Combining in Class and Remote Student Learning: Considering your Options

There are several options for creating an inclusive and equitable learning environment for all students, including those who may need to attend in-person classes remotely.

Strategies for including remote students in live, in-person class sessions

There are many possible blended and hybrid models, many of which rely on Canvas to support in-person instruction. Ask LDDI to put “course starter” into your Canvas shell to get started. Course starter is a template that you can build on. It simplifies the process of setting up a Canvas shell.

Simple Canvas options

  • Homepage – create an inviting homepage that informs students how to contact you and offers other basic information students will need to know, such as office hours.
  • Announcements – Even if you are teaching face-to-face, Canvas announcements can still be used for reminding students of due dates or activities, or to let them know what is coming up. You may wish to add a video message so everyone feels welcome.
  • Bio – make sure you add a brief personal biography to Canvas on the Instructor Bio page.
  • Syllabus – Attach your syllabus so students can access it easily.
  • Library Online Course Reserves (LOCR) – Make your readings available through LOCR so all students can access them.
  • Assignments – Listing the assignments in the assignment section in Canvas facilitates easy submission of assignments. This is easiest for students, and it is also easy for you as an instructor because all students work will be in one place. You also have the option to use Speedgrader.

Handouts and Activities

Using your Canvas shell ensures all handouts and activities are available to students and saves you time. You will not have to send materials to remote learners or students who are absent occasionally if all materials are posted in Canvas.

  • Those able to attend in person may complete in-class activities. Students learning from home will also be able to access information posted in Canvas about activities. LDDI can help you think of ways to modify activities for remote learners.

Record your lectures and/or stream them live so remote students can access them and in-person students can revisit them

  • Record your in-person lecture using Zoom.
    • This is a Do-It-Yourself option.
    • The recording should be saved on the cloud and made available in the Canvas shell.
    • Consider using a flipped classroom approach. Within a flipped classroom, students watch your recorded lecture before they attend class. During the class time, you can get them to work through the content in group, or through discussions, or activities.

Class discussions

Consider using a combination of in person discussions and online discussions.

  • Use the discussion forums in your Canvas shell. This will allow students to post comments during class time as well as asynchronously following class time. There are many advantages to online discussion forums such as enabling opportunity to capture ideas and revisit them, extended learning and ongoing reflection on a topic, and providing a space for quieter students to share their ideas.
  • “Padlet” is another option for sharing of ideas in class that can be embedded in Canvas. Students can upload, organize, and share content to a web-based bulletin board.
  • Do not overuse discussion forums. Just as instructors should not be expected to “double teach,” students who are attending in person should not be expected to complete a full range of tasks for an online course beyond their in-class work. We recommend occasional use of discussion forums combined with other approaches. Ask LDDI for guidance.

Course readings

Course readings should be made accessible through Canvas with a view to ease of access and FIPPA compliance.

  • Use LOCR in Canvas so students have easy access to all course readings.
  • Pair with discussion board questions or prompts to generate participation and extension of learning.

Live Q&A sessions with your students

One way to include remote students in an in-person class is through a live question-and-answer session using online tools.

  • Consider using iClicker Cloud (the UBC supported option), Slido or Mentimeter as survey tools. If you are using Zoom there is also a polling option.
  • Ask LDDI for guidance in relation to planning such sessions.

Group work and peer review

Options for group work and student meetings:

What LDDI can offer

  • Learning Design support: One-on-one consultation in relation to creating hybrid approaches, using Canvas effectively and efficiently to support all students, solutions for being inclusive of in-person and remote students.
  • Learning Technologists support: Training and support in the use of Canvas, recording lectures in the classroom and setting up additional tools to meet your particular pedagogical needs.

Need help setting up recording or streaming options in your classroom?

Are you teaching fully online?

If you are teaching fully online, you may wish to consult the LDDI Teaching Online Resources.