Though flexible teaching practices can be implemented at any time and for any course, for Fall 2020, you should assume that at least some of your students will be participating remotely. It is also likely that many faculty will be teaching remotely. 

All courses should therefore be designed to be online, even if it may be possible to interact with students in person from time to time.

If you are unsure what flexible teaching could look like for your course, we have provided some “blueprints” to give you an idea. Click the link for the course description that best matches your course to jump to that section on the page.

However, these blueprints are just a starting point: they are not a replacement for the content in the Flexible Teaching Guides. Once you have reviewed the blueprint(s) for your course(s), you should then work through the guides for a more thorough review of your options and best practices.

Optional Additions

These approaches can be implemented into any of the Blueprints above:


Seminars (12 – 18 students)

https://trinity.duke.edu/undergraduate/academic-policies/seminars

What will my students learn?Develop skills in close reading.

Cultivate skills in question formulation, research, analysis and writing.

Build a learning community around the process of inquiry relevant to the field or interdisciplinary domain.
How will I know what my students learned?Individual or collaborative writing assignments. Response papers. Presentations to class. 

Group projects. Peer reviews; assessment of joint work; individual reflection on lessons learned; potential future directions for additional inquiry.

With either individual or collaborative projects, grade based on assessment of strengths and weaknesses of paper/project and also chart directions for additional research.

Scaffolded research: topic selection; question identification/research plan; report on early findings; draft; presentation of work in progress; final draft.
What will I do in my course?Student presentations of readings

Text analysis and discussion of course themes

Peer review of writing

Invited guest speakers
How will we communicate?Sakai or MS Teams discussions before Zoom class sessions. Structure Sakai forums to bring out ideas to prime the live discussion.

Journaling. Students submit weekly reports or updates on what they’re learning, what they’re thinking about doing next, what they’re researching. (The Assignments tool or blog tool in Sakai can support this.)
What kinds of materials are appropriate for the course?Provide pre-readings; have students find and deliver pre-readings as well.

Research components: engaging with the library and librarians; primary and secondary sources.

Small Lecture Courses (20 – 40 students)

What will my students learn?Analysis of social problems, case studies, historical events, etc. 

Integrating qualitative and quantitative evidence into writing.

Confident public speaking and presentation skills.
How will I know what my students learned?Individual or collaborative writing assignments. Response papers. Presentations to class. 

Group projects: peer reviews; assessment of joint work; individual reflection on lessons learned; potential future directions for additional inquiry.

With either individual or collaborative projects: grade based on assessment of strengths and weaknesses of paper/project; chart directions for additional research

Scaffolded research: topic selection; question identification/research plan; report on early findings; draft; presentation of work in progress; final draft.
What will I do in my course?Student presentations of readings

In-depth conversations about case studies or big questions

Group work or peer review

Invited guest speakers
How will we communicate?Sakai or MS Teams discussions before Zoom class sessions. Structure Sakai forums to bring out ideas to prime the live discussion.

Journaling: students submit weekly reports or updates on what they’re learning; what they’re thinking about doing next; what they’re researching. (The Assignments tool or blog tool in Sakai can support this.) 

Delegate Zoom logistics (monitoring chat; overseeing break-outs) to a faculty colleague, TA or rotating student.
What kinds of materials are appropriate for the course?Provide pre-readings; have students find and deliver pre-readings as well.

Research components: engaging with the library and librarians; primary and secondary sources.

Large Courses (>40 students)

What will my students learn?Master the material and methodologies that are building blocks for more advanced coursework in the field.

Recognize key debates in the field and articulate important related questions.
How will I know what my students learned?Regular low-stakes formative assessments, such as weekly quizzes, are a fit for courses of this type. These assessments will gauge student learning throughout the semester and quickly diagnose and address misunderstandings.

Problem-based assessments like case studies with TAs to manage the grading. 

Use online exam best practices like questions pools and randomization to reduce cheating, but start from a perspective that an open-book assessment is the reality.
What will I do in my course?Use techniques like whiteboard challenges that focus on participation in complex problem-solving rather than lectures.

Check for understanding of concepts through polling, ask students to explain answers to each other in small groups and then re-poll the group.

Have small groups do problems together in Zoom breakout rooms.
How will we communicate?Organize several levels of student community and engagement. 

Level 1: small group for accountability, community, availability. Designed to be diverse. Maybe randomly assigned. Do group problems together. To encourage accountability and class preparation have the students organize weekly “watch parties” to view and debrief recorded content or discuss readings.

Level 2: recitation section of 20-25. The combination of four to five of the small groups that come together twice a week for TA or prof-led discussions. Facilitated, supported. Plan for fully online and in-person versions. Structure discussion sections around helping students overcome misconceptions, problem sets and obstacles to students’ progress.

