Managing Multiple Modalities? Your Peers Have Your Back

Managing Mlutiple Modalities Tips Sheet
Online Learning
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Colleen Zajac is a Senior Copywriter at Cengage with a zest for learning. She loves rock climbing, mountain biking and coffee—not necessarily in that order.


The last few years have caused a major shift in higher ed. Colleges and universities everywhere have adapted to a new world of teaching and learning. Multiple modalities are now the norm. But we don’t have to tell you that. After all, you live it every day.

As an instructor in higher education, you’re almost certainly teaching multiple modalities, and it’s no easy feat.

You meet in person. You show up online. Many times, you’re doing both simultaneously. You’re dealing with learning management systems, Zoom and livestreaming, different grading approaches and new-found cheating methods. These days, you have no choice but to build, design and organize your courses to flex. It’s tech-intensive and time-consuming, and it takes away from your main focus: teaching, supporting and mentoring your students.

No one can truly understand the complexities, challenges and frustrations of managing multiple modalities—except for maybe your fellow faculty members. In fact, in our latest Faces of Faculty report, 77% of the instructors surveyed said that “managing multiple modalities had a significant impact on their role,” and 44% reported working longer hours because of it.

While you may not have the luxury of sitting down with your peers to sip a cup of coffee, pick their brains and vent (just a little), you can still get their help. We asked faculty around the country what they do to make managing multiple modalities, well, more manageable. And of course, they came through. Because we all know educators are champions.

We compiled a list of your peers’ best tips. Many of which you can put into action immediately — and best of all easily ­— like repurposing sources, using pre-existing structures, keeping a log and using reminder apps.

Check out all the top faculty-tested strategies for managing multiple modalities now. And by the way, thank you for everything you do.