Ensuring Continuity in Teaching & Learning

How-to Instructions for Transitioning Your Course

Tests, Exams, and Other Assessments:

 Teaching using MS Teams:

MS Teams Tips & Troubleshooting:

D2L Brightspace Tips & Troubleshooting:

Related Topics

UNB's Framework for Alternative Teaching Methods

We recommend that faculty continue to use D2L Brightspace as the hub for their classes, and then use alternatives to their traditional lectures.  For alternatives we are helping faculty with using MS Teams for delivering lectures (or pre-recording them), or for live online interactive/discussion oriented classes.  And don't forget to think about lower tech strategies that could work for your subject area.

Teaching Online Model

Instructors can ensure that their course is ready every semester by posting their course syllabus in D2L brightspace and providing all course materials online.  If you do not currently host your course materials on D2L then you can see Getting Started or reach out to Jeff Mundee on the Fredericton campus or Kris Doucet on the SJ campus.

Communicating with Students:

Communicating often is one of the most important strategies to stay in touch with your students and keep them informed of any changes as they occur. Set clear expectations so students know how you will communicate with them, how often, and how quickly they can expect a response. Be sure to manage your communication load. If you receive a lot of individual requests, consider keeping track of frequently asked questions in a public discussion forum or as an announcement so all students can benefit from the information.

Early communication is important. Even if you do not know all the details yet you can share that changes are coming and let your students know how you will communicate those changes with them. Be sure to keep communication consistent, up-to-date, and provide a way for students to get in touch with you. If you use D2L, you can use the their communication tools or the ClassMail Web feature in myUNB portal

Consider realistic avenues for students to meet the course learning goals

Determine what it looks like for students to meet the course learning goals. Will you maintain your original syllabus and schedule for all students? Do you need to adjust some assignments or activities so that all students will still be able to meet the course learning goals? Consider what your priorities are for the course and if you need to identify new expectations for the students. When possible, include tools and approaches that are familiar to your students. Consider what aspects of your course are most essential so you can plan to refocus on those elements in the event that completing all missed work becomes impossible or unreasonable.

Review your syllabus for points that must change

Does anything have to temporarily change in your syllabus, such as policies, due dates, and assignments?

Identify new expectations for your students

Please keep in mind that you will have to reconsider some of your expectations for students, including participation, communication, and deadlines. Students’ ability to meet expectations will be impacted if they are ill, if they do not have access to computers and/or internet connections, if they need to care for family members, or other emergency circumstances. Special accommodations may need to be made for these students.

Distribute course materials and readings

Make sure that all students have access to course materials and readings. When you are posting new course material online make sure students know when new material is posted. PDFs are recommended since they are a mobile-friendly format in case students only have their phone available in a crisis.

Supporting Student Wellbeing from a Distance

Virtual Lectures (with or without slides):

A note about privacy when teaching online.

There are many ways in which instructors can host lectures with their students, either synchronously or asynchoronously, using digital tools supported by CETL. Instructors can choose to record a lecture using MS Teams, or upload a pre-existing video or audio file. MS Teams has a meeting feature that will allow you to either host a live class online where students join remotely or pre-record a lecture that can be shared with the students.

MS Teams is part of the Offce 365 suite and as such is available to all faculty, staff, and students at UNB, MS Teams works on both Microsoft and iOS (Apple) devices. Please do not add your students to a MS Team, as that is not required.

Please watch the following short series of videos on MS Teams to learn more.

  1. An Introduction to Hosting or Recording Lectures 
  2. Creating a Meeting Link for a Live Class 
  3. Sharing a Meeting Link
  4. Navigating a Live Meeting 
  5. Sharing Recorded Lectures 
  6. Recording a Lecture Without Whiteboard
  7. Recording a Lecture on a Whiteboard on a Tablet
  8. Uploading a Video to Stream
  9. Changing Participant Setting in Teams Meeting
  10. Using the Same Meeting Link to Record Short Sections of a Lecture
  11. How Students Access Meeting Links
  12. How Students Access Recorded Lectures Posted on Stream

Collecting Assignments:

Many instructors already collect work electronically so this may be a seamless transition. Use the D2L Brightspace assignment drop box for collecting assignments or consider trying the UNB online collaborative grading tool, Crowdmark. 

Administering Quizzes and Exams:

If quizzes and exams are an important element of your course, you have options for administering them online as well.

Keep in mind that while the online learning environment has analogies to the physical classroom, there are important differences. For certain functions, there isn’t an online option that completely replicates the classroom experience. One example is the exam. As a practical matter, we cannot guarantee that a student taking an online exam isn’t getting help, especially from another device. There are exam configuration techniques that make cheating difficult, but none that eliminates the possibility entirely.

Instead of a test or midterm, for example, you might have them engage in an online discussion, work on a group project, or write a paper—all options in D2L assignments. If teaching online is of short duration, consider making online assessments lower stakes than in-class assessments.

The D2L Quizzes tool enables you to create and manage points-measured assessments. As  part of your quantifiable assessment procedures, you can use quizzes to help evaluate users'  learning progress and learning outcomes. Create and manage quiz questions from the  Question Library or the Quizzes tool, and organize quizzes into categories to make it easier to find assessments with similar or related content. Use the quiz preview option to test the accuracy of content and grading before you release a quiz. In a preview, you can answer the questions, view allowed hints, submit the quiz, auto-grade answers, read feedback, and view report results.

Crowdmark is a collaborative grading tool that can work for delivery distance tests. UNB's site license allow all instructors to use this for various types of tests.  Sessions will be available soon, and a how-to page for Crowdmark is available (with videos!) 

Distributing Grades:

D2L's grade book contains your grading system, grade calculations, grade scheme, grade items, and view and display options. Grade items in your grade book represent all the work that you want to evaluate users on in a course. You can evaluate specific tasks such as assignments, tests, and participation, and you can also create grade items and associate them with course objects such as Assignment Submissions and Quizzes.

UNB Libraries Resources and Services for Instructors:

UNB Libraries has shifted operations to online delivery of services and resources to instructors as they complete this term’s courses and to students as they finish off the term remotely.

For library questions or concerns contact Marc Bragdon or Josh Dickison.  

ITS Resources for Faculty:

Resources for Students:

Links to Additional Resources: