The Alt-Instruction program is for instructors who were scheduled to teach an in-person (face-to-face) course as of Spring 2020, but who now--and for the foreseeable future-- must teach students remotely using alternative instruction. The transition to remote teaching requires instructors to use new skills to connect. The program enables faculty to convert a face-to-face course for distance instruction using effective practices that engage students and build community online. The converted course will utilize equitable teaching practice and promote low-bandwidth teaching that recognizes not all students may be able to meet online course technology requirements, and that acknowledges documented challenges associated with distance learning for students of color.
To earn the Alt-Instruction Certifcate, faculty must complete the following:
- Complete 5 core workshops
- Complete at least 1 equity elective
- Submit an example of your alt-instruction course (see below for more info.)
This pathway consists of 6 workshops plus submission of an Alt-Instruction example. Some workshops in the series are self-directed, asynchronous modules allowing faculty to complete them at their own pace. Others are live, synchronous webinars offered at designated times.
Required Core Workshops (complete all)
- Starting Canvas & Online Activities (self-paced)
- Low Bandwidth Teaching (webinar)
- Leveraging Multimedia (self-paced)
- Canvas Gradebook & SpeedGrader (webinar)
- Online Quizzes & Exams: No Proctor Needed (webinar)
Elective Workshops (Complete at least one)
- Writing Better Test Questions (webinar)
- Transparent Assignment Design + Rubric (webinar)
- Maintaining Instructor Presence w/Video (webinar)
- Teaching First-Generation Learners (self-paced)
- Reading & Writing in the Disciplines: Teaching Remotely (self-paced)
Please Note: Intro to Canvas & Online Activities (self-paced) is a combination of Getting Started with Canvas and Online Activities and Assignments. If you have previously taken these two separate workshops, you have satisfied the Intro to Canvas & Online Activities requirement.
Submit an Alt-Instruction Example
To earn the Alt-Instruction certificate, faculty have an opportunity to implement and receive feedback on an example they will use in their remote instruction course. We are asking participants to share one example of any of these types.(Featured in the webinars and workshops).
Submit one of the following:
- A course welcome video in your "Welcome Page," OR
- A Canvas activity (quiz or discussion) using the TILT framework, OR
- An Assignment using the TILT framework (including grading rubric).
Submit your example in the Alt-Instruction Canvas course.
Access the Alt-Instruction Course to Check Your Progress
To get started, self-enroll in the Alt-Instruction Canvas course.
The course is your central hub to access the self-paced workshops, webinars, and resources to prepare to teach your alt-instruction course.
Register for Webinars
View and register for Alt-Instruction webinars by visiting CETL's Eventbrite page.
CETL Alt-Instruction Flowchart
Use this flowchart to track your steps. The Alt-Instruction Course (hub) itself has an interactive tracker in the modules section.
See our Alt-Instruction FAQ page for the most commonly asked questions about Alt-Instruction.
Detailed Workshop Descriptions
Starting Canvas & Online Activities and Assignments (Self-Paced - Enroll Now)
Learn how to structure your course and incorporate the Canvas tools into your course in our fully online workshop course. In addition to the Assignment tool, you will explore, Modules, Survey Quizzes, Discussions, Rubrics, Roll Call Attendance, Scheduler, and Prerequisites and Requirements.
Low Bandwidth Teaching
“How do I engage my students online?” The transition to remote teaching requires instructors to use new skills to connect. However, engaging students does not mean a class session must always be live. In this interactive workshop we will explore meaningful and effective low-tech strategies that enhance social presence and engage learners remotely.
We discuss establishing regular and useful routines, as well as communication tools that are immediate, responsive, and affirming. Participants will discuss classroom activities that do not take up a lot of bandwidth, build instructor and social presence, and encourage students in this most challenging time.Register for Low Bandwidth Teaching Webinar
Workshop Duration: 1.5 hours
Leveraging Multimedia (Self-Paced - Enroll Now)
This workshop will help you practice utilizing media in your course to free up the design and engage students. You will also learn how to find videos and online content that is already out there to supplement your course. Whether you already have a lot of content or need help finding more, you have come to the right place.
Canvas Gradebook & SpeedGrader
Now that your Canvas course features a variety of assignments and activities, configure the gradebook to provide students up to date information on their progress in the course. Learn to organize assignments into groups, set percentage weights, add extra credit, and activate drop lowest score. See SpeedGrader in action as you practice efficient grading workflows, providing students timely feedback. Learn to view the gradebook in a variety of ways to gather the information needed to answer student questions and track the progress of students.
Register for Canvas Gradebook & SpeedGrader session
Workshop Duration: 1.5 Hours
Online Quizzes & Exams: No Proctor Needed
Learn how to create an online exam and configure the settings to ensure test integrity --and deter academic dishonesty. The Canvas Quiz can be secured numerous ways, all without the need for online exam proctoring.
Webinar topics include:
- A review of various question types
- Set up an exam and create questions
- Shuffle answers and questions
- Set the exam window and time limit
- Randomly select from a pool of questions
- Set a testing accommodation
- Grade essay questions in SpeedGrader
- Re-grade an exam after correcting an error
Teaching First-Generation Learners (Self-Paced - Enroll Now)
What is equitable teaching practice? Does it matter how we teach students who are the first in their family to attend college? Learn how your attention to these most independent and motivated of learners can ultimately improve teaching.
Writing Better Test Questions
Writing multiple-choice test questions, also known as item writing, is art and science. A well-constructed MC question is versatile, reliable-- and reusable!
At the end of this workshop you will be able to:
- Identify and define the parts of a MC question
- Practice writing items that avoid common mistakes
- Apply best practices to strengthen your questions
- Identify specific item types that reward critical thinking
Bring a copy of a current quiz, test or exam to work on.
Register for Writing Better Test Questions webinar
Workshop Duration: 1.5 Hours
Transparent Assignment Design + Rubric
Students in classes that used more transparency report gains in academic confidence, sense of belonging, and skills like group work and using written and oral communication. All students report benefits, but first-generation and underrepresented students reported even greater benefits.
- Identify the need for Transparent Assignment designs.
- Explain how Transparent Assignments help students succeed.
- Define what makes a Transparent Assignment.
- Apply the Transparent Assignment Template to an existing assignment.
Maintaining Instructor Presence with Video
How do you best use video in your Alt-Instruction course? Recognizing that not every student will be able to view what you create, make equitable use of video. Use it sparingly and for the right reasons, while always providing an alternative for students unable to watch.
See some ideal uses for video including short clips for a course orientation, weekly overviews, and small lessons. Identify guidelines for instructional video, including shorter length, great lighting, a casual tone, and focused on one main topic. Lastly, discuss the cases when live video conferencing is appropriate.
Reading & Writing in the Disciplines: Teaching Remotely
Reading and writing are fundamental, foundational skills for college students. Yet research suggests that up to 75% of our students struggle with the literacy demands of the university, and while guiding students through critical reading and writing assignments are always challenging, dealing with these demands in the online world offers a new set of difficulties. In this self-paced workshop, you will reflect on both the challenges of dealing with online reading and writing assignments and the different strategies for addressing those challenges in your own classroom.
Workshops & Events