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On Thursday July 2, 2020, DCAL hosted a panel discussion about collaborative projects in remote classrooms. For a copy of the transcript, see below.

After the panel there was a Q&A with the panelist and then attendees went into breakout rooms for deeper discussion. The following are some suggestions from instructors for collaborative projects based on those conversations

Group Division

  • Buddy first year students with upperclass students.
  • Divide students into groups based on time zones so that they are at the same place in their day when they get together.

Visiting Students in Breakout Rooms

  • Give them the power to get rid of you and keep working.
  • Announce your presence since it’s not always clear on Zoom when someone enters a room.

Synchronous Class Time

  • Flip your class so that students watch the lecture on their own time and class time can be spent on activities.
  • Suggest students use the same virtual background so that they have a sense of place. There may also be a disparity in locations that students log on from so the same background could provide the parity of a classroom.
  • Give time for reflection in a session and have students black out their screens to write and reflect.

Read more tips and reflections from Dartmouth faculty or share your own on the Teach Remotely site.

Classes start September 14th.

Between July 6th and then, there are 10 weeks. Here are some suggestions for how to take a little time each week to get your course ready to launch. Feel free to modify the timeline based on your availability and needs.

Week 1

  1. Do some reading. See the summer reading suggestions from DCAL/LDT.
  2. Take a look at the Remote Readiness Checklist on
  3. Talk with your department chair about the Spring student experience survey results.

Week 2

  1. Review your learning objectives and syllabus. Discuss with your Academic Continuity team to determine how you might approach the redesign most effectively and ensure that you have additional resources if you need them. Is there anything from your previous offering of the course that needs to be changed for the new environment?
  2. Develop a list of the technology you’d like to use, and determine where you need additional training.
  3. Create a schedule for yourself based on your own availability and needs that includes major milestones and minor to-do items as you see them.

Week 3

  1. Consider how students will engage with you and with each other. Draft ideas for office hours, study groups, and other engagement strategies for the remote environment. Students have indicated that meaningful connection to you and to each other is critical for their learning.
  2. Craft outlines for each week/module of your course including the purpose of the week/module, learning objectives, lectures, readings, other media, and a general idea of assignments.

Week 4

  1. Sketch an outline of each lecture you would like to record or deliver via Zoom.
  2. Identify resources you may need for development of these lectures, such as media, images, scripts, editing technology, etc.
  3. Refine your plan for student assignments, ensuring that you are providing multiple modes for students to demonstrate their knowledge, and that there is a chance for students to receive formative feedback as they progress through the course.

Week 5

  1. How are you doing with the schedule you developed for these 10 weeks? Check in with yourself and/or your Academic Continuity team.
  2. Design your Canvas site to match your course outline. Be sure to include all of your plans for engagement. 
  3. Review the Remote Readiness Checklist on 

Week 6

  1. Review each assignment to ensure that directions are clear for students and fit well into the plan you’ve developed for your course.
  2. Review your readings for accessibility.
  3. Finalize your syllabus. 
  4. Begin recording any lectures you’d like students to view asynchronously.

Week 7

  1. Will you be working with TA’s, UTA’s, LF’s or other teaching helpers? Time to bring them into the plan and get some feedback on your plan.
  2. Finish preparing your Canvas site, get feedback from a colleague if possible. Check that anything you copied from previous terms, like teaching methods and course policies, are revised with remote teaching in mind. 
  3. Continue recording if needed.

Week 8

  1. Finalize your Canvas site, ensuring that it’s clear to students how they should interact with your content, with you, and with each other.
  2. Continue recording if needed.
  3. Craft drafts of rubrics for assessing student work.
  4. Publish your Canvas site.

Week 9/10

  1. Send a survey to get to know your enrolled students.
  2. Review all the above steps for anything you’ve missed.
  3. Take a step back and appreciate all the work you've put in. Breathe. It's going to be great.

Maybe you're not heading to the beach or building your usual reading list, but instead trying to focus your reading on preparing for the upcoming term. Here are two reading list suggestions from DCAL and Learning Design and Technology (ITC) teams, depending on where you're starting.

Option 1: You taught in Spring term and survived, or are teaching now in Summer and getting through! You’re on the schedule to teach again in Fall, maybe a new preparation or perhaps re-offering a course you have some experience offering remotely. 

  1. Turns out you can build community in a Zoom classroom by Rachel Toor
  2. We are not in the same boat by Emery D. Haley
  3. Three strategies for better online discussions by Michael B. Sherry
  4. How to recover the joy of teaching after an online pivot by Flower Darby

Option 2: You are new to remote teaching. Feel free to read any of the articles from the other section too!

