Center for Academic Technologies

Keep Teaching

Disruptions to our campus can be stressful for everyone involved. As faculty members, we can support our students by finding ways to help them continue to learn under difficult circumstances. We are in a unique leadership role where we can help our students navigate these challenges by being a focal point of communication and support. At the same time, we will be faced with our own challenges as we have to change our teaching modalities, support students who are affected and take care of ourselves in challenging situations.

Many of the solutions involve the use of instructional technology, however, adapting to disruption is more than just adding technology to the mix. Supporting teaching and learning during this time includes making choices about using technology, but also prioritizing action and moving ahead with a plan for teaching continuity.

Contact the Center for Academic Technologies. Email


    • Establish priorities to achieve your course outcomes
    • Communicate regularly with your students
    • Develop a teaching strategy based on your curriculum and abilities
    • Review your course policies
    • Stay conscious about equity as you make decisions
    • Be kind to yourself

    Decide on Your Strategy

    Remember you are NOT preparing to teach online but you are now holding a face to face class remotely. Think about all the parts of your course that may need an alternative modality now that you aren't in a face-to-face environment. It is okay to change because what you had planned may no longer work, done remotely.

    Ask yourself what can realistically be accomplished during this time period and what is more important? Will you be able to keep your original course syllabus, schedule, and assignments? It’s okay if not; give yourself permission to make changes and allow for flexibility in the schedule, just in case the situation takes longer to resolve than expected. Faculty are within their rights to change their syllabus, so long as students are notified (include revision dates) about new required elements (e.g., due dates, methods of evaluation, course requirements, grading criteria; CSUMB Syllabus Policy). Acceptance that the course may not unfold as you had originally planned may allow you to manage the moment more easily.

    Additional questions to ask yourself:

    • How prepared am I for delivering content online? (If you don't have a lot of experience in this venue, keep it simple, use email.)
    • What changes do I need to make in the class to accomplish the learning objectives remotely?
      • What tools and methods will help me achieve these outcomes?
    • Who can I share and collaborate with to help me during this time?
  • Get Your iLearn Course Ready

    Make your iLearn course available to students

    1. Log in to iLearn
    2. Open your course
    3. Navigate to the Course Management icon in the upper left-hand corner of your screen
    4. Go to Course Settings and select Edit Course Settings
    5. Under the General option, find Course Visibility and select ‘Show’ to make the Course visible. (Instructions with images)
    6. Upload your syllabus
    7. Add your course content
    8. By default, iLearn is turned on for all users to receive messages from iLearn. Note: students may have turned off this feature. Remind them to turn on notifications in their iLearn profile to receive your messages, here is how.

    Checklist for course tasks and technology available

    Task Technology
    Contacting your Students


    CSUMB Email 

    Hold remote office hours



    Google Hangouts - Video Call 

    Google Hangouts - Chat

    Distribute your syllabus digitally


    CSUMB Email 
    Distribute course resources


    CSUMB Email 

    Receive student assignments


    CSUMB Email 


    Interact with Students


    CSUMB Email 


    Google Hangouts - Video Call 

    Google Hangouts - Chat

    Capture and deliver course lectures




    PowerPoint built-in video

    Evaluate and deliver grades


    *Do not use email*

    Access voicemail from home Connect with your department Admin

    Technology Tools

  • In an emergency, your students will look to you for direction. Make sure you communicate with them frequently.

    • Hold regular remote office hours: Use Zoom, Google Hangouts, or your CSUMB Email to hold office hours. Use iLearn to communicate when your remote office hours will be, and how you will hold those office hours.
    • Make frequent announcements via iLearn: iLearn allows students to receive communication via the Instructor Announcements (news forum), and email through the course.
    • Email regularly if you do not want to make announcements with iLearn: Use your CSUMB email, as it is the official means of campus communication. Access your email online by signing in to your CSUMB dashboard.
    • Best Practices: Students succeed better in an online environment when their instructor stays in close touch. Consider sending more frequent emails, updates, reminders, and announcements than you usually would. Send communications using multiple means such as CSUMB Email and iLearn announcements. Finally, inform students of how quickly they should expect to receive a response from you. You might set your CSUMB email to automatic reply with your office hours, response time, and any other pertinent course information.
  • Make Videos Based on PowerPoint Presentations

    • Easily make narrated Powerpoint lectures by using the Powerpoint built-in recording feature. You will need Powerpoint 2019 to do this; download Microsoft Office.
    • Another option is to use Zoom video conference to record lectures. Here’s a tutorial on using Zoom, here's Zoom Essentials video tutorial. Although Zoom can allow you to lecture "synchronously," i.e. your students get on Zoom at the same time you do, we recommend using Zoom "asynchronously," recording your lecture using Zoom's recording feature. Synchronous Zoom requires a strong internet connection.
    • Any way you create videos, we recommend uploading videos to YouTube. Mark them as "unlisted" and put the link in your iLearn course shell. You may also wish to drag your mp4 into your Google Drive and share the link in your iLearn.

