Online Teaching

Community, Care, and Engagement when Teaching Online

As you browse these pages with guidance and support for teaching online in a hurry, keep one thing in mind: practicing care, compassion, and empathy with your students is the most important thing you can do right now.

These pages are intended to offer you with resources and guidance to support the university's temporary shift to teaching online. You'll find support on the following:

  • Best Practices and Advice for Online Teaching: An overview of some best practices and ideas for maintaining continuity and a clear user experience when teaching online, compiled by PWR lecturer Tessa Brown.
  • Creating a Digital Home Space: What does it mean to have a "home base" online? This page will offer you some tips to building a common space for your students to go to in order to access their course materials and engage.
  • Options for Organizing Your Course Materials: You likely will have a lot of materials to share with your students. This page gives you some options for how you might organize your course materials in our institutional learning management system (LMS), Canvas, so that students can easily find and access the materials they'll need for your course.
  • Creating Class Community: It's important to maintain human connections between you and your students. This page offers tips on ways that you and your students can build and participate in a class community together.
  • Facilitating Class Discussions: How do you manage a large-class discussion when conducted virtually? This page offers some quick tips for facilitating group conversation both in real time and in asynchronous spaces.
  • Online Office Hours and Conferences: Conferencing is an important part of PWR pedagogy. Find some tips here for adapting that pedagogy for an online space.
  • Facilitating Small Group Work: How do you help students work together in small groups? Here's some advice on both synchronous and asynchronous options for engaging your students in small group activities.
  • Sharing Mini-Lectures with Students: There is likely some content that you'll need to share with your students as you would in a 10-15-minute lecture. Here are some tips for creating mini-lecture content for your students.
  • Teaching Oral Communication Online: Moving presentations online can be done in a few different ways. Find some guidance here on how students can give presentations in real time and as pre-recorded content.
  • Encouraging Revision Practices: An important component of teaching writing is encouraging students to revise their work gradually. This page includes advice and activities for encouraging iterative student revision over the course of an online course.
  • Teaching Research Skills Online: What does it mean for students to conduct research online? How do we help students use the Stanford Library resources along with other conventional search engines to conduct thoughtful and responsible research? This page will offer some suggestions as well strategies for replicating in-person visits to the library.
  • Designing Online Activities: Our community has great ideas for engaging students online. This page will direct everyone to aggregated resources from the PWR community (only accesible with Canvas Stanford log-in).
  • Preparing to Start the Quarter Remotely: Here are some tips for starting the quarter while teaching in a remote learning environment.
  • Planning the First Day: What does your first day in an online class look like? We offer some suggestions for your first day of a remote class.
  • Back-up Technology Options: Worried about Zoom or Canvas crashing? Here is some advice on what to do if any of the major technologies we use for teaching and learning at Stanford happen to fail during the quarter.
  • Picking Tools for Your Online Class: Determining what tools your online students will use will be pivotal to the learning experience. This is an advice guide directing you to tools available within Stanford and on helping you to select third-party tools.
  • Technical Support and Documentation for Commonly Used Tools: If you're looking for technical tips or tutorials, this page has a compendium of tutorials of the tools PWR instructors most commonly use.
  • Reading and Resources about Teaching Online: Looking for further reading? This is a very short bibliography of further resources that you might use to consult if you'd like to learn more about teaching writing online.

Other Stanford Guides

Stanford TeachingCommons

Stanford's TeachAnywhere Best Practices

Teaching Effectively During Times of Disruption (Jenae Cohn and Beth Seltzer)