  1. Dartmouth Teaching Remotely Getting Started Guide by DCAL and ITC
  2. 5 ways to connect with online students by Flower Darby
  3. Effective educational videos by Cynthia J. Brame 
  4. Pandemic Teaching Prescriptions by Regan A. R. Gurung

And no matter what, review the Remote Readiness Checklist!

Beginning on Thursday, June 18, all newly scheduled Zoom meetings and webinars at Dartmouth will have a password applied by default and that password will be embedded in the meeting link. This new security precaution will be forced by Zoom later this summer so we are applying it early to preclude disruption during the term.

If you share a meeting link - for example, via Canvas for classes or by email - your participants will experience no change. When they click the link they will enter the Zoom meeting because the password is embedded. No new steps.

Later this summer Zoom will also be requiring meeting passwords for previously scheduled recurring meetings that do not already have them. We will advise as we learn more about the timing and impact of this change.

Given that Zoom will likely be implementing changes in the middle of term, if your course or regular business relies on previously scheduled recurring meetings (but not personal meeting rooms), please consider adding a password now so that you won't need to worry about responding to this later. To learn how, please visit

Good afternoon,

We've been continually updating the Teaching Remotely website. Here are some of the most recent changes and highlights in case you missed them:

Blog posts:

Have a great evening!

Adam Nemeroff, Learning Designer

The Dartmouth College Library published this resource on Sharing Scholarship for Remote Teaching and Learning. This resource goes into greater detail clarifying information about intellectual property at Dartmouth and beyond, copyright in the context of COVID-19, things to know about sharing work with others, and using the work of others in your teaching and research.

They also emphasize that the Scholarly Communication, Copyright and Publishing program at Dartmouth Library is always here to help faculty, students, and staff to share their scholarship with the wider community and to use the work of others in their teaching and research.

For further help or consultation on your individual situation, please contact:

The lack of face to face connection that comes with remote teaching can be felt by instructors and students alike. Last week as the Spring term began, we heard many faculty members talk  about how much they miss eye contact and the opportunity for hallway conversations. We’ve compiled suggestions on how to check in with your students during remote teaching and learning this Spring.

...continue reading "5 Ideas for Checking In with Your Students"

Authored by Kathy Hart and the Hood Museum staff.

The Hood Museum of Art is here to support your spring term remote course. You can work with
us to:

  • Select images from the museum’s collection to supplement your course material
  • Have a museum staff member speak with your class in their area(s) of expertise (see list below)
  • Develop activities to learn and practice close looking, analytical skills, and more
  • Create online exhibition projects and discuss principles of strong exhibition design

Reach out to Kathy Hart ( and Amelia Kahl ( to discuss possibilities for your class and learn what material we may have in the collection.

You can also search our collection here:

Hood staff who are available to work with you on your course and also help teach a class session:

John Stomberg
Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961s Director
20th-century American and European art, contemporary art, photography, abstraction, photojournalism, museum studies, curatorial practice

Katherine Hart
Senior Curator of Collections; Barbara C. & Harvey P. Hood 1918 Curator of Academic Programming
Hood Museum of Art collections, museum studies, 18th-century art and culture, 18th-century political caricature, European print culture, American art of the 1960s, environmental photography, photojournalism

Amelia Kahl
Andrew W. Mellon Associate Curator of Academic Programming
Late 19th- to 20th-century European and American art;,contemporary art particularly in areas of race, gender, and sexuality, 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art;,Hood Museum of Art collections

Barbara “Bonnie” MacAdam
Jonathan Little Cohen Curator of American Art
American art (and some decorative arts) to 1945

Jami Powell
Associate Curator of Native American Art
Native American art, indigenous art and culture

Jessica Hong
Associate Curator of Global Contemporary Art
Contemporary art, global contemporary, socially engaged art, emerging artists, time-based media, internet-based art, museum studies, institution/museological practice, curatorial practice

Neely McNulty
Hood Foundation Associate Curator of Education
Museum educator focused on experiential, discussion-based learning; facilitator in the museum’s Learning to Look method and other skill-building methodologies designed to teach students how to look carefully and think critically about works of art. Extensive background in practice and philosophy of art therapy, psychology, and art making practice; experience with Writing 5 courses.

Vivian Ladd
Teaching Specialist
Museum educator focused on experiential, discussion-based learning; facilitator in the museum’s Learning to Look method and other skill-building methodologies designed to teach students how to look carefully and think critically about works of art; liaison between the
museum and Geisel School of Medicine.

Jamie Rosenfeld
Museum Educator
Museum educator focused on experiential, discussion-based learning; facilitator in the museum’s Learning to Look method and other skill-building methodologies designed to teach students how to look carefully and think critically about works of art; facilitator of hands-on learning and artmaking connected to works of art.

