How Do I Teach In Person?

Quick Links:

Get Started; In-Person Instruction Recommendations; Active Learning Techniques; Strategies for Teaching Remote Students; Classroom Technology; Using Classroom Equipment

Get Started

All things on this website are specific to the in-person environment during COVID. ​​​​​

Traditional in-person instruction will change with the requirements for physical distancing. This prevents the “heads-together” collaboration that is a hallmark of much learning that occurs in college classes. With students relatively far apart from one another it can be difficult even for students to hear one another in order to discuss the answers to a problem or other collaborative learning. 

Kent State University provides access to tools and resources to help conduct classroom experiences with teaching recommendationsusing new classroom technology, active learning techniques, and strategies for accommodating students attending an in-person course remotely.

Recommendations for In-Person Instruction

Use Technology for Interaction
  • Students working together in such spaces as interactive work within Google docs/slides/sheets; Slack, Padlet, Flipgrid, Mindmeister and many other applications
  • Students responding to instructor questions through the use of polling or quizzing software (TopHat, Qualtrics, PollEverywhere, Quizlet Live, Plicker)
  • Interactive reading/annotation (e.g. with Perusall)
Use Low-Tech Interaction that Allows Physical Distancing
  • Students use personal whiteboards to share ideas
  • Students write answers to a prompt on their own individual large post-it notes and post in a physical location one at a time with 1-directional traffic or students add to a group drawing. Instructor can share out by taking a digital photo and sharing on LMS
  • Writing on the board, one at a time using own dry erase marker
  • Student groups meet outside the classroom or building where they may better hear one another while maintaining physical distance requirements
Notes on Shared Equipment

Shared equipment should be used by one student at a time, with students moving around the room in one direction to limit physical interaction. For added protection, consider individual supply kits (e.g. in Studio courses) for each student to use in class and to take off-campus when transitioning to remote instruction.

Interrupted Lectures

Pause during your lecture to ask a question, give a poll, or ask students to answer a prompt.

Partial Outlines or PowerPoint Slides

Partial Outlines/PPTs provided for lecture - Create a set of class notes with blanks for important information. Encourage students to fill in the blanks during the class session.


Use polling through classroom response systems and share results with the class. Alternatively use systems such as Plickers or raised hands.

Pose Questions

Pose a question to be answered by small groups (3-5 students).

  • Could use a Blackboard Collaborate Ultra breakout room and/or Google doc to help with communication.
  • Could send pairs out of class for easier socially distanced discussion elsewhere on campus with set return time, have discussion outside of class time and report during class or outside of class.
  • Using headphones/microphones to communicate on various online platforms may help with excessive noise.
Small Discussion Groups

Break students into groups of 3-5. 

Small discussion group techniques can also work for your asynchronous class through the use of Collaborate Breakout rooms. 

Think, Pair, Share

A short activity where the instructor poses a question, students think about their responses then pair with someone near them to discuss their thinking before sharing out to the class.

Wait Time

Wait time refers to two specific practices where instructors deliberately pause. First, wait time 1 constitutes a 3-5 second pause between asking a question and soliciting an answer. Second, wait time 2 is a 3-5 second pause after a student response. This time provides students with time to think about the question and develop a response, either to the instructor’s question or a peer’s response.

Monitor/Assess Student Understanding

Concept Map

Have students work in small groups in real-time to add to concept maps on large sheets of paper. Students must add to the map one at a time to ensure appropriate physical distancing.

Minute Papers

Pose a question or two and have students write a response. Students can turn these in at the end of class. Instructors may ask for some students to share a selection of responses or summary of their responses with the whole class.

Muddiest Point
  • Have students use post-it notes to share their muddiest point and instructor can discuss with the class. Make sure that student post responses one at a time to ensure physical distancing.
  • Students can share their muddiest point using a online poll or anonymous Google doc.

Providing/Receiving Feedback

Peer Review

Students exchange drafts, comment and share comments at a safe physical distance. Communication may be enhanced via chatting on Group.Me, Google Meet, Discord or WhatsApp among others.

Strategies for Teaching Remote Students

Be mindful of different strategies to accommodate students who are attending in-person courses remotely.

  • Test Equipment. Test out the equipment available in class to be sure you know how to share materials (screens, applications, files) while also streaming yourself and other things happening in the class.
  • Develop a Routine. Develop a routine for including remote students—this may include pausing to check for questions or contributions from remote students. (You may want to actually put reminders into your presentations or ask other students to be the assistant of the day who will monitor hands raised, questions/comments in the chat window).
  • Count on Tech Issues. Count on students being unable to connect synchronously 100 percent of the time. You may want to consider recording class sessions or providing alternative equitable ways for students to learn what they missed.
  • Proctored Testing. Have a plan for testing for remote students. Learn more about proctored testing.
  • Develop a Plan. Develop a plan for including remote students in all aspects of the class in an equitable manner. See below for specific examples.
Interaction Between Students

When asking students to work together, remote students must be included.

  • One option includes putting them into their own breakout group(s), using this function in Collaborate Ultra.
  • Alternatively, you may already have asked all students to bring devices in order to make it easier to collaborate while physically distancing.
  • You may want to direct all students to work in small groups to complete various assignments using other technology platforms (such as Google documents, etc).
Participation in Discussion

When asking students questions in class where you might be soliciting individual contributions, be sure to pause to see whether remote students are raising their hands to contribute.

Alternate between calling on physically present students those attending remotely. Try not to consistently call on physically present students to avoid having remote students feel as though their contributions are an after-thought.

You may also want to allow remote students to participate using the chat function, rather than relying solely on video/audio feeds. This may be particularly important for students with unreliable/intermittent internet access.

Access to Materials

Posting any digital materials that you intend to use during class ahead of time on Blackboard will allow remote students to download these for ease of viewing and/or note-taking purposes.

Classroom Technology

Courses will be delivered in various ways, including completely online, partially online, or a combination where students are in a physical Kent State classroom while other students are attending the same class remotely (either in real-time or recorded). Here is a quick video that provides an overview of the technology in the classroom.

Each traditional / lecture-oriented instructional space will be equipped with the following: 

Instructor Station Computer

While there will not be a standard model computer in all instructional spaces throughout the university, all instructor station computers will be less than four years old. 

Lumens DC-125 High-Definition Portable Camera

Lumens DC-125 High-Definition Portable CameraThis camera is on a flexible stand, so it can act as a document camera or a webcam, allowing instructors the flexibility of showing documents, objects, or themselves to their remote students.

Audio Technica ATR4650-USB Computer Microphone

Audio Technica ATR4650-USB Computer MicrophoneClearly picks up audio for up to 25 feet, allowing instructors ample room to move without losing their remote students. 

Using Classroom Equipment

Used in combination with Blackboard Collaborate Ultra* (Blackboard Only) or Microsoft Teams (Canvas or Blackboard), this equipment will allow in-person instructors to do the following:

  • Broadcast their class in real-time to students who cannot be physically present
  • Record their class for later viewing by those who are not able to view it in real-time

Using the Camera and Microphone with Microsoft Teams (PDF)

Using the Camera and Microphone with Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (PDF)

Note: You may need to turn off your email, chat, and other pop-up notifications while using Collaborate Ultra and/or Microsoft Teams. Find instructions here: Windows | Mac

*Please be sure that you are using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and not Blackboard Collaborate. Blackboard Collaborate will be decommissioned later this year.

Have A Student that has Tech Needs?

The University has provided funds for students in need of technology thru the emergency grant fund. Please direct students to the COVID-19 Emergency Resources page.