Here Comes W21: Preparing for Another Remote Semester

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In this series of informative online sessions, our team of instructional technology specialists will focus on some of the most requested remote teaching topics and tools to help both new and experienced instructors prepare for another semester of remote course delivery.

Whether you are looking for more information on all the latest features of popular web conferencing tools, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, or are seeking advice on how to combat some of the more common challenges that remote teaching presents, we encourage you to join us by registering for the sessions listed below. 

Reflecting on Remote Teaching in Fall 2020

Workshop Recording: Reflecting on Remote Teaching in Fall 2020 (note: requires Guelph SSO to view)

Date & Time

  • Thursday, December 102020, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.


  • Owen Wooding, Carolyn Creighton and Rich Couto | Instructional Technology Specialists


The intent of this session is to stop, take a breath, and reflect on our experiences during the Fall 2020 semester, and share our concerns and celebrate our successes.  

This session begins with a presentation of the following common challenges related to the remote teaching transition and some potential solutions we have found from our perspective as instructional technology specialists: 

  • The struggles of going entirelysynchronous
    • The impact of technological hiccups
    • The potential for disruptions
    • The challenge of attendance and participation
  • Keeping students engaged and focused
    • Finding ways to connect with your students and maintain that connection
    • Reaching students who may be struggling in your course
    • Delivering course materials in more engaging ways than simply posting documents in the Content tool 

In addition to the challenges listed above, we also hope that some registrants will volunteer to share their own experiences and solutions with their peers during the session. If you are interested in taking 10 minutes during the session to share your story of a remote teaching challenge you faced and how you solved it, please indicate that when registering.  

The final portion of the session will include a more informal facilitated discussion focusing on additional popular themes that our registrants indicate still present a challenge heading into the new semester, so be sure to include yours when registering!

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Zoom for Synchronous Lectures 

Workshop Recording: Zoom for Synchronous Lectures (note: requires Guelph SSO to view)

Dates & Times  

  • Friday, December 11, 2020, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, December 16, 2020, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.  


  • Carolyn Creighton, Owen Wooding and Rich Couto | Instructional Technology Specialists


Zoom is a popular web conferencing platform for the delivery of synchronous content—including lectures, seminars and office hours.

In this interactive session targeted at faculty and staff who are new to using Zoom for W21, we will discuss: 

  • How to securely schedule your meetings and share them using the CourseLink Zoom integration
  • The updates to the University default security settings as of January 1, 2021 and what that means for scheduling and students
  • The Zoom client interface
  • Security and participant settings for classroom management
  • Student engagement tools—including breakout rooms, chat, screen sharing and annotations
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Microsoft Teams for Synchronous Lectures 

Workshop Recording: Microsoft Teams for Synchronous Lectures (note: requires Guelph SSO to view)

Date & Time

  • Tuesday, December 152020, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. 


  • Rich Couto, Carolyn Creighton and Owen Wooding | Instructional Technology Specialists


Microsoft Teams is available on campus as part of the web-based suite of Office 365 tools. All features of Teams are directly available through your browser or the desktop client.

In this session we'll learn some best practices for using Microsoft Teams as a web conferencing option for your synchronous lectures. The following topics will be covered: 

  • Strengths and weakness of Microsoft Teams, highlighting the differences from Zoom
  • Scheduling options
  • Configuring your meetings with security in mind
  • Sharing invites
  • Managing the meeting once a lecture has started
  • Providing recordings to your students with classlist linked security groups 
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Just in Time for W21 

Date & Time

  • Thursday, January 7, 2021, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. 


  • Carolyn Creighton, Owen Wooding and Rich Couto | Instructional Technology Specialists
  • Lena Paulo Kushnir | Associate Director, Educational Technologies


With the start of the winter semester just around the corner, we know instructors have been busy preparing and planning how to deliver their courses. There are several virtual teaching tools and strategies available, and we want to provide you with an opportunity to ask your last-minute questions.

This instructor and TA directed session will answer questions provided ahead of time, and in the moment on topics such as: 

  • Strategies for communicating with students during remote delivery
  • Processes for dealing with live troubleshooting in synchronous classes
  • Just in time tips and tricks 
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Just in Time 2: Support for W21 Courses 

Register for Just in Time 2: Support for W21 Courses

Date & Time 

  • Wednesday, February 3, 2021, 1:00 to 2:30 pm 


  • Carolyn Creighton, Owen Wooding and Rich Couto | Instructional Technology Specialists 


As the W21 semester continues, new questions may have arisen. This instructor and TA-driven session will continue from where the first Just in Time session concluded. Facilitators will answer questions provided ahead of time, and address in the moment topics such as: 

  • How to monitor student progress through your course 
  • Strategies for keeping students engaged 
  • Common grading and assessment questions 

You will be encouraged to share from your own experiences with remote teaching, including how you handled different challenges and other insights. 

Meet Our Instructional Technology Team

Lena Paulo Kushnir 

Lena Paulo Kushnir.Lena Paulo Kushnir, PhD, is the Associate Director, Educational Technologies in OpenEd. She has expertise in the field of teaching and learning technologies, pedagogy and SoTL research. She has extensive experience both teaching and supporting face-to-face, blended, hybrid, flipped, and fully-online courses. Visit Lena's LinkedIn profile to see some of her past work.

Rich Couto 
Rich Couto.As an instructional technology specialist, Rich Couto, B.Sc., provides expertise and leadership in the application of instructional technology theory and well-grounded pedagogical approaches to course websites and in-class instruction. Through researching, piloting and assessing emerging educational technologies, he is able to propose innovative solutions to complex issues using a sound pedagogical approach.  
Carolyn Creighton

Carolyn Creighton.Carolyn Creighton, PhD, is an instructional technology specialist with OpenEd. In her role, Carolyn uses pedagogical best practices to assist faculty and staff in integrating various technologies into their courses. She has experience working with CourseLink and student response systems. 

Owen Wooding 

Owen Wooding.

Instructional technology specialist, Owen Wooding, BA, provides a wealth of experience with the University of Guelph’s learning management system, CourseLink, as well as several other established and emerging educational technologies. He leverages his in-depth knowledge of these technologies to support and promote pedagogically sound and innovative technology-based solutions that enhance teaching and learning across campus.