Teaching Online

By Dr. Ali Hasanain (Economics)


Guidences for instructors for moving courses online
  • Different types of classes will require different modes of delivery, and technological tools.
  • Practice.
  • Take help from peers and PedTech champions.
  • Be considerate to students. Reduce the overall course workload by 20-30%.
  • Rethink about your mode and scheduling of assessments.
  • Reconfigure class schedules and timings. In some cases with the new online modalities, these schedules may go away altogether or drastically change
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Technological Solutions for Online Learning

Technological solutions will be discussed under the two categories  mentioned above, with information on available tools, their pros and cons as well as what is required from LUMS.

These technological Solutions are divided into three major catagories.

  1. Tools for sysnchronous teaching, closely mimicking existing classroom experiences.
  2. Tools for Asynchronous teaching, but most online teaching
  3. Low-bandwidth online requirements


Option 1: Tools for sysnchronous teaching

Learning Managment System

Learning management System is online learning platform.



You can run course as is, without having to make substantial modifications; Interactive, supports screen sharing, whiteboard, allows audio and video recording though video is too large to place it on LMS resource folder

Pair it with Microsoft One Note – Import slides in one note and annotate on it.


Higher bandwidth required for interactive sessions, so highly contingent on student and server bandwidths at LUMS


Guide For Online Lectures Using Zoom (Prepared by Dr. Hassan Jaleel from EE Department, LUMS)

Tips for Using Zoom to Teach1

  • Test your audio and video well before teaching using Zoom for the first time, especially if you are planning to use Zoom from an off-campus location.
  • Share your screen to show slides or other materials and ask students to share their screens to present:
    • Sharing your screen makes sure content and questions are visible to students who may have a slow Internet connection or who may struggle to hear the audio.
  • Annotate and mark on the screen, or draw on a whiteboard.
  • Break your class into smaller groups for managing discussions or projects as you would in a regular class.
  • Use the chat feature to answer questions or share learning resources. Students can also use the chat feature to ask questions:
    • Moderate discussion, i.e., “call on” a student with a comment to speak, to help them break into the conversation.
    • For larger classes, assign a Fellow or TA to moderate the chat and make sure important questions and comments are addressed. Even for smaller classes, it may be worthwhile to ask a student (or two) to take on special roles as “chat monitors” to voice if there are questions that arise that the instructor has missed.
    • You might use the chat to troubleshoot technical problems. For example, if a student is having trouble connecting via audio or video, the chat might be a space for you as the instructor or for fellow students to work together to problem-solve. This may, again, be an opportunity to assign a student to a special role, especially if you have students eager to help on the technical aspect of things.
  • Record your class so students can review materials.
  • Poll your students to check for understanding.
  • Consider making discussion questions available in advance so that students can access the questions if screen sharing does not work.
  • Host virtual office hours.

(from https://teachremote.mit.edu/tools-tutorials#prepdevices)

Support required from university

  • Need subscriptions to host a class for more than 40 min
  • Bandwidth requirements? Especially in light of hosting simultaneous classes
  • If bandwidth is an issue, will we need to decide which classes need more interaction and should get priority access to zoom
  • Will need to increase supported file size to upload recorded videos or use alternative forum – Google Docs? Dropbox? YouTube? A 1 hour 10 min recording was 158 MB.

Blackboard Colloborate Ultra

Demo Video:
 Pros Cons Resources
  • Interactive, supports screen sharing, and whiteboard
  • Allows for online binary and multiple responses from participants to “read temperature” which is very
    useful to keep the class engaged and get feedback
  • Higher bandwidth required for interactive sessions
  • Same as Zoom
You can find complete get started details here: Getting Started

Google Classroom

Demo Video:
 Pros Cons Resources
  • Create, distribute and grade assignments remotely
  • Limited to file sharing on smaller scale
  • Only useful for sharing assignments which can also be done on LMS

Google Hangout

Google Hangout Cheat Sheet for Teachers

 Pros Cons Resources
  • Casual chatting
  • Promoting conversation between teammates
  • It’s totally free.
  • You can run it in almost any platform.
  • It’s very easy to set up and use, with a clean and intuitive interface.
  • It requires a stable and relatively high bandwidth.
  • Group chat
  • Topic conversation
  • Search for some message
  • Same as Other Platform

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a synchronous teaching platform in which students can see the tutor and slides at the same time. It has a mobile app as well so students can use it from mobile as well.

Introduction to Microsoft Teams (kindly prepared by Dr. Muhammad Shoaib of Chemical Engineering Department, LUMS)

What is Microsoft Teams?

