Remote activities and assignments quick guide

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Remote activities and assignments quick guide

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Remote Assignments and Activities

This quick guide provides an introduction to remote assignments and activities as you move to remote teaching. It outlines key steps to Plan, Modify, and Implement when making this move to optimize student learning. As with any steps you take in moving to remote teaching, it’s important to anchor your decisions in course learning objectives and to be transparent, flexible, and generous with students.


In-class activities and assignments can be facilitated by a variety of the tools provided at MSU. In planning for remote activities and assignments, ensure you are focusing on assignments that help you to accomplish your learning objectives. Also remember that in a remote teaching situation you may need to be flexible with respect to the assignments/activities you have.



Rather than have students turn in assignments during class, create a D2L assignment folder for students to upload assignments. Just about any file-type can be turned in with D2L (including word documents). This can be where students upload their papers, presentations, videos, or any other media.

Collaborative Writing

If students would normally provide feedback on each other's writing assignments, then the easiest method to recreate this in a remote teaching situation would be to use a cloud-based tool such as Google Drive or Microsoft One Drive. Using one of these tools, students can view and comment on each other's work.


If in-class discussion is a key part of your course, then the D2L discussion tool can be used. Keep in mind that students will most likely need greater prompting and guidance in order to engage in an online discussion.If students are able to record audio and video, and have access to a fast internet connection, then they could also record and submit discussions using zoom.  


If students have a presentation they would normally give in class, they can record that presentation using Zoom or MediaSpace, provided that they have a computer with a Webcam and Microphone. If students do not have the ability to record audio and video, then another option would be to ask them to write out their presentation in Microsoft Word or other word processing tool and include images of their presentation materials. This can then be uploaded to a D2L Assignment Folder.


Below find a variety of ideas for common in-person activities and some ideas for both synchronous remote (activities occur at the same time) or asynchronous remote (activities occur independently but with specific due dates/times) teaching. 



Synchronous Remote

Asynchronous Remote

Student presentations

Students present in real time using zoom.          

Students record presentations using Kaltura Capture or Zoom then upload them to MediaSpace or D2L. 

Small group work/discussions

Students can collaborate in Zoom, Microsoft OneDrive, and Google drive.   


Create a prompt for students to respond to on D2L.         

Peer review writing session

Students can share and discuss their documents using Zoom and Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.        

Organize students into groups and ask them to share their documents in Microsoft OneDrive  Google Drive.     



Additional Help

For additional help and support, please check out the other remote teaching articles on, or contact the MSU IT Service Desk at local (517) 432-6200 or toll free (844) 678-6200.


Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Posted by:
Makena Neal MSU Online & Remote Teaching
#activities #assignments #remote teaching