Remote Learning

“CTL Presents” videos

Remote Teaching Faculty Learning Community (Fall 2020)

The Remote Teaching Faculty Learning Community meets biweekly via Zoom on Wednesdays from 4:20-5:20 PM (Central Time) . Each meeting is themed on topics such as tools and strategies for the remote classroom, designing and developing online tests, collecting and responding to student feedback, and metaphysical sharing. Requests are welcomed! Each session is led by one or more CTL faculty members, who invite other faculty to share their expertise.

Principia’s Official Faculty Online Resources Page 

  • Events and training schedule plus resources shared during training activities. Also links to other Principia academic technology resources.

The Faculty Lounge blogpost 

  • Created by The Harvard Business Publishing Education, a place for educators to share with educators

A Checklist for Building Community in the College Classroom

  • Blog post from Faculty Focus. Consider subscribing for regular teaching tips. 

Strategies for Structuring Teaching from Home: Planning Your Way to an Effective Day

  • Blog post from The Scholarly Teacher

Student Participation

  • The Harvard Business Review shares ideas on virtual class participation.

Apple’s Remote Tools

  • Apple has created how-to videos for remote learning with their devices

Transforming Education Through Technology Journal

  • Check out these tips and tricks for going remote, including building student learning communities, and integrating new technology into your courses.

A fairly comprehensive collection of remote teaching tips

  • If you can’t find a resource delving into a topic you’re wondering about, search this open-source document where people are adding a multitude of resources for remote learning. Contributors include the Harvard Graduate School of Education, MIT, and more.

Scanning Tools

  • Office Lens a Microsoft app that helps turn docs into a PDF
  • Camscanner an app to turn your smartphone into a document scanner
  • Google Photo Scan can help remove glare; creates high quality visual images in color
  • Genius Scan for iPhone or Android
  • Use the Notes app on an iPhone

Recording classes:

  • Record classes and post privately on YouTube.  Share a direct link in Canvas for students to watch before or after class (Colleen Vucinovich). 
  • Record a lecture on Google Meet.
  • Record a lecture on Zoom.

Academic Tech website:
IT hotline number is (618) 374-2345 will be answered Monday thru Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  The Hotline Email Address:

  • A well-developed resource guide that has tools and suggestions for remote teaching.

Google’s Teacher Resources 

  • This is Google’s official teacher resource with lots to explore. Keep in mind that much of this is geared for K-12 but could be helpful.

Teach from Home, a Google Resource

  • Google also created a whole website about teaching from home! It’s got all of their how-to guides in one place. Keep in mind that much of this is geared for K-12 but could be helpful.

Moving Online, from Google’s Teacher Resource Center

  • All about digitizing your current class content and moving forward

Learn@Home, YouTube

  • YouTube has created a curated set of channels for education purposes. These might be helpful to share with your students if they need additional instruction/clarification on topics studied in class.

  • Could also be useful to find engaging course content (either for homework or “in-class” activities). We want to keep students engaged in their learning, and videos seem to hit this demographic well.

Teaching Remotely, University of Washington

  • Be explicit with your expectations and how you expect to be communicated with

  • Consider hosting remote “office hours” for one-on-one student conversations

  • Limit how much new technology you’re integrating into the course. It’s too overwhelming for you and for your students

  • Students can still do the following activities remotely: 

    • Writing to learn (have your students write for one minute on a topic to prepare them for a discussion or generate questions they have about the material). Don’t collect or grade the writing.

    • Pair & share

    • Small group discussion

    • Peer review

    • Problem sets

Teaching Different Types of Classes, U of Washington

  • Resources collected for different types of classes

Etiquette for the Online Environment

  • Consider the environment that your students are now in. Some may have access to reliable internet, and some may not. Some may have access to a private space to attend classes, and others will not. Flexibility is key, and requesting communication from students will aid in re-developing your course.
  • Create classroom standards with your students. What does a good remote classroom look like? Set clear expectations.

Academic Technology’s Comparison Guide

  • Academic Tech has created a comparison guide for Google Meet, Zoom, and Canvas Conference.

Google Meet Tips and Tricks

  • Set up one consistent link so that you and your group know how to access the class or meeting, without having to sort through various emails. Test your link before sending it out.
  • Google’s tips on Meet
    • Helpful to set up a Google (not Outlook) calendar invite where you can add a “location.” This location is the meeting url and ID that can be used to access your meeting every time.
  • Suggestion: Turn on “live captions” so that you can read along while you listen to each speaker. Remind your students to do this too.


  • Tool to help maintain community with group–whether a department or club or class.
  • This tool is similar to texting but has a more professional layout and can be used across platforms (phone, tablet, laptop). This tool is helpful to send quick documents to people and for quick-conversations and scheduling, rather than using personal phones. Note: Email is preferable if the information is sensitive or needs to be recorded/referenced in the future.  
  • Non-Slack sponsored tutorial.


  • Similar to GoogleMeet, Zoom is free conferencing software. Note: It’s not officially supported by Principia College at this time. 
  • For best results, you will need to download the Zoom app to your computer.

Canvas Conference

  • Tool within Canvas that can be used synchronously with students within a course.  This tool is accessed through your specific Canvas course page. Here are some tutorials about how to use Canvas Conference sponsored by BigBlueButton.  

One Note

  • A whiteboarding tool (a means of writing on a virtual, web-shared, whiteboard) could be an important addition to Google Meet. One could bring this up as a separate app, and screenshare it. Principia has this tool via Office 365, so it is downloadable and free. Multiple people can be in a note or document at the same time and can add their own annotations in real time. The drawing tools are excellent, too. 

