Checklist for Teaching International Students Remotely

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The XCITE team acknowledges that obstacles can exist when teaching international students remotely. The team also recognizes that there can be many solutions to any challenges. In partnership with campus, XCITE strives to create innovative and impactful teaching and learning solutions that drive academic and inclusive excellence. Please consider the following challenges and solutions for supporting the success of UCR international students.

  • Internet and Research Access
    Lack of internet access, data "pay for usage" systems, and blockage of specific research topic


    Recommended Solutions:
    • Consider non-video forms of engagement, such as Slack or Google Docs
    • Install the GlobalConnect VPN prior to travel to a country with internet restrictions
    • Contact Kuei Chiu,, for library services and recommendations
  • Remote Exams
    UCR now offers two "do it yourself" remote proctoring solutions, YUJA and R' Proctoring. Both proctoring services are free to UCR students and faculty. You can choose the strategy (or combina- tion of strategies) that makes sense for you and your course.


    Recommended Solutions:
    • Review each service at
    •   Contact XCITE-HELP@UCR.EDU if you want to discuss strategies
    •   Consider offering an alternative type of assessment (e.g., blogging, student-led teaching, debate, student-led interviews with reports, presentations, exhibits, or student-produced digital assignments such as digital stories, blogging, or website)
    • Use your course management system to rotate questions and answers.
  • Help Students Keep Up with Course Load
    Students may be unfamiliar with the education format


    Recommended Solutions:
    • Clarify academic expectations of assessments and class participation
    •    Provide clear instructions in multisensory formats (simplify the message without changing the material)
    •    Share models of exemplar student work and substandard student work from past terms (excluding student information) as examples to clarify expectations.
    •    Offer an outline that shows how to organize time. Prioritize and teach academic skills that are typical in Western contexts-expressing opinions, paraphrasing and summarizing; referencing; analysis, evaluation, and argument structure.
    •    Allow students to demonstrate their knowledge, not just acknowledge it. For example, use presentations, essays, or digital stories.


    Pace and delivery: Speed of lecture is too fast


    Recommended Solutions:
    • When using recorded lectures, use technology that allows students to control the speed of delivery
    •    Use YUJA to embed questions into video's so students can check their understanding    Use YUJA close captioning feature, giving students the option to read or listen
    •    Use visual aids such as pictures, diagrams, video, bullets, numbering, and highlighting    Create consistent course designs (e.g., templates)
    •    Post assignments, readings, and technical vocabulary ahead of time (e.g., at least two days before class) and provide sample assignments completed by past students to clarify content/format
  • Support Class Participation
    Students who have experienced an educational system that encourages memorization1 rather than active learning1 may not be comfortable expressing opinions or being critical about the content presented.


    Recommended Solutions:
    • Use Slack or threaded discussions to encourage students to break away from passively following the teacher's point of view, inviting the practice of constructive questioning or active self-expression
    • Use Poll Everywhere to seek student understanding of course concepts
    • Limit class presentations to small groups to accommodate cultural differences in presentation     approaches
    • Assign groups using same time zones if there are expectations for group work
    • Clearly define discussion etiquette in ways that help international students feel like equal participants in the classroom setting
    • Allow students to contribute information from their country
    • Internationalize the course content and topics, the material with international perspectives, and activities that require interaction with students from diverse backgrounds
    • Model inclusive group work set guidelines and encourage strategies for students to offer peer support within the classroom. Encourage equal participation from domestic and international students.
  • Be Aware of International Student Well-being
    Many international students may feel isolated and homesick. International students may feel they are better supported and advised by relying on each other than on institution officials and class- mates.


    Recommended Solutions:
    • Increase and improve the interaction between professors and international students, forming positive student-teacher relationships, and building a level of trust that is a vital component to an inviting learning environment. For example, offer virtual office hours through ZOOM.
    • Create opportunities for international students to connect with other students (e.g., offer small discussion groups or use Slack).
    • Create opportunities for international students to connect with their family members. (Zoom, YUJA)
    • Offer international virtual game night to include domestic and international students.     Ensure international students know about campus counseling services.
    Consider Cultural Differences


    Recommended Solutions:
    • Become informed about the international student culture, politics, and customs  
    •  Seek out cultural awareness training opportunities on campus
    •   Lead a cross-campus or departmental training session