Teaching (and Assessing) Online

The Office of Distributed Education is focusing our efforts on helping faculty access and leverage technology resources for effective and engaging teaching and learning. We recognize that we have a unique variety of teaching needs across The New School, from studios to seminars, and we look forward to expanding this support and our library of resources throughout the semester.

See on this page:

- information on remote teaching

- latest information on grading and assessment


There are 3 key steps to follow to transition your course to a virtual environment:

- Communicate with students about expectations

- Set up asynchronous course materials in Canvas

- Set up synchronous course meetings using Zoom


An ideal way to keep your class organized is to combine asynchronous content and discussion on Canvas with scheduled synchronous class meetings on Zoom. This combination will help you replicate an on-site class experience as much as possible. This can include pre-recorded lectures, readings, and discussions students can engage with on their own time on Canvas, followed up by an active, real-time discussions and remote live instruction via Zoom.

- Asynchronous class activities are those that participants complete on their own time, following the course schedule of assignments and learning milestones. (This might include: watching a pre-recorded lecture video, completing readings, or participating in a discussion forum. Canvas is the best tool for making asynchronous resources available for class use.)

- Synchronous activities require participants to meet at a scheduled time. (This might include: joining a scheduled video conference for a class meeting in real-time.) Zoom is the best tool for holding synchronous meetings. We recommend shifting your regularly scheduled class meeting to Zoom, but do be mindful of students attending from different time zones.

If you do have students in your class that are logging in from locations in which your traditional class meeting time is very inconvenient, do consider limiting the number of scheduled synchronous sections (and focus on asynchronous teaching). See the Remote Teaching Model page on this site for further ideas.


Grading and attendance-taking in a course that meets and is delivered online can vary from how it is done in an on-campus class. But the need is still very much there so that you as an instructor, as well as the university as a responsible administrative entity, can understand how individual students are progressing through their coursework.

Please see below the current university policy on reviewing and recording student participation in a class that meets online.

Make sure you are logged-in to your New School account to ensure access to the document)

Meaningful Participation in Online Courses - 2020-21