Remote Teaching Strategies

Webinar: "Switching Modes: Teaching through an unexpected closing"

Ways to facilitate your class using D2L

If the campus were to close for unforeseen reasons, would you have a back-up plan for teaching your face-to-face classes? Whether it's dangerously low temperatures or a special event that causes campus closures, some circumstances may prevent you and your students from meeting in person. This page lists a number of strategies and tips for teaching remotely due to unforeseen circumstances, using D2L.

Simpler is better. Each course is different, so the solutions you adopt may also be unique. The goal is not to replicate every facet of in-class instruction in the online environment. This is an emergency. Focus on the course goals/outcomes you wrote. Then think about what kind of materials and activities can reasonably meet some or all of these. You will do some new things, some different things, and learn along the way. There are people available to assist you as you explore options, please contact one of the staff members of the Department of Instructional Improvement and Distance Learning if you need assistance.

Christian Zehelein
(847) 214-7506

Terrance Stanton
(847) 214-7560

Tammy Ray
(847) 214-7118

Tim Moore
(847) 214-7651

To get started

Send message, create new announcement on D2L homepage, check-in with students (Keep students informed and up-to-date



  • Can students get/find the materials and instructions that they need?

  • Do students have a way to turn in or show their work?

  • Have deadlines changed, been updated, and are these prominently posted?

  • Do you/teaching assistants/graders have a way to grade and give feedback?

Adapted from Miller, 2020

Keep students informed and up-to-date

The course homepage in D2L can be used to share updates, announcements, and due dates using the Announcements (News) tool. You can also create highly customized homepages that feature a particular tool or even point to an external web page (such as an instructor’s website).

Share course materials

Use the Content tool to post and organize course content so that information about course expectations, course syllabus, lecture notes, and alternative assignments can be distributed to the students. This can be done by adding Modules and then Topics in the content tool area.

Facilitate a class discussion

Use the Discussions tool in your course to encourage users to share thoughts on course material with their peers. You can set up forums and topics for users to ask questions, discuss course content and assignments, and work together in assigned groups and sections.

Have students submit an assignment

Use the Assignments (Dropbox) tool to allow users to electronically submit assignments. These files can be accessed and graded at any time.

Give quizzes

The Quizzes tool enables you to create and manage points-measured assessments. For additional information setting up

a quiz contact the Distance Learning department.

In addition, D2L supports supports several online testing options to support instructors' needs to maintain test integrity.

First tier: D2L's online quizzing tool provides an effective environment for open book exams and assignments that do no require a high level of security.

Second tier: The Respondus LockDown Browser provides a more secure environment that keeps students "locked" into the quiz and disables other functionality on the computer in use until the quiz is completed.

Third tier: Respondus Monitor provides instructors with a highly secure environment that requires an active microphone and camera while a student takes an exam. Audio and video can be reviewed to assess whether cheating or other issues of academic dishonesty occurred.

Use Google Meet for live Lectures or Meetings

Google Meet, also known as Google Hangouts Meet, is available through the Student Email Google Suite. It is built to let dozens of people join the same virtual meeting, and speak or share video with each other from anywhere with Internet access. Dial in phone numbers may also be used to access meetings, enabling users with slow or no Internet connection to call in.

Support Resources

  • Going Online in a Hurry. What to do and Where to Start. By Michelle D. Miller, PhD. The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 9, 2020.

  • Stanford University--Teaching Effectively during Times of Crisis. Jenae Cohn, Academic Technology Specialist for PWR, Beth Seltzer, Academic Technology Specialist for Introductory Studies.

  • Vanderbilt University--Resources for Just-in-Time Online Teaching. Derek Bruff, Center for Teaching Director.

  • List of Emergency Remote Teaching Guidelines - - Links to guidelines at U.S. institutions. Edited by Daniel Stanford, Director of Faculty Development & Technology Innovation at DePaul University.

  • Strategies for Teaching Remotely -

  • Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research - -
    Provides] clarity for U.S. colleges and universities about how copyright law applies to the many facets of remote teaching and research in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.