Getting started with remote teaching
Kinghorn beach
Nick Hood

Getting started with remote teaching

2020, Mar 19    

I attended an online CPD session today, run by Michael Gallagher for staff moving rapidly and unexpectedly to online teaching during the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Jon Jack operated the back channel chat room.

Continuity, contact, care

Michael opened with a presentation to frame the session, beginning with the intention of moving teaching online in this emergency situation. He reminded us of the availability of local support for technical matters and discipline-focused matters.

Continuity, contact, care

These three are the core concepts to think about when moving to online teaching in these circumstances.

Continuity means our duty to provide students with some teaching provision. Putting material on to the VLE is a start, and also some live sessions to provide synchronous teaching.

Contact is important through regular announcements and communications, probably weekly, and active participation in discussion boards. These actions will reduce social distancing which is a bad thing. It is important to be present.

Care is providing the right support for students and making sure that all are engaged. Self-care for the teaching staff is also important - there is no need to be online 24/7, nor even out of working hours.


This is a critical element of online (and all good) teaching, which I recognise as the “Road Map” I have been talking to my students about as a key feature of teaching. Michael’s suggested outline structure for teaching online is:

  • Objective
  • Readings
  • Lecture
  • Media
  • Activity
  • Synchronous event
  • Questions for discussion
  • Weekly announcement

Support is a good idea, too, including having someone to manage the back channel in online synchronous sessions. It’s hard to manage live delivery and the chat room at the same time.

Q & A

Some useful tips and queries came out of the Q & A after Michael’s presentation, including my own, which was if the bandwidth is rubbish, I have used collaborate with a phone call for 1-1 tutorials with students - the whiteboard and app sharing are really useful.

Evaluation and next steps

This was a really useful session to help me think about the delivery of teaching and support of my students in coming weeks of isolation. I’ll be carrying these ideas and tips into my planning for next week (once I get this marking done).