Studio-based Remote Teaching

Studio-based courses are about the process of observing, creating, critiquing, and refining over time. Students learn techniques and process, attempt them, compare what they have created to criteria, intent, or other works, and then refine or iterate. 

The 4 key elements for a studio-course include:

  1. Observing a demonstration of a process or the creation of a product
  2. Performing a process or create a product using appropriate materials or space
  3. Comparing, critiquing, or observing drafts and final products
  4. Refining, iterating, and revising to improve skills and observation

Observing and Performing a Process

Would you typically be present to observe students’ create some artifact of their learning and is this process an important part of your assessment? Or, would you typically demonstrate for your students the steps they will need to follow in creating an artifact of their learning? 

Since we are unable to come together in a studio space to demonstrate the process of learning, we will explore here some ideas and remote learning tools you and your students can use to share steps in a process, from beginning to completion. 

Asynchronous Sharing in Your Course

Process in ideal times might be something we think of as more continuous. If we are together in a studio environment, a fuller version of the process of creating a painting or drawing, for example, can be demonstrated and observed. In a remote setting, this process needs to be made a bit more concrete. What steps are essential and how will a student know what differentiates step one from step two? This relates to a concept known as threshold concepts, which is defined in the U of C’s guide as a “core idea that’s conceptually challenging for students, who struggle to grasp it—but once grasped, it radically transforms the students’ perception of the subject.”

If you are demonstrating a concept, you might consider using a tool such as Panotpo to record the whole or clearly differentiated parts of the process and post your video(s) in your course online so students can download and watch the video on their own time. 

Eportfolios for Documenting Process

If students are demonstrating a process, they can similarly record and upload their videos, photos, or other artifacts as they work through the process. You might consider setting a series of staggered deadlines to ensure you are able to provide students with formative feedback as they work through a process that might be new and difficult for them. To keep all of their work together and private, you can use an online portfolio tool (“eportfolio”), in which students post work that you are able to view on a continual basis. 

The advantage to using an eportfolio is, as stated, the artifacts posted are private so students feel more secure in posting artifacts of their learning they perhaps aren’t confident about yet, and you as the instructor are able to observe your students’ learning in progress rather than as a single artifact handed in at the end. A digital point of checkin like an online portfolio also avoids what I call the “sketchbook problem” that results from assigning a task that is meant to engage students in a learning process (keep a sketchbook all semester and add one drawing each week) that ultimately ends in a student spending several hours drawing and trying to layer aged-looking coffee stains in their sketchbook the night before it’s due. or are Usask supported tools students can use to create portfolios of work. Process pictures can be taken of studio art work and posted as in a portfolio. These can be shared with an instructor who is then able to provide feedback as work develops, submitted with final work, or shared for class critique. 

Comparisons, Master Studies, and Critiques

One of the bright spots of what we are experiencing in response to this pandemic is the unprecedented access we all currently have to online content and experiences. Use this to your and your students’ advantage. If you are asking your students to complete Master Studies, you can send them to galleries and museums virtually. Many galleries and museums now have very robust virtual exhibits, including the Virtual Museum, the Metis Museum, and this great list of virtual exhibits collected by The Guardian.

Synchronous Theatre Events

Theatres are also finding ways to perform in safe and relevant ways that can serve as an example of how to create active online events, livestream performances, and drop-in improv jams.

Digital Critiques and Exhibits

If your students have sufficient internet access, you can engage them in creating their own online exhibits. There are many tools that allow users to build their own 3D virtual art galleries. Two examples include Roomful and this list of five free and open source tools. 

If internet access is not so reliable, you can also set us critiques in your discussion forum. Students can post their work and comments on others, following feedback questions you can provide in advance that take “netiquette” into consideration. 

If you are still looking for solutions to the challenges you’ve identified in moving your studio-based course into the remote context, explore the fulsome “Z.O.M.B.I.E. Survival Guide for VCUarts,” which includes tips about expectations, strategies, apps, and even some templates for you to use. 

Online Sharing Circle

Technology is excellent at allowing us to work remotely, but it can be more challenging for building community or keeping a community strong. Technology’s strength is for communication and is not as robust for building connection, especially with larger groups.


The goal is to create the ‘lunchroom’ experience where people share and ground themselves within their respective working group/community. We believe that this type of opportunity will contribute to the art of kiyokiwin, coping with the social isolation, allowing people to raise topics outside of work priorities, better understanding of each other, and so much more. Online sharing circles could be used by instructors to facilitate “courageous curiosity” with “boundless collaboration” for “inspired communities” in their remote instruction.

