One of the most important steps you can take is to ensure you know how to use the technology that supports distance learning. If you’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable with Canvas, enroll in the self-paced, fully-online Canvas QuickStart course. This will prepare you with the basics of the online classroom, as well as give you valuable experience as a student in Canvas. Next, start using Canvas for a few things in your face-to-face classes (announcements, content distribution, assignment submissions, etc.) so that everyone is comfortable in that environment prior to any unexpected disruptions. If you plan to continue holding class meetings at the regularly scheduled time during the disruption, you should learn how to do so in Teams and conduct a few practice sessions. Once you’re comfortable with the tools, consider adding “Plan B” content and activities to Canvas so that they’re ready to use if the need arises. You should also work on proactively addressing accessibility.
Start by verifying the details of the University closure. Continue to monitor the University homepage for important updates, and maintain ongoing communication with your department regarding specific considerations. Bookmark support services so that you’re prepared to obtain help as needed, including Academic Technology Specialists, ITS Learning Technology Instructional Technology Consultants, and 6-Tech.
Inform students that changes are coming. Set realistic goals for your upcoming class sessions and set a virtual meeting with students to discuss new expectations. Set online office hours and let students know how they can reach you during these times.
- Canvas Announcements can be used to broadcast information to all members of a course. You can also opt to display the most recent announcements at the top of your course homepage.
- Canvas discussions can be used for asynchronous communication in your Canvas course, including class discussions. A Q&A discussion where students can bring their questions and concerns can help reduce one-on-one email exchanges.
- Ask students to use email primarily for questions of a personal nature.
- Microsoft Teams can be used for synchronous online meetings and online office hours.
You can review your syllabus to identify topics and activities that will work well online. Most course activities can be adapted to this environment with some careful consideration. Work with your department to establish some consistency. Focus on using tools that students are most familiar with during this time, such as those native to Canvas. Keep in mind that students will suddenly find themselves taking all of their classes online in addition to the circumstances that caused the University closure; now is not the time to experiment with complicated new tools and teaching techniques.
You can deliver a live lecture during your regular class meeting time with Teams. Alternatively, you can use Canvas to upload or record a video anywhere you use the Rich Content Editor, such as within a discussion, assignment, or as part of a content page. To ensure students watch your recorded lecture, you can embed quiz questions throughout a video using Canvas Studio. Learn more about best practices for video in online courses.
Canvas Quizzes support a wide variety of question types, including essay, multiple-choice, true/false, fill in the blank, multiple answer, and numerical answer. Learn how to create a quiz in Canvas.
UNCG provides you with the option to use online proctoring software for online quizzes and tests. Respondus Lockdown Browser prevents students from accessing other applications and websites during a test, and Monitor uses the student’s webcam to verify their identity and create a recording of the student while they’re taking the test to ensure they’re not receiving help from any outside sources. Learn more about Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor.
You can conduct regular class meetings using meeting tools such as Microsoft Teams. During these online sessions, students can present their slides and/or webcam to the class. Alternatively, students can create a video presentation using Canvas Studio and the entire class, including you, can add comments and interact with the content!
Start by considering how you’d like to organize your content. Using modules is the best place to start. Ask yourself if it would make the most sense to you and your students to add content by week, topic, unit, chapter, etc. Learn how to create modules. Once you have a module in place, you can start adding content and activities to it. Think about how students should move through your module’s content and order the items accordingly. For example, if students have several videos to watch and articles to read and then are expected to discuss them, add each video and article in a logical order in the module, followed by the discussion. It can help to start each module with a content page that introduces students to the topic, lists the learning objectives, and provides guidance on how to complete the coursework (i.e., a to-do list).
UNCG courses in Canvas get their instructor-of-record information from the Registrar’s office. Under normal circumstances, the Registrar adds or changes instructor information in the system. However, in cases of emergency, an instructor who needs to replace or substitute the instructor of their course may contact their school’s Academic Technology Specialist (ATS) who will work with ITS Canvas administrators to implement a replacement/substitute.
Numerous departments and individuals from across the University are prepared to help you as you work through this rapid transition to the online environment. To learn more about obtaining support, view the Help section.
The accommodations that a student receives in the classroom can be different from those they’ll need online. For example, a deaf student who has an interpreter in the classroom might require captions and/or transcripts for audio content in your online classroom. Students who qualify for testing accommodations might receive extra time for an online test. This can be managed via settings in Canvas. If you have specific questions or concerns, reach out to OARS. It can also help to be proactive about making online materials accessible when you add them to your course, rather than waiting until a student requests accommodations. To learn more about web accessibility, visit accessibility.uncg.edu.
Please contact 6-TECH to get connected with any question you may have including any of the following topics:
- Class Size, Student Engagement, and Classroom Management
- Course/Syllabus (Re)Design
- Equity and Inclusion in the Classroom
- General Development
- Hybrid, Online, and Face-to-face Course Differences
- Implementing High-Impact Practices and Innovative Pedagogy
- Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment
- Technology-Enhanced Pedagogy