University of Iowa

What does it mean to deliver a course online? 

  • Substantial campus-wide disruptions can be challenging for faculty members and students who are, after all, focused on the university as a learning institution.While you can't replicate your entire face-to-face course in an online setting, it is still possible to keep students learning and progressing in their academic lives, even when access to the classroom is not possible.
  • It is important to identify what learning objectives are essential to your course and what work students have already done. It won’t be possible to prioritize everything, but you can focus your adaptations to the course on the most crucial elements. For example, you may wish to combine assessments or avoid high-stakes exams during a disruption. 
  • Instructors can leverage a number of teaching technologies to enhance online teaching, but many instructors already have a good framework for delivering the course asynchronously in their ICON courses. Posting lecture slides, implementing ICON discussions, and having student submit assignments through ICON may be sufficient to meet the most crucial learning objectives of your course.

What do I need to tell my TAs? 

How do I hold synchronous courses online? 

  • Zoom is a web conferencing solution you may find useful when holding group sessions. As it may be difficult for some students to access the internet at any point in time, please consider recording your meetings for later viewing by students.   
  • It is important to remember that no HIPAA information can be recorded.

I normally lecture from a whiteboard or chalkboard. How can I replicate that experience online?  

  • You may record and share any annotations you do on your computer with UICapture (Panopto)
  • Some instructors use OneNote to draw and share illustrations. 

What if my course is centered around a specific software/campus resource? 

  • Consider whether course activities that rely on specific software can be saved for a time after the disruption.    
  • Remote Desktop is a feature of Windows that allows you to remotely access another computer through the Internet. For UI departmentally managed computers, contact your local IT support provider to discuss remote desktop access.
  • The Virtual Desktop service provides remote access to many University-licensed Windows applications from anywhere without having to obtain and install the software on your own computer. 
  • The Research Remote Desktop Service (RRDS) provides a Windows virtual desktop environment through which users can remotely access research data (Level 1, 2, and 3) and pre-installed analysis software. RRDS offers various statistical software and can be accessed on-campus or off-campus (through a VPN connection). Users are required to have a working HawkID and Duo set up to use the service. Email research-computing@uiowa.edu with any questions regarding the service or what types of data can be accessed through RRDS. 

What if my course content is centered around large or campus-based materials (museum artifacts, archival papers, large rocks) or campus-based equipment (3D printing machines, laboratory equipment)? 

  • Check with your disciplinary librarian or professional organization for databases or websites that can allow students to access similar items. Students can make arguments about a similar set of digitized artifacts or examine a virtual version of a key object.   
  • Consider the learning objective of the activity. Can students still meet it by analyzing a different data set or producing another kind of product with different kinds of materials?   

How do I find disciplinary (subject) librarians who might help me find practical alternatives to in-class object-based activities?  

How do I record and post my lectures, including PowerPoint slides, videos? 

  • You can record a narration within a PowerPoint presentation.
  • It is possible to record your voice, your face, and/or your screen from a laptop or tablet (with necessary UICapture download) and then post these recordings to ICON. You can record and include your interactions with PowerPoint slideshows, websites, and other computer-based materials.    
  • UICapture Guides 
  • Whereas in a face-to-face course, instructors may have strategies for checking whether students are getting confused, in the asynchronous online context you may need to explicitly encourage students to share their questions.  
  • If you present questions in class and wish to get the same feedback remotely, this can be done with Quizzes in UICapture
  • If you would like to view who has viewed your lecture, you can find that information through folder/session statistics in UICapture. 

How can I assess students' learning in an online course?

  • Assessing students’ learning in an online course context means implementing specific strategies to capture their learning and preserve academic integrity. 
  • You may need to rethink high-stakes, summative assessments (exams, large papers) and instead aim for frequent, lower-stakes assessments that are quick check-ins about their cumulative learning. Because it is ongoing, formative assessment also enables faculty to adjust their teaching and students to adjust their learning.
  • The goal of any assessment is to determine what individual students and the entire class have learned and to make sure they also realize that cumulative learning. Grading is a symbol of that, but not the end goal itself. 
  • Some things to consider: 
    • Simplifying does not have to mean less learning
    • Provide open-book/source options to students where they can work individually or in groups to solve problems and answer questions. Your disciplinary librarian can provide ideas.
    • Use different approaches to problem solving.
      • Ask the students to describe the evidence needed to solve a problem
      • Provide them the desired answer to a problem and ask them to think deductively to create the original problem.  Situating the task in a real-world context can be useful.  
      • Provide only part of the necessary information to solve a problem or answer a question and ask them what else would be needed
  • Assign students to ask the questions and discuss the answers on ICON or during a live session.
  • Use question formats that require personal responses, such as argument papers, videos, or brief online presentations.
  • Review a chart that covers assessment and learning activities, assessment types, and technology option. 

How do I create, deliver, and assess quizzes and exams from a distance? How are those monitored for academic integrity?  

  • As always, discussing academic integrity early and often is important.  
  • If your learning objectives are focused at a level higher than memorization, it may be appropriate to make your assessment “open book/open note” and design questions that require students to analyze, apply, or synthesize information. 
  • Assessments can be conducted via ICON Quizzes and Assignments with a variety of supplemental tools to assist with academic integrity.   
  • A requirement to use Respondus LockDown Browser can be added to any Quiz in ICON.
    • Respondus limits the programs open on a student’s computer when taking an assessment. You may wish to keep in mind that this tool is best used when in a proctored environment.   
    • While Respondus Lockdown Browser can help to prevent students from navigating to websites and notes on the same device on which they are taking the exam or quiz, this technology cannot prevent students from using another device to locate these references. 
  • Proctorio is a remote proctoring service that can record students’ audio, video, and computer screens while they complete ICON quizzes. Proctorio can help deliver online exams that must be proctored; however, there is a learning curve. Proctorio is only effective when instructors set clear student expectations up front, review Proctorio exam results, and follow up with students who exhibit questionable behavior.
    • The Office of the Provost has secured funding to extend the use of Proctorio to on-campus courses being delivered online through spring semester.
    • Email doe-exams@uiowa.edu for a consult.
  • It is possible to use Zoom to proctor exams.
  • Limiting the allotted time on an ICON quiz/assessment may increase academic integrity, but at the same time this action may take away from students' ability to complete the entire assessment. Balance the need for locking down quizzes or allowing extra time with the learning outcome you hope to accomplish. 
  • Turnitin can check an ICON assignment for plagiarism. 

How can instructors or TAs grade online?  

How do I hold office hours online? 

  • Zoom meetings allow people to connect online, even when they are physically distant. For office hours, you may find the Waiting Room an important feature so that other students don’t inadvertently interrupt or overhear private concerns. 
  • You may find documentation at our Zoom Guides site. 
  • Canvas Appointment Groups can help students sign up for times within a given period to meet with you. 

How do I add someone else as an instructor to my ICON site if it becomes necessary? 

  • There is no limit to the number of instructors that can be added to a course site, however, if a person is added to the course site without having passed FERPA training, they will be automatically removed.  
  • Make sure you are following all FERPA and HIPAA compliance guidelines, just as you would on campus. 
  • Follow these steps to add users to a course site