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2020 Fall Teaching Resources from the Remote 2.0 Committee: High-Touch Practices for Teaching

Curated resources for faculty reviewed by members of the Remote 2.0 subcommittee.

A signature feature of W&J's teaching

W&J College LogoA face-to-face course does not guarantee high-touch or high-contact experiences. Multimodal, remote, or online courses do not preclude them. These things can be offered in all courses at W&J regardless of the delivery system.

High-Touch Teaching Practices

Personalized attention to students (“Students, I see you are there and care about you.”)

  • learn names and use them
  • ask students generally at the start/end of a class how things are going in the course (or life)
  • be amenable to adjusting the syllabus midstream if students are having trouble with the material or the timing is going wonky; don’t just “set it and forget it.”
  • follow up with students who are not showing up or who are not thriving
  • if teaching synchronously, answer individual questions during and especially after class
  • hold open office hours, not just “by appointment only”
  • respond to student emails in a timely fashion (within a day is fine)

A strong faculty presence in the course (“Students, you don’t have to teach yourself.”)

  • come to class and teach (classroom version):
    • easy, even if you are doing nothing more than reading a lecture or PowerPoint slides aloud (but you do better than that!)
  • come to class and teach (remote version):
    • teach your class synchronously through videoconferencing
    • teach asynchronously by
      • making audio or video recordings of yourself lecturing, commenting on the readings, or doing demonstrations
      • recording narration on your PowerPoints
      • doing lecture capture (a video of you and your whiteboard, for example)
  • provide some form of direct contact from faculty to students at least once a week
    • synchronous class sessions
    • online discussion boards actively moderated by the instructor
    • small group or one-on-one video conferences
    • text/video/audio announcements to the entire class

Personalized assessment and assistance (“Students, I am not here just to judge or rank you; I am here to help you learn and improve.”)

  • scaffold large-stakes assignments
    • several quizzes before an hour exam
    • small version of an assignment before the big one (example: short video before the major presentation video)
    • long project worked through in stages (example: paper: abstract, bibliography, outline, draft, etc.)
  • read drafts of student writing, let them consult you on work-in-progress
  • provide written assessment feedback (comments), not just a score, for some student work (need not be all assignments)
    • even a simple “Nice work!” as well as a score/grade on a quiz goes a long way
  • Get graded work back in a timely fashion so they can use your comments to improve on the next piece of work

A sense of community (“Student, you are not alone in the class.”)

  • get students talking to each other (not just you) in discussions
  • have students work on a specific task in pairs or small groups both in and out of class. 
  • have students respond to each others’ work or do peer evaluations
  • have students perform social reading by jointly annotating digital texts using tools like or Perusall
  • break up lectures with low/no-stakes polls using free tools like Zoom and Poll Everywhere

Resources: Articles

How to Humanize Your Online Class (click twice to enlarge)


Resources: E-Books in Library