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Welcome to the Academy Teaching Library! 


The Academy will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday from Thursday, November 22, through Sunday, November 25.

Online instructors and students are NOT expected to be in their online classes during this period.

NOTE: These days are NOT part of the blackout time for part-time instructor work, however, so you may choose to work and report your hours as usual on these days.

Since the Module 11 deadline falls during this break, we strongly suggest that you extend the deadline for your Module 11 topics and quizzes, to allow students some extra time to complete and submit their work. (How much additional time you allow is up to you.)

  • To extend the deadline for your topics: Simply edit your topics (course topics and global topics) and adjust the due and close dates.
    • Course Topics

       Click here to expand...

      1. Navigate to your Current or Pending Topics page (depending on when you make this change), and click the "Edit" link next to any topic you want to update.

      2. Change the close date and due date (for assignments). Then click the "Submit" button to post your updates.

    • Global Topics

       Click here to expand...

      1a. Navigate to your Global Topics page, and use the dates interface to make your updates. The topics are automatically updated with the new dates you enter.

      1b. Alternatively, you can click the "View / Edit" link next to any topic you want to update.

      2. Change the close date and due date (for assignments). Then click the "Submit" button to post your updates.

And don't forget to let your students know about this schedule change (by posting an announcement or creating an informational topic — or using whatever means you prefer to communicate important information).

Happy Thanksgiving! 

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The Gradebook, which launched in Summer 2018, is now active in more than 400 classes. We've noticed a few questions coming up over and over, so I'm going to answer them here.

Q: Do I have the Gradebook in my class?

A: This is an important question! If the Gradebook has not been activated in your class, you cannot yet use it. You can find out by checking your Course Home/Syllabus page. Open the grading tab and check your grading breakdown.

  • If you see a colorful pie chart there, then — in most cases — yes: your class has the Gradebook!

     Show / hide screenshot


    Please note: There are a few online classes that have the new pie-chart breakdown without an active Gradebook. You can double-check to make sure your class has the Gradebook by looking for the Class Grades Matrix. (See, below, My class has the Gradebook, but where is it?!!)

  • If you only see a list of categories and percentages, then the Gradebook is not yet active in your class. Talk with your academic director if you are interested in using the Gradebook next semester.

     Show / hide screenshot

Q: How can I learn how to use the Gradebook?

A: The Online Teaching Library has lots of training materials available for the Gradebook!

  • The main page is here: The Gradebook. Here you can learn more about the Gradebook rollout and navigate to an array of written training materials.

Q: My class has the Gradebook, but where is it?!!

A: When people ask this question, they're usually looking for the Class Grades Matrix.

 Show / hide the Matrix

Click to enlarge.

There are links to the Matrix from three pages:

Option #1: There’s a link on the Section Grades page. 

  • From the Enrollments section of your Home page, click the Grades link.

     Show / hide screenshot

  • The Section Grades page opens. Click the link to Class Grades Matrix.

     Show / hide screenshot

Option #2: There’s also a link on the Student Grade Detail page.

  • From your Home page, click the Grades link.

     Show / hide screenshot

  • The Section Grades page opens. Click the Detail link for any student.

     Show / hide screenshot

  • The Student Grade Detail page for that student opens. Click the link to Class Grades Matrix.

     Show / hide screenshot

Option #3: There's another link on the Progress Grading interface.

  • During a progress grading period, click the Submit Grades link under the Enrollments section of your Home page.

     Show / hide screenshot

  • The Progress Grading interface opens. Click the link to Class Grades Matrix.

     Show / hide screenshot

Q: Where can I find my students' overall grades?

A:  Overall grade calculations are performed only during a progress grading period. You can see them on the progress grading interface or on the Student Grade Detail page – but not on the Class Grades Matrix.

Keep in mind that the Matrix is only a report. It reflects the information you have entered and calculates average grades for each category and each assignment. Once you enter progress grades, these will be displayed on the Matrix, as well. At present, the Matrix cannot calculate an on-demand overall grade for a student, but we hope eventually to add this feature to the Gradebook functionality. 

Q: Can my students see their progress grade calculations?

A: Yes! Beginning this semester, students can see the pie chart and the rest of their grade calculation information when they check their progress grades.

 Show / hide screenshot

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Image Source

Teaching online this fall? This checklist will help keep you on track.
(Classes began Thursday, 9/6. Fall Art Experience classes begin Saturday, October 6.) 

(star) IMPORTANT (star)  Our thoughts are with our students and their families impacted by Hurricane Florence. If you have students who are affected by the storm, please make every effort to reach out and support them.

Here are some guidelines:

  • Your director may contact you to let you know which of your students live in the impacted area. We would also suggest that you post an announcement, asking student to let you know if they anticipate being affected by the storm.
  • Please check in with these students to see if they need special support, and encourage them to contact their advisors and/or the Online Help Desk. Be aware that our Advising staff is also doing outreach to these students.
  • If any of these students have not participated in class by the end of the Module 1, please alert your department.
  • Since this situation constitutes an excused absence under the Academy’s policy, we ask that you please make accommodations for any students in your classes who are affected.
    • The simplest way to do this is to extend the closing dates for your current topics to allow these students extra time in which to post their work (Learn more: Setting Up Your Topics). Please note that assignment posts made after the due date but before the closing date will be marked as "Late," but it's always up to you to determine whether or not any penalty should apply to work marked late.
    • Learn more: The Academy's policy on Excused Lateness in Online Classes offers guidelines on how best to work with these students. In particular, we recommend setting clear deadlines for making up missed work.

If you live in an affected area yourself, please contact your department as soon as possible. Your director may need to make arrangements for a temporary substitute, if you are unable to teach your class.

Do you have our app?

Online Education has developed Classes, an updated app for students and faculty, where they can check all things Academy-related. As of January 2018, the Classes app now includes the shuttle schedule previously found on the Student/Campus app, along with course information, online classrooms and student grades. Download the app for iOS or Android today — and tell your students about it!

#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 employees only).

#4 – Plan your time: Review & download the Online Module Calendar for this semester.

(star)(star) PLEASE NOTE: This semester, the Thanksgiving holiday runs from Thursday, November 22, through Sunday, November 25.

#5 – Clarify and post your expectations.

#6 – Make your class student-ready.

#7 – Get students talking

#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, if needed.

  • Set up Easy Grade Pro with your new class roster. OR, if your class is using The Gradebook, familiarize yourself with its features. 

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

#10 – Get some support.

RETURN TO:  Online Teaching LibraryBlog  |  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, Faculty Evaluation & Coaching

I’ve been training and supporting online teachers at the Academy since 2004. In 2018, I began working with onsite instructors, as well. My focus is on ensuring the success of our teachers. 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 managed the online mentoring program — and I have taught online myself. 

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