What can we help you do online?

Communicate with Students

Communicate frequently and concisely, especially when you first move your class online. Email should be considered a vital and useful conduit for engagement. We recommend reminding students that all communications go through Muhlenberg email (@muhlenberg.edu). Please reiterate this during any online (Zoom) meetings and other virtual communication you have with your classes.

If you already have an established routine for communication (for example, a Canvas announcement setting up the week goes out on Mondays), keep doing that. If this kind of directional communication typically happens at the beginning of class, try now to establish a consistent pattern, and stick to it. Regular and frequent contact will provide directions, and will be an important tool for maintaining engagement. Perhaps Monday’s message through Canvas Announcements will frame the week and invite questions for anything needing clarification. Wednesdays communication will happen through GMail, and will be direct feedback and encouragement to individual students. Friday’s communication may happen through the Canvas Grade Book, and will be, once again, individualized feedback on submitted assignments.

Communicating with your entire class during synchronous meetings is an option, but it may not be the best one under current circumstances. If you do hold real-time meetings with your classes, be sure to provide all important information elsewhere, either in email, Canvas announcement, or shared Google Doc.

Communicating with individual or small groups of students via Zoom is a great way to sustain relationships and provide instruction. Again, be sure to summarize any logistical or directional information delivered during real-time Zoom sessions with individuals or small groups in a follow-up communication. An email is likely the best way to do this.

Here are links to materials for:

Share Content With Students

Throughout the next few weeks, plan to leverage those online tools already widely used and supported to share course content with your students. The Canvas Learning Management System, for those who use it, will offer the greatest continuity for students going forward. Similarly, the sharing options available within most GSuite applications are familiar to most students and will support ongoing collaboration and engagement among your students and with your course content. However, if you have not made much use of these software tools in the past, that’s okay. More importantly, now might not be the best time to grapple with unfamiliar advanced features of any software. Stick with tools you’re familiar with initially but don’t be afraid to try new options as your needs change and things settle down.

For now, think of two, maybe three tools you already use to develop content. This could be any content, not just your course materials. If you feel good about a tool available in GSuite, then use that. If you have some experience creating a Canvas page, imagine how Canvas pages might anchor your content delivery going forward. If you know how to record voice memos on your smart phone and upload them, that might be a great strategy for maintaining connection through short (five to seven minutes) audio clips, and if you have experience making recordings of your screen, then a series of short screen casts will work certainly for your students.

Here are links to materials for:

Reminder: When creating content for teaching online, it is important to consider the accessibility of the material and the mobile-friendliness of the format. We have instructions for how to request captions for your audio and video recordings available on this site’s Accessibility page

Meet Online


Below, please find a 30 minute video overview of Zoom from earlier this semester.

Record Myself or Record My Class

Please find a short (7 minute) video demonstration of Canvas My Media and Kaltura.

Assess Student Learning

Online learning at Muhlenberg College does not rely on or subscribe to online proctoring services, or browser lockdown technology. This technology generally undermines the trust at the heart of all teaching and learning. Muhlenberg College’s Academic Integrity Code https://www.muhlenberg.edu/offices/deanofacademiclife/integrity/ encompasses all activities, behaviors, and conduct – online and offline. Faculty who teach online have found including this statement with all assessments effectively reminds students of their responsibilities as learners, in the same ways it functions in face to face environments. There is no setting in which academic dishonesty can be entirely prevented. But the practices and principles that serve us in face to face classrooms serve the online classroom as well, without resorting to the use of online surveillance technologies.

Some established examination practices simply won’t be possible in student homes, and some may not be advisable. Digital Learning faculty and staff recognize how important assessments are to your teaching, and acknowledge the challenges ahead.  We are available to help think through different options. Please be in touch with Tim Clarke timothyclarke@muhlenberg.edu or Jenna Azar jennaazar@muhlenberg.edu.

Labs, Studios, and Other Place-based Work

Some opportunities won’t be present in student homes. Labs, field experiences, art courses, and other site-specific activities will require flexibility and creativity. Specialized hardware and software may be impossible to deliver at a distance. Parity may not be possible, but focusing on the learning objective will help.

Digital Learning faculty and staff recognize how individualized this work can be.  We are available to help think through different options. Please be in touch with Tim Clarke timothyclarke@muhlenberg.edu or Jenna Azar jennaazar@muhlenberg.edu if we can be helpful.