Remote Teaching Checklist

I’m a huge fan of checklists. You should be one too. If not, here’s an incredible article on how checklists have saved lives in hospitals. Anyways, the checklists below are the result of what I’ve learned from last spring’s baptism by fire in remote teaching, student feedback, and learning from others over the summer. I share this in the spirit of learning from you. Please reach out to suggest edits, changes and/or additions.


  • Set up Zoom Security and Settings (see checklist below)
  • Share Do’s and Don’ts for Zoom with students
  • Create and share Rules for Shared Space with students. I’m still working on these; however, here’s an example of a rule from Matt Mullenweg (a leader in the distributed-work movement): “Assume positive intent”.
  • Share Communication Expectations with students. Here’s a bit of what I share with my students: “I check my email twice a day at 11 am and 4:30 pm. So, don’t expect replies outside of those times. And, over the weekend, I’m usually at a soccer game (my son’s); so, immediate replies should not be expected. Moreover, my replies tend to be terse like “Yep”.


  • Set up equipment, log into Zoom, check audio and video, and deal with any technical issues.


This list is a mix of some logistical steps but mostly aspirational steps (things that I want to find a way to integrate into each remote class session; but, honestly, I’ll be happy getting just a few of them checked off).

  • Use a “Beginning Moment” to help students transition from the everyday, familiar space of their bedroom, dining room or closet into the sacred (albeit digital) space of the classroom. Toward this end, I lead my students in an abridged version of mokuso.
  • Start off with an Ice Breaker, Team Builder, or Warm Up activity
  • Relationships over Content (this is key)
  • Engage the Five Senses
  • Active Learning
  • Be Inclusive
  • Slow the Pace
  • Less Content
  • More Assignments worth Fewer Points
  • Multiple Pauses for questions
  • Have an Intermission
  • Utilize Polling to take the pulse of the class
  • Utilize Breakout Rooms to foster community
  • Allow students to use Google Documents to co-author and share notes


  • Review what’s coming up for the next class meeting
  • Assign assignments
  • Conclude with an “Ending Moment”
  • Linger on zoom to see if anyone has any additional questions
  • Click “End Meeting for All”


Here’s a streamlined version of the checklist:

Some other things of possible interest…


Here’s a list of the equipment that I’m using for remote instruction:

  • Two 3’ X 4’ White Boards – hung on the walls of my home office.
  • Selfie Stick Tripod – I mount my iPhone on the tripod and use it to zoom. Using the tripod, I can easily carry my phone around and bring it closer to the white boards to show my students any notes in greater detail. I am also simultaneously logged into zoom on my laptop so I can view my students and the chat stream more easily.

Improving my audio and lighting were the two bits of feedback I received most often from my students last semester. So, toward that end, I added the following equipment:

What kind of equipment are you using? Do you have any suggestions?


I’ll be trying these out for the first time this semester:

  • Krisp – a free noise cancelling app that removes all background noise for incoming and outgoing calls.
  • Camo – a free app that turns the camera on your iPhone or iPad into a pro webcam.
  • MIRO – I’ll be using this for my Social Good Lab course in which student teams work with community partners using Google’s Sprint Methodology.
  • Slack – a communications platform for teams. I’ll be using this in my Social Good Lab coure
  • Whiteboard – a free online whiteboard tool. I have not tried but thought others may find valuable.

What other free apps and services are out there?

Good luck this semester! Feel free to reach out to connect, share ideas, or simply support one another emotionally. I think we’re gonna need it.


If you enjoyed this blog, you may enjoy my This is the Work newsletter.

Thanks. – shawn