Kiyokiwin is a Cree word for visiting, but it is also a means of knowledge transfer and sharing. Kiyokiwin is becoming a lost art due to a multitude of factors, one of them being technology, where we think we are connecting with others but it’s usually not at a deep enough level that fulfills our human need for connection.

Process: Four rounds of sharing (following traditional protocols)

  1. On a piece of paper, write down a word that sums up where you are at this morning. When directed, we will all at the same time hold up our words to the camera for all to see.
  2. Going around the circle, in 1-minute or less explain why you chose this word.
  3. What’s going on in your life right now that you want share with everyone? How is remote working going for you? (Or another question that is suitable for your group/meeting)
  4. On a piece of paper, write down another word (or the same one) that sums up where you are at this morning. Now hold it up to your camera for all to see.

Participant Roles and Responsibilities

  • If possible, enter the room with camera on and mic off. Seeing each other is important for the circle and giving our full attention to each other is a way to show respect.
  • Set your view to grid mode (this is on WebEx) so that you can see everyone, just like you would in a circle. This would apply for other meeting apps as well.
  • The facilitator will start the circles. This will likely be the meeting host. Wait for their direction.
  • Please avoid using the chat box. Just like we wouldn’t be texting in a circle, we want to give our attention to the person who is speaking.
  • If you’re having technical issues, please try leaving the room and rejoining.
  • Share what you need – surface level or a deep plunge. Just keep in mind that there is a set time for the meeting, and you want everyone to have the opportunity to share.

Facilitator Roles and Responsibilities

  • Similar to chairing a meeting, your responsibility is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to speak and to share.
  • You keep the momentum going, from one round to the next.
  • Assign a person to be the assistant before the meeting starts. The assistant will set the circle order, share it in the chat, and monitor the chat box for technical issues. The order will vary from week to week. The chat message can be worded like, “Imagine us seated in a circle for real.  At the start is (facilitator’s name), and to her left Person A, then Person B, …”.  The assistant will re-post the list if it gets bumped out of sight. If there is no chat on the app you are using, then it could simply be the names written on a piece of paper and the paper shared via camera to everyone. (with everyone’s audio off, the list of who speaks next will be good for the next person to prepare to turn their mic on.)
  • In an in-person talking circle, the direction of who goes next is to the left of the facilitator (clockwise), thus the comment about “imagine us seated in a circle”, it is a good idea to explain this as part of the talking circle protocols at the beginning.
  • You are not expected to answer questions or console someone, in an in-person talking circle, there would be an item that would be passed on to the next person, in an online format, you will be the one calling on the next person to speak. You can thank the previous person for sharing before calling the next person, but do not get into a back and forth discussion as this will disrupt the flow and power of the circle.
  • After everyone has held up their card in the 4th round, you thank everyone for sharing and explain that the purpose of the talking circle is not intended to be therapeutic (but it can be), rather it is an opportunity to share with others in a way that we may not necessarily be able to now that we are all working remotely.
  • You can end the meeting now if that was the purpose of it, or you can carry on to the next portion. Keep in mind that some people will need time to re-group, so if you have the option, call a break before getting to the next part of the meeting.
  • The first and last circle are nice ways to start and finish that can demonstrate the change in the group resulting from the talking circle. The 2nd and 3rd circles are amendable to different ideas for sharing related to the needs of the group. This can be open and expansive (how is working from home going?) or specific and intentional (describe challenges to ??) depending on the goals for the circle.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License by Rose Roberts with the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching & Learning at the University of Saskatchewan

Offering Seminar Courses Remotely

A good seminar is all about students thinking critically and deeply about ideas, and then building on the ideas of others. Face to face (F2F), that looks like a small group of students in discussion, lead by an instructor, TA, or even by another student or groups of students. In an online environment, seminars will work best if they occur asynchronously in the discussion boards in an LMS (Canvas, Blackboard).  If the group is small enough (think about a dozen students), some type of synchronous tool, like WebEX, can allow students to talk to each other at the same time. 

The 4 key elements for a seminar that need to be replicated during remote instruction include:

  1. A prompt or text(s) that the student considers independently in advance
  2. Guiding questions that require analysis, synthesize and/or evaluation of ideas
  3. The opportunity to share personal thinking with a group
  4. Ideas being developed, rejected, and refined over time based on everyone’s contributions

Giving students a prompt and guiding questions is best done in written form in remote instruction. Like F2F instruction, a rich prompt with lots to think about and some guiding questions that help students consider the prompt are essential.  In a F2F class, student often choose to respond more to certain questions than others as a class discussion progresses.  In a discussion board, you usually provide choice to accomplish the same thing, for example:  “Please select one of four discussion threads for this week.  Post a short initial response of 100 words or less.  Then read the comments of other students and select two to engage with.  Consider building on the ideas of others students, posing questions, or add resources related to the topic as a part of your response to others.”

Sharing Thinking Asynchronously (at different times) in Canvas or Blackboard
While some students are actually more comfortable is responding to online discussion boards, many do better if they have a sense of who they are speaking with and what is appropriate. Students need specific guidance and support for how to develop, reject, and refine ideas appropriately in your course. 

  1. If you want students to share well, consider requiring an initial post where you and students introduce yourselves and share a picture.
  2. Describe your expectations for norms in how everyone will behave online
  3. Provide a lot of initial feedback about the quality of posting.  Consider giving samples of good and bad posts, and remember to clarify your marking criteria. Focus your expectations on the quality of comments, and set maximums for the amount you expect to reduce your marking load and keep the discussions high quality.
  4. Someone will need to moderate the discussion. That includes posting the initial threads, reading what everyone posts all weeks and commenting to keep the discussion flowing.  Likely, the same person (you or a TA) will also be grading and providing private feedback to each student. Consider making the moderation of a discussion an assignment in your course. You can moderate the first few weeks to demonstrate what you want, and groups of students can moderate other weeks. It can increase engagement if done well, and definitely decreases your work load.

Sharing Thinking Synchronously in Web EX
If your class is small, you can still use a synchronous (the class meets at the same time) discussion. You should still start with introductions and need to explain how the sharing process will work. Teach everyone to mute when not speaking, and turn off their cameras if they have bandwidth issues. Use the chat so people can agree and add ideas as other people are speaking, and teach people to raise their hands or add emoticons in the participants window to help you know who wants to speak next.

Student Presentation Within the Seminar

If you usually have or would like to start using student presentations within your seminar, students this can be accomplished in several ways.

  1. Have students use Panopto for student presentations
  2. Have students record their presentation with their cell phones and upload them to Canvas or Blackboard.
  3. If your class is small, have student deliver their presentations asynchronously through WebEx



Making the Most of Synchronous Lectures

Synchronous lectures are likely to seem awkward for the first while, but by following the suggestions below you’ll be making the most of your time together and building a community of learners. 

Synchronous lectures mean that you and students are “together” using an online platform or tool in real time.  When you choose to teach in real time, you are deciding that a schedule will be set, you will teach at that time, and students will attend at that time. Students will need to ensure that their schedules are free and they have the necessary hardware (e.g., computer, mic, webcam) and a fast enough internet connection. The supported tool for synchronous lectures at USask is Webex.

Our suggestion, generally, is that the use of synchronous sessions are limited and are saved for topics and activities that must be done synchronously to be effective. If you identify topics like that in your course and decide that synchronous sessions will be flexible enough for you and your students and want to make the most of them, please consider the following suggestions.

Essential Strategies

  • Set norms for how students should interact with you and others in the virtual environment. For example, typically everyone should keep their microphone turned off unless speaking
  • Record the sessions to ensure that if a student cannot attend, that they are still able to review the class
  • Pause regularly and ask for questions. Direct students as to whether or not they should use the chat or the microphone to ask their questions. Be sure to give enough wait-time for students to think and respond!
  • Focus the synchronous lecture on topics and ideas that the students can’t easily learn another way (e.g., through reading the textbook)

Best Practices

  • If possible, have a second instructor, such as a TA, monitor the chat window. This person can either answer the questions in the chat as you go, or they can summarize and respond to the questions using the microphone during breaks in the flow of the lecture. It can be very hard for one instructor to keep up with a lecture and the questions, especially as the group size increases
    • If you can’t get a second instructor, consider having a different student take on this role each class
  • Do a quick social check-in off the start of class. Rather than wait in silence, take the moments while everyone is entering the session to chat with the students 
  • If the class is small in size, ask students to keep their cameras on. This will create greater sense of community
  • In the days or hours leading up to the synchronous lecture, do some polling to assess prior knowledge. This could be administered as a quiz or survey. Adapt your lecture content and delivery based on the results
  • Polling can also be used during the lecture after a point of expected difficulty. This could be done quite easily using the raise hand feature, the chat box, or even the built-in polling tool in Webex. Web-based polling tools can also work by sharing your screen.
    • Whatever method you choose, get students to pick a side and then ensure that you take the time after the poll closes to describe why the various answers are right and wrong
  • After class, create asynchronous discussions in Blackboard or Canvas to allow students to further engage with one another and the lecture topics
  • Consider using breakout rooms to split students into smaller groups for portions of the lecture. In these smaller groups they can engage in discussions around the topics you just covered.
    • Note: you will need to use Webex Training Center, rather than standard Webex Meetings to use breakout rooms

Simple Strategies to Elevate your Asynchronous Delivery

By now you are probably familiar with the concept of asynchronous remote learning. If not, asynchronous learning means you and students are not limited by timing.  You are deciding that students can engage with the material on their schedule, at times, and places when they may have better bandwidth and other kinds of capacity. 

As you can imagine, asynchronous learning can be of varying quality; therefore, here are some tips and ideas to keep in mind to help make the most of your asynchronous design. One important way to make the most of your asynchronous learning is to finalize the learning materials (e.g., creation of lecture videos, suggested readings, discussion topics) during the term, which allows you to respond to students’ areas of interests or difficulties, and their feedback/suggestions, as you go. 

Post and organize your learning materials within a learning management system (either Blackboard or Canvas)

  • Organize your posted content into short chunks, ideally within learning modules. This holds true for both videos and readings
  • If using videos, make each separate idea its own video
  • When using text, use white space and headings to make text easier to process
  • Name course content and files in a consistent way 
  • Place content in a suggested order with a suggested timeline
  • Use analytics features inside of Blackboard or Canvas to help you know what students are viewing and reading. Check in with students that seem to be falling behind

Include student comprehension checks with feedback

  • Students can easily overestimate how much they are learning while viewing and reading
  • Prior to having students view or read content, ask them to complete an ungraded quiz or a set of self-check questions. This will help prepare them for the new learning
  • If creating videos, pose questions to students throughout your presentation and ask them to pause the video
    • An example of this would be to ask students to make a prediction. It helps focus their learning as the video continues
    • If you are used to using polling, such as Top Hat, this is a simple way to reuse the questions you have already created as part of your teaching
  • Similarly, after students have viewed or read a chunk of content, ask them to complete a quiz (ideally automated with built-in feedback). This should still be ungraded as the students are still learning. You could even give multiple attempts to allow them to continue practicing
  • As the instructor, review the students’ results on the quiz and follow-up with necessary resources or a synchronous session

Opportunities for active and social learning

  • As with above, quizzes can be used to promote active learning as they progress through the chunks of content
  • Structure these active learning opportunities from easy to hard to build confidence and mastery. If using Canvas, you can explore using Mastery Paths
  • Use discussion boards as a way for students to be able to engage with the content in a social manner. Here are a variety of ways to structure discussions
    • If using discussions, share with students examples of good discussion posts to help them meet your expectations
    • If grading discussions, grade based on the quality of the posts

Keeping these tips in mind when designing your asynchronous lectures, will help ensure that your students are better engaged in your learning. The comprehension checks and active learning will also help you see how students are doing and where they need extra assistance. These areas of difficulty are ideal places to intersperse synchronous sessions (e.g., Webex)!

Identifying Placements that work for Remote Learning

Your “placement” may be a practicum course or may be work-place or community-based learning experiences built into a course.  In either the longer or shorter duration, these opportunities are valued by students as a means to improve skills and refine understanding by practicing and receiving feedback in a professional setting.  Also, students appreciate the chance to build their networks and resumes for their future careers.

Availability of placement partners?

In the remote context, we know that our usual partners may find themselves less able to take students on.  Even if they want a student, they may also need to reduce the number of people in their physical settings.  You may help your partners see possibilities by asking them about opportunities for remote-working for that student, or new projects that are entirely suitable and do not require regular or any physical presence by the student.

Tapping into student networks for placements?

Student situations may vary and affect options in ways you don’t expect.  Many students may not move to Saskatoon this fall.  But, they may be able to identify new opportunities for placements where they are living that actually work well.  This might even expand options significantly. Consider reaching out to the students in the course to ask them about their locations and ideas for placement options that fit the criteria you set out.  You can make use of the Survey Monkey tool, which is supported by USask.