Level 3: whole class or large group. Big live streams to kickoff for the semester, host major guest speakers, do cool demonstrations (all recorded as well – but form opportunities that benefit from the whole coming together). Delegate Zoom logistics (monitoring chat; overseeing break-outs) to a faculty colleague, TA or rotating student
What kinds of materials are appropriate for the course?Build a clear course structure for students to follow. 

Pre-record or curate as much of your content as possible. Release new content each week.

Research Experience for Undergraduates

What will my students learn?Students will do authentic research, make observations, analyze and present data.
How will I know what my students learned?Students can present their results by:
> Presenting posters online
> Presenting a talk with slides
>Creating a video demonstration
> Pecha Kucha (20 images, 20 seconds each) 
> Dance the research
> Written reports in a specified format
What will I do in my course?Students will be asked to read/watch preparatory lab instructions as they might in a face-to-face lab. 

Virtual “lab sections” meet as usual, with an initial full-group lab meeting with a TA who provides any necessary context-setting or tips. 

Once students have that information, they go into a Zoom breakout room with their lab partner to engage in the simulation. TAs will check in on the groups on a rotating basis.
What kinds of materials are appropriate for the course?Citizen science projects through iNaturalist and Zooniverse collect student observations, provide data and give examples of authentic research projects.

Labs

What will my students learn?Students will learn a particular technique.
How will I know what my students learned?Probe students to describe what would happen if they leave out a certain step in an experiment.

Ask students to place the steps of an experiment in the correct order or to identify the next step in the process. 

Show students images or video clips and ask them to find any errors with the particular technique used or apparatus setup.
What will I do in my course?Students will be asked to read/watch preparatory lab instructions as they might in a face-to-face lab. 

Virtual “lab sections” meet as usual, with an initial full-group lab meeting with a TA who provides any necessary context-setting or tips. 

Once students have that information, they go into a Zoom breakout room with their lab partner to engage in the simulation. TAs will check in on the groups on a rotating basis.
What kinds of materials are appropriate for the course?Have students complete online simulations in which they virtually accomplish the technique, or they watch videos of the technique. 

Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) is a peer reviewed video journal of laboratory demonstrations in biology, chemistry, engineering and psychology. Duke University Libraries has a subscription; start at the Libraries’ website to access full content. 

LabXchange contains simulations and demonstrations of molecular biology techniques.

ChemCollective has a virtual chemistry lab stockroom filled with stock reagents to perform various experiments.

Demonstrations

What will my students learn?Students must be able to visualize a principle (that is, the lab is primarily a demonstration).
How will I know what my students learned?To help students learn to apply the principle, describe the demonstration and ask your students to predict what will happen before actually showing the demonstration. 

Ask your students to explain their reasoning. 

After the demonstration, ask students to explain what happened and why. Ask if their prediction was correct and why or why not.
Then, ask students to make a prediction given a different set of parameters.
What will I do in my course?Students watch a high quality online demonstration — either one that already exists or something you create —and write up answers to questions either during class or asynchronously.
What kinds of materials are appropriate for the course?MERLOT has a collection of virtual science labs from a variety of sources.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute has high quality interactive labs for biology topics.

PhET includes many interactive simulations in physics, chemistry, biology, earth science and math.

Wolfram Demonstrations has a hub of virtual simulations and visualizations for a variety of science, mathematics, engineering and computer science concepts that can be shared or embedded in your course materials.
Need more? Check out this massive list of online science simulations and laboratory resources.

Data Analysis

What will my students learn?Students can interpret and communicate experimental results and data.
How will I know what my students learned?Students write reports either individually or in groups. 

If using case studies, students would answer the provided questions to guide their thinking.
What will I do in my course?Students meet with faculty or TAs to discuss results and interpretation.  

Students report initial findings or discuss blockers to analysis.
What kinds of materials are appropriate for the course?Find and share data sets from a variety of sources. 

Published literature often includes data sets that can be reworked for a data analysis project. 

You could also use data collected from student reports in previously taught courses. 

Biomedical and life science datasets are available to download from Brown University.

ATLAS Open Data provides datasets collected from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) available to download.

The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science has science case studies to help students learn to interpret results.

Studio Courses

(Classes such as painting, photography, or film)

What will my students learn?Students need to be able to create artworks without the same type of space, equipment or software they would have on campus.
How will I know what my students learned?Have students build a portfolio of work over the course of the semester, with regular check-in points where the students submit digital photos or videos of their work for assessment and feedback.

