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Pedagogical Resources: Transitioning to Remote Instruction

For information on our campus's response to the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit the Emergency Preparedness website and the OIT Educational Continuity website

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The effective use of remote instructional methods begins with understanding best practices in online instruction and then identifying technology tools that best support these practices and student success. In an effort to guide you during this important transition to web-based instruction, we have identified a number of useful resources, guides, and web-based learning activities for your consideration. As always, CETL staff are here to help faculty make a smooth and reasonable transition to remote learning. If you have any questions or require assistance, you can email us at  

If you would like to attend one of our online trainings via zoom (e.g., Tips for Getting Started; Using Zoom Effectively; Group Work with Breakout Rooms), please sign up using acuity at Remote Teaching Workshops/Consultation.  

The Office of Informational Technology, in collaboration with CETL, the schools, and campus administration, has set up an Educational Continuity site that has a number of resources and some good information to help you get started with academic technologies. We urge you to visit that site as a first step, and to return here to explore resources related more specifically to online pedagogy and practice.

We suggest that you refer your students to two excellent resources during this transition:

Emergency Preparedness Resources

Educational Continuity Resources-Students

Information and resources listed here will continue to be updated as we work to provide faculty with additional tools and strategies.

Note: As you prepare for online instruction, please be aware of
increased cybersecurity threats disguised as information about COVID-19.

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Getting Started with Remote Instruction

CETL has created and gathered resources to help you plan and move to remote instruction.


  • Additional ideas and Resources from UC Davis can be found here.

Effective Use of Zoom for Remote Instruction

  • Need help with Zoom? Download CETL's Getting Started with Zoom for Education here.
  • Join our Getting Started with Zoom workshop, designed specificaly for faculty by signing up here.
  • Protect yourself and your students from Zoom-bombing. Review suggestions and options from UCSB here.
  • OIT has put together a full page of information and help topics for Zoom here.

Best Practices for Teaching Online

  • Exploratory study that identifies the role(s) of the online instructor and categorizes critical competencies for online teaching

Managing Group Work in Remote Instruction

  • Doing group work with online requires some planning. We've provided a Checklist for Online Group Work here.
  • Read our Tips for Effective Group Work Online using Zoom Breakout Rooms here.

Additional Resources

  • 10 Tips for Effective Online Discussions | Educause Review - Tips to help educators ensure that online discussions are engaging and beneficial for students. Explore the list here.
  • You can also find a sample rubric for online posts here (download it to make your own modifications here).
  • Touro College provides a number of excellent resources for online learning in higher education here

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Exploring Design Elements for Online STEM Courses

  • A research study conducted by the Center of Distributed Learning, USF that focuses on effective design elements for STEM courses. Read it here.

Digital Labs and Simulations for Science and Math

  • An online resource that generates interactive simulations. Access it here.
  • From physics to biology, and beyond, this website provides information regarding digital labs and simulations. Read it here.
  • North American Network of Science Labs Online. Access it here
  • UCLA has created a curated list of resources for migrating labs to an online format. Read it here.

Case Studies and Lessons in Public Health

  • A collection of Case Studies and Data Sets from the CDC is available here.

UC Merced Faculty Who Have Volunteered to Help Other Faculty

  • Marcos Garcia-Ojeda
  • Carrie Menke
  • Kristina Callaghan
  • Christine Isborn
  • Michelle Leslie
  • Ryan Baxter
  • Michael Colvin
  • Sylvain Masclin
  • Mike Dawson
  • Kamal Dulai

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Ethics Cases in Engineering 

  • A research study regarding ethics in place for engineering students with an emphasis in hypothetical cases in engineering ethics in the context of instructional exercises. Read it here.

Assessing an Online Engineering Ethics Module from Experiential Learning Perspective

  • A research study on the ethics behind and experiential learning approach. Read it here.

Engineering Instructional Development: Programs, Best Practices, and Recommendations

  • A research study on the content and structures of instructional development programs around the world. Read it here.

UC Merced Faculty Who Have Volunteered to Help Other Faculty

  • Abel Chuang
  • Sara Kurtz. (can help with zoom)
  • Alberto Cerpa

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Active Learning Ideas | Adaptable for Online

51 Student Exercises from Sociology Through Active Learning

Sociology Activity Examples | Adaptable for Online

UC Merced Faculty Who Have Volunteered to Help Other Faculty

  • Tanya Golash-Boza
  • Jeff Yoshimi