Delivering Content

The term delivery refers to the learning ‘objects’ that teachers share with students. This element is represented as a ‘container’ of independent items in the DIAgram shown here. These might include video presentations, readings or references, studio project briefs and subject information or instructions. This is not a stand-alone activity however, especially in an online space, and in the DIAgram the elements are therefore overlapping, influencing and informing each other. You will find details, examples and tool guidance via the Delivery + Interaction + Assessment links.

The online learning environment affords students the potential for greater flexibility to access and engage in learning activities on their own time. On the other hand, especially under circumstances of social isolation, it is clear that students appreciate opportunities to connect with their tutors and their cohort in real-time (for more, visit our Supporting Online Learning page). Developing an effective and workable balance of synchronous and asynchronous approaches, becomes one of the primary challenges of teaching online.

Each cycle of learning activities comprises content delivered asynchronously, and this directly informs an opportunity for students to interact with their teachers and one another. On this page, we cover delivering content online with a focus on asynchronous tactics and tools. Each approach outlined below introduces relevant learning aims, tactics, tools, things to consider and useful examples. For more about online learning tools, visit our Learning Tools page in the Canvas section of the Teaching Toolbox.

Much of this guidance has drawn on the experiences of ABP colleagues. If you have tactics you would like to share, please get in touch with BEL+T. We encourage you to also visit our page Interaction + Collaboration for Learning. Ultimately, strategies for delivering content and some form of interaction form a direct link to assessment criteria (see more on BEL+T’s Online Assessment page).

  • Lecture

    Learning aims

    • To transmit information that supplements or enhances curated content
    • To establish a baseline level of knowledge across a cohort, informing discussions and learning activities
    • To explain complex concepts and raise awareness of innovation

    Tactics for delivery + some tool options

    1. For asynchronous delivery, lecturers can pre-record videos using Universal Capture. These videos can then be edited in Lecture Capture and embedded in Canvas. In subjects utilising guest lecturers, the coordinator should request a screencast video from their guests or schedule a Zoom session for their guest to pre-record their screencast video.
    2. For synchronous delivery, teachers can schedule a Zoom meeting through Canvas and notify students of the registration URL and password. For equitable access, recordings of Zoom-delivered lectures should be uploaded to Canvas.

    Tactics for interaction + some tool options

    1. For asynchronous delivery, lecturers should insert deliberate pauses in the recording where students are instructed to engage in related two-minute activities such as: reviewing a figure or diagram, conducting an online search for a case study or definition, sketching an idea, or posting a question to a Canvas discussion board.
    2. For synchronous delivery, teachers can encourage students to post comments and/or questions in Zoom chat or use reactions during the live presentation. Consider pausing every 7-10 minutes to respond to questions/comments and share "off-script" anecdotes. Teachers can also utilise Poll Everywhere or Zoom Polling to check-in with students and gauge comprehension.

    Things to consider

    • Asynchronous delivery enables teachers to flip the classroom and prioritise the available time for synchronous learning activities that promote student interaction. It can also help limit Zoom fatigue.
    • When loading new content to Canvas, advise students of the timeline for viewing the content and any subsequent interactive activities.
    • Consider utilising the audio transcript option in Zoom or Echo360 settings. This will help students if issues arise with audio quality, as well as unfamiliar accents or terminology.
    • When pre-recording presentations, follow Learning Environments’ tips for best practice, including guidance on audio quality, slide presentation, recording length and copyright.

    Examples of delivering lectures online

    • James Lesh has shared a screencast of using Poll Anywhere during a synchronous session
    • Katie Skillington has produced a video of instructions for screencasting your PowerPoint slides.
  • Curated Content

    Learning aims

    • To transmit scholarship, news, data, advice or interpretive content from external sources
    • To establish a baseline level of knowledge across a cohort, providing a point of reference for lectures, discussions, activities or critical inquiry
    • To explain complex concepts and raise awareness of innovation

    Tactics for delivery + some tool options

    1. Readings Online allows subject coordinators to add, organise and control your readings and ensures copyright compliance. You can even direct students to an individual reading within Readings Online by linking to it in a Canvas Module.
    2. Kaltura is a video management system (VMS) integrated within Canvas. Teachers can use it to record and share videos with students without impacting the available storage space for a subject.
    3. Teachers wanting to share user-generated content from online repositories, such as YouTube, Vimeo and LinkedIn Learning, can embed the URL directly into Canvas (noting copyright issues discussed below).

    Tactics for interaction + some tool options

    1. Encourage students to use Perusall, a social eTextbook platform that allows students to collectively read, annotate and discuss subject readings.
    2. List thought-provoking questions for students to consider as they engage with content, and suggest or require they respond on the Canvas discussion board.

