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Remote Teaching Resources

Teaching at a Distance


When classroom instruction is interrupted due to emergencies, delivering classes using online tools (such as CANVAS and Zoom) is a way to continue classes at a distance.This resource guide provides tips and guidance in the event you need to move your classes online due to unforeseen emergency circumstances.


Canvas already has several instructional tools built-in that require no additional setup, and that are flexible for use in multiple ways.  In addition to the below, an equally critical piece is regular, predictable communication between instructors and students.  Using the Announcements tool is especially helpful in that the Announcement remains a part of the course site as well as generates a notification to students upon its posting.  Lots of information can be included in an Announcement – web links, assignment expectations and clarifications, internal links within the course site, etc. Announcement settings allow students to comment, if appropriate (e.g. instructor wants feedback on an idea).

Here are some instructional tools that campus-based faculty may find helpful:

Online Assignment Submission

  1. Supports digital submission and grading of papers to avoid need for hard copies. The Speedgrader tool can be used to view and provide feedback to the student.
  2. Assignment submission is between student and instructor.  Students cannot see one another’s work.

Asynchronous Discussion Boards

  1. Longstanding tool typically used to facilitate discussion between students and instructor; however, students can also assume facilitation responsibilities in an online discussion.  Papers/attachments/links can be shared with the class and discussed as well.  Students do not have to be online at the same time.

2.Here is a link on setting up a discussion board:

Synchronous Conferences

  1. Can be used to provide online office hours or real-time class meetings.  Sessions can be recorded also.
  2.  Online Studies will need to enable the Conference button (also can be done by the faculty member), and then Conferences can be created. The name of the embedded program is Big Blue Button, and it is pretty user friendly.
  3. Real-time class meetings for large classes can be challenging; however, if real-time is strongly preferred, smaller group-level conferences can be created.
  4.  Online Studies staff are happy to help create conferences, but here are instructions if faculty would like to do it:

Student Presentations/Videos

1.Students have free Google drives, and some even have YouTube accounts of their own.  Student presentations/demonstrations are possible via narrated PowerPoint (or Keynote) or via video on a phone camera.  These kinds of assignments generate large files that can’t be uploaded to Canvas, but they can be uploaded to a student’s Google Drive or YouTube, and then a link is shared with the class and/or the instructor as an assignment submission or in a discussion board posting in Canvas.  This choice would depend on whether the whole class should see the presentation, or just the instructor.

  1. Here are some sample Google Drive upload instructions from an online assignment requiring a URL/web link submission:

Upload the PowerPoint file to your Google Drive folder (instructions below) and submit the link and any comments as your assignment submission.

Note: You may also use Prezi, Keynote or Google slides as long as you meet the above requirements and your professor can easily open and view/hear it. A video of you presenting is also acceptable.

Google Drive Instructions:

  1. Sign in to your Google account using your SWU student email and password.
  2. Next to your profile picture, click "Google apps" (the squares symbol). Then Select "Drive" (the triangle symbol).
  3. In the left corner, click "New" and upload your presentation file into Google Drive. 
  4. Then, select your completed presentation file. In the right corner, click the symbol with three dots. Select "Share." Select "Copy Link." 
  5. Paste the link in the "Website URL" field. Click "Submit Assignment."

Creating short lecture videos via Loom. 

Loom is a free Chrome plug-in that doesn’t require IT Admin to download, just a Google account to sign up.  Go to to download, and the extension will appear in the top right corner of the Chrome window.

• Video: Loom – How to use Loom Video Recorder (3 min)

• Video: Saxon using Loom View Assignment Feedback In Canvas (2 min)

• Recommendation: Loom would be a good way for faculty to narrate a prepared presentation or demonstrating something on your desktop. You can choose to show yourself speaking or not.  I would aim for no more than 10-15 min and to be forgiving of yourself while recording.  Otherwise it will take too long.  Once complete, you can then copy/paste that link into your Canvas site in an announcement, assignment description, or discussion forum.

• Students could also use Loom to create their own narrated presentation.  Whatever is on the desktop gets recorded.

The above resources cover a few basic tools that could be employed pretty easily in a remote setting.