Teaching Online FAQ
We update the FAQ as needed to keep faculty up-to-date on emerging tools, resources and questions. If you have any questions not listed in the FAQ, please submit your FAQ to email@example.com. Please also visit the ACC COVID-19 Update page for additional general information and the Employee Information page which has information specific to faculty.
The Teaching & Learning Excellence Division (TLED) and the Office of Distance & Alternative Education (ODAE) provide comprehensive support in course design, technology tools for teaching, and other high-impact practices that contribute to our Guided Pathways model at Austin Community College (ACC). We are available for various types of consultations to provide just-in-time assistance and support for your teaching. Review our robust options by visiting:
Check in with your students about their ability to complete an online course. Some students may not have access to necessary technologies at home. Encourage students (who are able) to keep up with course activities, assignments, and exams, and redefine attendance expectations for continuing class online.
We encourage faculty to be sensitive to the varying resources that our students have access to. Blackboard has a mobile interface that many students can (and do) use to access their classes via smartphones, for instance. Faculty should be flexible in helping students continue to learn in a virtual environment.
Student Technology Services has set up the Student Technology Access Form. Students who submit it and indicate they need help to access their online learning environment to successfully complete the semester are eligible to check out an ACC iPad.
Read more information on the Remote Student Support page under the Technology Support section for additional topics and information.
The Teaching & Learning Excellence Division (TLED) website and the ACC Blackboard Support website have many resources available to faculty. Check out the ACC Library Faculty Teaching Toolbox and the ACC Library Guide: Communication & Collaboration for additional resources.
Library Services offer access to Kanopy, a video streaming service where you can find movies and documentaries to assign, films that spark conversations, classic films that prove timeless and foreign films that show you how other people live, think and view the world we all live in. ACC faculty and students can watch for free with no ads, any time, anywhere on any device.
Kanopy – Free Access to Thousands of movies through our ACC library.
- Click the BROWSE drop-down
- Click on Instructional Films and Lessons
- Type in concept you are teaching
Films on Demand is also available, which has media categorized by subject area. Gives students instant access to outstanding documentaries, award-winning educational films, independent films, and helpful instructional videos.
LibGuides – Recommended articles, e-books, videos, web resources, and more organized by subject and Area of Study.
Khan Academy – Teaching video demos for a variety of subjects.
Teach with Movies – Learning Guides are available for each film. Helpful background, discussion questions, projects, and links to the internet are also provided.
Student News Daily – Build students’ knowledge of current events and strengthen their critical thinking skills through current news articles.
Class Guides – Library Services also offers class guides. Faculty can request a class guide by contacting their campus or subject librarians.
Before the meeting/class:
- Communicate often with your students
- Encourage students to practice with and test web conferencing tools in advance of class
- Clear clutter in your personal space and on your computer while web conferencing to avoid distractions
- Create a Welcome slide to greet students as they join your web conferencing session. Provide clear and critical instructions on your Welcome slide for students. Welcome slides may include:
- Reminder to test audio/video equipment
- Mute microphones when the student is not talking
- Employ useful features such as “raising their virtual hand” or using the chat tool
- Create a backup plan in case you have trouble connecting with students, including the following:
- Reminder for students to call the web conferencing phone number to join and listen to the audio if they are having technical issues
- Recording web conferencing sessions for students to watch at another time
- Remind students you are monitoring email so students can report technical issues if they can’t access your web conferencing session
During the meeting/class:
- Connect to your web conference early, to welcome students and allow them to establish online conferencing connections to test their audio/video several minutes before the meeting start time
- Ensure all students can see and hear all other participants, as appropriate
- Ensure location lighting does not limit a participant’s visibility (e.g., avoid backlighting from windows or lamps)
- Have students mute their microphones to avoid background noise or when not speaking
- Recognize visual or verbal cues, such as raising a hand, to indicate when someone wants to actively contribute verbally to the meeting
- Read chat posts aloud during your session for those not monitoring the chat tool
- Before ending your web session, ask if you addressed all the chat questions
- Make sure all students have equal access to content by sharing all content within the video conferencing connection and using online tools (e.g., Google docs) whenever possible
The Student Affairs Help Desk can assist with questions students have about ACCmail, ACCeID, Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, and general Advising questions. 24hr Blackboard technical support is also available.
The ACC Online website is a one-stop-shop for distance education students. They can go to the student resources page for a list of helpful resources available to them. There is also a list of advisors and a counselor available to distance education students.
365 Office Suite Free to Students
Microsoft offers their 365 Office Suite to students and teachers at no cost: Students and educators at eligible institutions can sign up for Office 365 Education for free, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and now Microsoft Teams, plus additional classroom tools. All you need is a valid school email address. It’s not a trial – so get started today.
Sustaining the lab components of classes during a building or campus closure is a major challenge because many labs require specific equipment which makes it difficult to reproduce outside of the lab.
Short-term closure considerations might include:
- Moving some aspects of lab activities to online such as those that require students to familiarize themselves with procedures, data analysis and/or manipulation.
- Providing supporting content such as video demonstrations of techniques, and online simulations, including analysis of data and whenever possible any pre or post lab work. This can prepare students to be ready for the next steps when the building or campus reopens.
As the educational community responds to COVID-19, faculty may be receiving emails from vendors offering limited-time free access to their tools and platforms. We encourage instructors to explore open textbook or library-licensed e-book textbook alternatives during this transition to online teaching, which are always free or affordable.
Please remember that students may be experiencing greater financial stress than usual if they’re not able to work due to the coronavirus. You might want to consider investing your time in trying resources and tools that will continue to be free to you and your students after the crisis is over.
Subject librarians can assist faculty in finding resources to support your course design and class assignments – this may include openly licensed resources or library licensed content. If you are interested in adopting a library e-book for your course, please consult your subject librarian so we can check on the resource license as not all of our e-books are available for multi user simultaneous usage.
At this time ACC Library Services does not have access to the print collection of textbooks which make up the Student Support Center Textbook Collection located at the HLC Library. We also do not have access to print textbooks on course reserve at campus libraries. The guide linked below offers suggestions for students and faculty for alternative and online access to these resources.
All ACC tutoring is now online and available with support during the same hours and for the same subjects we’ve always supported. Students can access unlimited online tutoring with an ACC tutor from any campus by completing the Online Tutoring Request form: https://de.austincc.edu/bbsupport/online-tutoring-request/