Center for Teaching and Learning

Teaching Everywhere blog

In response to the coronavirus outbreak — and without in-person classes — UW faculty are transitioning at warp speed to teaching remotely. They’re using technologies like Zoom, Panopto, and Canvas to make sure their students are learning, no matter where they are located.

Casting around for ideas on what to tell students about how you’ll be teaching and why? How you’ll be grading? Wondering what your colleagues at the UW and beyond are doing? You’ve come to the right place.

Twice a month, we will let you know what other UW instructors are doing to teach well remotely. What do we want students to learn to do? How can we reassure students (and ourselves) that the wheels haven’t come off the bus?

Submit your ideas, examples, and questions to our blog submission form (use your UW Google account to sign-in). In the meantime, check the UW Center for Teaching and Learning site, which we update regularly.

  • Using Team Operating Rules to foster collaboration

    July 30, 2020

    Online meeting

    By Jennifer Diamond and Julie Scales, Project Management Certificate (UW Professional & Continuing Education, Continuum College) Collaborative projects are a key component of many UW courses. But before project work begins, teams need to connect, set ground rules, and articulate norms for shared work and outcomes. For the Certificate in Project Management capstone course, we…

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  • Online finals: Providing flexibility & opportunities for creativity

    July 23, 2020

    UW student studying

    By Ileana M. Rodríguez-Silva, History For last spring's HSTLAC 289: The Cuban Revolutionary Experiment, I initially planned to offer a final exam, similar to the mid-term, but changed my mind. Instead, I asked my 26 students to do a final assignment. In the last week of class instruction, I made the final assignment optional in…

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  • Flexible finals in the pandemic

    June 3, 2020

    Student working on laptop.

    By Holly Barker, Anthropology This quarter I am teaching Research in Critical Sport Studies (ANTH 269). It's a course for first-generation to college and/or students underrepresented in research. The class gives students a space to develop a series of small research projects with classmates so students consider the important contributions they make to academia, as well…

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  • Art is a dialogue

    June 2, 2020

    Image by Flora Davis for spring 2020 ART 400 course

    By Timea Tihanyi, School of Art + Art History + Design Because art is a dialogue, much of what the Interdisciplinary Visual Arts seniors have been doing in ART 400 this quarter has been synchronous. Instead of the white-box gallery exhibition, students are presenting their work in a virtual "gallery" for which each student created both…

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  • Teaching Spanish: A multi-day "finale" instead of a final exam

    May 28, 2020

    Samuel Jaffee, lecturer, UW Spanish & Portuguese Studies

    By Samuel Jaffee, Spanish & Portuguese Studies  This spring quarter I'm teaching Spanish 302 and Spanish 303, both of which guide students in developing writing strategies in Spanish (creative fiction, business letters, reportage, argument and counterargument, and literary and visual analysis). In lieu of a final exam, both classes will enjoy a multi-day "finale." Students…

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  • Engaging students in online spaces

    May 11, 2020

    Person working on laptop and video conferencing

    How José Guzmán gets marine biology students talking in class By Nicole Feodorov, blog editor At a recent Teaching Remotely Pop-Up session, José Guzmán (UW Aquatic and Fishery Sciences) shared some of his strategies for keeping students engaged during his synchronous online classes. Guzmán divides his 50-minute classes into three sections. Classes begin with a…

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  • Teaching physics: Videos instead of midterms

    April 23, 2020

    Student working on tablet

    Video problem solutions By Peter Selkin For the past two quarters, I've used an approach based on an idea adapted from Andy Rundquist, a physics professor at Hamline University in Minnesota. Instead of a midterm and a final (and in addition to weekly content quizzes), students submit short videos walking the viewer through solutions to…

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  • Math in the time of coronavirus

    April 21, 2020

    Math problem on white board

    Reflections on teaching during the pandemic By Jennifer Quinn  The COVID-19 viral disruption affects us all, particularly our most vulnerable citizens. It's vital to find ways to connect our students and humanize this unprecedented and isolating experience. These days I'm trying to worry less about the integrity of online examinations and the quality of online…

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  • Giving exams in Canvas? Set your students up for success

    April 7, 2020

    Computer keyboard

    Many instructors are adapting exams to quizzes or assignments in Canvas. It’s important to consider the quality of student internet service as you set up these exams. As more people work remotely or self-quarantine, residential internet upload and download speeds degrade. Review these guidelines for administering exams in Canvas — ensure a smooth experience for…

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  • Concerned that with everyone going online, your teaching tools may not keep up?

    April 7, 2020

    Will Zoom, Panopto and Canvas have the capacity to support your course as you move it online? The short answer is yes. We have sought and received assurance from our teaching and learning tool vendors that their systems are designed and operated to meet increased and growing usage, even in the face of unprecedented demand.…

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  • Teaching from everywhere

    March 19, 2020

    Looking for even more ideas on how to teach and grade remotely? Find out how Rick Mohler, UW associate professor of architecture, is teaching his Research Design Studio students, as they discuss how they have re-imagined six Seattle neighborhoods. Learn more about UW Zoom video conferencing. Also, check out what faculty at Stanford are doing.…

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  • Normally I'd answer questions about finals in office hours or live in class. Now what?

    March 14, 2020

    UW Zoom offers an easy way to stay in touch with students while teaching remotely. By scheduling recurring Zoom meetings and setting up Zoom’s Waiting Room, you can replicate in-person office hours, helping you and your students stay connected and moving forward. Learn more.

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  • Fun with virtual backgrounds!

    March 12, 2020

    Ryan Calo, UW School of Law

    Your Zoom background doesn’t have to feature your office file cabinet covered with stickies. Nor does it need to highlight your washer and dryer, if you’re Zooming from home — although a quick appearance by your cat is a nice way to break up your lecture. By changing your virtual background in Zoom, you can…

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  • What to say and how to say it

    March 12, 2020

    Person working on a laptop

    Communicating with your students is vitally important these days, especially without in-person classes and final exams. Where to start? Here is how the Law School explained finals to their students:   Dear Students, Thank you for your patience as we transform our operations to enable remote finals that are both flexible to our students and allow…

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