Tools provides information about resources with demonstrated utility for remote teaching. This is not an exhaustive list but rather a curated one, based on what Colgate faculty have used successfully and what ITS can support.
Colgate faculty suddenly adapted their in-person courses to a remote teaching format at the midterm of spring 2020. That predicament resulted in a nearly universal use of Zoom for classes and meetings, and other more familiar technologies for management of courses (e.g. Moodle). That experience revealed the utility and the shortcomings of tools for teaching remotely, and provided valuable information for us as we prepare for the possibility that we again need to adapt our in-person courses to a remote format. We can also probably see how some of these tools can be used to enhance certain tasks of in-person teaching. So we are better prepared now than a year ago to choose among tools that can best support the unique in-person and remote needs of the variety of courses that we teach. The tools offered in this section are supported by Colgate ITS, but there are other tools that could be useful; links to external resources are provided for some of them.
Here are some principles to guide your selection from among the tools identified below.
- Expect that it is not possible to offer a course remotely that is absolutely identical to one that you teach in person. Similarly, there is probably no single remote-learning tool that will accomplish certain tasks that are important and enormously successful when performed in person. Trade-offs will be necessary.
- Do not look for the perfect single tool that will support all of your needs for a particular remote-learning or hybrid (i.e., in-person + remote) course. That tool likely does not exist.
- Likewise, there is probably no single tool that will work equally well for all of your classes. A tool that works very well for a seminar may perform poorly for a lecture course.
- Understand that a tool you have already used successfully may be a wise choice to use again despite its known shortcomings. Using a familiar tool is likely to increase your efficiency, your confidence, and your ability to deliver content or facilitate discussion.
- Consider that it may be more efficient and ultimately more successful to change some aspect of your course (e.g., the format of a test or of a writing assignment), rather than look for the ideal remote-learning tool.
The presentation of Tools on this site addresses concerns identified by faculty and students based upon their experiences during the spring 2020 semester. Contact Colgate ITS if you need help when using Tools. (firstname.lastname@example.org; x7111)