Moving to Remote Instruction in a Time of Disruption

If I can’t teach in person what can I do?

Depending on the circumstances, you may want to  temporarily use alternate modes of instruction. This might be for some components or the entire course.  Your first step will be to determine what components of your course you would like to replace with these alternate modes.  Walking through the steps below will help you think about your plan, and about assembling any materials and tools you will need along the way.  For some, using virtual tools will be a good option, others will want to think about lower tech methods of interacting with students.  This guide offers many resources for virtual instruction but remember you can choose minimal technology to continue teaching. OIT is open for business.  Please contact its​​@williams​​.edu for help and more information or visit our extended virtual drop-in session. Check here to connect and for the up-to-date hours. Laura Muller (Academic Resources), Chad Topaz (Math/Stats), and Beth Fischer (WCMA Digital Humanities Fellow) are available for one-on-one conversations.


  • As you make your plans, please be aware of asking students to do the same amount and kind of work the syllabus initially expected them to do while (a) compressing the work into a shorter time period and/or (b) reducing their access to instructor, peer, or campus resources. If you have more content than time, reflect on the student learning outcomes for your course and focus on those that are the most important.  Then you can take these steps:

    • Identify learning objectives for the aspects of the course you are moving online
    • Organize those items into units (if you are looking to take more than one class session online), modules, and lessons.  These may or may not easily align with the organization of the original syllabus. Keep in mind that the guidelines for Universal Design for Learning can help you think about alternatives organizational structures.
    • Add the teaching materials that you identified which can be moved online 
    • Add the teaching materials and teaching artifacts that you identified traditional alternatives for
    • Identify gaps where additional resources or materials will need to be created
    • Write the status next to each item listed
    • Prioritize items (easily moved, alternative identified, needs options)

    For more mapping ideas, refer to Going Online in a Hurry: What to Do and Where to Start by Michelle Miller in The Chronicle of Higher Ed, March 9 or Vanderbilt University's Putting Some of Your Course Content Online in a Hurry?


Last Update: March 20