The following was excerpted from an Academic Planning and Assessment report on a 2020 survey of students. Original Page

A full report on these findings is available using the following link (NetID login required):
Effective Remote Teaching and Learning: Suggestions from UMass Amherst Undergraduates

Students recommend….

Build connections and foster responsiveness

  • Create opportunities for students to ask questions, clarify points of confusion.
  • Maintain regular office hours.
  • Incorporate effective methods to promote collaboration/group work.

Incorporate both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities

  • Include opportunities for synchronous learning (during regular scheduled class time).
  • Also incorporate asynchronous classes/recorded lectures (which both helps students who cannot attend synchronous class and facilitates student review of content).
  • Keep lecture sections short, “chunking” them into segments.

Support students in their efforts to maintain a schedule and keep organized

  • Use regularly scheduled and consistently timed (e.g., every Monday morning, for example) emails to communicate important course information.
  • Respond to student emails in a timely manner.
  • Give oral reminders of due dates at the beginning or end of live class sessions.
  • Have a weekly course schedule/agenda, communicate it early, and share it via the course LMS.  
  • Develop consistent timing and delivery method for sharing/posting materials.
  • Use one LMS to organize and present content and use a limited set of platforms and tools for the delivery of course information.

Consider workload implications in the online environment

  • Keep in mind that remote learning can take more time for students and plan assignments and interactions accordingly.

Use flexible and inclusive grading and assessment strategies

  • Be aware of and adapt practices that support the success of students facing challenges in managing school work, the pandemic, family distractions, and, for some, additional work and/or childcare responsibilities as a result of the COVID-19 disruption.

Pay attention to implications for equity, inclusion, and accessibility

  • Students expressed an appreciation for instructors who demonstrated through their course policies and classroom practices an awareness of students’ differential (and unequal) opportunities and resources — across time zones, workspace, technology access, family situation, and financial pressures.

Practice empathy when interacting with students

  • Students recognized the actions of instructors who extended themselves to share warmth, show kindness, and check in on students’ well-being through email or face-to-face interactions such as live class and office hours.