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Welcome to the Online Teaching Library! 


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Got a question or want to chat about online teaching? Stop by my weekly online office hours!

As an experiment this summer, I will be offering teaching support office hours every Wednesday afternoon (1-2 p.m., PDT). Come chat with your colleagues and with me about online teaching. Share ideas and get answers to your questions. And if you send me your questions in advance, I can do some research before the meeting to make sure I have an answer for you.

  • As always, if you have an urgent question that can't wait until Wednesday, feel free to give me a call (415-618-3547) or drop me a line (

  • Or if you have a question in the middle of the night, the Online Help Desk is always here for you.

(star) How to Join the Teaching Support Office Hours (star)

  • You will need a web browser and a telephone.

  • If you have a webcam, we hope you will consider participating via video. (WARNING: Yes, this means that you will be on camera!) :)

  • You’ll find information about the teleconference inside the office site.

  • If you will be connecting from outside the US and need a local phone number to call, please contact Maya Frenklach in advance, so she can make the necessary arrangements.

RETURN TO:  Online Teaching LibraryBlog  |  Home

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Getting ready to teach online this summer? This checklist will help you prepare.

#1 – Review the most recent updates to the online learning system.

#2 – Get familiar with the Academy's Online Teaching Standards.

New standards were established in Spring 2017, so make sure you are familiar with the current expectations. Review the list and download the rubric to help you assess your own effectiveness as an online instructor.

#3 – Review the Workday requirements for reporting your hours (for part-time instructors only).

#4 – Plan your time.

#5 – Clarify and post your expectations.

#6 – Make your class student-ready.

#7 – Introduce yourself via video — and ask your students to do the same. Learn more: Connecting with your students via video

You might also consider tagging all your students in this initial post. Learn more: More tips for tagging

#8 – Take care of administrative tasks.

  • Update your contact information in WorkDay.

  • Contact HR ( to update your contact information in the Academy's official record.

  • Set up Easy Grade Pro with your new class roster.

#9 – Set up an online office (optional).

#10 – Get some support.

RETURN TO:  Online Teaching LibraryBlog  |  Home

In many studio classes, peer critique is an essential part of the learning process. How can you facilitate this process in the online environment?

The Challenge

Before an assignment deadline, students are scrambling to complete their own work. While a few students might post their assignments early, most are working down to the wire. So there's no time for them to look at their classmates' work before the deadline.

The Strategy

An approach pioneered by the Photography Department is now built into the Discussion interface, making it simple for you to ensure that students have time to review and comment on one another's work. Here's how it works:

  • Any topic designated as an assignment (i.e., a gradable topic) has not only an opening date and a due date but also a separate closing date. Students must post their assignments by the due date, or else they are marked "late."

     Learn more about how topic dates work...

    You may have noticed that there are three dates listed for each topic on the main discussion page: an opening date, a due date, and a closing date.

    Click on any image to enlarge.

    By default, the opening date is set to the first day of the module, and the due date and closing date are set to the last day of the module. In discussions, the due date and the closing date are always the same.

    But in an assignment, you can set a closing date that’s after the due date. The due date is the deadline for this assignment. Students have to get their work in by this date. But by setting a closing date that’s later than the due date, you accomplish two things:

    • First, you won’t need to create a separate topic for late homework. If students submit their work after the due date, their posts will automatically be marked late. So if it’s your policy to allow students to submit late work, you can simply extend the closing date to give them some extra time.

    • What’s more, the extended closing date allows students time to review and post comments on one another’s work — without your having to manually reopen the topic. Comments made after the due date are not marked as late; but late posts are marked. For more information, watch the tutorial on Posts & Comments.

    You can change the dates for any topic by editing it.

  • As the instructor, you can extend an assignment's closing date beyond its due date.

  • In the days between the assignment deadline (due date) and the closing date, students have time to review each other's work — and they can post comments on that work.

  • Once the closing date is reached, the peer critique discussion is over. 

(star) New!! (star)

Now the development team has streamlined this process by adding an interface that lets you extend the close dates for all your assignments at once. Instead of editing each topic individually, you can now quickly specify how many days to allow for peer critique for every assignment. Just navigate to the page for Current Topics or Pending Topics or Global Topics to find this tool.

What if...?

This is the first in a new series of posts addressing Common Teaching Problems (and their solutions). I hope you find them helpful!

If you have suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed in this series, please post a comment, below, or drop me a line (

RETURN TO:  Online Teaching Library:  Blog  |  Home



Teaching Library Overview

In this library, you will find a wide range of resources to support your work as an online instructor at the Academy of Art University, including:

  • supplemental teaching materials, including tutorials, checklists, cheat-sheets, sample files, and more.

Learn more about what's available here by watching our tutorial.

The Online Teaching Library will grow over time, so please check back often to see what's new here. 

Browse the Online Teaching Blog


About Me

Jenny Michael
Associate Director, Instructional Review & Improvement

I’ve been training and supporting online teachers at the Academy since 2004. My focus is on ensuring the success of our online instructors, and my work overlaps with that of Faculty Development in many ways. I've developed numerous resources for online instructors, including trainings on Course Development and Teaching Online, workshops (online and in-person), along with this library of teaching materials. I also created and manage the online coaching program — and I'm an online instructor myself. (I developed and occasionally teach the online French class.)

I earned a Ph.D. in Folklore & Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. My particular areas of interest are in traditional art and other aspects of material culture, including foodways, dress and adornment. I also hold a Master's degree from U.C. Berkeley and a B.A. from Stanford University. I have taught numerous courses in folklore, anthropology, American studies, and writing at various institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania, University of Delaware, Drexel University, Indiana University, University of San Francisco, and U.C. Berkeley.

Want to get in touch with me? Here's how:

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  1. This is great Jenny! I love the new organization and the recent postings...thanks and I look forward to checking in during the fall. Also really like the suggestions about wrapping up the semester.well. Great picture of you as well!

  2. I'm glad you like the changes, Christine! And thanks for the heads-up about the access issues. I don't understand what the problem is but will check back with our tech guru to see if we can figure this out...

  3. I think we have sorted out the issue! If anyone is still having problems seeing the images here, please post a comment or drop me an email: Thanks!

  4. Nice, visual approach here! I love the ability to get the headlines or dig deeper. Constantly evolving. (smile)



  5. Nice work on the revised Layout and design Jenny. It's great to have immediate access for all of the newest content. With such a wealth of information keeping it organized makes all the difference, you're amazing!

  6. I love this! Really great visuals and wonderful information! 

  7. Jenny, thank you for the suggestions about inviting student feedback.  I have always done this but from a narrower perspective.  Just putting it out there and asking directly, " How can I do better?" is great!  In the interest of full disclosure, I used your questions and created a new topic that will be open for Modules 14 and 15.  


    1. I will be interested to know how that works for you, Ellie!

  8. I too appreciate the idea of inviting student feedback. I know they grade us in their own way and understanding their perceptions has to help one teach better. I wish I had done that directly in my classes last semester on site. Instead, I just tried to wheedle it out of them....

  9. I love all this information because help me to understand what to expect from the instructors! Such a great resource!
    Thank you Jennifer!

  10. Hello everyone, I am just playing around with the new interface to get familiar with it.

    Unfortunately the Markup window stays blank and nothing happens with the page, the only way is to click back to the previous page. I am on a Mac using Safari. Does anyone else got the same problem? Can you offer solution or suggestions?

    Thank you,


  11. Hello just getting started here but I see the 24 hour support will help me sleep well