In a spring 2020 faculty survey, Mines instructors identified that they were interested in learning about successful remote teaching strategies from other Mines instructors. The following table details a number of successful strategies collected during the summer of 2020 through survey and conversations. Many instructors who shared these strategies indicated they would be willing to follow-up with other instructors interested in figuring out how to apply the strategies to their own courses. If you have a strategy to add to this table or would like to speak to an instructor about a strategy, please email Sarah at bodbyl AT mines DOT edu.

StrategyPurposeClass SizePreparation TimeActivity TimeDescriptionDept/Courses at Mines
Ungraded Comprehension QuizDesigning assessments for remote deliveryAny class sizeSome preparation timeLess than ten minutesAfter a video or short (5–10 min.) lesson, a non-graded quiz was added. This quiz was designed to highlight a key point or two from the video/lesson. I wasn't sure if the students would like the extra "busy" work, but I got a ton of positive feedback from the students. It helped them identify the key points from the example. If they got the quiz wrong, it was quick feedback that they missed something important and should go re-watch.Economics and Business
Short, topical lectures or videosAdjusting course activities to remote deliveryAny class sizeSome preparation timeLess than ten minutesKeep the lessons/videos short. Five to ten minutes maximum. I had multiple students in office hours mention they didn't finish some of my longer examples (15-20 min). If you have longer examples, break them down into Lesson 1A, 1B, and 1C. This way the students can give maximum attention to each part.Economics and Business
Frequent office hoursProviding students with ways or times to ask questions and get helpAny class sizeSome preparation timeLess than ten minutesHave at least one hour of office hours each day to allow for questions about the material and or general class delivery questions. I was amazed at how many little questions I got in office hours that were quickly answered. Questions like, "Where can I find____?" or "I can't open the video." These little questions are things that normally get asked and answered in the 5-10 min before and after class. However, with an online environment that interaction time with faculty is eliminated. More time needs to be built into each day to allow students to interact with faculty. Economics and Business
Video (FlipGrid) responsesBuilding class community, Motivating and engaging students,
Alternative to a discussion board in Canvas
Any class sizeLittle or no preparation timeLess than ten minutesRather than have students post to a discussion board for a lecture or to prove they've done the reading I use Flipgrid ( to have them make a short video of their thoughts or questions, so they can pose them to each other or share with me. Much better then reading through and no opportunity to have them "phone it in" through copying and pasting thoughts from someone else.
Whole-class notes (low-tech solution)Adjusting course activities to remote deliveryMedium classes, 20 to 49Little or no preparation timeLess than ten minutesUsing a desktop opaque projector as a whiteboard. I would type a discussion question on the top of a PowerPoint slide, print it out a head of time and turn on the projector pointed down at the page. As we discussed the question, I would hand write their comments on the paper for all to see. This worked great.Economics and Business
Zoom participant featuresMotivating and engaging studentsMedium classes, 20 to 49Little or no preparation timeLess than ten minutesI used Zoom features actively in class...
Raise Hand (little blue hand) - students let me know when they had a comment, used in Case Study discussions, group discussions.
-Answer to Yes/No questions, used when I wanted to check about what they thought about something.
Polling - prepared before class with multiple choice, or yes/no questions to support a topic in class. They really liked these as I could show them the results of how the class voted immediately after voting. It also stimulated discussions.
Economics and Business
Flipped Classroom/Effective use of F2F timeBuilding class community, Motivating and engaging students, Adjusting course activities to remote delivery, Using alternatives to synchronous lectureAny Class sizeSome preparation timeN/AI wanted to provide students with both synchronous and asynchronous options. We were already using a partially flipped classroom model in which students watched short videos before class, answered some online questions, and then spent class time in a mix of discussion and group work. I created additional videos to provide the option for students to easily find all content. Students aren't required to attend the class zoom meeting, but are encouraged. During the class zoom meeting, we review some of the topics, I answer questions that they asked me on their pre-class questions, and then we spend time in breakout rooms. I am still working on how to get all students engaged in those rooms, but it gives me the opportunity to speak with them in small groups and answer questions. I've also experimented a bit with discussion boards to get students engaged and found they are more useful if the discussion is happening in smaller groups (less then 10) than at the whole class level. Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Exam formats: Online and Oral ExamsAdjusting course activities to remote deliveryMedium classes, 20 to 49A significant amount of preparation time10-20 minutesThis summer I have tried a number of different formats for exams. For my first exam in summer 1, I made part of the assessment online using our online homework system, and made part of it written, and I tried to focus on different kinds of problems that they couldn't just look up. For instance, I had them describe why they would choose certain techniques for different integrals. I also had them try to extend a problem to a new scenario, and I had them critique incorrect solutions and fix them.
For my second exam, I did oral exams! I could describe my process in much more detail, but I would do it again with some changes. It might take a bit more time, but not nearly as much time as dealing with academic misconduct cases.
For my third exam, I am again using the online homework system for a part of the exam. For the other part, I have a few problems that allow them to reflect upon their learning but also share content and I have one problem in which they are writing some true/false problems and providing keys, the motivation for the problem, and what they would assess. I used Francis Su's Seven Questions to Ask on a Final Exam in a Pandemic:
Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Structuring Canvas informationAdjusting course activities to remote delivery ,Using alternatives to synchronous lectureAny Class sizeSome preparation timeN/AI set up my Canvas course in a way that I think makes it easy for students to find everything they need, clearly lays out expectations, and communicates the course structure. I have a "General Course Info" module, in which I provide calendar, syllabus, zoom info, an overview of the course, a FAQ document, and a place to ask questions via discussion board. Then each week gets its own module, with overviews provided, tasks and content broken up by the day, and tasks clearly delineated.Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Remote Student Team PresentationsAdjusting course activities to remote deliveryAny class sizeSome preparation timeLess than ten minutesFor courses which include student team presentations with Q&A, one option is to request a team video, which can be created even in a remote team environment. You can see how Cornerstone final videos turned out in the Spring, here:

This is your team's chance to (professionally) pitch your final solution, and tell us all how amazing it is! You will have a choice of submission type: a short team video pitch, or a voice-over slide set. Either should be no more than 3 minutes in length.

