Summer 2020 Flexible Teaching Programs

This summer, the CFDE is hosting several different opportunities to put theory into practice and help you prepare for fall. Some of these programs are guided and synchronous, some are one-time webinars, and some are asynchronous and self-guided. For more information please contact Liesl Wuest (, the CFDE's associate director for learning design and technology. 

Your Options

  • Preparing your Flexible Fall Course – A Month-long Guided Working Group (Begins 7/6)
  • Teaching Online – Webinar Series (Thursdays in July)
    • Building Community in an Online Environment (7/9)
    • Getting Started with Group Work and Research Projects Online (7/16)
    • Active Learning (Even Online! Even with Social Distancing!) (7/23)
    • Rethinking Assessment (7/30)
  • Teaching with Video – Asynchronous Online Tutorial hosted in Canvas (active sessions begin 6/15 and 7/13) 

Preparing your Flexible Fall Course

Month-long Guided Working Group

This practical step-by-step course development series will walk you through the process of setting up a course in Canvas that will be adaptable for an online, face-to-face, or hybrid class environment. It will run throughout the month of July and is intended to provide guidance and pacing as you put together your fall course. 

Date: Series begins Monday, July 6th, with supplemental webinars every Monday in July at 10 am.


  • Liesl Wuest, Associate Director of Learning Design and Technology, CFDE
  • Sarah Morris, Head Librarian for Instruction & Engagement, Subject Librarian for English

The process and topics are based on the Flexible Course Structure self-paced tutorial found on the Emory Flexible Teaching Toolkit webpage on the CFDE website.

  • Please register for the workshop to be added to the Canvas site where the series will be facilitated
    • Once you are added to the site, you are welcome to move through the material at your own pace—no content will be locked
    • Anyone who is preparing to teach or supporting teaching is welcome to register (faculty, guest instructors, graduate students, TAs)
  • CFDE will host a webinar every Monday morning at 10 am introducing that week’s topic, answering questions, and facilitating group discussion.
    • The webinar is supplementary and is attendance is not required
    • However, there is a peer-partnering option (see details below), and if you sign-up for the peer-partnering option, please plan to attend the weekly Zoom sessions so that you and your partner can participate in the discussion


By the end of this series, you should be able to:

  • Set up a Canvas course site set up with weekly/lesson overviews
  • Find, create and link basic course content (readings, video, library materials etc.)
  • Develop active learning activities suitable to a variety of learning environments
  • Track learning activities and provide on-going feedback
  • Track student learning outcomes using Canvas
  • Consider a variety of assessment options suitable for your course and students

Peer-Partnering Option

  • Sign-up ahead of time
    • You can sign-up with 1-2 other people – TA, colleague, friend etc.
    • Or we can partner you with 1-2 other people (usually 1)
  • Add each other as a teacher to your site
    • Review ideas/structure that you’ve added for each week’s topic
    • Provide feedback
  • Review can take place asynchronously or synchronously – it’s up to you


Week 1, 7/6/20: Planning your course and setting up your Canvas site

  • Course outline
  • Break content down into week/unit/lesson
  • Set up your canvas template
  • Write weekly/topic overviews – behavioral learning objectives if you can
  • Import the Canvas template
  • Fill in the weekly/lesson outline

Week 2, 7/13/20: Finding and Making Content

  • Where can you find content
    • Text book, journals, Open Educational Resources (OERs), library, media (audio/video/images)
  • How do you make content
    • Page in Canvas (outline w/ media links), PPT/Keynote, Studio, iPad
  • How do you add content to Canvas/your outline
  • Add some content that you’ve found to Canvas
  • Make a piece of content and add it to Canvas
  • Fill in the weekly content areas in the Canvas template as you are able

Week 3, 7/20/20: Developing Learning Activities

  • Active learning and student engagement
  • OL discussions
    • Synchronous and asynchronous
    • How to use them
  • Group Work
  • Research projects
  • Scaffolded projects
  • Add one online discussion/prompt to your course site, include posting guidelines
  • Design one other learning activity with guidelines/grading policy and set it up in Canvas
  • Fill in the activities in your Canvas template as you are able

Week 4, 7/27/20: Assessment

  • Ongoing quizzes
  • Assignments/speedgrader
  • Rubrics
  • Active projects
  • Authentic assessment
  • Create one “low-stakes” (formative) assessment and link it in your course
  • Create on “high-stakes” (summative) assessment and link it in your course
  • Fill in your assessments in your Canvas template as you are able

Teaching Online Webinar Series

These stand-alone webinars will address different topics especially relevant to online courses, but useful for any flexible course design. These will be facilitated by CFDE, Library and TLT specialists, but we encourage instructors to come and share what has been working for them in these areas as well. 

