Funds for Remote-Accessible (REM) Course Development

Brown University defines a "remote-accessible” (REM) course as one that officially allows students who are not physically present (throughout the full term) to enroll and achieve the same course objectives. REM includes virtual exchange courses, fully online courses, and other creatively designed courses to support this modality.

REM courses enrich Brown’s curriculum because they allow students to continue their progress to degree, even if they are not physically present -- due to scenarios such as study abroad/away and personal circumstances, including accommodation. (Please see this guide for identifying through Canvas students approved to study in remote modality.) The intentional design of these courses also may help instructors achieve other pedagogical or curricular goals, such as external outreach through virtual exchange classes.

In collaboration with the Office of the Provost, the Sheridan Center is pleased to announce course development funds to support the development of REM courses in the undergraduate curriculum. A faculty member is eligible to receive a $2,000 research award to support this innovation.


  • The department will commit to offering the course in REM modality in Spring '24 or AY24-25 and publicizing the offering to concentrators (e.g., through the department website or integration into advising tools).
  • The instructor will commit to designing/redesigning the course in REM modality and consult at least once with a support team (Media Services, Sheridan Center, and/or Office of Global Engagement; see below) before grant monies are issued. This team will help advance the project, including considerations such as classroom technology and other needed partners.


Applications are due on a rolling basis. Please submit all materials to [email protected], and we welcome questions and requests for initial consultations at that email address as well. The Sheridan Center faculty advisory groups may help to make funding decisions.

A complete application includes brief responses to questions 2-5, plus a letter as described in item #1:

  1. Please upload a brief letter of support, signed by the department chair and/or chair of the department curriculum committee. The letter should express a commitment to offering the REM course in Spring '24 or AY24-25 and explain how it will be publicized to concentrators. If applicable, please note ongoing commitments to offer the course in REM modality beyond AY24-25.
  2. Provide a brief description of the proposed design or redesign objectives, including proposed modality (e.g., fully online, virtual exchange – please see definitions below) and date of intended offering. If proposing a fully online or virtual exchange course, please note that at least 4 months is required before offering, due to planning considerations. What resources, beyond the grant monies, might be needed to achieve these plans?
  3. What is the role of the course in the department’s curriculum? Please note if this is a required course for concentrators. Please also include information on anticipated enrollment, including whether the course will be open to all students or if the instructor plans to limit REM enrollment to students who have been given explicit permission by the University to study remotely (such as a documented accommodation from SAS).
  4. Please acknowledge commitment to the program expectations named above.
  5. Is there anything else that would be helpful to know about this project to ensure your full inclusion in this initiative?

Up to 6 grantees will be selected on a rolling basis. Grants will be awarded until funds are exhausted (and all funds must be disbursed by June 30, 2024).


Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Commitment from the department chair and/or curriculum committee chair, including specific plans to offer and publicize the course to students
  • Plans to offer the course in REM modality beyond AY24-25 and publicize it to students
  • Development of a new REM offering or significant re-design of an existing REM course
  • Scope and impact of the course on department curriculum
  • Disciplinary diversity
  • Commitment of applicant to process
  • Well-articulated rationale for offering course in REM modality, including feasibility of timing and plans
  • Sustainability of plans (For example, a proposal that seeks to bring in guest speakers is less sustainable, compared to one that seeks to record guest speakers and use these recordings in future iterations of the course.)

Please contact [email protected] for any questions about the proposal process or for a consultation about teaching in REM modality.


REM Definitions

Although this list is not exclusive, common models for REM include:

  1. A lecture that can be made available to students asynchronously (e.g., lecture capture or notes) PLUS a Zoom-only section available to students with an instructor override. Other ideas for experiential courses, such as labs, were developed by Kate Smith (Program in Biology), in collaboration with colleagues across campus.
  2. A fully online course.
  3. A Brown course taught synchronously in two distant locations or a “virtual exchange” (VE) course, where a Brown course is co-taught with an instructor at another institution. (The Sheridan Center is working closely with the Office of Global Engagement to coordinate support for VE courses involving international partnerships. Please note that students in the partner institution would not be considered Brown matriculants, and the course will be transcripted only for Brown and visiting students. Faculty at the partner institution would not be considered Brown employees but would list the course at their home institution for their own students.)


For an in-person course to acquire official REM status, the academic department administrator must designate it as such with the Registrar via Banner, prior to the beginning of the semester. (See Courses at Brown for existing REM courses.)