This page provides NEIU faculty with tips, strategies and current initiatives in the Center for Teaching and Learning to support quality online instruction.

D2L End User Support

Up at 3 a.m. working on your online course and having trouble setting up your grade book? You can reach out to D2L through an online chat, phone call or email for assistance. The Chat feature or a phone call will receive a response within minutes where a real live D2L expert can walk you through the guidance you need. Emails take 24 hours. The D2L End User Support is located on our D2L Channel, but can also be accessed online. 

Remote Learning Technology Resources for Students

Students appreciate information on what technology supports are available to them when they begin their online course. To this end, the CTL offers this CTL Resource Hub that faculty may embed in their syllabi and include on their welcome/start here/unit 0 module of their online course.

Another way to support students is by orienting them to Desire2Learn (D2L). We have a self-paced tutorial that faculty can easily add to their online course called the D2L Support Module. To add this resource, please follow these instructions:

  1. Navigate to the homepage of the course where you'd like to add the resource.
  2. Download the zip package containing the content to add to your course. This file should download automatically. 
    • Note: The zip package must stay zipped to be uploaded to D2L. If the zip package automatically unzips when you download it, this is an issue with your browser settings. Change your browser settings so that files do not automatically unzip. For help changing this setting, see this guide.
  3. Download and follow the instructions for adding the content.

What your students want to know

Our students are coping with a great deal during these uncertain times. Many of them are challenged by economic uncertainty, job loss, caring for their families and doing their best to focus on their studies even when there may be children at home, learning remotely, who require their love and attention. One way we can support our students is by letting them know up front what to expect and how to be successful in their courses.

To this end, in your course syllabus and initial online course announcement and/or module, it is extremely helpful to provide guidance to your students about the following:

  • Office hours: When can students expect to meet with you online and how will this be accomplished (e.g., Google Meet)?
  • What should students do if they have a question about the course?
  • How can students contact you (email, phone number, etc.)?
  • When students reach out with an email or other method, when can they expect a reply? (e.g., “Please allow up to 24 hours for a response from me Monday-Saturday. However, I do not check my email on Sunday.”)
  • How will you convey expectations for conducting respectful (and not offensive) online discussions? Here is one example, written by Ashley Elrod:

Community Values:
Our online discussions will be based on our NEIU values of integrity, diversity and community. This means that we are all accountable for encouraging “the open and respectful expression of ideas and differences in thoughts, experiences, and opinions.” To create a truly inclusive community, we must show respect and civility for each other. This means that oppressive and discriminatory language has no place in our online community. I will moderate the posts to our discussion board, and posts that violate NEIU’s values will be deleted from our forum.

  • How long might students be expected to spend each week on your course activities? You may find this Guidance Document for Determining Instructional Time Equivalency helpful.

Your Syllabus

Here is some language for your syllabi and online modules to help you meet the needs of your students:

Syllabus Statement for Recordings

Faculty have asked if the CTL might recommend a syllabus statement that addresses the use of recording during online instruction. We offer the following suggested language:

In this class, software may be used to record live class discussions. As a student in this class, your participation in live class discussions may be recorded. These recordings typically will be made available only to students enrolled in the class, to assist those who cannot attend the live session or to serve as a resource for those who would like to review content that was presented. Students who prefer to participate via audio only will be allowed to disable their video camera so only audio will be captured. Students who prefer to listen only must disable their audio capability and visual camera. Please discuss these options with your instructor.

COVID-19 Syllabus Statement

Coronavirus usually causes mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Symptoms may include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Direct droplet transmission occurs when a person is in close contact (within 1 meter) with someone who is infected, and is exposed to respiratory droplets produced when that person coughs, sneezes or talks, or indirect transmission by touching an object or person with the virus (i.e., touching a doorknob or shaking hands), then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands. Safety is our No. 1 concern. Therefore, face coverings are required in all common areas—outdoor and indoor—and in all classrooms. If you feel sick, stay home. And if you test positive for COVID-19, contact Student Health Services immediately. Students who miss class due to illness will be given opportunities to access course materials online. For detailed information, please read Northeastern’s guidance on protection from the illness.

