SLU news

Transitioning to distance teaching – good examples

Published: 30 March 2020
Roger Pettersson

Roger Pettersson, head of the Division of Learning, Media and Digitalisation, explains how they can support the transition to distance teaching. He also shares some good examples.


At the Division of Learning, Media and Digitalisation, we encounter amazing creativity and commitment on a daily basis among those of our teachers involved in this quick transition to distance teaching. We have reprioritised our tasks to support teachers as much as possible, and at the division we are now completely virtual, using Zoom for our daily meetings and coffee breaks. This makes it possible to maintain social contacts and at the same time work efficiently from home.

On the new webpage Teaching online, we have compiled information for teachers. There are suggestions for how to think from a teaching point of view as well as information on the systems and tools available to support distance teaching.

We have also opened a virtual meeting room, Educational development support online, where staff from the Educational Development Unit, together with systems and media experts, are available every weekday to answer questions on distance teaching.

Something else we have done is to open a discussion forum on the SLU learning platform Canvas, where teachers can discuss and exchange tips and ideas on how to make the transition from traditional classroom teaching to teaching online.

Good examples

Here are some examples of creative solutions that teachers have found, sometimes with our support.

  • A final review in Zoom, 1.5 hours. Questions for discussion and material available on Canvas in advance. Students worked and discussed the questions in groups. The group discussion was summarised and posted to Canvas.
  • A teacher made an excursion and recorded it. The film was posted to Canvas. The students then discussed the film in a Zoom seminar.
  • Students who would normally do field a trip together were instead given the assignment to identify forest environments in their area, as they had left campus. They will take photos of plants and upload them to Canvas. The teacher will then review the material. In a Zoom seminar, the whole class will then look at the photos and analyse them together.
  • Other practical components are now being redesigned as teachers film and post material, or even do live webcasts of chemical analyses from the lab. Students watch and discuss, and summarise the class together in Zoom. Another option is adding questions directly to the video recordings and follow up with a live question and answer session on aspects that need clarifying.
  • We are also helping teachers redesign the compulsory laboratory sessions for veterinary students by recording lab sessions on video.