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Just need video calling for personal use? Click here

 Pros Cons
  • Integrated with Microsoft tools, for example shared files in class rooms will automatically go  into designated folder in OneDrive and SharePoint.
  • Its free version can host only 50 students,
  • some people may find its user interface is less friendly compared to Zoom.
  • Good thing is that it does not have 40 minutes session limit in its free version.
Demo Video:


Demo Video:

Video recording software (compatible with canvas):



Demo Video:
 Pros Cons Resources
  • Screencasting app that allows you to record your screen, voice and face
  • Can use in conjunction with a virtual whiteboard to capture screen
  • As with all video uploads to LMS, limited upload capacity will have to be increased


Demo Video:
 Pros Cons Resources
Also has assessment tools N/A N/A


Demo Video:
 Pros Cons Resources
  • A virtual classroom, this software is meant for education purposes
    and not for business tele-conferencing so it has whiteboard etc.
  • Requires high bandwidth at student end

Option 2: Tools for Asynchronous Teaching

Using a Tab and Free Software

Maktab (http://www.maktab.pk) style story-board videos can be made using a Tab (we recommend Samsung’s Galaxy tab A 10.1) and the following free softwares: Screen recorder and Draw on Screen. Both of them can be downloaded from Google Playstore. A tab is more versatile than a Digital Board. The quoted price for the Tab is approximately Rs. 36,000 and for purchasing through LUMS resources, you would need to contact Mr. Muhammad Iqbal, Head of Procurement (m.iqbal@lums.edu.pk) or your Department Chair.

Combination of Slides with Voice Over


Combination of slides with voice-over, course notes (MIT style). Recommend complementing this with assessment instruments that allow students to apply concepts that can provide rapid feedback to compensate for the lack of interaction


Low-tech, no further hard or soft infrastructure required


Non-interactive; not suitable for complex courses or courses  literature


(from https://teachremote.mit.edu/tools-tutorials#prepdevices)

For lecture note sample example MIT open courseware lecture notes e.g. (https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/economics/14-03-microeconomic-theory-and-public-policy-fall-2016/lecture-notes/

The non-interactive nature of instruction can be managed using i) Skype/Whatsapp office hours ii) problem sets which encourage reading and provide feedback on learning

Screen Capture with Hand-Written Notes


Screen capture with handwritten notes (‘Khan Academy style’ videos)


Low-tech and suitable for stand-alone concepts


Non-interactive and not useful for discussion based classes


  • Break up into smaller topics for shorter videos
  • Have to combine this with more problem sets and online office hours to compensate for lack of interaction

Support from the University (Software requirements)

  • Camtasia Recorder ($200*)
  • SmoothDraw3 (Free)
  • Wacom Bamboo Tablet ($80)
  • ScreenVideoRecorder ($20)
  • Microsoft Paint (Free)
  • Screen Castify (Free, only five minutes videos can be prepared).
Demo Video:

Mac users: In lieu of SmoothDraw, Autodesk Sketchbook Express works (free with a Wacom).

  • Camtasia also offers a basic version of its software called SnagIt.

(from https://khanacademy.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/202483430-What-software-program-equipment-is-used-to-make-Khan-Academy-videos-)

Option 3: Low-bandwidth online requirements

Eassy Based Teaching

 Method  Pros Cons Resources
  • A modified version of Oxbridge tutorials: Essay based teaching combined with audio based (Whatsapp) tutorials in small groups
  • Useful for more complex concepts
  • Unlikely to be feasible without additional TF support
  • The time saved on lecturing is used to provide feedback on essays since that is the main instrument of learning


  • Assessments don’t need to be graded – to remove the incentive to cheat. They can be specified as preparation for exams only.
  • Timed questions in which the system can flag up when a page become inactive.
  • Canvas can host timed quizzes, shuffled answer choice and open ended questions  (https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-12949-4152724265).
  • Moodle can be used for online quizzes.
  • Create open-book exams, with questions that assume all students have access to the book or other materials.
  • Develop open-ended, complex questions that prioritize the thinking you want students to do. Short answers or even multiple-choice questions that include a section requiring students to explain their thinking are more difficult to cheat on than questions that are simply right or wrong. Think about questions that are not easy to search for online.
  • Consider having students submit graphs or drawings by taking pictures of hand drawn images or by creating them digitally on Excel or another program, then submitting images through Canvas. This can be done in addition to choosing their answer on a multiple choice exam.
  • Utilize different versions of the same or similar exam questions by using formula questions or using the question group function.
  • Consider video (Skype) or oral examinations (VOIP or telephone). Can also be tethered to take-home assignments, where students can be examined to gauge the extent to which they answered assignment questions honestly. For large classes, a random sample of the class can be selected for such oral exams, with points being deducted from the take-home assignments if they fail to answer adequately.

(Source for second set of points: https://www.ctl.upenn.edu/exams-and-quizzes-when-teaching-remotely)

Other useful resources

Building a sense of community online: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SkSvGkUgs4gvhYrUpd-xBHM7QeeP-2olWry1SWglJN8/edit#heading=h.gqhq07wq2mz9

“Best” practices for online pedagogy: https://teachremotely.harvard.edu/best-practices