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Teaching Remotely @ R-MC

Communicating with Students

It is best to align communication to the technological capabilities of your class.

To that end, begin by surveying what tools your students have available to them.


Consider Welcoming Your Students to their new online experience. Even though you already know them and they already know you, this can be a chance to be reassuring, to share some of your strengths and weaknesses in this environment, or to start to set expectations for the next few weeks.

Think about Managing Your Online Presence.


Even if you are not a frequent Canvas user, you may want to consider using it as the primary space where you communicate with your students and let them know your plan for remote classes. Make sure your class is published, if you have not used it previously. If Canvas prompts you to select a home page before publishing, select "Syllabus".



You can bulk email your entire class by downloading students' email addresses from MyMaconWeb and copying and pasting them into the "To" field in Outlook. When sending emails you should stress whether students should Reply All or just to you individually.

Surveying Student Technology

When preparing to teach online, it can be very helpful to determine what technological capabilities your students will have. Programs that are designed to be taught remotely usually have technological requirements that all students are expected to comply with. We do not have that luxury in the current environment, but knowing what levels of technology are available can help inform how much synchronous teaching is feasible for your classes, as opposed to other instructional methods.

We recommend asking the following questions of students, via a Canvas quiz, email, or any other means:


In the event that R-MC decides to move classes to an online/distance format before the end of the Spring semester, I would like you all to tell me what your computing, wifi, and/or internet capabilities are, especially if you do not have easy access to an internet/wifi connected computer, laptop, or phone/tablet. This will help me make course materials and teaching as accessible as possible with as little disruption as possible. 

  1. Do you have access to a desktop or laptop computer at home?
  2. Do you have a smartphone?
  3. Do you have a microphone that can be used with your computer or smartphone?
  4. Do you have a webcam that can be used with your computer or smartphone?
  5. Do you have access to high-speed internet (Broadband or Satellite) coverage at home?
  6. Do you have access to LTE Cellular coverage with 2-3 bars? [This indicates the strength of the student's Internet service. A lot of remote work can be accomplished (even Canvas and Zoom) if the student has a smartphone and a robust data network.]
  7. Can you use your cell phone as a hotspot?

If you have students in your classes who do not have access to high-speed internet or other technological tools, you will want to focus more on asynchronous pedagogical strategies, rather than synchronous class sessions.