    Make Videos Based on Chalkboard/Whiteboard Lectures

    • If you have a tablet (iPad, Surface Pro, etc.), there are many apps that allow you to create videos while writing and speaking.
    • You can use Zoom video conference with a tablet as well, as with a whiteboard. Zoom has whiteboard features.
    • If you don't have a tablet, go old-school: Use a whiteboard, chalkboard, or even a flip chart to write on. Set up your smartphone on a tripod, or other support for stability, and use your phone's built-in camera or one of the many video apps available to record your lecture.
    • We recommend uploading videos to YouTube. Mark them as "unlisted" and put the link in your iLearn course shell. Our How To’s page has tutorials on creating YouTube videos. If you recorded your lecture with your phone, you may need to search online for information about how to do that for your particular phone.

    Put Readings and Materials in iLearn

    Interactive Teaching Online

    iLearn is your primary tool for continuing to interact with your students online, with plenty of choices:

    Other Ideas for Providing Content

    • Hoonuit (Atomic Learning) has tutorials on a wide range of topics.
      • Log in with your Otter ID and Password
    • YouTube has educational videos ranging from physics to film making.
    • Khan Academy has free video content for many topics, with an emphasis on STEM.
    • Look for relevant podcasts and radio programs.

    Best Practices to Consider

    • Think about phones: Many students rely on their smartphones in the best of circumstances, and in a crisis, many more students may have only smartphones available to keep up with their courses. Use mobile-friendly content formats such as PDFs, instead of posting large powerpoint files. There are many online tools that reduce the size of PDFs (search Google for "PDF file size"). Videos take lots of data, so require them only when necessary.
    • Send an email or an announcement when you post new materials. If students aren’t used to using iLearn for your class, you may need to remind them to check and tell them where in your course shell you have put materials.
    • Keep self-made videos short, less than five minutes! Type out a script to read; it keeps you on track. Make sure that you have good light and you are in a quiet place. Don’t fret that your videos aren’t beautiful. These videos are for emergency response, not something you’ll keep forever.
    • Try to provide a variety of different kinds of content – reading, video, and audio. This will help keep your students engaged.
  • Assignment Collection

    Collection of homework assignments can be made easy using a variety of technologies supported by CSUMB. However, without the ability to provide in-person instruction, it’s highly advised to provide explicit assignment details to reduce confusion and ensure student efforts are meeting learning goals.

    Consider adopting a rubric to promote transparency. Rubrics provide a framework that holds both students and instructors accountable for submitted work and equitable grading, respectively.

    Learn more about and peruse existing rubrics at these resources:

    CSUMB Email

    CSUMB Email is the simplest method for collecting assignment files from students. However, email is not recommended for assignment collection of large classes, as it may prove difficult to keep track of messages, grades, and learner feedback.

    iLearn Assignments

    The iLearn Assignment tool provides an easy way for students to privately submit homework files to their instructor. The optional Turn It In tool can automatically provide plagiarism reports for submitted student work. Student submissions are graded using the iLearn Gradebook.

    Learn more about creating iLearn Assignments and the Gradebook with these resources:


    In partnership with Turnitin, CSUMB has adopted a Turnitin integration within iLearn, allowing instructors to easily collect and automatically receive plagiarism reports for student assignment files. Turnitin Assignments function separately from iLearn Assignments.

    Grading Student Work and Providing Feedback

    The Gradebook in iLearn provides a central location for collecting and grading all student submissions in iLearn.

  • Accessibility

    CSUMB is committed to providing access to information resources and technologies to individuals with disabilities. To ensure courses are accessible to all users, instructional materials must be delivered in a manner that is equally effective for individuals with disabilities as without disabilities. In the case of an emergency, we recommend checking in with your students who have formal needs for accessible materials, to ensure they can access your course and course materials. Teaching remotely will require adjustment and trial and error around these needs.

    Work with Student Student Disability Services wherever you have questions around student accommodations. Student accommodations are assigned with an expectation that they are being implemented.

    CAT Accessible Materials Resources

    To learn more about the CSU Accessible Technology Initiative, see the Chancellor's Office Accessible Technology website.

    Quality Assurance at CSU Monterey Bay

    The same skills that determine effective face to face instruction can be cultivated to transform pedagogy into an engaging online environment. Unique components for the online instructor include establishing an online presence and meaningful interactions that consider methods and tools for communication and delivery of content. Design, structure, and sequencing of activities and assessments to make the best use of our Learning Management System (LMS), iLearn, for grading and feedback are important decisions that sustain student participation.

    In order to assure quality online teaching, CSU Monterey Bay has created a Quality Assurance Program that combines the best of two nationally recognized programs called Quality Matters (QM) and Quality Online Learning & Teaching (QLT). CSUMB offers faculty two different online, self-paced courses, with an additional opportunity to participate in Course ReDesign using a 5 Phases Rubric.

    After your experience in either course, you will have a broad overview of basic components to consider for constructing an online/hybrid course. For a step-by-step, hands-on approach to ensure a quality online class sign up for Quality Assurance Course Review Program here.

  • Center for Academic Technologies (CAT)

    The CAT team offers pedagogical tools and technical support for faculty to create online, hybrid, and face-to-face courses.

    • Email:
    • Phone: 831-582-4648

    HOONUIT Learning (previously Atomic Learning)

    • Hoonuit (Atomic Learning) has tutorials on a wide range of software.
      • Log in with your Otter ID and Password

    Tools and Technologies - Resources

  • Content on our page has been adapted from the following sources:

    CSU Pomona

    CSU Northridge