Remote Teaching Checklist

Notre Dame Learning has collaborated with the Office of Information Technologies to develop a step-by-step checklist to help instructors get started preparing for emergency remote teaching. The recommended process outlined below considers both pedagogical strategies and technology tools. We encourage faculty to begin their work using this checklist.

  1. Readiness Check
  2. Consider Course Elements
  3. Determine Strategies and Methods
  4. Select Tools / Resources
  5. Communication

1. Readiness Check

As you begin to consider changing the format of your course, it is important to consider the readiness level of yourself and your students. Thinking about these variables will help you to select strategies and methodologies that best fit the needs of everyone involved.

For the instructor

  • Do you have a laptop or home computer? 
  • Do you have Internet access at home?
  • Can you access the tools listed in the Toolkit below and do you know how to use them?
  • Do you have a webcam and the Zoom app installed?
  • Do you have access to your teaching materials?
  • Do you have access to the content resources (books, articles, videos) that you will need?
  • What is your experience in teaching online?  Can these experiences be leveraged at this time?  
  • Share Strategies for Effective Online Learning with your students.

2. Consider Course Elements

As you consider changing the format of your course, it is important to remember that there will be changes to the content and approach. Intentionally selecting the most critical elements of your course will help to ensure a high level of continuity of the learning experience. 

  • What are the essential elements of this course? Create a list of the items that are required to reach your learning goal.
  • Do course goals need to be revisited or prioritized?
  • How would policies and grading change? 
  • Do you need to rethink your assignments and exams? 
  • Brainstorm possible alternatives for any aspect of the course that cannot be easily moved into the online format.

3. Determine Strategies and Methods

Once you have established the essential elements of the course that need to be moved online, consider how these elements are addressed in the face-to-face classroom. If possible, it’s a good idea to replicate similar strategies as you move online.

The strategies that you select can be Asynchronous (not at the same time), Synchronous (at the same time--virtual discussion or lecture), or a combination of the two. Is there a clear transfer of approach to the online format?  

For example:

  • Class discussions
    • Asynchronous:  Discussion forum in Sakai
    • Synchronous: Zoom session occurring during the regularly  scheduled class time
  • Class lectures
    • Asynchronous:  Recorded video lectures (screencasts, videos) posted to Sakai
    • Synchronous: Zoom session occurring during the regularly  scheduled class time
  • Class Resources
    • Books, Articles, Videos can be posted on Sakai
  • Small-Group Discussions
    • Asynchronous:  Discussion forum in Sakai 
    • Synchronous: Breakout rooms via Zoom session occurring during the regularly  scheduled class time
  • Office Hours / Student Support
    • Asynchronous:  Email, “Ask the Instructor” Discussion forum in Sakai, chat via Google Hangouts, feedback/review via Google Docs
    • Synchronous:  Scheduled Zoom sessions for Office Hours
  • Student Work Submission
    • Designate a centralized place to collect student submissions.

4. Select Tools / Resources

Once you have established the strategies for approaching the essential course elements, the next step would be to align the method with a specific tool.  The University has a strong list of recommended options to support teaching and learning. It’s a good idea to utilize the tools that are supported by ND.  This will enable you to have access to support and resources.  

We recommend considering the questions below and then exploring the Technology for teaching section of this site (see below after reading the questions).

  • Which technology tools are you currently comfortable using?  Can these tools be used in this process? 
  • Which tools does the University offer that can support your essential course elements?
  • What do you need help with? Which resources / University support can address these issues?
  • Based on the strategies you have selected, identify the tools and resources that make sense for your class.

5. Communication

Once you have a plan for how your course will proceed, it is important to clearly communicate your approach with your students.  It is likely that your approach may continue to change as you step into this format. Create an open dialog regarding the iterative nature of this change.  Some tips that may help to keep in mind:

  • Provide a clear message to your students about the upcoming class. 
  • Share Strategies for Effective Online Learning with your students.
  • Compassion and empathy will be a necessity for all involved.  This is a difficult situation on both ends. Providing grace for learning by all will help to keep the experience positive. 
  • Establish a preferred mode of communication to use.  Provide details regarding how you would like students to connect with you regarding questions, concerns, etc.  We recommend using email as it allows for communication to occur around potential obstacles like time zones, access issues, etc.

Need help?  Contact ND Learning at, drop in to ND Learning Open Office Hours, or sign up for an ND Learning Online Workshop.