Emphasize the extent of the problem you are solving. Use enough detail to make the problem seem real and compelling.
Recordings should "stand alone"... the audience should understand your problem, your solution, and your value proposition, simply by watching your recording.
PROFESSIONAL appearance (your dress, your slide formats, your script)

Team introduction
Team problem statement and why your problem matters (OMIT details of proposal)
Your team's overall concept / solution
The value proposition of your solution (cost versus benefits)
Highlights of your validation (stakeholder feedback, test results, maybe some key analyses)
Some description of KEY subsystems (NOT every detail or every subsystem)
Make it fun and energetic, yet professional
Incorporate all teammates, as possible
Wrap very briefly and enthusiastically with a quick summary and conclusion or some final thoughts!
Upload your video to YouTube (or Vimeo, etc) as an unlisted video, then post the link in Canvas in the Final Presentation Discussion Board. Teams will compete to determine the winner in each session.

For voice-over slides:
Emphasize graphics and photos, with fewer words
Content large enough to be legible
Use citations (throughout) and references (last or near the end)
Here's an example of what this looks like (insert link).
How? Search online based on the application you are using (ie PowerPoint, Keynote).

For Video Pitches:
Use visual aids (e.g. drawings and charts/graphs, photos and other videos)
Do some online research on how to make a great pitch video (here's some tips to start: link)
This may look like a video with individual clips edited together or a screen recording of a Zoom call.
For inspiration, here are some examples on different directions you might take (Example 1, etc)
Engineering, Design, and Society
Zoom breakout roomsBuilding class community, Providing students with ways or times to ask questions and get help, Motivating and engaging studentsAny class sizeLittle or no preparation timeLess than ten minutesTo help build community, give students chances to interact with me and each other, and to check in on how they were doing, I used breakout rooms in Zoom.

For CBEN 110 (Intro. Biology, 33 students) I put students into their regular groups of three for them to work on activities and their end of course project. I would then visit each breakout room, one at a time, to check on how they were doing, ask for questions, etc. This was very useful to be to able to see my students in their normal small groups (which carried over from the F2F part of spring) and mimicked as best as possible how I would walk around the room to talk to them. Students seemed to really enjoy being able to work in their groups and to see each other during class time.

For CBEN 201 (Materials and Energy Balances, 83 students), I put students into random breakout rooms of 3 to 4 students during problem solving exercises for a few minutes at a time so that they could ask questions to each other and work together. This was an attempt to mimic active learning during the F2F class by having students turn to their neighbors to work together on a problem. The major issue with this method was that the groups were random, so sometimes students were in a group in which they did not know anyone which made it more difficult for them to work together. However, it still helped to build community and to try to implement active learning through these small groups. When doing this again this fall I will most likely have formal groups that students can breakout into every time (similar to CBEN 110) so that students know more of what (and who) to expect.

Be prepared:
1) Make sure expectations are clear before sending students off to breakout rooms.
2) A host cannot manage breakout rooms from an iPad, they have to use a computer.
3) A co-host can jump from room to room, but only after the host assigns them to a room, and only from a computer, not from a iPad.
4) Instructors should periodically browse through the rooms to check on everyone.
5) Participants in breakout rooms can request help from the host, but otherwise, there's unfortunately no easy way for participants and co-hosts to send a quick message to someone outside their room.
Guest Experts and Alumni ConversationsAdjusting course activities to remote deliveryAny class sizeSome preparation time10-20 minutesUse synchronous Zoom lectures to invite guest speakers from anywhere in the world to connect students with industry and expertise. Scheduled 30 minutes break between guests and had amazing student attendance. Added benefit of alumni speakers teling students that courses students view as 'boring' or skills students undervalue (e.g. writing) are critically important for careers.Metallurgical and Materials: Summer Field Session
Low-stakes interactive activitiesBuilding class community, Motivating and engaging studentsAny class sizelittle or no preparation timeless than ten minutesDo fun things at the beginning of synchronous Zoom class to engage students, get them talking, build community, and relax a little. Examples: Celebrity or not? quiz, trivia questions, etc. Optionally reward highest scorers or participants a gift card or digital stickers. Suggest having the reward be disconnected from course points so that students relax and aren't worried about participating for a grade. Metallurgical and Materials: Summer Field Session
One-minute student intro. videosBuilding class communityAny class sizelittle or no preparation timeless than ten minutesHad all students do a 1-minute introductory video of themselves. Compiled them into a full-class introduction video that was used as a first way for all field session students and instructors to get to know each other. Bonus: Gave the students an appreciation of how challenging a good video can be to make. Metallurgical and Materials: Summer Field Session