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See our Campus Ready site for most up to date information about the fall semester.Campus ReadyCOVID Help

Pedagogical Resources for Remote, Hybrid and Online 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, hybrid and online 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  

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 information.

We also 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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Faculty Resources for Fall

With fall term approaching, there is still time to make intentional choices on how course content is delivered. As Hybrid, Remote and Online courses will be options for course delivery CETL and OIT have been hard at work creating a number of key resources to help new or experienced faculty revise and re-think course content.


Using Zoom for Remote Instruction

  • Protect yourself and your students from Zoom-bombing. OIT has put together a full page of information and help topics for Zoom here.
  • Need help with Zoom? Download CETL's Getting Started with Zoom for Education here.
  • Sign up for a Zoom consult to get started or learn more about the different functions for remote instruction, designed specifically for faculty by signing up here.

Managing Group Work in Remote Instruction

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

Student Engagement Strategies

  • Increasing student engagement during emergency remote instruction presents us with much the same challenge as with onsite courses. Some students always share their thoughts and others remain quiet. Providing opportunities for engagement online takes thoughtful planning and preparation and CETL has provided useful strategies to consider here.

Rethinking Assessment

  • We cannot deny that for many students and faculty alike, the transition to remote/online instruction is very tough and the potential for a disruption to student learning may be high.  The unusual circumstances present us with an opportunity to rethink how we assess student learning throughout the semester.  Consider whether the following alternatives suggested here may be appropriate to your course and situation.

  • Educational research questions the assumptions that it is more prevalent or easier to cheat in online exams, read more about Online Education and Authentic Assessment here.

Reducing Cognitive Load

  • We have known for some time that high levels of stress can wreak havoc on our overall health. COVID-19 and the ensuing changes in one’s personal life have certainly heightened levels of stress and anxiety for many in our community. For first-generation and/or underrepresented minority college students, moving into emergency remote instruction (ERI) is an unfamiliar academic environment that may activate or amplify these physical and psychological reactions. The increased demands placed on students during remote learning have increased the cognitive load placed on students and pose additional risks to deep and lasting learning. Read more about strategies to reduce cognitive load for students here.

Additional Resources

  • Looking for alternatives to Zoom? Check out this blog.
  • Exploratory study that identifies the role(s) of the online instructor and categorizes critical competencies for online teaching
  • 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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The Tyranny of Content: "Content coverage" as a barrier to evidence-based teaching approaches and ways to overcome it.   

                        (Petersen, et al., Summer 2020 - CBE * Life Sciences Education * 19:ar17, 1-10).    
  • Excellent discussion of how to focus on essential understandings (Core Concepts) and promote deep and lasting learning.  Authors provide an abundance of relevant examples from the sciences.     Read it here. 

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.
  • 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