Best Practices for Teaching Online

Teaching is hard enough without time zone differences, unavailable online platforms, and cultural mores. Your students – who are scattered across the globe – want to be engaged. These tips and resources should help ensure your courses in the ongoing virtual environment remain accessible.

Record sessions

Record your synchronous class sessions

Students can listen at their own pace and find ways to comprehend the material and sessions you are presenting.


Overcome access issues


Be aware of internet and other access issues

If you have selected a mode of delivery that may not be accessible in some countries, please be flexible and use a different mode of delivery if possible.

Assign with care

Deploy alternate assignments for students who may be in locations where your subject matter is controversial or sensitive.


The nature of WSU’s educational experience necessarily provides a platform for faculty and students to engage in critical thinking and learning on topics that are socially and culturally bound. This could be perceived or judged in other cultures as unacceptable or even punishable.

Host online office hours

When possible host live, synchronous online faculty office hours at different times of the day.


Students can benefit from your knowledge and support. Holding office hours earlier in the morning and later in the evening will ensure your students have access to you. We suggest alternating office hours between early morning, such as 8 a.m. or late afternoon, such as 4 or 5 p.m.

  • Please keep in mind that when it is 10 a.m. standard time in Washington state, it is:
    • 4 p.m. in London, UK
    • 6 p.m. in Cairo, Egypt
    • 7 p.m. in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and other parts of the Middle East
    • 7 p.m. in Moscow, Russia
    • 8 p.m. in Muscat, Oman
    • 9:30 p.m. in Mumbai and Delhi, India
    • Midnight in China, Taiwan, and Malaysia
    • 1 a.m. in Seoul, South Korea

Promote student resources

Be aware of access issues regarding academic support and library content.


Provide students with information about virtual academic support services and the library VPN.

Accessing support may be a socially and culturally bound concept so please encourage your students to use these resources.

If your students need more support than what is listed here, reach out to the Office of International Programs by emailing