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Keep Teaching - Faculty Resources: Getting Content to Students

Ideas to Consider


You may need to provide additional course materials as you shift more instruction online. Identify other web-based materials (or have your students identify and share content appropriate to a learning objective).

When posting new course materials:

  • Notify students of the availability of content and its location. 
  • Make sure your resources are “mobile friendly.” In a crisis, many students may only have a phone available, so make sure you are using mobile-friendly formats; HTML files, PDFs, mp3s and mp4s work well. Save Word and PowerPoint documents to PDFs, which are easier to read on phones and tablets, and keep the file size small. Remediate the accessibility of such files before saving them as PDFs. Videos take lots of bandwidth, some students may not have the network capacity in their off-campus locations to view them. Any video shared must be captioned.

Our primary goal is to help you get up and running as quickly as possible. If you are already successful with a particular set of learning tools, please continue. If you’ve not yet explored online teaching as an option, these recommendations will help you quickly create content that will be easily accessed by our students and will provide options for captioning your audio and video, making your content more accessible for our students.

The easiest way to get started is to produce a simple, online version of your lecture.   You can record your voice (with or without a webcam), your computer screen (displaying PowerPoint, Keynote, and other software program or web browser content). 

If synchronous sessions are required for your course,  Blackboard Collaborate allows you and your students to meet online in real-time. Students can participate using a computer or smartphone. Instructors can share presentations, their desktop or a whiteboard, as well as engage students with polling questions and breakout rooms for small group discussion.  Please consider that not all students will have access to high-speed internet connections, required for a live session.  Try to use recorded content where possible to accommodate as many students as you can.


A major challenge of teaching during a building or campus closure is sustaining the lab components of classes. Since many labs require specific equipment, they are hard to reproduce outside of that physical space.

Considerations for short-term closures might include:

  • Moving aspects of lab activities online, particularly those that require students to familiarize themselves with procedures or data analysis or manipulation.
  • Providing video demonstrations of techniques, online simulations, analysis of data, and other pre- or post-lab work to prepare students to hit the ground running when the campus reopens.
  • Consider using OER lab simulations and materials from MOOC Courses (Coursera, Libretext, and Khan Academy, for example) to supplement instruction. 



The following resources may be useful to those faculty who need to consider supplemental instruction for lab assignments:

LIBRE-TEXT Course Materials

JOVE - Provides access to lab simulations for Biology courses

PhET Lab Simulations - offers lab simulations in STEM 

Humboldt University has set up an extensive Science OER list for STEM Courses:

Biological Sciences



Environmental Sciences



Other Useful Resources

Library Guides for STEM