Assigning Roles for In-Person Teaching with Remote Students

All students share a responsibility for the success of the classroom learning, not just the teacher or moderators. Therefore, it is important for everyone to know their role in helping to provide a smooth, equitable, and enriching learning experience. This guide will help clarify the roles and responsibilities involved, how roles are assigned, and how students earn credit.

How do I assign roles to students? What are their responsibilities? How do they earn credit?

As the Instructor, outline and communicate your expectations for in-person studentsremote studentsmoderators and TA’s, and yourself as the Instructor. To decide whether or not to attach a participation grade, consider that participation grades should be equitable. This means everyone should have opportunities for success that fit their circumstances, and differences among groups of people are taken into consideration.

Go over these expectations together as a class, and describe examples of ideal behavior. Ask for questions afterward and check in with students to see whether they think your expectations are reasonable and fair. Provide a safe space for students to express ideas and modifications; they may surprise you with better ideas. Try out the plan in a low-stakes environment first and check to see that the system works for everybody.

See this sample rubric for an idea of the types of roles and responsibilities as well as assigning them to students. Choose the ones you like and add new responsibilities that best suit your course needs. Another option would be to create a protocol list. Consider allowing students to provide input into creating these roles; they may be more likely to work with a system and hold each other accountable if they have a part in creating it.

Assigning Moderators

After communicating the responsibilities for each role in the class, consider including a rotating student moderator by seeking volunteers or offering extra credit (use a sign up form to manage this process). Ideally TAs could do these tasks but if there is no TA for your course, consider that students involved in a role with unique responsibilities will still need to learn the content and meet the course requirements like other students. Rotating volunteers throughout the semester can help with this.

Task Ideas for Moderators

  • Review and respond to the chat
  • Announce questions to the other space
  • Provide activity instructions and clarify
  • Welcome remote students
  • Update and alert Instructor when needed
  • Launch polls (created before the session)
  • Create and manage breakout rooms
  • Host an icebreaker activity
  • Help troubleshoot audio/video
  • Check in with remote students

Consider: How much extra work do you think is appropriate for a student? You may also create responsibilities other than those on this list, depending on your specific course design. Additionally you may have to give up Zoom host access for these.

For more ideas on facilitation during the session, see our Facilitator Tips for In-Person Teaching With Remote Students