Designing a Digital FWS Classroom

Classroom Tools & Course Communications Plan

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Sample Handout | Classroom Tools & Course Communications Plan

Dr. Tracy Carrick FWS / 2020


Digital Tools

  • As a fully online course, all activity will take place in our course Canvas site, using the following tools: Zoom,, Peer Review, Discussion Board, Calendar, and Announcements.
  • Class sessions will be held using Zoom (Meeting ID# XXX XXX XXXX).
  • Weekly Writing Conference should be scheduled using the Canvas Calendar and will be conducted using Zoom (Meeting ID# XXX XXX XXXX).
  • You should use your Cornell Zoom Account. Settings can be managed at (
  • You should get into the habit of shutting down and restarting your computer/device at least once a week, even once a day, to optimize performance.


Communications Plan

  • Since Cornell email may not be a reliable communication tool, I expect you to check our course Canvas site, at least twice a day, Monday through Friday. I will communicate with the whole class using Announcements and with you individually using the internal mailbox.
  • You should attend class during our regular class time (xx:xx a/pm – xx:oo a/pm EST on MW or TR) using the ZOOM meeting platform. 
  • Please communicate issues with connectivity, online access, or hardware immediately. I take seriously my commitment to support each of you uniquely in this remote-access learning environment.


Work Plan

  • Students should plan to spend 4-6 hours a week interfacing with me and/or classmates. At least 30 minutes of this weekly interface time will be an individual writing conference with me. Other modes of interface time might be: commenting on classmates’ annotations on, posting to and responding to others’ posts on Discussion Boards, providing Peer Review feedback, and attending small group discussions during my Office Hours.
  • Students should plan to spend at least 4-6 hours a week completing reading and writing assignments.


Zoom Classroom Etiquette

  • For each class session, you should do your best to have open simultaneously Zoom and Canvas (split screen on your computer or using multiple devices). We will use both online platforms during our Monday and Wednesday class sessions.
  • Try to log online to our class meeting from a quiet, distraction-free environment. We have little time together; let’s try to maximize it!
  • Keep your Audio on mute until you want to speak. We must work together to limit background noise.
  • Enable Video so that we can see you. You might need to disable video if you need to minimize the activity on your internet connection. If you do not feel comfortable sharing your image on Video, please turn it off occasionally to give yourself a break.
  • On the bottom of the Zoom window, click on “Participants” and “Chat.” Two pop-up windows will open on the right side of your screen.  
    • When you want to speak, use the “Raise Hand” feature (on the bottom left of the Participants window). Be sure to unmute yourself to talk.
    • Use the Chat box to make a point or ask a question. Remember that Chat is public, and may be recorded, and archived.
  • Have a plan for taking notes (paper and pencil, digital notepad, Word/Pages doc). We may post recordings of our Zoom class sessions on Canvas, but you should also try to capture your thoughts and questions in the moment.
  • I will record all Zoom class sessions, and may post excerpts on Canvas in the event that one of you is not able to be present.