Good afternoon,

We've continued to update numerous resources on the Teach Remotely website. The following are the highlights from the last couple of days:

Be well.

Adam Nemeroff, Learning Designer

Committee on Instruction Co-Chairs Lynn Patyk (Russian) and Robyn Milan (Physics), in consultation with DCAL, offer some thoughts on assessment within the credit/no credit parameters this term.
If you would like to share your thoughts and experiences with your colleagues, please contact - we would love to hear from you and share the teaching practices being adopted.

The Credit/No Credit (CT/NC) environment offers advantages and opportunities as well as challenges. It is natural for faculty and students who are accustomed to letter grades to have concerns about CT/NC, especially as it affects faculty’s ability to give more calibrated feedback on the one hand, and student responsiveness to that feedback as it manifests in their motivation, performance, and ultimately, their learning outcomes. There is evidence, however, that the decreased focus on grades that the CT/NC offers may allow your students to focus on learning instead of achieving, and that grades don’t act as the “motivator” that faculty often assume (e.g.,

Especially in conditions of remote learning, we want our students to stay engaged, participate, and learn, so our course structure and assignments should be geared toward these goals.

First Steps:

You as the instructor must decide what constitutes CT in your course, and this begins with being clear about your learning goals for your students and devising assessments that demonstrate whether your students have achieved them.  In this time of profound disruption and uncertainty, it is both realistic and compassionate to acknowledge that our goals and our students’ achievement may not be as lofty as usual. 

When you explain your standards for achieving credit in your course, you may consider informing your students that distinguished work may receive acknowledgement through a citation on the transcript. You should also let your students know under what circumstances they would receive NC. These may be:

  • Failure to submit assignments in a timely way;
  • Failure to meet the criteria of the assignment;
  • Failure to participate adequately in discussions or other course activities

*Note: Participation standards and expectations should not penalize students’ varying circumstances, including time zones, remote learning environments, abilities, and degree of access to equipment and/or internet.

If you choose to continue using your usual grading system and intend to “convert” this to CT/NC based on a predetermined cut-off, be transparent with your students in your syllabus and throughout the course about both your grading approach and the cut-off points. Be aware, though, that students who are attached to grades may be disgruntled to have their “A” recorded as merely “CT.” 

Devising Assessments:

Your course syllabus and/or Canvas home page should contain a clear statement of what assessments/assignments you will be using, and your expectations for the assignments. Assignments with different learning goals will likely have different thresholds for CT/NC, and concomitantly, varying degrees of instructor feedback. 

You may want to forego or limit the usual high-stakes assignments of tests, term papers, and exams and instead foreground assignments that emphasize student engagement and learning. For example:

  • A discussion post or voice thread that responds in a thoughtful, informed way to a reading or lecture is a low-stakes way to maintain student engagement and learning.
  • An analytical essay or research paper may be broken down into successive steps, as many faculty already do, each of which has its own rubric and criteria for Credit. 
  • Remote discussions offer different modes of participation, from speaking synchronously to messaging or recording asynchronously. Decide what your threshold for CT for a discussion will be (one comment and one message post per session?) and state that explicitly on your syllabus.  Students may not be able to or feel immediately comfortable discussing live on Zoom, so pairing live discussions with asynchronous or retrospective reflections in Canvas might also merit CT.  

*Note: We recommend recording all live sessions for your own reference as well as for students who can’t attend. Please note the Dean of Faculty’s recommended language to include in your syllabus and share with your students.  

  • To facilitate student  learning through granular written feedback, you might use the Speedgrader function in Canvas to give pointed comments on an assignment and require the student’s response to each comment in order to receive full Credit for the assignment. Speedgrader includes this “response function” for students, who may not otherwise bother to read instructor comments.  To elicit a response, comments are best phrased as explicit questions for students to answer, for example, “What would be a better word?” instead of “awkward” or “How can you restructure your paragraph so that your argument isn’t buried?” instead of “Thesis?” 
  • Faculty could also require students to collect and respond to peer feedback at certain times during the quarter, and also to provide self-evaluations of their participation, engagement, and quality of their work. 
  • Tests/quizzes can be adjusted to CT/NC and serve as summative assessments by determining and making explicit to students the threshold of correct/incorrect answers for receiving credit. To use tests/quizzes to facilitate student learning and improvement over time, consider offering students the opportunity to retake them until they achieve the desired result for CT. The Canvas quiz function is especially handy for creating and administering short, low-stakes quizzes.

A Final Note

Although CT/NC may seem like a blunt pedagogical instrument compared to the accustomed grading scale, it offers the opportunity to experiment with creating different kinds of assessments and feedback for students about their learning. Experiment with what works best to achieve your goals and remind yourself and them to be flexible and open to new ways of teaching and learning.

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