PowerOn: Teaching - Additional Resources - University of Houston
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Online Teaching


The syllabus is sometimes your first encounter with the student, and should outline the course expectations, set the tone for class interaction, create a guide for expected learning, and provide organization to the course. When creating a syllabus for a HyFlex or online environment, don’t forget that students have more flexibility for attendance though. In the syllabus, set the expectations, policies, and instructions that apply to the weekly course tasks.

NOTE: Starting fall 2020, students will have Exchange email accounts. To be FERPA-compliant, instructors should communicate with their UH Exchange accounts to student UH Exchange accounts. Private email accounts should not be used. To learn more about Exchange accounts please visit the UIT Exchange page. Your syllabus contact information can include the UH Exchange email address. You may also opt to communicate via the Canvas inbox or announcements, which are FERPA-compliant.

Students seem to really appreciate being able to interact with experts and others as they are learning. The instructor is a visible part of their course experience. We recommend that communicate daily with your students, especially during emergency periods. This can be done through the Discussion Board, Announcements, and Email tools in Canvas, and there are tutorials for all of these, but below are strategies to explore:

There are several options for peer-to-peer interaction. The discussion board (see below) is one of the more popular asynchronous tools. You can also assign students to group in either Canvas or try TEAMS for synchronous interactions by putting students into TEAMS channels where they can work as a group:

Canvas’ Discussion Board tool can be used to provide students space to introduce themselves to classmates, express themselves and their understanding of a certain topic, debate/argue formally their point, raise questions, and work with one another as a group, among other things. While you can manually review and grade students’ postings in the Discussion Board, it may present quite a time challenge, particularly with large classes. Student postings will be of varied lengths, and some may be lengthier than expected and others may be too brief. Sometimes, instructors or graders become overwhelmed with trying to quantify student participation by counting the number of discussion initial posts and replies. Instead, you can set up a grading rubric in Canvas that specifies not just quantity expectations for discussion participation, but also describes indicators of quality in the posts.

TEAMS for pre-recorded lectures, live lectures and/or discussions. The resources below include how to post to STREAM, the Microsoft video service, and enable closed captioning for ADA compliance:

Zoom for pre-recorded lectures, live lectures and/or discussions:

Mediasite for in-class lecture capture and live streaming: