that was assembled in Summer 2020
  • On Friday, November 20, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., staff from Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies (TLOS) and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) will be offering a practical session on using tools and strategies to assess student learning, with additional time for one-on-one help from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
    • Register for the event. Registration grants entry to both parts of the event.
    • Preparing to Test Online, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
      • This session will demonstrate tools and strategies to help with the unique considerations involved in testing in an online course. Good assessment practices are needed in any course modality, but the online environment may require intentional planning in ways that face-to-face courses do not. Additionally, we will offer hands-on practice with testing and proctoring tools in Canvas. Participants will be better prepared to overcome the challenges and leverage the opportunities presented by online courses.
    • Testing One-on-One Office Hours, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
      • Staff from TLOS and CETL will be available to answer questions, discuss testing scenarios, assist with test setup, and practice using proctoring tools in individual breakout rooms in Zoom. 

Accessibility and Accommodations

Discipline Specific Resources

Communities of Practice have been established to allow faculty to come together and discuss challenges, best practices, and approaches that can be used to effectively use technology enhanced learning to allow for appropriate public health measures.

The Communities are meeting regularly over the summer and are supported by CETL, TLOS, University Libraries and others.

Stories from the classroom

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the nature of learning for the 2020 fall semester. Yet faculty and students got creative and adapted to the challenges of a global pandemic.

Frequently Asked Questions

See the Faculty Affairs Frequently Asked Questions page for questions regarding grading, exams, promotion and tenure policies, campus operations and research.

The testing and proctoring working group has compiled helpful links, best practices, and frequently asked questions on these topics.

Inclusive Pedagogy

Pre-semester Workshop

Facilitating Post-Election Conversations with Students
Thursday, October 29 from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
VT Engage created a workshop that will focus on providing tools and resources to engage in civic discussions with students. While the resources can be useful for any civics discussion, there will be a specific focus on the 2020 election.  Register now

Learn more about Preparing to Teach About the 2020 Election (and After). From the Michigan Center for Research on Teaching and Learning 

Resources and Tools on encouraging viewpoint diversity and reducing polarization are available from the Heterodox Academy.

Shuttle Service for Early Voting
If you are registered to vote in Montgomery County, VT Engage is offering a free shuttle service to help students and employees vote early! They're offering shuttles to one of the county's two early vote locations (Uptown Christiansburg Mall). Shuttles will be offered at various times from Monday-Saturday until early voting ends on Saturday, October 31. Each trip is estimated to be around 40 minutes (time include round-trip ride to Christiansburg and voting.) Sign up for a time slot.  

The Race 2020:  A live-streamed interactive performance
October 30-November 2
Reflection and productive conversation on the nature of leadership and state of our democracy seem all the more urgent in these times. The School of Performing Arts is tackling this head-on as one of the national hosts of “The Race 2020," which will be presented across the nation in coming weeks as part of a festival of performances leading up to the presidential election.

The interactive performance combines spectacle and collaborative conversation to investigate the state of our democracy. The production blends performance, call and response, question and answer, dance, and karaoke into a participatory, highly choreographed, and at times, improvised exploration. Register now

Finding Common Ground: Reflecting and Connecting After the 2020 Election
Wednesday, November 4 from Noon - 1:30 p.m.
2020 has been a tumultuous year culminating in a contentious presidential election. On the day after, we invite you to join us as we pause and ask ourselves: Now what? We won’t discuss how we voted; instead, we will reflect on the important issues facing all of us and how we can connect around these issues. Co-sponsored by the Office for Inclusion and Diversity and the Division for Student Affairs. Livestreamed from the InclusiveVT YouTube Channel.

Move Your Course Online: A Canvas course that introduces faculty to Canvas, Zoom, Kaltura, and other tools for online learning.

How to Use Canvas at Virginia Tech (for Instructors)

Canvas Instructor Guide: Comprehensive instructions for all major features in Canvas.

Canvas: Getting Started

Basics of Zoom and Kaltura

Everything You Need to Know About Online Teaching

Accessibility Tips and Best Practices

College of Ag and Life Sciences Transition Team Video Presentation and slides: Canvas Best Practices

Internet Connectivity Tips from the Division of IT

Zoom Bandwidth Recommendations

COVID-19: Technology Resources: Guides from the Division of IT for working remotely, maintaining connectivity, and using Virginia Tech’s virtual private network (VPN).

Accessibility Tips and Best Practices

Services for Students with Disabilities letter: Helpful tips for improving accessibility of course materials and handling accommodations, by Nikeshia Arthur, Director of SSD at Virginia Tech.

Ally Accessibility Tool in Canvas

More extensive information and resources can be found on the Accessibility and Accommodations working group page.

On-Demand Training for Kaltura Video Assignments

Kaltura Video Content Management - How to Use My Media and Media Gallery (for Instructors)

College of Ag and Life Sciences Transition Team Video and Handout: Making Instructional Videos

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On-Demand Training for Canvas: Communication tools

College of Ag and Life Sciences Transition Team Video Presentation and slides: Canvas Best Practices

Calendar of Events

Course Design Clinic - Designing for Community and Engagement
December 17 - 18, 2020

Fall Semester: CETL Workshops

Fall Semester: CETL Book Clubs