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COPE Resources

Before you begin...

How to navigate this guide...

Use the guide navigation menu (located at the top of the left-hand sidebar of this page) to navigate through this resource.

Each page will feature the basic information needed to create a course shell and populate that shell with the essential elements to promote effective online learning. Look for tabs at the top to navigate through additional information in a box:

Users can return to each step to access the additional tabs that provide resources that support the implementation of more advanced course elements.

We've Got This...

This is a difficult time for each of us. The uncertainty of the pandemic threat and challenges of teaching in a new modality, coupled with worry about family (or the mounting agitation of couped up kids), can feel overwhelming.

Those feelings are real and justified, but as you work through the steps of the Online Teaching Certification program and moving your course online, know that you have the support of your fellow faculty, campus administrators, and support staff. If you find you need support that is not provided on these pages, please contact the Faculty Resource Center at MC-FRC@lonestar.edu. We will connect you with an expert that can get you the information you need or we'll figure it out together. 

Stay healthy, physically and mentally. Practice self-care and reach out for support for yourself and for your students.

LSC-Montgomery Faculty Resource Center & Instructional Administrative Team

Learning the Lingo

As with any area, online teaching and learning at LSC-Montgomery is often peppered with acronyms and industry-specific terms that can be confusing. Here are some keywords to know before starting on your journey into online teaching:

  • Asynchronous: Instruction that does not require a student to participate at a specific time. An example of asynchronous instruction is a recorded video session a student can watch at any time.
  • D2L: Desire2Learn is the software company behind Brightspace, the learning management system (LMS) used by LSC to host online course shells. The LMS at LSC is commonly referred to as D2L.
  • F2F: Face-to-face or in-person; usually refers to course modality.
  • Hybrid Course: A course with both online and F2F components. These courses may be designed to be primarily online or primarily F2F, but will all incorporate both modalities.
  • LMS: Learning management system; a software application that allows users to administer and access educational resources. The LMS at LSC is commonly referred to as D2L.
  • Synchronous: Instruction that occurs for all students at the same time. An example of synchronous instruction is a live video presentation in which students must log-on at a specific time to view the instructor.
  • Third-party Applications: Tools or resources that are not provided or supported by Lone Star College technology or instructional support services. Third-party applications often have free components but may charge for premium features or increased usage. Please carefully review the service and associated costs before integrating third-party services into your course.
  • VLAC: Virtual Learning Assistance Center; a collection of resources for LSC online students or students with online course components.  
  • VTAC: Virtual Teaching Assistance Center; an instructional resource created for LSC faculty. The VTAC site provides instructional guides and training to assist with the development and implementation of successful online courses. 

10 top tips for working remotely

  • Ask for support when needed. Speak out when you need assistance, further training or support. Your manager, colleagues and you are part of a team and should be supporting each other, especially remotely.
  • Set up a designated workspace. Separate space for yourself to work in, somewhere you can focus on tasks without being distracted and set up with everything you need for a normal working day – computer, phone, stationery, papers…etc.
  • Get dressed. Changing into working clothes will help you mentally switch to productive work mode. It will also help you distinguish between ‘homeworking’ and ‘home life’.
  • Write a daily to-do list. Set out a list of realistic, achievable tasks to keep you focused.
  • Be clear in your communication. Speaking in person gives you visual and audio cues that help you communicate. Conversing remotely removes a lot of that extra information so make your communications extra clear and concise.
  • Make sure you have all the tech you need. This includes a reliable and secure internet connection, any necessary files, hardware and software, remote access to your company network and, importantly, knowledge of how to get IT support.
  • Know when to step away from your desk. Be clear about when your working day begins and ends and take breaks to refresh. It’s easy to let yourself be ‘always on’ when your home and office are the same place. When work is over, be sure you switch off to avoid burnout. Think about having ‘core hours ’ which people you work with are around for.
  • Stay in conversation. Contribute regularly to team chats/group emails so you don't drop off the radar. Ask about what people are working on and share what’s on your plate. Being physically separated means you miss the ‘water-cooler moments’ so this is a means to keep informed.
  • Foster relationships. Make time for non-work chats as you would in the workplace and use video calling to maintain face-to-face contact.
  • Make remote working work for you. Change where you sit, put on music, whatever helps you work. And enjoy the perks – no commute or uncomfortable shoes, and all your home comforts!

Adapted from Getting the Most from Remote Working 

Remember the following as you engage with your online students:

This is a difficult time for all of us, including our students. Professors around the world are sharing important reminders about our students and the challenges they may face as they too embark on a new online learning journey:

  • Your students know less about technology than you think. Many of them know less than you. Yes, even if they are digital natives and younger than you.
  • Some will be accessing the internet on their phones. They may have limited or no access to a computer, high-speed wifi service, a printer/scanner, or a camera. 
  • Some will be sharing their technology with other household members, so they may have LESS time to do their schoolwork, not more.
  • Many will be working MORE, not fewer, hours. Nurses, prison guards, firefighters, and police officers have to go to work no matter what. As healthcare demand increases but healthcare workers get sick, there will be more and more stress on those who remain.
  • Some of your students will get sick. Others will be caring for people who are ill.
  • Many will be parenting and homeschooling their own children.
  • As a result, synchronous work may be challenging for many students.
  • Social isolation contributes to mental health problems.
  • Social isolation contributes to domestic violence.
  • Students will be losing their jobs, especially those in tourism and hospitality.

Adapted from Rebecca Berrett-Fox

Additional Resources