Thursdays in July starting 7/9 at 2 pm.


  • Building Community in an Online Environment (7/9)
  • Getting Started with Group Work and Research Projects Online (7/16)
  • Active Learning (Even Online! Even with Social Distancing!) (7/23)
  • Rethinking Assessment (7/30)

Building Community in an Online Environment

Thursday, 7/9, 2:00 pm

The online environment lacks a lot of social cues and interactions that are automatically built into a classroom space. Although these moments often go unnoticed, they can make a big difference about how students feel about the class, who they study with and what courses they ultimately decide to enroll in the following semester.

This makes building community and rapport with and amongst your students something that has to be thoughtfully built into a class when it is not meeting in person. How do these informal interactions take place in person, and what can you do to help facilitate them online?

This webinar will discuss how learning communities impact the students’ experience in a class and their long-term learning, and ways to develop and support learning communities in an online environment. After a brief overview of the topic, this will be a guided discussion and we invite instructors to share their questions, concerns and tips.

Getting Started with Group Work and Research Projects

Thursday, 7/16, 2:00 pm

Group work and research projects are engaging learning activities that are useful to include in almost any course. They both require focus and thought, and are a great way to provide students with ongoing feedback. Moving these types of activities online can seem daunting, but there are actually quite a few tools that can support this type of work. You might find that even in a face-to-face class, using these tools makes the facilitation and communication around these activities easier to manage.

This webinar will focus on setting up and developing group activities and research projects in an online environment. It will include how to decide what type of group work is appropriate for your course, strategies for grouping, facilitating and assessing groups, how to plan for long-term/ongoing projects over the semester, and how to structure, facilitate and grade research projects in an online environment. The target audience is instructors who would like additional ideas, resources and information to support the development of these types of projects for their fall course, but we encourage those who are more experienced in this area to come and share your tips and experiences as well.

Active Learning (Even Online! Even with Social Distancing!)

Thursday, 7/23, 2:00 pm

An abundant amount of research shows that students learn best and retain the most information when they are active participants in the learning. For the instructor, the emphasis shifts from telling and explaining to guiding and providing feedback. Even in a normal classroom this can take some getting used to, but how do you make this happen when you are not in the same space together or your interactions are limited?

This session is designed to help instructors think through how they can include active learning in a class that has some restrictions on what types of interactions can happen. If you have successfully done this in your own class, we encourage you to come to this webinar and share what you’ve done and how you did it. The goal is for participants to leave the webinar with a few ideas about how they can include engaging activities and provide ongoing feedback to students regardless of the learning environment they are in.

Rethinking Assessment

Thursday, 7/30, 2:00 pm

Moving some or all of your assessments online? Rather than two or three high-stakes exams, consider including more on-going/weekly assessments like short quizzes, discussions, project or groups work. When deciding how to make this change, consider the primary purpose of the course: content mastery, skill development, analysis etc., then pair it with ongoing activities rather than a single final exam.

This webinar will discuss several different research-based approaches to assessment that can replace the need for a proctored exams. We will cover how to select appropriate alternative assessments, how to design them for remote learning, and how to implement them. This will include:

  • Ongoing quizzes
  • Online Discussions
  • Projects with intermittent due dates
  • Portfolio of work
  • Designing a take-home exam

A similar webinar was previously offered on April 10th and April 17th.

Teaching with Video

Online Tutorial hosted in Canvas

This online, asynchronous course consists of three modules: Finding Video, Creating Video, and Using Video. Register for the course and you will be added to the Canvas site indefinitely. Periodically, this course will be “Active”, which means experts from ATS and the CFDE will monitor questions, and participants have the opportunity to share resources and receive feedback. When the course is “Inactive”, you still have access to all of the material, but the tasks are not being completed at the same time by a cohort.

Active sessions will begin on Monday, June 15th, and Monday, July 13th.  

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