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  • Johannes Urpelainen, PhD

Zoomapocalypse: 7 Simple Tricks for Online Teaching During a Global Crisis

The great online pivot in American higher education did not start in the easiest of times. A huge number of instructors and students without prior online learning experience had their first taste of virtual lectures during a global public health crisis. In this video, I share 7 simple tricks for online teaching at a stressful and unpredictable time. Watch the video for a discussion and read the tips below:




Thumbnail credit: ViaX.


1. Give students a lot of structure – plan your lecture in advance and remind students of the plan every 15 minutes.

2. Take a break at least every 45 minutes – online teaching is more exhausting than classroom teaching.

3. Encourage students to use the chat window – make participation as easy as possible.

4. Keep an eye on your connection – if you connection is bad, wait until it improves.

5. Record your lectures for students who cannot attend at the right time.

6. Go easy on grading and be 100% flexible with deadlines.

7. Be natural and take it easy.


I am a Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (Washington, DC, USA) and an academic productivity expert. Over the past decade, I have published refereed 180 articles and 5 university press books, while running a research initiative and an academic program.


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