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Potsdam Prepared: COVID-19 Updates

Teaching Remotely

Please check back regularly; this page will be updated as soon as new content is identified or developed.

CCI Resources

Accessing Support

  • Direct 1-1 support with a SUNY Instructional Designer via Zoom (web-conferencing)
    • Monday - Friday 7 a.m. - Midnight EST
    • Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST
    • Sunday 1 p.m. -9 p.m. EST
  • Technology Troubleshooting Support (; (315) 267-4444)
  • Send feedback and questions to
  • For faculty seeking help, you may:
    • Email; staff will respond as they are able
    • Use this sign-up sheet to identify software practice partners (Zoom, Skype for Business, Teams, etc.)

Getting Started

Step 1:  Mindset
Keep it simple.  As much as possible when it comes to your teaching, do what you’ve been doing – just with different tools. Because of the change in modality, it is likely that requirements, expectations, policies, and projects may have to be reimagined.  You’ll need to evaluate which course activities will easily transfer to the online format, which will need to be modified to work online, and which will need to be reconceived.  Approach this reimagining with a creative mindset and consider brainstorming and testing ideas with colleagues (and your students).  Please realize that as you become more comfortable with our online tools, your options will expand.

Step 2:  Request a Moodle Course Site

Your Moodle sites will serve as the base platform for your course (lectures, videos, audio files, activities, assignments, forums, assessments, etc.)

If you haven’t already, do this for each of your courses: 

  1. Login to BearPAWS (
  2. Click Faculty & Advisors
  3. Click Moodle Site Request Form near the bottom of the screen
  4. Follow the prompts and instructions presented
  5. Click the Review Request(s) button to review your selection(s)  
  6. Then click the Submit button to submit your request  

You will receive an automated email receipt almost immediately following successful submission of your request. If you don't receive the email receipt, you may not have submitted the request. See Pending requests for more information.

Step 3:  Choose a Moodle Course Template

View these templates and then follow these instructions to import one of them into your course.

Step 4:  Self-assess 
This Checklist (DOC)
includes core things you need to know to manage a course remotely. 

Step 5:  Review your Courses 
Use the information below to consider how course components (e.g. lectures, discussions, projects, assignments, etc.) can be offered in a remote format.  Remember to be flexible, creative, and patient as you learn to use new tools. To identify online tools based on the activity/interaction you wish to facilitate, see the "How Do I..." webpage. To learn a specific tool, see the Tech Tools webpage.

Step 6:  Verify Technology Needs
As you redesign your course for the remote teaching/learning, consider the technology needed by you and your students.  Take a first stab at figuring out which categories of software or web based tools you think would be useful for you. Will your work be text-based? Need videos? Conferencing tools? See the Pedagogy Resources webpage for discipline and delivery specific resources to generate some ideas.

Whenever possible, use tools that you and your students are already familiar and that are supported by SUNY Potsdam. Consider picking no more than three tools you’ll use for now and, as necessary, watch at least one training video for each. Remember, Moodle is the campus preferred choice for course organization. Also, most students are familiar with it to some degree.  (Moodle training resources).

If you need additional technology, contact

As you begin offering your classes remotely, you may begin hearing from students with technology or access issues related to your course.  In order to address those issues in a timely manner, we ask that faculty submit an Alert through Navigate.  Campus staff will be notified of the alert and will work with the student to resolve the issue. 

Please do not submit an alert through Navigate solely because a student has not responded to your emails.  This is only for when a student has expressed a technology/access concern to you.

Submit an alert by:

  • Log into Navigate with your campus username and password
  • Click “Issue an Alert” (right-side menu on home screen)
  • Enter the student’s name
  • Select “Distance Learning Challenges” from the list of reasons
  • Select the class info
  • Describe the issue in “Additional Comments” (Please be specific)
  • Click Submit

Step 7:  Update Class Schedule and Syllabus
As you begin to adjust your timeline for the rest of the semester, consider starting with a broad general approach; something like a half-page grid that you’d put in a syllabus.  Now consider the first week of online instruction AND ONLY THIS ONE WEEK.  What are your goals for that first week?  You don’t need to get everything done right away for the entire rest of the semester yet. Your students will want a general sense of where you’re going, a chance to see if they have access to and can use the necessary technology before anything significant and graded comes along, and a chance to reconnect to you and classmates in whatever the new “normal” is for the next while.  It will be hugely important to simply reconnect into a community – they may need to do that before they can focus on content.  Be sure to refer them to the campus page on Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic.

With the first week in place, consider your next step. Getting the first week’s planning under your belt will help direct next choices.

Because of this dynamic situation, you will need to update your syllabus regularly as you develop and deliver your remote course.  This will require you to actively communicate all changes and expectations to your students in a timely manner.

Step 8:  Communicate with your Students
Although we primarily use email to communicate, course-specific communication is best done within Moodle.  Consider using an announcement forum to provide timely communication with your students about course requirements.  No matter which form of communication you choose, be sure to inform your students where to look for correspondence.  Given the fluid nature of the current situation, please remind students to regularly check their campus email accounts for ongoing updates.

Pedagogical Resources and Other Information

Obviously dealing with technology is just a first step in teaching online.  There are pedagogical skills that are unique to the online environment.  There are already many great resources available.  Additionally, because of this unique situation, new resources are constantly becoming available.  Please see the online Pedagogy Resources webpage to view this information, which will include links to disciplinary specific tools (to be added soon).

Given the rapid transition of higher education to remote platforms, we are also exploring resources that address the other associated impacts. 

If you have an exceptional resource to share in any of these areas, please email

Note: In the process of adding more content