Transition a Course to Remote Delivery

When transitioning a course to remote delivery, your face-to-face course will need to be developed in Canvas for either online asynchronous delivery (no required meeting times) or remote synchronous delivery (required meeting times). 

Which delivery approach is best and whether you have a choice will vary by department and college, but the criteria include:

  • Which approach best serves the students’ learning outcomes?
  • Which approach has existing content? 
  • What is the instructional design need and available capacity?

Faculty and instructors can receive instructional design help to transition face-to-face courses to online or remote teaching.

Once your course is designed and ready to go, you need to plan how to teach it, and that involves a set of competencies and skills that may be new to you. The following information can help you learn tips and principles to for effective online and remote instruction.

There is no one best way for faculty to learn. You seek out resources and support in many different places and ways. In essence, you each have your own pathways to learning about teaching. You can choose the pathway that is best for you below.

Get Started with These Quick Tips

These recommendations can help you take the first steps toward moving your course content to a remote delivery environment.

  • Upload your syllabus to Canvas, allowing students to have easy access to important course information. Consider updating your syllabus to reflect any changes in your course expectations, including how the class may change and how you will stay in contact with students. Additionally, make sure due dates and assignments are updated as needed.
  • Communicate with students often. If the situation changes, keep your students up-to-date. Be aware of any Penn State policy updates or changes. Consider using email and/or Canvas Inbox.
  • Reach out to your department colleagues and leaders as you put your course together. You may be able to leverage other resources and share ideas.
  • Set realistic expectations for what you and your students can do. Focus on achieving course learning objectives that have not yet been met. The distribution of points/percents should remain the same for course elements such as homework, assignments, and exams, but the format of each may change. If you make changes, inform students in advance.
  • Realize the impact this may have on students and on you. What will participation realistically look like now, and how you can be equitable and accommodating to all?

Four Faculty Pathways to Learning 

As you think about how to teach your summer course, consider using one or more of the following resources.

On-Demand Resources  

These resources are for faculty who prefer to learn on their own, with a “give me the information and I’ll apply what works for me” approach.

Collaborative Resources 

These resources are for those who prefer to talk through things with colleagues or someone with expertise in learning or course design in the online space. Options below offer synchronous and asynchronous discussion opportunities with faculty who may have the same questions or solutions. 

“Explore Links and the Web” Resources 

These resources are for instructors who prefer to do their own web research, exploring links and making conceptual and practical connections.

“Do a Deeper Dive” Resources 

These resources are for those who prefer a directed and structured learning experience, either self-guided and/or instructor-led.