Skip navigation links

Remote Start Teaching and Learning Resources

Dear Educators,


Based on the start of semester plans communicated on Dec. 31 by the President and Provost, I write to you today to share additional resources and suggestions to help you adjust your plans accordingly. 


I encourage you all to once again consult our Keep Teaching website which includes teaching and learning success strategies and resources that will assist with this adjustment. We have all learned a great deal over the last couple of years about how to teach and learn together online. The Office of the Provost has assembled a wide range of resources and best practices for educators and students, housed within this site. Please reference the content on these sites to learn more, especially as we begin to teach and learn in a remote stance.  


This remote start is not a delayed start. I know you are all finding ways to set students forth with learning activities right away. By adjusting your course plans using the following resources available to you we are confident you will be able to support students’ learning objectives. 

10 tips to help you get started:
Consistent with the resources previously shared with by the Provost, here are some additional suggestions that will help with your transition plans quickly:


  1. Use MSU’s core teaching tools. They are the most robust and best supported. Students are already familiar with them.
  2. Communicate with your class ASAP and provide any clarification needed about a remote start. The EDLI initiative made a template and examples for temporary modality changes in the Fall. College of Arts and Letters also created some template language specific to this remote pivot. Use these samples to help you communicate with your students about this temporary modality change.
  3. Consider using D2L course templates and post a copy of your syllabus in D2L and distribute (via the “email your class” tool on the Registrar’s Office website. Make any adjustments to the syllabus consistent with your communication about changes associated with the remote start. 
  4. Adhere to the official course schedule as published by the Registrar, especially when scheduling any required synchronous sessions with students. This will ensure that students are available, and not given conflicting meeting times for anything (e.g. on Zoom).
  5. Enhance your instructional presence by posting a welcome video or writing a welcome letter to your students. 
  6. Provide a clear introduction to the course, including the course’s learning objectives, and a broad overview of what students should expect through early communications with your students. Set the context for any initial activities, assignments, and readings early. 
  7. Post all early readings and documents students will need or create stable sharing links via the MSU Libraries electronic resources collection. I encourage you to work closely with your unit’s librarians.
  8. Communicate clearly about any required materials and technology tools students will need to be successful in the course. Consider how you might accommodate students whose ability to access these might be disrupted in this early stage of the semester.
  9. Be flexible in your approach, transparent about your plans and expectations, and generous in response to individual student circumstances. 
  10. Remember that students have individual needs and circumstances that vary greatly, and work with RCPD and other academic support units to help students find accommodations that allow them to pursue success.


Additional resources across campus:
Instructors with acute needs for support, guidance, and advice about a remote start for Spring 2022 semester might best engage first with colleagues and support people in their academic unit. Many of our instructors and staff have contributed to remote teaching tips. I encourage you to review these and share ideas, questions, and connect with educators across MSU.


At the university level the nascent Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation has limited resources, however, we will work to connect requests for helpto a relevant colleague. 


The Provost’s earlier message provided several places to find support:


Professional development opportunities: 
I encourage anyone seeking further professional development in any area of remote teaching to consult the resources made available in MSU’s community for educators. On there are several resources for educators that cover a broad array of instructional needs, and several articles specific to remote teaching. Many academic units have developed discipline-specific resources that are applicable, don't forget to check, as they have probably communicated with you directly.


If you want to consider your whole course design as a blended learning experience, both of the following options are immediately available for open enrollment and asynchronous participation.


The ASPIRE (Asynchronous Program for Instructional Readiness) workshop was created to help you better prepare to teach online. ASPIRE is entirely self-paced and will guide you through the process to develop an online version of your course. Enroll in ASPIRE.


The 2021 Blended Teaching Workshop The Blended Teaching Workshop was created to help you prepare to teach a blended or hybrid course. It is entirely asynchronous and self-paced and is focused on how you can make the most of in-person contact time and an online environment. Self-enrollment for 2021 Blended Teaching Workshop


Please remember to work with your deans, directors and chairs to make appropriate accommodations for your students. If you have specific questions, please do not hesitate to request help. 


I wish you the best for the start of the new year.





Joseph A. Salem, Jr., Ph.D.

Dean of Libraries and Interim Associate Provost for Teaching and Learning Innovation

Michigan State University

366 West Circle Dr.

East Lansing, MI 48824



he / him / his


Michigan State University occupies the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Lands of the Anishinaabeg–Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples. The University resides on Land ceded in the 1819 Treaty of Saginaw.