Resources for Remote Teaching – Spring 2021 Newsletter 2

By March 9, 2021April 5th, 2024Smeal Academy Newsletter

Resources for Remote Teaching – Spring 2021 Newsletter 2

The goal of the Smeal Academy is to equip everyone with best practices and strategies for teaching, learning, and technology to ensure the Smeal community is prepared to respond to the unique challenges in teaching during this time. Throughout the semester, we will be sending emails with practical tips and information, providing live sessions, and holding virtual consultations.

This week, we share our list of top 5 best practices for mixed audiences. It can be challenging to have some students in the classroom and some students remote. But there are some suggestions that can help.

  1. Communicate clearly. Use Canvas tools to clearly and concisely communicate your expectations for student participation. Make sure that students know what you expect them to do.
  2. Make class time active! Consider posting lecture videos online and making your synchronous class time an active learning experience by incorporating strategies such as small group discussions, case-based learning, or brainstorming. This will be an opportunity to have students apply their learning from your lectures and readings during class time
  3. Technology is your friend. Tools like Top Hat, G Suite, and Office 365 can be your friend when creating interactive opportunities in your classes.
  4. Class time can be group time. Consider dedicating some of your synchronous class time for groups of students to work on projects face-to-face and/or in Zoom break-out rooms. Students can collaborate using digital tools such as Microsoft Teams or Google that provide workspace, communication, and file sharing.
  5. Check learning! Develop a participation survey/quiz for students to complete after each synchronous session. Ask students to either expand on content discussed or ask questions they would like covered in future sessions.

Current News

  • Sage Publication Resources
    Looking for cases to use with your class? Have you checked out Sage Business Cases? The Penn State community has FREE access to a wide variety of business cases and videos through the Penn State Libraries. You can explore them on the library website and/or reach out to one of our business librarians.
  • New Canvas Rich Content Editor
    The Rich Content Editor in Canvas now includes a pretty HTML editor in addition to the raw HTML editor. More information can be found on the Penn State Canvas website.

Upcoming Live Sessions

  • Smeal Academy – Optimizing Zoom PowerPoint Presentations
    Ready to take your Zoom PowerPoint presentations to the next level? During this session led by presenter Jessie Sorensen, participants will learn best practices for sharing content and we will discuss tips and tricks to help you feel more confident and comfortable during Zoom presentations.Join us Thursday, March 11 from 10 to 11 a.m. via Zoom.
  • Refresh and Recharge — Virtual Coffee and Conversation for Instructors
    Date: Friday, March 12, 2021
    Time: 3 to 4 p.m. (EST)
    Presented by: Faculty Advisory Group

Thirsty for more? The Penn State Faculty Advisory Group invites all Penn State instructors to reconvene mid-semester to reconnect. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and share your successes and challenges this semester at this low-key discussion. Instructors will have the opportunity to divide into smaller groups to exchange ideas with faculty from across the University. We would love for you to join us — and bring a colleague along!

NOTE:  Recordings and resources from previous sessions can be found on our eLDIG Website.

Tips of the Week

  • Tip #1:  Add your pronouns to Canvas and Zoom
    In accordance with Penn State’s AD84 Preferred Name and Gender Identity Policy and the guidelines set forth by the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, Canvas and Zoom users have the option to add gender and identity pronouns to their display names. This article includes links to helpful instructions.
  • Tip #2:  Check that your assessments are set up to promote academic integrity.
    A recent Keep Teaching webinar highlighted strategies to promote academic integrity, engage students, and reduce stressors that lead to


Helpful Websites


Check out the eLDIG website for more resources and support.

Contact Us

Email us at: or fill out our Remote Teaching Support form.