    Things to consider

    • Identify meaningful and topical content. Teachers may benefit from developing a content curation strategy for their subject. This involves mapping out what content will be shared when—with the option to modify the plan based on feedback from students about their learning experience.
    • Consider how analysis and discussion of critical readings will be assessed.
    • The Copyright Act includes a number of provisions that allow copyright material to be used for teaching. Refer to the guidance on copyright and teaching, then contact the UoM Copyright Office with any subsequent questions.
    • Before loading a video to Kaltura or sharing a link through Canvas, consider the Technical Standards section under 'Additional Resources' on Learning Environments' Producing Your Own Video page. You may also want to ask if your video's resolution, length, format and frame rate can be improved – these considerations will affect the size and quality of a video, and can also impact the degree to which students engage with the content.
    • Teachers relying on content that is hosted on third-party sites should plan for the possibility of the content being suddenly inaccessible due to broken links or deletion.

    Examples

  • Practical Demonstration

    Learning aims

    • To provide students with a step-by-step process to guide skill building
    • To promote the development of applied skills
    • To highlight the relationship between theory and practice
    • To provide a foundation for critical discussion and/or open-ended exploration

    Tactics for delivery + some tool options

    1. Lecturers can pre-record demonstration videos using Universal Capture. The videos can then be edited in Lecture Capture and embedded in Canvas.
    2. Teachers can also embed into Canvas archived or external demonstration videos using Universal Capture or Kaltura Media. To share user-generated content from online repositories, such as YouTube, Vimeo and LinkedIn Learning, either embed the URL directly into Canvas or share a link with the URL.
    3. For synchronous demonstration, teachers can schedule a Zoom meeting through Canvas and notify students of the Zoom registration URL and password. The “share screen” function works well for digital/software demonstrations, whereas analogue demonstrations call for a carefully positioned webcam setup. There is also the option to activate remote access and take control of a student’s screen to demonstrate a specific example. Remember: for equitable access, record the Zoom session and then upload the video to Canvas.

    Tactics for interaction + some tool options

    1. Encourage students to use a Canvas discussion board to post questions that arise from  viewing the demonstration videos and follow-up activities.
    2. Use Poll Everywhere for students to vote on the questions that are most complicated and/or of greatest urgency to be answered during upcoming synchronous meetings.
    3. Motivate students to co-create knowledge and contribute to answering their peers’ questions by including it in your approach to assessment. Potential platforms include an FAQ-style discussion board on Canvas, or more graphic platforms like Miro or Padlet. Learning Environments hosts a professional development program that frequently covers these kinds of learning technology platforms.

    Things to consider

    1. Teachers are advised against initially scheduling synchronous demonstrations, as students learning new applied skills often work best when they can work through the process at their own pace.
    2. Synchronous sessions should be conducted as follow-ups to asynchronous demonstrations as a way of directly answering student questions from the Canvas discussion board.
    3. Provide students with a clear timeline and details for viewing demonstration videos, working through examples, asking questions and receiving responses.

    Examples

  • Virtual Site Visit

    Learning aims

    • To expose students to case studies of specific places that exemplify subject themes
    • To provide a context for students to develop skills in site analysis
    • To underscore how characteristics and interpretations of places can be layered and diverse

    Tactics for delivery + some tool options

    1. Review BEL+T’s Virtual Site Visits page for guidance on producing your own content and refer to the ABP BEL+T Canvas Community for examples of virtual site visits. If you have not yet enrolled into the ABP BEL+T Canvas Community, click here first.
    2. An individual pre-records a guided tour of a physical site using their mobile phone camera. Teachers upload the video to Kaltura, a video management system (VMS) integrated with Canvas. Teachers can use Kaltura to share videos with students without impacting the available storage space for a subject.
    3. Direct students to use the UoM Map Collection or online map browsers, such as Nearmap or Google Earth Studio, to conduct web-based research on physical sites.

    Tactics for interaction + some tool options

    1. Schedule a Zoom meeting through Canvas and notify students of the registration URL and password. It is possible to pre-assign participants to breakout rooms when you schedule the meeting, rather than assign them during the meeting. Avoid grouping students into pairs in case any students are unable to participate or experience technical difficulties.
    2. Instruct students in breakout rooms to share web-based research about their assigned physical sites. Activities may include students using Zoom’s whiteboard tools to collaborate or annotate panoramas, photos, maps, etc.

    Things to consider

    1. Coordinators can contact UoM Map Collection staff with questions about online resources or information specific to physical sites.
    2. For equitable purposes consider what technical constraints may exist for students when accessing virtual site visits (e.g. platforms, software, hardware and bandwidth). For the best accessibility, consider virtual site visits that can be accessed through internet browsers.

    Examples