Simmons AAC Recommendations for Remote Teaching

SMU has provided several resources for remote teaching and instructional continuity during the current situation so please refer to the following links on the SMU website and other communications for updates and resources:

In support of the information provided at the links above, the Simmons School AAC/TAC recommends that faculty members follow the guidelines below to conduct classes remotely. Please contact Jennifer Culver ( or Tony Cuevas ( for additional support or questions.

I. Support Synchronous learning with Zoom:

  1. Conduct online Office Hours at scheduled times using Zoom to answer student questions and reinforce learning
  2. Meet with students remotely in real-time using Zoom to conduct lectures or facilitate discussions for key SLOs. Note: Please record Zoom sessions for students who cannot attend Synchronous meetings and add links to recordings in Canvas. During your Zoom meetings, consider using tools to support active learning, such as:
    1. Polling for engagement/checking for understanding
    2. Break out rooms for small group discussion

Tips for teaching online with Zoom.

II. Support Asynchronous learning in Canvas:

  1. Provide group announcements and individual communications to keep students updated on expectations and assignments
  2. Post course materials (documents and links) online with clear instructions, including recorded lectures using Panopto within Canvas or Zoom
  3. Post assignments with clear expectations for grading and feedback
  4. Provide grades in the online Gradebook
  5. Provide opportunities for students to participate in online discussions to support group learning

Canvas Video Tutorials.

Training is Available and Critical to our Success

Jennifer Culver and her expert team are available for training and consulting assistance. Each session listed below is approximately 1 hour long. Please plan to attend one of these sessions or follow up with Dr. Culver for links to additional information and assistance.

The Keep Teaching initiative at Simmons provides training on the following dates:

Please contact Jennifer Culver ( for additional information about training. Please contact Tony Cuevas ( or Paige Ware ( for questions about the recommendations.

Tips for Teaching Online with Zoom (Synchronous Sessions)

  • Students need a good solid Wifi connection.
  • They need to be in a fairly quiet area, particularly if you are discussing. Background noise can be really loud and difficult to hear during discussion times. It requires muting, but it can still be difficult to hear them when they are talking if there is too much noise
  • Ideally, they should have a headset to help reduce noise
  • Expectations should be that this a classroom and driving, walking, multitasking are not okay. It is very distracting to everyone.
  • Recording the class is always good and then posting the class on Canvas to support and go back to if necessary. The Spotlight function will keep the recording and student screen from flipping one to another person, if you decide you want to keep the spotlight focused on you or a single person.
  • Zoom has a whiteboard component. It allows you to type and/or write with a stylus if you have an iPad just like a whiteboard in the classroom.
  • You can share pretty much any document you want to share and then discuss it.
  • Students can share documents as well from their computers. This allows them to present information or give presentations to the group.
  • Breakout rooms are the best for discussions. You, the instructor, can pop in and out of them, add to the discussion, then pull everyone back together again to discuss as a whole group.
  • You can give exams in real time with everyone on Zoom and logged into Canvas. This allows you to answer questions and monitor their work.
  • If you want students to have their own hard or soft copy of something for class, make sure you tell them up front so they can come prepared.