Keep Calm and Teach On
Tips to Keep teaching during Campus Disruptions
This page was designed to support the University's online delivery of the curriculum during the COVID-19 pandemic and other significant campus disruptions. The University has also prepared a companion site called Keep Calm Work On for the members of the Butler community who are now working from home.
Access Technology Training and Resources
Technology Trainings, Tutorials and Resources
Vendor Support Services
- Canvas 24x7 Faculty support hotline: 1-844-483-5027 or via Chat
- Canvas 24x7 Student support hotline: 1-844-483-5026 or via Chat
- Zoom 24X7 support
Center for Academic Technology (CAT)
Butler Center for Academic Technology (CAT) - In the event of an extended campus disruption, CAT staff will likely work remotely but continue to provide ongoing support via telephone, email, and web conferencing with Zoom. All faculty should email or call CAT as usual. Note: CAT Equipment checkout service will be temporarily unavailable or limited during a campus closure.
- Request consultation
- Request workshop
- Submit a question via email: email@example.com
- Browse CAT website at www.butler.edu/cat
Online Teaching Support and Resources
CAT Instructional Designers (CAT-ID)
CAT is staffed with two Instructional Designers who are available to consult with faculty to implement quick tips and best practices for course design, facilitation, rubrics, and assessment. CAT-ID staff continues to provide ongoing support via telephone, email, and web conferencing with Zoom. All faculty should email or call the instructional designers to request consultation or training.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call 317-940-6212
More Information on Designing and Facilitating Online Courses
Best Practices for Designing and Teaching Online Courses is training to create a new online course or convert a traditional course online. Content and assignments offer templates and step-by-step information on content planning and resources, instructional techniques for activities, course organization, and feedback from instructional designers for the specific course you are developing. Sign up here.
Preparing for Your Final Exams
Exam Security Considerations
- Write questions that require higher-order thinking (like an application or case-based questions) rather than memorization.
- Consider adding short answer and/or essay questions to a standard multiple-choice exam.
- Pull your exam questions from a variety of sources. Be cautious when using test banks from publishers since both the questions and answers likely are easily found through a simple google search.
- Randomize questions within the exam.
- Randomize answer options within each question.
- Set up an exam so one question appears at a time and must be answered before the next question appears.
- Use a specific and narrow time limit to discourage learners from accessing other resources. Recommended time limits based on question type:
- 1 minute per multiple choice
- 2 minutes per short answer
- 10-15 min per short essay
- 30-60 min per major essay
- Limit the feedback learners will receive from Canvas immediately after they complete the exam by clicking the ‘Restrict student result view’ in New Quiz Settings. Access instructions on how to adjust the settings in New Quizzes.
- Limit the course content available to learners during the quiz window. View three options for limiting content in Canvas modules.
Exam Administration Considerations
Since there are no in-person final exams in Fall 2020, choose alternative approaches, such as:
- Assigning a final paper or project in lieu of an exam
- Assigning a take-home final (delivered and returned electronically) that is open-book and open-note
- Assigning a time-limited online final exam
If you wish to assign a final exam, it must be administered online. When administering exams online, there are two windows of time to consider:
1. The window of time during which the exam is available for students to access and begin taking the exam (e.g., exam is available from Monday at 5 pm EDT until Wednesday at 9 pm EDT; a window of time allows flexibility for students taking classes in a wide range of time zones). When setting this window of time, please ensure you include the regularly scheduled final exam time for the course in question, as published on the schedule here: Registration and Records webpage.
2. The time limit students have to complete the exam once they begin taking it (e.g., students have 90 minutes to complete the exam). Students with documented accommodations related to the amount of time available to complete an exam must receive those accommodations relative to the amount of time other students have to complete the exam once they begin taking it. For questions about accommodations, contact SDS by email email@example.com or by phone at 317-940-9308.
Posting Exam Grades Within Canvas
The default setting in Canvas Gradebook is to automatically post grades. This means as soon as you grade a learner’s exam, they see the grade with any feedback you provide. We recommend changing the grade posting policy within Canvas to Manually Post Grades. This provides you with time to make adjustments to grades (like curving or throwing out exam questions) before learners see grades.
- Instructions on how to change the grade posting policy in the Canvas Gradebook.
- Additional instructions on how to use the Canvas Gradebook.
Additional Butler Resources
- If you need guidance entering exams into Canvas New Quizzes or adjusting the settings in New Quizzes, use the following recorded webinar. Please click on the link to view the recording.
- Teaching Online in a Pinch (tips for preparing your students and yourself for online)
- 8 Lessons Learned from Online Teaching
- Butler Librarian Support for Online Teaching
- MERLOT: Preparing Teachers & Students for Online Learning
Most face-to-face instructional strategies can be adapted and accomplished in an online format.
The table below shows which academic technology best accomplishes common teaching strategies.
Online Teaching Strategy
Lecture delivery (synchronous, live)
|Lecture delivery (asynchronous, recorded)||Panopto|
|Class Discussions (synchronous)||Zoom|
|Class Discussions (asynchronous)||Canvas Discussions|
|Student Presentations (synchronous, live)||Zoom|
|Student Presentations (asynchronous, recorded)||Panopto|
|Student Group Work||Group Sites in Canvas|
|Share Readings and Web Materials||Canvas|
|Student Assessments||Canvas Quizzes & Assignments|
|Student Assessment Feedback||Canvas Speedgrader, Canvas Grades|
|Office Hours / Advising Appointments||Telephone, Zoom|
Resources for Science Labs
Some types of labs and lab instruction may be able to move online with limited loss of fidelity. Science instructors are encouraged to explore the following resources for approaches:
- JoVE - Promotes science education by making and publishing videos of scientific experiments from laboratories around the world.
- MERLOT - comprehensive learning object repository
- Labster - Virtual online lab experiences
Guidance for Digital labs and simulations
- Digital Labs and Simulations Teaching Guide (Vanderbilt)
- Expanding the Virtual Classroom: Making Science Labs Available to Online Students (Wiley)
Using Your Smartphone as a Doc Cam (Butler guide)
Make Your Online Course Content Accessible
- Self-paced Online Accessibility Modules
- Make Documents Accessible using Sensus Access
Computer Resources and Support
In order to reliably deliver instruction off-campus, it will be prudent to use suitable technology equipment. Consider the following recommendations:
- Reliable Internet: Make sure to have reliable internet connectivity. Broadband connections such as cable, fiber optic are strongly recommended;
- Capable Computer: Use a newer model internet-capable computer with antivirus software and the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox browsers installed;
- Audio and/or Video Capacity: For audio and/or video recording, it is strongly recommended that you use a high-quality USB mic/headset combo (such as the Logitech H390) as well as a webcam (most laptops already come installed with webcams). For an affordable USB doc cam, consider the IPEVO V4K.
NOTE: Contact IT at ask.butler.edu if you feel your equipment or internet connectivity is not sufficient to teach remotely.
Butler IT Help Desk
Search for answers or submit a case at ask.butler.edu