DISTANCE LEARNING: Instructing & Supporting Students Online


[semester equivalent = 3.33 credits]



Chris Hill



This course is designed to help teachers to learn various ways to connect and support students virtually. Course participants will learn how to effectively create, facilitate, and distribute content to virtual learners. Educators will create motivational and relevant classroom activities, teacher support materials, and assessment tools.

This course is applicable for any K-12 teacher, administrator, or anyone looking to increase their ability to support and deliver content to students virtually.  Participants in this course will become familiar with and learn how to host a digital classroom, use video-based conferencing, lesson creation tools, and various communication tools. There is no textbook for this course. All course materials are located online.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  • Understood how to effectively create a digital classroom. 
  • Broadened their exposure to apps that support distance learning
  • Discussed issues of student compliance and motivation in remote learning
  • Understood the importance of supporting teacher-student and student-to-student connections

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

The use of artificial intelligence is not permitted. Assignment responses found to be generated by AI will not be accepted.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participants their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering, determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



There are no required texts for this course. All reading and content will be done online. 

None. All reading is online.





Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. 
Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 

Assignment #1: Introduce Yourself

Introduce yourself by describing your professional situation, reasons for being interested in this course, what you expect to take away, and your general level of experience and proficiency with supporting and instructing students virtually. (250+ words). 

Assignment #2: Best Practices for Online Instruction

Create a presentation using whichever content creator you are most familiar with (Google Slides, Microsoft PowerPoint, etc.) on what you believe are the most effective elements in engaging students in online education. Include comments on your past experience with online instruction, the tools you used, issues of engaging, motivating, and assessing students and how you are dealing with your own stress and changing expectations between an in-person and virtual learning environment. Read any two postings to this assignment and respond to at least one. 

Assignment #3: Your Digital Classroom

In distance learning, the teacher's "classroom" is often through Google Classroom for secondary schools, and Seesaw for elementary schools.

a)    Create a class (through the platform of your choice)
b)    Invite “” to join your class
c)    Create an assignment for your instructor. 
d)    Give feedback to your instructor through the platform. 

Google Classroom Resources (typically for secondary schools)


Seesaw (typically for elementary schools)


Canvas LMS

Assignment #4: Video Conferencing

Districts around the country have different policies on which type of video conferencing application their teachers are allowed to use. Using the application your district has approved, do the following and answer the questions in 150-250 words. 

a)    Create a video conference and invite a colleague, friend, or family member.
b)    What type of guidelines and best practices would you want to set-up if you are creating these video conferencing with students or coworkers?
c)    In what ways do you see yourself using this in your professional setting?

Google Hangouts Meet

Read about Google Meet (hangouts)



Read about Zoom

Zoom FAQ

Assignment #5: Text-based Communication

a)    Create a class on Remind
b)    Add “” to the Remind class, or email the shareable link to Chris. 
c)    Send out first announcement via the Remind app or website.
d)    Use Seesaw’s Announcement feature or Google Classroom’s “Share something with your class”
       feature to send an announcement. 
e)   How do you see yourself using the Remind app?
f)    Which platform (Remind, Seesaw, Google Classroom) do you see yourself using the most,
      and why?


Assignment #6: Video-based Discussion

a)    Create a Flipgrid account. 
b)    Create a grid. 
c)    Add a discussion topic of your choice. 
d)    Share with instructor 

Read About Flipgrid
Flipgrid FAQ
How to use Flipgrid
How to teach remotely with Flipgrid 

Tips and Tricks for the newly designed Flipgrid

Assignment #7: Screen Recording

a)    Using one of the screen recording options above, record at least 30 seconds
       of relevant material for your professional setting. 
b)    Share the recording with by adding it to your Google Drive
        or sharing it as an email attachment. 
c)    How do you see yourself using screen recording?



Windows 10          


Assignment #8: Assessment Resources

a)    Research the assessment resources. 
b)    Using one of the assessment tools below, create an assessment.
       The assessment should apply to your own classroom, or course of study for
       future classrooms.
       Share with instructor.





Google Forms

Assignment #9: Digital Creation and Other Resources

a) Research and analyze the resources. 

b) Choose one of the resources that you would use in your professional setting
    and do one of the following that is most applicable

        i) Create content that will be utilized in your professional setting

       ii) Create a playlist of content that students will utilize through the chosen resource (if applicable for your chosen resource). 


A free drag-and-drop graphic design platform used to create flyers, infographics, logos, social media content, and more; typically used in secondary schools.     

