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Resources for Teaching Online

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Welcome to Corwin’s Resources for Teaching Online! As many schools and districts are rapidly transitioning to online learning in response to COVID-19, this toolkit will provide you with the resources you need to adapt and provide exceptional online instruction for your students.

It’s important to remember to stay calm and to maintain as much normalcy with your students as possible. They take their cues from you! As you’ll see in this guide, many of our best practices for teaching and learning can easily be adapted for online learning. You do not need to start from scratch!



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For further resources to support leaders, please visit our School Leaders’ Toolkit for Responding to COVID-19. We will be updating this page in the weeks to come with more resources. Sign up to receive notifications when new resources are added.

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Instructional Best Practices for Online Learning

Good news! Our best practices of face-to-face teaching still apply when teaching online. We do not have to start from scratch. The resources linked below will help you think through your current classroom practice and how it might best translate to online teaching.


Quick Tips

  • During online lessons, maintain a balance between instructional time and student practice. Consider allowing online class time for students to complete work that you would normally assign for homework. Remember that students will be learning on a screen all day, so we want to mitigate the amount of time they have to spend online after school hours.
  • Encourage students to keep a physical planner to keep track of assignments and class schedules. During online learning, students are getting a lot of input with instruction and assignments posted online for all of their classes. This has the potential to be information overload. Writing down key information in their planners will force them to process and prioritize the tasks at hand.
  • Utilize the Learning Management System your school already has to post instructional content, the learning calendar, and assignments. There is no need to reinvent the wheel!



Setting Up Your Digital Classroom


Designing Remote Learning Experiences 


Instructional Tools & Best Practices 

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Assessment in Online Learning

There are some new factors you may have to consider as you plan assessment for online learning, such as students’ access to the internet and learning resources. However, these factors shouldn’t have a huge effect on how we measure learning if we are employing best practices in assessment.


Quick Tips

  • Students will have all of their learning resources at their fingertips, and we should embrace this instead of attempt to control or limit access for the sake of assessment. Instead, design assessments that measure higher level thinking and students’ ability to transfer their learning – not the ability to recall basic facts they can easily look up online or in the instructional resources.
  • Use online tools to collect students’ self-assessment throughout each unit. Because you aren’t meeting with students face to face, this feedback will be crucial in your formative assessment process.
  • Make the most of your Learning Management System by designing assessments within the program and asking for students to share all deliverables through that system.



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Student Engagement in Online Learning

How do we get a sense of student engagement and learning when we aren’t spending time with students face-to-face? This set of resources will help you plan to promote and assess student engagement throughout the online learning journey.


Quick Tips

  • Use online polls (like Poll Everywhere) to encourage thinking and participation during an online lesson
  • Engage students by asking good questions that prompt higher level thinking. Higher level thinking is crucial in online learning! Students will have the internet and all their resources at their fingertips. How can we design instruction and assessment that makes use of their access to those resources, and how can we ask questions in a way that promotes engagement and critical thinking skills?
  • If you are posting short instructional videos instead of hosting live online class sessions, consider asking quick questions in each video (with a specific time students must respond by) to ensure student participation. If a student doesn’t send in a response, make a note to touch base with that student – this is a good opportunity to make sure all students have access to the online classroom environment.



Lean on Self-Assessment to Get Students Engaged in Their Own Learning

Ask Questions that Will Engage Students in the Learning

Take Brain Breaks! 

  • Here are just a few Energizing Brain Breaks you can do with students during an online class to get them moving and refreshed. 

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Feedback in Online Learning

Providing students with ongoing, individualized feedback can actually be easier and more effective when using online tools! Here are some resources to help you design feedback cycles for online learning.


Quick Tips

  • Schedule miniconferences with individual students throughout each week. Use the self-assessment tools (linked in Student Engagement tab) to help students communicate where they think they are at in the learning journey. Their self-assessment will help guide you to give them appropriate and needed feedback.
  • Send students your plan for online feedback. When can they expect to touch base? What will you be providing feedback on each week? What are the ways you’ll be providing feedback?



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Family Communication and Engagement in Online Learning

Your students’ families will likely have a lot of questions about the online learning environment! The resources below will help you keep families in the loop and communicate important ways they can support their children’s learning.


Quick Tips

  • Be proactive! If you get word that your school will be moving to online learning, send an update to your students’ families as soon as possible. Use this email template to get started.
  • Let parents know how they should contact you. You may want all parent communication to come through your LMS or another platform so that internal communications and updates about your school closure are not lost in your email inbox.
  • Set a threshold grade that will determine when you should make additional contact with a student’s family (i.e. if a student is currently receiving a grade under a B, I will make a call home)



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Other Online Resources for Teachers and Students During This Season


Many education organizations (and others) are making long-trusted content free during this season. Here’s a collection of some of the best free resources out there for teachers and students.


Teacher Resources


Student Resources

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Connecting With Other Teachers Online

Finally, it’s important to remember that YOU ARE NOT ALONE during this time! You can find new resources and support from fellow teachers online with the following resources:

Twitter/Social Media Hashtags

Facebook Groups


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Further Reading

If you’d like to read more, here are links to all of the books referenced in this guide: 

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Stay Connected as We Update This Page!

For further resources to support leaders, please visit our  School Leaders’ Toolkit for Responding to COVID-19. We will be updating this page in the weeks to come with more resources. Sign up to receive notifications when new resources are added.

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