Instructor Resources

Remotely Interesting Community

The Remotely Interesting community page is a Microsoft Teams site where AMPD instructors and AMPD Computing staff can exchange ideas and approaches to teaching online.

Visit the Remotely Interesting Community Teams Site

How do I make my course blended/online?

Contact AMPD Computing to determine what kind of support you need while developing the materials for your course.  We will help set up and oversee support from the AMPD eLearning Team. Support is based on your needs. Some examples of support include:

  • recording and editing lectures and/or interviews with external experts
  • support for using Camtasia to record lectures or to create tutorials
  • uploading audio and video files to our streaming servers
  • technical support for Moodle and/or WordPress

As the course development nears completion,  we can assist with customized Moodle support and training for faculty members, teaching assistants and students.

Teaching Commons Resources

eLearning at AMPD has worked closely with the Teaching Commons to develop blended and online courses.  AMPD’s main contact at the Teaching Commons is Natasha May, who provides support in pedagogy and the design of courses or modules that involve an eLearning component.

Check out these great Teaching Commons Resources for examples of good practice, internal resources, and external resources.

Moodle Help

Moodle is York’s LMS (learning management system). New to Moodle or need help? Check out Moodle’s great Instructor Resources, which includes how-tos for setting up your course and adding users to your course.

Moodle’s Additional Resources are also very helpful, and include a comprehensive Instructor FAQ.

If you are an instructor experiencing a problem with Moodle: please contact AMPD Computing Services.

AMPD Moodle Tips

Here are some additional Moodle tips that we find helpful for instructors:

  • Plan your course. Planning is essential for successful online learning. Have your syllabus and course structure laid out before the class starts. Select and gather course content. Post due dates and schedule all course activities. Present course layout in a consistent format.Virtual students’ needs are different from their physical counterparts. They require clear instruction and a means to connect with you. Post course expectations so students will understand what needs to be accomplished when. Not having a professor physically in front of them can make some students nervous. Try to ease this by answering questions in a scheduled or timely manner and provide plenty of instruction and feedback.
  • Make sure you have reliable internet access to create, upload and manage course content as well as utilize video conferencing tools. It’s also a good idea to keep your device plugged into a power source while working.
  • Clarify what technical requirements are required to adequately prepare course material (i.e. software, apps, camera, microphone). Consider also the technical requirements and potential access limitations for students taking the course and be sure to keep this in mind as you develop your course content. If you are new to technology, design your course with the resources you are familiar with and feel comfortable with. It is good practice to schedule an appointment with your online support in advance of the course start to review or learn new skills to be prepared for launch date ie. If you plan to use zoom to connect with students, watch a zoom tutorial so you are familiar with the interface.
  • Make time to familiarize yourself with the Moodle online support resources. Utilize departmental eLearning support staff. As early as possible, reach out to ampdtel@yorku.ca to request support in structuring and creating your online course in Moodle.
  • Take the time to carefully plan out your course timeline. Break up course material, activities, assignments by week, and consider how much time each task will require for completion. Make a note of any resources you need to source and schedule production time for any content you need to create.
  • As you create your online course make sure instructions and course expectations are very clearly outlined so students understand what needs to be accomplished when. Communicate regularly. Maintain a consistent online presence. Introduce yourself and give your students to also introduce themselves – help bring humanity and warmth into your classroom that online classes can easily lack. Make sure your students know the best methods and times to contact you. Not having a professor physically in front of them can make some students nervous. Try to ease this by answering questions in a timely manner and providing plenty of instruction and feedback.
  • If you will be utilizing video conferencing tools or recording lectures to post online, be sure to choose a clutter free workspace and minimize outside noises and interruptions. When recording video, a plain, evenly lit backdrop works best. Be sure to turn off any notifications on your phone and computer to avoid interruptions while recording. For privacy, when screen sharing clear off all personal items and close unnecessary tabs on your desktop.
  • As you create your online course, don’t forget to back up and organize your material often. Technical glitches and mistakes may occur and having a backup of your material helps ease stress and save time.
  • Think about various ways you can connect with students (office hours, video conferencing, chat, forums) and communicate these options clearly. Establish guidelines for respectful and inclusive participation.
  • Online courses do not have the same turn around time as those offered face to face. Provide extra time for student interaction and clarification.
  • Be consistent with your delivery.  For example, if you use forums, use the same type throughout the course.  If you change a style, let the class know.
  • Keep your course template uncluttered and logically structured.
  • Change your Text Editor preference to “TinyMCE” if you would like to have greater display options, i.e. ability to change fonts and text colours.
  • Check all links to ensure they are active before making them public.