Pear Deck

Pear Deck makes your slides interactive so every student can respond to your questions or prompts right on their own screens. 

An digital library of books, audiobooks, and educational videos. Typically used in elementary schools.

Online learning in math, language arts, social studies, and Spanish. Can be used in both secondary and elementary schools. 

Supplemental digital curriculum of early learning games. Used in elementary schools.

Khan Academy 
Video courses on a wide variety of subjects. Can be used in secondary and elementary schools.          

Pic collage          
User-friendly way to use your photos to create digital content. Can be used on mobile device for K-12. 



In this section, you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. ​Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 


Assignment #10: Digital Unit of Study

In the digital classroom you created earlier via Seesaw or Google Classroom, create a digital unit of study that will be embedded and sent out. 

a)    Screen record a mini-lesson (3-5 minutes) of your choice 
b)    Add supplemental content from YouTube, Epic, IXL, Khan Academy, or ABCmouse to your digital classroom.
c)    Create Flipgrid prompt to check for understanding.
d)    Communicate via Remind/Seesaw/Google Classroom that students need to respond to Flipgrid video prompt (that you create). 
e)    Send out a video conference invite for live question/answer. 
f)    Create an assessment or review 

Assignment #11: Virtual Teaching Resources

a) Which are you currently familiar with and using regularly?
b) What new resources do you want to integrate into your profession? 
c) Which do you see yourself using most?
d) Are there any resources you predict you will not use? And why

Write a 450-500 word reflection regarding virtual teaching resources.

Assignment #12: (500 Level ONLY)

In addition to the 400 level assignment, complete two of the following:

Professional Development Presentation
Prepare a Presentation for an in-service for other teachers on what you believe is key to creating a successful distance learning environment for your students. This should include resources, demonstrations, and strategies that support distance learning. 

Research Paper
Identify three research studies related to distance learning in elementary or secondary schools. Write a summary of each of the studies and determine how you would alter your distance learning strategy based on what you learned from the studies. This should be 500+ words total. 

Screen Time Response
Many teachers and parents complain that so much time spent in front of a screen is depriving young people of face-to-face human contact and social skills. Discuss in 500+ words how you respond that that complaint, and, to the extent you agree, what are some solutions particularly if some kids have become addicted to being in front of a screen?


Assignment #13: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 400-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Chris Hill, M.E.T., received his Master of Educational Technology from Boise State University and currently teaches Marketing, Leadership, and Digital Media at Lake Oswego High School. His diverse teaching experience includes teaching at The International School in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He is a Google Certified teacher, and is one of fifty educators from across the country who was chosen to participate in the 2011 STEM Institute in Washington D.C. He is a member of the NorthWest Council for Computer Education and the International Society for Technology in Education. He has served as the Technology Coordinator and Activities Director at various schools.


DISTANCE LEARNING: Instructing & Supporting Students Online

“Google for Education Teacher Center.” 2020.

An online learning environment dedicated for educators and students to learn how to effectively use Google products in an educational context.

Ko, Susan and Rossen, Steve. Teaching Online: A Practical Guide. New York: Routledge Publishing, 2017

A great book that is all about tips for teaching online. It contains course design and development, creating effective online syllabi, and various types of activities to integrate.

“International Society for Technology in Education.” 2020.

This website is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in improving learning and teaching by advancing the effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education. ISTE membership is a powerful and meaningful way for educators to connect with peers, to gather in a variety of forums to share the challenges and excitement of teaching, and to be part of a community that leads the transformation of education.

“Northwest Council for Computer Education.” 2020.

NCCE is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting effective uses of technology in education.  In addition to hosting the largest educational technology conference in the Pacific Northwest, NCCE provides its members with resources and professional development opportunities throughout the year. The mission of NCCE is to promote and support the effective use of technology in all aspects of education as Technology plays a fundamental role in lifelong learning and is used in all aspects of education such as teaching, learning, assessment, evaluation, record keeping, personal productivity, and communication systems. They put on an amazing conference every year in the Northwest.

“SmartBrief on Ed Tech.” 2020.

This is a website designed to help you navigate this constantly evolving tech world. It helps you to make the best possible decisions for your school. It is designed specifically for education stakeholders with an interest in the education technology world, SmartBrief on Ed Tech also sends out a FREE, daily e-mail newsletter.

“Transforming Education through Technology.” 2020.

A technology website that focuses on transforming education through technology. Some features include; articles, webinars, discussion boards, events, K-12 news.