Support Moving Online

Strategies for Online Teaching


  • Communicate With Your Students if You Are Concerned
  • Record Your Class
  • Resubmission Policy
Communicate With Your Students if You Are Concerned

What is it

It is important to communicate with your students if you are concerned about them because they have missed the first few days of class, have stopped attending class, have had a below-regular achievement in an assignment, or for any other reason. Send an email to the students expressing your concern and indicating that you are there to support their learning.

Why do it (Benefits)

Using descriptive and specific feedback may:

  • Show your students you care about them.
  • Increase students’ sense of belonging and affective engagement.
  • Help detect difficulties your students may be having when it is still possible to take corrective actions.
  • Sending a single email to a student can sometimes be enough to nudge them to change the behavior that you are concerned about.

How to do it

The message you communicate to your students will depend on the reason why you are worried about them. In general, follow these guidelines:

  1. Email each student individually. You can copy/paste most of the body of the email, but each email message should be addressed to the individual student.
  2. Express why you are concerned
  3. Include a few trigger questions to gather more information about the situation.
  4. Include any information that you think might be useful for your student to fix the problem you think they might be having.
  5. Indicate to the student that you are there to support their learning
  6. Show openness and flexibility
  7. If (or when) your student responds to your email, reply in a timely fashion.

The following are examples of situations where you might want to email students and models of email messages for every situation.

The student did not show up to class the first week of class. The body of the email can remain very similar for each student:

Dear David,

We missed having you in class during our first week in the “Introduction to Psychology” course! We would have loved to get to know you some more during our class ice-breakers this week, including the “Psychology myths” activity which was lots of fun. Did you know that it is a myth that “people use only 10% of their brains”? A lot of your classmates were surprised by that!

I would like to know if you are having difficulty logging into the online classroom or accessing our Zoom classroom (Meeting ID: 123 456 789, link, or if there was another reason you did not come to class. Is there anything I can do to help you?

To catch up with the work you missed this week, please:

1. Complete the pre-class assignments indicated in the Module 1 page

2. Watch the live class recordings for the two classes we had this week (we had lots of fun so I am sure you will, too!)

3. Complete the Module 1 3-2-1 Reflection.

If you need any additional support, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Looking forward to seeing you in class next week!


The student stopped attending class and has not contacted you about their absence:

Dear Christine,

We missed having you in class this week! I also notice that you have not posted in the discussion board for this module. 

I wanted to follow up to know how you are doing and if there is anything I can do to support your learning.

Please get in touch with me if you need any additional support.

Looking forward to seeing you in class next week!


The student did not submit an assignment:

Dear Martin,

I see that you have not submitted your research paper assignment. I was really looking forward to reading what you had found in the literature about Cognitive Biases! 

Is there anything I can do to help you complete and submit the assignment? 

Warm regards,


The student submitted a subpar assignment:

Dear Marie,

I have finished reviewing your research paper assignment. I think your idea about exploring Cognitive Biases and shopping behavior is great! However, I am concerned that your paper has a lot of grammar and spelling issues and does not cite any sources, which is uncharacteristic for your papers.  

Is there anything that you did differently this time that might have changed your paper’s quality significantly? Is there anything I can do to help you improve your submission? 

Please remember that this class has a resubmission policy. I highly recommend you review my comments and consider re-submitting your assignment.

Warm regards,


Record Your Class

What is it

When teaching classes via video conferencing tools you can record your class. Record your class and make the recording available to all students in your online classroom.

Why do it (Benefits)

Recording your class has multiple benefits:

  • Students who were not able to attend class (or who missed part of the class) for any reason may watch the videorecording and not miss the information that was covered in class.
  • Students who want to reinforce their learning, want to review something that was said in class, who did not understand something, or want to go back to watch the class for a number of reasons, can do so, as many times as they need.
  • You can watch yourself in the video to reflect upon and improve your teaching practice
  • The video recording can serve as evidence that the class was taught

How to do it

Recording your class will be different depending on the video conferencing program you use. Some general guidelines you can follow when recording are:

  1. Let your students know that when you are starting the recording.
  2. Start the recording punctually.
  3. Keep recording all the way to the end of your class session.
  4. Decide if you want to share your screen while recording. Keep in mind that, in most video conference programs, if you share your screen, everything you see on your screen will appear in the video recording.
  5. If students stay longer to clarify questions, continue recording so all students may benefit from the answers (and let students know you are still recording).
  6. If students want to talk to you privately at the end of class, ask them to remain in the session until other students have asked their questions and left. Then, stop the recording and meet with your student, once everyone has exited the meeting.
  7. Make the class recording available to students in your online classroom as soon as possible.
  8. Encourage your students to review the class recording if they need to further reinforce their learning or want to review the class for any other reason.

As of April 2020, we recommend using Zoom for video conferences because we have found that it has a diversity of functions that can be leveraged for better online interactions in teaching-learning processes. In order to record in Zoom, follow these instructions.

A number of video conference tools are available for teaching, with both, free and paid use. Following is are the links to multiple video conference programs that you can use for online teaching:

Resubmission Policy

What is it


Why do it

How to do it