Take care of your mental health

Student Counseling Services has provided some tips for helping individuals manage anxiety and worry they may be feeling, and listed some important resources.

Student Resources

Our Climate Study Working Group colleagues created this website page with helpful resources for students all in one place. Please include this link on your syllabus and in your online course. View Current Student Resources online.

Faculty Support Mentors

Do you want help from a colleague with experience offering quality online instruction or someone with whom you can brainstorm pedagogical solutions? Our Faculty Support Mentors are here to help. Emily Booms, Martyn de Bruyn, Dave Jordan, Cristine Haidau and Rose Sperrazza are willing to provide one-on-one or small group help beyond what our D2L Standard End User Support can offer. Faculty who would like this kind of support or other assistance with pedagogy or technology used for their classes should submit a request for support using this form.

Fall Virtual Instruction Initiative

There is still time to take advantage of professional development in regard to online teaching. We offer three options:

  1. CTL’s eight-week, Online Teaching Fundamentals and Tools course. This course is suitable for faculty/instructors who have not developed a course for remote/online instruction or who have not taken a CTL online teaching course in the past. Participants should plan to spend 2-3 hours per week on readings, discussions and assignments, or a total of 24-32 hours. 
  2. A two-week, Quality Matters (QM) Designing Your Own Course (DYOC) course. Participants will receive a Quality Matters Certificate of Completion as long as they meet the assignment deadlines. The QM sessions are asynchronous and not self-paced. Participants must log on the first day and work regularly throughout the scheduled dates in order to successfully complete the course. Participants should plan to spend 8-10 hours per week or a total of 16-20 hours. 
  3. A two-week, Quality Matters, Improving Your Own Course (IYOC) class. This course is appropriate for instructors who have already designed and taught an online course but would like to improve it to meet the QM standards. Expectations for participation are the same as for the QM DYOC course. 

Big, Little Tips

Do you have a strategy to share with your colleagues that has worked well with your students? Are you willing to create a two- to five-minute video explaining and modeling this strategy? If so, join your colleagues who are in the process of developing these short and relevant video clips as part of our “Big, Little Tips” resources. Contact Sandra Beyda-Lorie, s-beyda@neiu.edu, and Liz Rodriguez, emrodri1@neiu.edu, for more information or to share your ideas.

Website/Resource Hub

Do you want to try something new in your classes but don’t know where to start? Stay tuned for the CTL’s Resource Hub, a new website where we will share the innovative assignments, engaging videos, thoughtful rubrics and other teaching materials being used across NEIU. Have something you’re willing to share? Contact the CTL at ctl@neiu.edu to be one of the first faculty to add materials to this new repository.

Faculty Development Events

Conversations in Classroom, Culture and Curriculum Series

The following individuals have been instrumental in offering the first of what we anticipate is an ongoing series of faculty development opportunities to offer inclusive, culturally competent teaching: Sunni Ali, Kimya Barden, Sharon Bethea, Vicki Byard, J Adrian Castrejon, Gabriel Cortez, Ashley Elrod, Laurie Fuller, Pamela Geddes, Elisabet Head, Maria Luna-Duarte, Olivia Perlow, Katy Smith, Sarah West, Durene Wheeler and Nancy Wrinkle. Our colleagues are working collaboratively to develop additional trainings.

Stay Tuned for Additional Events

Please check NEIU’s Targeted Announcements as we roll out relevant sessions this coming year to meet your needs.

Other Tips for Teaching

For additional tips for online instruction, we recommend Indiana University’s Keep Teaching website. "Keep Teaching" content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License by the Trustees of Indiana University.

If you have additional questions, please direct these to ctl@neiu.edu.