Remote Teaching Guidelines

SIS Remote Teaching Guidelines: Working Group on Remote Teaching (July 31, 2020)

All SIS instruction will be remote for Fall 2020 courses. The information in the table below are highlights of some of the important guidelines set out in the Faculty of Arts Guidelines for Remote Teaching in Fall 2020 (dated: July 6, 2020). Entries in the “see also” column refer to sections in these guidelines. The guidelines are available online and can also be downloaded in pdf format.



See also

2. Some terms, definitions and assumptions




Courses should maintain the timetable schedule (in order to prevent conflicts, overburdening students) with respect to posting materials

2.3; 3.5

3. Delivery of curriculum




At SIS a typical 3-credit course equates to approximately 126 hours of work by the student.




In the context of remote delivery, the usual logic of “contact hours” (that is, three credits equal 36 contact hours) does not apply – instead, think of the course in terms of the hours of student work.




  • Instructors should not require students to “attend” more than 36 hours of lectures, seminars or conferences, and should be mindful of the course workload.
  • Instructors are strongly encouraged to require students to view less than 36 hours of recorded material, allowing students more time to engage in the course in other ways – note that scripted, well rehearsed, and recorded presentations are often more succinct that live lectures.



3.3 Regarding not replicating in-person course




For each hour of face-to-face teaching, the recommendation is to have a Zoom recorded module of 10-15 mins; the remaining time can consists of assigned questions to answer, readings to critique, group work, reflections on your own work, peer review of other student`s work, oral (live or recorded) presentations or other activities that are associated with this module`s content

3.3; 3.5


3.5 Regarding “synchronous” or “live” activities




  • Timed synchronous exams are strongly discouraged
  • Students should instead be given projects, assignments or take home exams
  • They should be given 48 hours to complete these
  • Smaller more frequent assignments are strongly encouraged

3.5; 2.7



  • No student who cannot be physically present in Montreal should be penalized or disadvantaged in any manner
  • this will typically mean that there should be asynchronous alternatives for any synchronous activities (e.g. if live discussion, then same topic on discussion forum; if live lecture, then recording posted on myCourses)

3.5; 3.7; 2.7



Instructors cannot require any amount of synchronous presence of students



3.7 Regarding the use of video and the recording of fixed sessions




Instructors cannot require that students have their videos turned on (they can state they prefer to be able to see them but this cannot be mandatory). Unless it is required for grading; please see Section 3.7 of McGill University Faculty of Arts Guidelines for Remote Teaching in Fall 2020 July 6, 2020.




Recordings of fixed sessions should be made available


4. Assessment in a remote delivery context




Participation grades should not exceed 10%; they should be given for online participation


6. Required course materials




All readings should be available online



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