Google Slides 

  • Through G-suite. An online Powerpoint that allows for synchronous use. Can import Powerpoint files as well. Students could follow a lecture by moving through the slide deck along with the instructor, on a different window, that wouldn’t require screen share.

How to help your students

  • Set aside time to listen to each student about their experience entering this online environment. They’ll be asked to use several interfaces/programs/apps, and for some that will be a challenge. Let this be part of building/maintaining community.
  • Let’s remember that even though they’re digital natives, they sometimes need step-by-step support with what we might think are basic functions. So we may need to walk them through logging out of their personal Gmail accounts (for example) and into their Principia Google accounts.
  • Communicate early and often with family (when possible) to remind them that their student is still actively enrolled and expected to complete assignments/attend classes.
  • Providing feedback for students as clearly and consistently as you can will help them stay engaged in course content and classroom community. 
  • Suggest that students lean on each other and online resources for tech questions. Group problem-solving can be a highly effective tool.

Principia College’s Remote Learning Resource page

     This page has information for the remote learner from many departments on campus.

Remote Student Learning Community

     The Remote Student Learning Community comprises both a Canvas “course” and a weekly Zoom session. The Canvas course was designed to be a space where Principia’s remote students have a way of feeling connected to what’s happening on campus. It is a one-stop site where they can access resources and connect with CTL faculty and one another. The course contains interactive discussion boards; weekly announcements; and modules with regularly updated links to remote social events, study resources, and spiritual inspiration. The Canvas course links  to the Remote Student Learning Community Zoom session, which takes place on Mondays from 4:30-6:00 PM (Central Time). This zoom room is a place where remote learners can just pop in to say hi to each other, or stay on for longer discussions and have a shared space to work together. The CTL’s post-graduate teaching intern, Marie Sherman, manages both the Canvas course and Zoom room and is available to support students’ writing and other academic projects. 

UMSL’s “Keep Learning” 

  • A hub of resources and tools for remote learning that are available to students.
  • We’re all trying to figure out this strange and challenging situation together. It’s crucial to determine your needs vs. your wants as we navigate unfamiliar territory. We’re all working at lightning speed to switch to online classes, and everything we want isn’t always possible. Flexibility and patience are required for students and faculty.
  • Communicate your needs clearly and consistently to your professors and possibly even other students. Rely on each other to problem solve together. Be patient.
  • Scheduling a daily routine to keep you on track is necessary with so many new moving parts. Even though you’re working from home, it’s your responsibility to manage your coursework.  
  • Ask for help early and often. There are tons of online resources prepared to help throughout this transition. When in doubt, Google it out! (Then email your professor if you still haven’t found an answer).

UMSL’s “Staying Organized”

  • Prioritize daily tasks every morning. This will help you make sure you’re staying on track with assignments and class schedules.
    • Map out your assignments at the beginning of each week so you can get a big-picture view of your workload. 
    • If you’re not sure about the timeline of a specific assignment, check your updated course syllabi. If you’re still unsure, email your professor.
    • Do your best to find a quiet space where you can attend remote classes, study for quizzes and exams, and complete assignments. Try your best to separate this from your “chill” space so that you can maintain a balance of rest and work. 

UMSL’s “Communication”

  • Now, more than ever, it’s imperative that you communicate with professors early and often. If you’re not sure, ask a classmate, do some research online, then reach out to your professor. We’re all being bombarded with information, so it’s critical that you take time to try to answer your own questions before taking them to someone else for help.
  • Remember, just like online learning is likely totally new to you, it’s also likely that it’s just as unfamiliar to your faculty members. Have patience. We’re all doing our best, and faculty are working overtime to prepare their courses to move online.
  • Be proactive, and use all resources available to you. YouTube and Google are your best friends!

VCU’s “Keep Learning”

  • A web page on VCU’s website for students as a central hub for resources and support for going remote. 

St. Joseph’s “Carry on Learning” 

  • A central hub of tools students can use while going remote.

How to help your faculty

Check out Youtube’s curated list of educational channels. These can help act as extra tutorials to supplement course materials. If you have a question or are confused about course content, it’s likely someone has created a video just for you! Do some digging before bombarding your professor with questions.

Movement Activities Provided by Professors Erin Lane and Chrissy Steele

Free workouts from Nike, Peloton, and more

  • Nike, Peloton, Daily Burn, and other workout apps have created free workouts to help keep you active as you work from home.

Work From Home Activities

  • Tips for movement while you work from home
  • Schedule times to move throughout the day
  • Set up a desk that allows you to feel comfortable for multiple hours. Consider creating a standing desk!
  • If you can meet and talk on the phone instead of video, do so! Get out in the sunshine.

Madfit’s YouTube Workouts

  • Madfit creates workout tutorials that you can follow from home. This is one example of a quiet, low impact workout. Check out her channel for all sorts of exercises!


  • A free workout app that doesn’t require any equipment!

Yoga with Adrienne

  • Adrienne leads yoga for all types of athletes whether you are novice, intermediate, or advanced!

14-Day Workout Plan

  • This Instagrammer created a 14-day indoor workout plan that’s great for strength training.

Forbes’ Tips for Staying Active

  • Daily routines, walking conference calls, and blocked work cycles can help you keep moving while getting work done!


  • If you have a bathroom on a different floor, go to that one so you get steps, stairs, and movement.
  • Set your timer for every hour or a different increment and do 5 squats or lunges or push ups or planks or body-weight workouts to keep active. 
  • Consider getting in a walk before and after work. Try to walk outside around lunch time, or do a quick yoga session during your lunch break.
  • Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, eating filling snacks, and getting plenty of sleep! We encourage you to take time away from the screen as much as you can.