Things to think about during prolonged campus closures

Prepare and Practice:   Prioritize course requirements and become proficient with appropriate technologies, and digitizing course material on Canvas.  Become familiar with our video conferencing and lecture tools.

Pick Tools and Approaches that are Familiar: Try to rely on tools and workflows that are familiar to you and your students, and roll out new tools only when absolutely necessary. If a closure happens this may be already taxing, introducing a lot of new tools and approaches may leave even less energy and attention for learning.

Address Emergencies and Expectations Up Front:  Students should know what will happen if classes are cancelled, including procedures you will implement. Consider doing this each semester, so you are ready in case of an emergency.

Communicate with your Students: Even if you don’t have a plan in place yet, communicate with your students as soon as possible, informing them that changes are coming and what your expectations are for communication (i.e. email, Canvas)

Consider realistic goals for continuing instruction: What do you think you can realistically accomplish during this time period? Do you think you can maintain your original syllabus and schedule? Do you hope students will keep up with the reading with some assignments to add structure and accountability?  You will want to keep them engaged with the course so think about how you are going to accomplish this.

Review your course schedule to determine priorities: Identify your priorities during the disruption—providing lectures, structuring new opportunities for discussion or group work, collecting assignments, etc. What activities are better rescheduled, and what can or must be done online? Give yourself a little flexibility in that schedule, just in case the situation takes longer to resolve than you think

Tools for Online Teaching


Video Recording Tools

Video Conferencing Tools

Remote Access Tools

Teaching Online

Course Flow: You should consider structuring the layout of your course content in a logical manner so students will know where to find the content and where to go next. Think about the logical flow of a course for students. How do you want to layout your course think about the following layouts:

  • Chapters: laying out course by book chapters
  • Topics : laying out course by topic
  • Units: Layout your course by units
  • Dates: Layout your course by dates

Lectures: You may want to replace face-to-face lectures with live or recorded audio  or video lectures. 

Live Lecture Tools

  • Conferences is a web conferencing tool that is built into Canvas. This allows you to communicate with other users in your Canvas course.
  • Google Hangouts is an instant messaging tool included with any Google account.
  • Google Meet Is a web conferencing tool that is included with the Google Apps for education suite. We have a limited number of licenses. 
  • Zoom is a web conferencing tool 

Pre-Recorded Lecture Tools

  • Screencastify is a Chrome browser extension that records your screen, face, voice, and more. 
  • WeVideo is a video recording and editing tool that allows you to record and edit video
  • PowerPoint allows you to record video through a PowerPoint Slide
  • Mobile Phones: You are able to use your phone’s camera to record videos

Live Lecture Tools with Recording Option

  • Conferences 
  • Google Meet
  • Zoom.

Discussions: You may choose to have discussions during your live class meetings using their microphones/chat tools or use Canvas Discussions.

  • Live discussion tools 
    • Conferences – microphone or chat 
    • Google Meet – microphone or chat 
    • Zoom – microphone or chat 
  • Canvas Discussions is a discussion tool built into canvas. They can be used as an assessment.

Assessments: You will be unable to accept in-person assignments, quizzes or exams. Canvas allows you to be able to create assignments, quizzes, and exams online and accept submissions for these. Using Canvas Quizzes you can create quizzes and exams that can be taken entirely online. You can also check for plagiarism using TurnItIn for items submitted as documents.

  • Quizzes/Exams 
  • Assignments

Online Office Hours: You can use your choice of the live lecture tools to hold online office hours. 

Course Design Tutorials

Other Things To Consider

  • Whatever your course design, be sure to remember to meet your educational goals.