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Hege Library & Learning Technologies

For Faculty: COVID-19 Instructional Continuity in Spring 2020

This guide is a copy of the original Instructional Continuity Guide used during the move to remote teaching in Spring 2020 due to COVID-19. It exists to retain and share this collection of resources for anyone who needs them.

Creating Online Assignments & Assessments

In Canvas

If you would like to test things out or create content in an empty course that does not have any students in it, do not hesitate to request a sandbox shell where you can start designing your next course or just experiment with Canvas. When you email Garrett Collins, please include course information, if applicable, in your request (e.g., ENGL 400 Literature and Ethics).

See this blog post on "Alternative Assessments in Canvas" for a great rundown of alternatives for various assignment types, including journals, video & audio responses, collaborative writing, peer reviews, and more. Please note that some of the tools recommended are ones that live outside of Canvas, and some are tools Guilfors does not have access to in its Canvas instance.

Through Google Apps/G-Suite

Making Adjustments in Canvas

You can make adjustments in Canvas to allow for unexpected changes to due dates or to the course calendar.

Adjusting Due Dates

If needed, you can adjust the due dates for assignments and quizzes in Canvas - for your entire class, or for particular students.

Adjusting Quiz Restrictions

You can extend quiz times (for all students or for particular students) and give students multiple quiz attempts.

Alternatives to Proctored Exams

This page from Rutgers discusses some of the drawbacks of proctored exams in an online/remote teaching environment, and offers some suggestions of helpful alternatives, listed below. The page also links to a presentation by Karen Harris of Rutgers’ Teaching and Learning With Technology, which outlines the options in more detail:

  • "Series of quizzes: offer a low-stakes opportunity for students to demonstrate mastery of material, and give you ongoing information about student understanding. Frequent quizzing has also been shown to reinforce student understanding. Both Canvas and Sakai can randomize questions in quizzes, making cheating more difficult.
  • Student-developed quiz questions: writing quiz questions both builds and demonstrates students’ understanding of the material. This assignment can be structured as a collaborative group activity.
  • Open-book, take-home assessments: many disciplines already have a tradition of take-home exams, typically involving more conceptual or applied questions that students cannot quickly look up in a textbook.
  • Professional presentations or demonstrations: students can create audiovisual presentations using a variety of media, powerpoint, prezi, and other tools.
  • Annotated anthology or bibliography: this project gives students choice in selecting works while assessing their higher-order abilities to evaluate sources, compare multiple perspectives, and provide rationales for their choices.
  • Fact sheet: students create a one-page fact sheet on a topic. Students must select relevant facts and explain them clearly and concisely.
  • Peer- and self-review activity: these allow for personal reflection on learning and peer-to-peer instruction, both of which reinforce and deepen understanding. Students do need instruction in the task of providing constructive feedback. Targeted rubrics laying out expectations for student work are very helpful.
  • E-Portfolio: a student-selected portfolio of work from the semester. Students compile their best or representative work from the semester, writing a critical introduction to the portfolio and a brief introduction to each piece.
  • Non-Traditional Paper or Project: creative assignments work best when they have some “real-world” relevance and offer students some choice in delivery format.
  • Group Project: group projects require students to demonstrate mastery of subject matter and develop their ability to communicate and work collaboratively. It is crucial to make your assessment criteria and grading scheme clear, and to ensure that there are clear, explicit expectations for each team member."

Additional Resources