Structures for success?

Ensure you and your partners can support, supervise, and assess students to an appropriate extent.  The nature of the support, supervision, and assessment will likely be different.  Consider how you can keep to the core principles you use during normal times and find technology enhanced approaches that may work adequately, just as well, or even better.

You may find the following resources useful:

Back up plans?

Create contingency plans in case the experience is interrupted for any reason.  If there was an outbreak in the location of your student, or your student or their worksite needed to take quarantine measures, develop a plan for a reasonable response.  Having a plan for this kind of disruption will help you, your students, and your partners proceed more confidently.  And, it will also make you all feel equipped to make a good decision on the side of safety.

For more on student placements for remote learning see Preparing and Supporting Students in Remote-context Placements.

Preparing and Supporting Students in Remote-context Placements

You already know how much your students value the learning opportunities that happen sometimes and are called the  “real-world.”   Our approaches to this need to be different in the remote context, but there are opportunities for expanded student learning too.  After all, skills for remote working and use of online tools for collaboration and communication are transferrable as 21st century skills regardless.

How may individual student situations vary?

Reach out to your students involved in your practicum or community-based learning course.  Individual situations may vary and affect options in ways you don’t expect.  Many students may not move to Saskatoon this fall and it will be useful to know what their remote learning situation is. You can make use of SurveyMonkey, a tool at USask, for this purpose.

What preparation may help students? 

What do students need to know about technologies in use, about remote-working etiquette and norms, and about staying on track with their responsibilities in remote professional contexts. USask has assembled resources on remote-working, that you may find apply to your course and students’ contexts. CEWIL Canada, a Canadian organization devoted to work-integrated learning also has many resources.

If students will be physically present in a workplace or community setting during their placement, be aware of the PPE they may be expected to have and communicate that need to students.  Confirm that students will be able to access such equipment and any other safety training and protocols.

What supportive options can be offered?

Set up virtual options for students to communicate, collaborate, and present.  You may want to set up a regular Webex meeting for facilitated smaller groups discussions.

Identify new or expanded opportunities.  For example, how could videos, pre-existing virtual tours, or guest presenters allow for some of the learning you intended with the on-site learning?

Reviewing these core principles for experiential learning may help you take a step back and revisit and refine what makes sense for Fall 2020.  The constraint of remote learning may lead to some new, innovative ideas.

Three Ways of Delivering Remote Learning

Making some preliminary decisions about the direction of your remote course for Summer or Fall 2020 can help you focus in face of a sometimes overwhelming number of technological options and educational jargon.

Here are three ways of delivering remote learning to contemplate before you go too far down any one path. Prior to locking yourself into a method, you should keep in mind that your students may face some constraints or limitations for synchronous learning (e.g., bandwidth, webcams, a suitable space to participate in the call). Check in with your students about any such restrictions.

  1. Will you meet virtually with your students at a scheduled time for teaching and learning?

Synchronous” means you and students are “together” using an online platform or tool in real time.   When you choose to teach in real time, you are deciding that a schedule will be set, you will teach at that time, and students will attend and be able to use and access the virtual space.   If you want to design your course for instructor-student and student-student real time interaction, then you are planning synchronous learning.  You and your students will need to learn to use WebEx.  Other tools exist (e.g., Zoom, Teams)  but WebEx is the tool supported by the University and is the best approach because of the support. Do not tie your hands with synchronous learning if you plan to lecture, largely without interaction among students.

  1. Will you set up the learning without scheduled meetings?

Asynchronous” means you and students are not limited by timing.   You are deciding that students can engage with the material on their schedule, at times and places when they may have better bandwidth and other kinds of capacity. You are providing materials that students can go back to over and over again.  You are likely preparing recorded lectures as the term goes (this is more manageable than preparing all recordings in advance and you will want to adapt to what is happening in the course) and posting other materials for students to review/read/learn from (keep in mind that videos should be in short chunks). To do this, you will need to learn to record your lectures on Panopto or on WebEx and to upload these recordings to either Blackboard (available for two more years) or Canvas (new, and being phased in).  You will need to incorporate learning processes for your students that engage them actively, but not on a tight schedule.  For example, you may use discussion forums where students and you contribute in writing to a discussion over a two to three day period at regular intervals over the term.

