The following resource was originally compiled for the 2020-21 academic year, and has been updated for Spring 2022. 

The resources below have been aligned with the recommended strategies of the ACUE course in online teaching. A team of facilitators from  Academic Technology Services (ATS), the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), and the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) offered this course to Amherst faculty in the summer of 2020. A public (and abbreviated) version of the ACUE program is available here in their “Online Teaching Toolkit”. 

This list also incorporates strategies from Small Teaching Online by Flower Darby.

Please also see the Disciplinary-based and Pedagogical Resources for Teaching Remotely  (from the CTL)

Jump to: Welcoming Students & Building Community  ♦   Transparency and Student Engagement   ♦   Microlectures, Course Content, and Metacognition   ♦   Active Learning and Group Work   ♦   Assessment and Feedback   ♦   Effective Discussions   ♦   Resources

Welcoming Students & Building Community

    Strategies for Accessibility

    • Provide different modalities for the first welcome message, such as a video or audio or a written note.

    Examples from the Amherst Classroom

    Transparency and Student Engagement

    Strategies for Accessibility

    • Enable students to contribute in a variety of ways, through in-class discussions, online discussion boards etc. 

    Examples from the Amherst Classroom

    Microlectures, Course Content, and Metacognition

    Strategies for Accessibility

    • Create Accessible Documents
    • Kaltura provides automatic captioning for videos
    • Make your face is well-lit in Zoom sessions and video lectures (helps in lip reading)
    • Make slides or related media available in Moodle before or after lectures

    Examples from the Amherst Classroom

    Active Learning and Group Work

    Strategies for Accessibility

    • Enable informal group interaction for temporary, ad-hoc in-class discussions to respond to prompts, adopt think-pair-share strategy.
    • Form formal, somewhat long-term groups with attention to specific skills/abilities required to accomplish a task, assign or allow self-assignment of roles keeping in mind particular cognitive and social skills needed for the performance of tasks.

    Examples from the Amherst Classroom

    Assessment and Feedback

    • Create and grade exams, quizzes, and other assessments online
    • For performative activities, consider integrating online videos, simulations, readings, or other activities that align with the goals of your class and develop skills students will need when they return to the physical classroom or lab.
      • Students can generate recordings, videos, or photos to share with you and/or the class.
      • While all course activities, assignments, and assessments must be as equitable as possible, remote students may need different activities or assignments than students on-campus.


    • Only implement time-based restrictions (eg the quiz must be completed in 60 minutes) if it is crucial to meeting the learning goals for your course.
    • For more information on designing for flexibility and allowing for student choice & agency during this unique time, please see this excellent resource from the Center for Teaching & Learning.  

    Examples from the Amherst Classroom

    Effective Discussions

    • Create Moodle forums for class discussions or to simply let students share material.
    • Just as an instructor in a face to face session would participate and guide a discussion, faculty teaching online should plan to play an active role in discussion forums. You can respond to student posts, or respond at the end of a thread to summarize student’s positions and make connections between recurring ideas. 

    UDL Bonus

    • Pay attention to your instructional style, and notice if you gravitate toward visual, hearing, or cognitive abilities.
    • Use a combination of different approaches with suitable language descriptions for any visual elements in the class (writings on board, slides, images, etc).

    Examples from the Amherst Classroom


    ACUE’S Online Teaching Toolkit


    Published Spring 2021 by Academic Technology Services