Teaching when you’re off campus yourself

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Principles for teaching in the time of COVID-19

As the University moves to offering a totally off-campus experience for students and staff, the following principles will help you.

Teaching off campus is a temporary measure only. You absolutely aren’t expected to become an expert at online teaching and your students will appreciate that you’re acting in their best interests. Remember that teaching and learning online can be an isolating experience, so any interactivity that you can introduce between you and your students and also between students is a good thing.

Try to keep it really simple. This is a global health crisis and it is likely that your unit isn’t the top concern of your students. It probably isn’t your top concern either. Be kind to yourself and your students and aim for a low tech approach. Instead of a high production, perfectly edited video, try a simple but genuine short phone video or voice-over slide recordings. It’s also fine to forget videos altogether as some students may have data allowances or sub optimal Internet access. In that case you can provide slides and speaker notes.

Communicate with your students to give them structure and a sequence to study. Use announcements in Canvas, modules and consider using the SRES.

Above all, reach out for help sooner rather than later. Connect with colleagues who are also teaching from home. Educational Innovation have created a set of resources to guide you on how to teach when you are off campus. The resources are available here and include sections on

In addition, check out these other relevant resources:

Teaching@Sydney, the Knowledge Base,  Yammer, and the Intranet. Your Faculty and School may also have context-specific resources – ask your Associate Dean or Head Education. Connect with us via Yammer , use Canvas 24/7 support (click the “Help” button on the very left in Canvas), or get in touch with the Educational Innovation helpdesk (via the Services Team on 935 12000).

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