  1. Will you do some combination of both?

Mixed means you do a combination of the above.  In fact, this is often our recommended approach.  For example, record your lectures for the week, have students watch them and review other materials or do other homework, then have smaller groups of students (best ​would be 6-12/group) meet in real time with you, with TAs, with each other to actively discuss and problem solve. This can be weekly, or could be less often. U of S Instructors are reporting students appreciate the addition of well-planned interactive sessions in otherwise asynchronous courses.

For more on a range of remote learning tools, including WebEx and Panopto mentioned above, see Remote Teaching: How-to and tools.

Lecture Videos: Keep them short

You can use Panopto to record your lectures with slides, with audio, so that students can hear you, and with video, so that students can see you while you speak. That system has lots and lots to offer. Note the links at the bottom of this post to get to extensive training resources.

To get started, you should break your previously prepared lectures into smaller sections (5-7 minutes) to record them that way.

Here is why:

  1. Most important when you are getting started: if you have to, it’s quicker to re-record a 5-7 minute video than a 60-90 minute video.
  2. In the future, you are more likely to make use of these shorter videos in your teaching. When people talk about the “flipped” teaching model during normal times, often what instructors do is have students watch the lecture on their own time, and the classroom time is used for more active learning in the group setting. You may decide the shorter videos you make now will allow you to take that kind of instructional step forward in the future.
  3. Breaking your lectures up with discussion or thinking breaks for students is something you likely do in-person. You do that because:
    • you need the break and want to invite student questions to see how they are doing with what you are teaching
    • you recognize that your students need the opportunity to reset their attention
    • you know that students need help to separate out the key points and to see how they relate or group together, so you provide transitions and comments that make that clear
  4. Students will watch recorded lectures more than once because they know it helps them learn and review. Title your lecture sections in a way that allows students to see the focus of the recording easily. Then, they can target what they review additional times. By the way, students really appreciate the chance to rewatch lectures in this way. It’s especially helpful for students and instructors who speak English as an additional language.

For more on Panopto see:

How to get students to hand in quality work by planning for choice

In my course, at this level, at this place of progress in their learning, what do students need to demonstrate to me?

Handout version for USask Instructors

What do I expect of my students?

Offering choice in how students meet course objectives is rooted in inclusive education and that by providing choice we acknowledge and respect that there are many ways to demonstrate learning and students have the agency, when appropriate, to pick the one that motivates them. These checklists might help you think about “shifting the ‘locus of control’ from the teacher to the student” (Jopp & Cohen, 2020)

There are three methods described: when students pick the medium of transmission for a final project, when students pick the topic of a paper or structured project, and lastly, when students help set the criteria for the assessment. The last one is my favourite because it forces the students to really think about what ‘good’ means, not just the content to transmit.

Allow students to choose the format of their final project – follow these steps

  • I have reviewed the outcomes in my course.
  • I have determined the outcomes that are best suited for offering choice.
  • I can think of a few ways a student could show me how they meet this specific outcome.
  • I have considered how students might present a portfolio of work to present their learning of the outcome.
  • I can make ONE assessment tool (such as a rubric or checklist), such that no matter which option students choose, I can use the same marking scheme. AACU Values Rubrics are a good starting place
  • All options would demonstrate understanding to a similar depth and breadth of disciplinary ability.

Have students choose the topic for their project or paper

  • I have a date when the assignment needs to be completed.
  • I have a date when a first draft should be completed.
  • I have a plan for when and how students will give each other feedback on their progress.
  • I have determined when I want to review students’ project plans – before they get too far down the road to make significant changes.
  • I have an idea of how much time I need to allocate to review students’ work or what my review supports look like (TAs, assistants, mini-interviews).
  • I have a plan for how I will introduce the project, its criteria, the options for students, the marking scheme (rubric or checklist), and present the timeline with deliverables to students.
  • I have a timeline of all of the above and am ready to share it with students.

Co-create the rubric or assessment tool with students

  • I know what ‘good enough’ looks like.
  • I know what ‘not good enough’ looks like.
  • I have anonymized examples of sufficient and insufficient that I could show students.
  • Students know the small steps or pieces that compose this larger assignment and can describe them.
  • I ask students for their feedback about what they think is important in an assignment.
  • I ask students what they think would qualify as good.
  • I work with students to make a checklist of what would be required to qualify as ‘good’ (criteria).
  • I am reflecting on how to use a checklist, rubric, or other marking guideline to communicate my expectations with students.


Jopp, R., & Cohen, J. (2020). Choose your own assessment – assessment choice for students in online higher education. Teaching in Higher Education, 1-18.