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Teaching Tips


The Senate Committee on Teaching and Advisement wishes you all a safe and restful summer. We would like to share these tips on connecting with students in a remote learning environment from your colleagues:

Teaching Excellence Winner Professor Matt Curinga likes using group chat software for keeping in touch and building community during online classes. He and his colleagues have a Slack team set up for the Educational Technology MA program, and each class has a channel. He notes using this team space for informal discussion, to share things that are interesting but not directly related to class, and for students to get help or clarification casually. In addition, he mentioned Discord is Free Open Source Software with some useful features. (Other instructors might try WhatsApp or GroupMe for similar results).

Professor Anil Venkatesh also notes that the Mathematics and Computer Science departments have built a “social scene” among students and faculty during remote learning through experiments with SLACK, as a text-based communication method for teamwork.

Professor Melissa VanAlstine-Parris noticed that students sign on to zoom sessions early just to chat with other students, and plans to set up special zoom rooms for these social interactions.

Professor Kellyann Monaghan invites students to answer a weekly question during her Drawing course meetings online, such as “What challenges are you having this week”

*Do you have a tip you’d like to share around online/remote learning? Please email

**Need a University service committee? The Senate Committee on Teaching and Advisement welcomes new members! Please contact chairs Steven Cox ( or Melissa VanAlstine-Parris ( or Courtney Weida (

Follow FCPE at:

For further information, please contact:

Faculty Center for Professional Excellence (FCPE)
Alumnae Hall, Room 123
p – 516.877.4220
e –