The course description and syllabus state what the resource requirements are for the course; if obtaining these materials will be challenging for students, suggest students wait to take this course until a later term and/or the department might work out a way to conform design assignments to pre-existing kits that students might purchase or receive.
What will I do in my course?Technical and creative instruction over Zoom or recorded videos

Facilitate class activities where students share and reflect on each other’s work.
How will we communicate?Focus on as much one-on-one engagement with students as possible, meeting in-person for students on campus and via Zoom for students not based in Durham.

Consider having students journal about their experiences and the creative process to further student/instructor interaction.
What kinds of materials are appropriate for the course?Include online lessons that help guide students in setting up an in-home studio, including how to prepare a space for taking photos or recording videos of assignments.

Performance-based Courses

(Classes such as dance, theater or music)

What will my students learn?Students need to be able to perform without the same type of space, equipment or software they would have on campus.
How will I know what my students learned?Students may complete performance-based assignments in a variety of ways, including: (1) performing in a public space, (2) recording videos of their individual performance separately and then editing them together, (3) recording solo performances.
What will I do in my course?Larger assignments are broken down into smaller components, with students developing their performance together in small groups or pairs.

Practice particular techniques as a group or individually.
How will we communicate?Focus on as much one-on-one engagement with students as possible, meeting in-person for students on campus and via Zoom for students not based in Durham.

Consider having students journal about their experiences and the creative process to further student/instructor interaction.
What kinds of materials are appropriate for the course?Start the semester with a needs assessment survey for your students to see what resources your students have access to (e.g., performance space).

Work with your students early on in the semester to identify a performance space for each, including an option for recording. Clear selection criteria can help guide students in identifying their performance space.

If students need studio space and are not based in Durham, work with the students to identify possible studio spaces local to them (e.g., places of worship, community centers, schools, etc.)

Tutorials

What is my goal?Provide students opportunities for individual faculty-student interaction.
SolutionOffload content delivery online and spend most of the time interacting with your students 1:1 or perhaps 1:5 or 1:6.

Project-based Learning

For example, Bass Connections collaborative project courses

What is my goal?Working with a group/team is one of your course learning objectives.
How will I know what my students learned?Projects can be the same as face-to-face, but also include:
> Periodic Peer Evaluations
> Individual process journal
> Bi-weekly (every two weeks) group check-ins with students & look for red flags in peer evaluations
> Provide feedback on pieces of joint project output before end of semester
> Have one-on-one check-ins if problems arise
What will I do in my course?One to two projects over the span of the course with opportunities to give feedback (for example, presentations of work in progress, faculty comments or peer review of each others’ project ideas or pieces).

Make time during the live course meeting (or office hours) to explain how to do group work (explain instructions well).

Explicit attention to cultivation of productive team dynamics (role definition; communications platforms; regular reporting; feedback from faculty or TA mentor).

Provide a rubric for eventual outputs and clear scaffolding of milestones.

Have students submit smaller pieces of work over time.

If using clients: rethink how clients can work with students.
How will we communicate?Using remote communication tools.

Suggest MS Teams and other collaborative tech for ongoing group discussion and sharing.

Online project planner (Trello, Microsoft Planner etc.)

Students should make a team charter about deadlines, communication and conflicts.

Inviting Guest Experts

What are my goals?Provide Duke students with the opportunity to access primary sources directly

Connect real-world expertise with your course

Once your class is online, it’s easier to get visiting experts to come to your class. Invite alumni, authors of the papers/books in your class, etc.
What will we do in my course?Have students generate questions or discussion points and share with your guest prior to the live course meeting. 

Decide how you will manage the conversation: 
> Will you (the instructor) moderate discussion? 
> Will you have someone else monitoring the chat? 
> Will there be a presentation first?
How will we engage?Invite the guest and send them a URL for your Zoom meeting. 

Allow the guest permission to share the screen if necessary. 

If your guest has never used Zoom before, share some best practices and tips for getting set up and navigating a Zoom session. 

Ask your speaker if you can record the session to share with students later.

Team Instruction

Consider making the most of your available instructional resources to maximize instructor-student and student-student interactions. Some possibilities include:

Instructional teamapproach to team instruction
Two or more facultyCollaborate on course redesign and creation of asynchronous modules; split up coverage of tutorials or learning groups
Faculty plus one or more TAsFaculty keeps overall charge of smaller course, but deploys a TA to manage chat and break-outs, also meet periodically with research groups to check progress and oversee discussion of work in progress
Faculty plus one or more PhD studentsFaculty member works with one or more PhD students who serve as co-instructors rather than TAs; everyone provides asynchronous content, takes turns leading any larger synchronous group sessions and splits up responsibilities for engagement with tutorials/small learning or research groups
Entire department or group of core instructorsConstructs archive of asynchronous content modules (mini-lectures, interviews, dialogues, possible shared assignments)