Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Teaching & Learning Center Resources

Teaching & Learning Center: Going Online

News and Recommendations

Given the disruption caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), Academic Affairs has created and compiled a number of resources for faculty looking to continue offering a student-centered learning experience in a remote or online learning environment.

We recognize that designing and teaching classes online requires thoughtful planning and a fair amount of preparation. While the process will no doubt feel unfamiliar or frustrating, try as much as possible to be patient. You may experience a few bumps along the way, but times of disruption are challenging for all involved.  Flexibility will be important for both faculty and students, be willing to switch tactics if something isn’t working. Above all, stay focused on making sure your students are comfortable, and keep a close eye on your learning goals--while you might not be able to teach your content exactly the way you initially imagined, as long as you’re still meeting the learning goals of your course, you’re doing fine. 

Don’t be shy asking for help from your colleagues as well as the staff in Academic Affairs.

Members of the TLC, ITS, OAA and IPE will be providing online drop-in sessions each day to address your questions.

To join any drop-in session, click the link on the calendar for the time that works best for you and select the link for the Zoom to enter.

‚ÄčIf you need equipment (i.e., webcam, headset, etc.) for teaching online, contact the ITS Service Desk to submit a request.

Getting Started Teaching Online Quickly

Getting Started Teaching Online Quickly

If your course is traditionally taught face-to-face, we offer several tools and resources you can integrate into your course to make the transition to online.
1. Create a Canvas course shell
To access or create your Canvas course site:

  • Login to the Portal
  • Click the Canvas link on the navigation menu

2. Communicate with your students
Even if you don't have a plan in place yet, communicate with your students as soon as possible to let them know:

  • Inform them that changes are coming
  • Outline your expectations for checking email or Canvas at this time
  • Let them know you will get them more details soon

3. Get prepared

  • Consider updating your syllabus to address emergencies and expectations, so students know what will happen if classes are changed or canceled, including procedures you will implement.
  • Get details about the closure or event. You can find information about university closures on the University website. This ensures that you can accurately provide information to students about how long they can expect the course to be disrupted, or how the expectations for the courses might change.
  • Check with your department for more details about the situation and guidelines about their expectations for classes. Administrators may want to have many of the department's classes handled in similar ways, so check with departmental leaders before doing too much planning.

4. Prepare your content

  • Consider realistic goals for continuing your course. What do you think you can realistically accomplish during this time period? Consider changes to your original syllabus and schedule.
  • 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.
  • Review the Six Keys for Success for transitioning your course online quickly to help you find tools and strategies for moving course work online.
  • Review your syllabus for policies that must change. What will have to temporarily change in your syllabus (policies, due dates, assignments, etc.)? Since students will also be thrown off by the changes, they will appreciate details whenever you can provide them.
  • Pick tools and approaches familiar to you and your students. 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 closure is caused by a local crisis, it may be already taxing everyone's mental and emotional energy; introducing a lot of new tools and approaches may leave even less energy and attention for learning.
  • Identify your new expectations for students. You will have to reconsider some of your expectations for students, including participation, communication, and deadlines. As you think through those changes, keep in mind the impact this situation may have on students' ability to meet those expectations, including illness, lacking power or internet connections, or needing to care for family members. Be ready to handle requests for extensions or accommodations equitably.
  • Create a more detailed communications plan. Once you have more details about changes in the class, communicate them to students, along with more information about how they can contact you (email, online office hours, etc.). A useful communication plan also lets students know how soon they can expect a reply. They will have many questions, so try to figure out how you want to manage that.

4. Launch your course

  • For individualized support to launch your course, please attend one of the Drop-in Sessions to speak with us.

Interested in a more in-depth checklist with linked resources and tools? Click here

Template for Quickly Preparing an Online Class Session

In a pinch, here is a quick and easy template you can use to help you plan for online classes.

Estimated Time

Description of Activity Notes
Warm Welcome/Check-in
Welcome students to class. Arrive 10 minutes early to allow time for an informal chat. Remind students of resources and support.
  Activate Prior Knowledge
Share a quick video or story about the session’s topic(s). Ask students to share in the chat their definition/thoughts on the day’s topic or run a quick poll.
Share slides. Consider including questions throughout your presentation materials. Encourage participation in the chat. Consider having students work in a shared Google doc during the lecture. Be mindful of lecture length.
Pause and allow time for questions. Students enable their cameras in most platforms. Also, encourage chat questions.
Zoom has a feature that allows your students to virtually raise a hand to indicate they would like to speak.
Run a group activity via breakout rooms in Zoom. Provide clear expectations and assign one person in each group to be the reporter, another to be timekeeper, and another to keep the group on task.
  Process Activity
Bring students back into the main room and ask each group to report out. Process together as a large group.
  Repeat Lecture, Questions, Activity, and Process Activity as needed.  
  Plans for Next Class
Review plans and expectations for the next meeting. Clarify what students will need to do on their own time. Review resources.
  Formative Assessment
Use poll, chat, or a Google doc to perform a quick, formative assessment of student learning. This list of 50 Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) is a resource.


Support Hours & Training Calendar

DROP-IN SESSIONS: Members of the TLC, ITS, OAA and IPE will be providing Zoom drop-in sessions continuously during working hours to address your questions beginning on Monday, March 16th and running through March 27th, with additional sessions being added as needed.

  • March 16-20 from 7 AM to 5 PM (Arizona) time and 9 AM to 3 PM (Missouri)  
  • March 23-27 from 5 AM to 7 PM (Arizona) and  7 AM to 9 PM (Missouri)

If you need equipment (i.e., webcam, headset, etc.) for teaching online, contact the ITS Service Desk to submit a request.