Preparation for Remote Teaching
If you need to convert your face-to-face class to online for remote teaching, this page will provide you with information about how to utilize core tools for basic online instruction, how to use these tools, and where to go for support.
If you already have a blended or online course site your course is designed with online components already, but you may want to take a look at some of the resources below on Zoom and how to hold an online meeting with your students.
This page is based on the University’s Keep Teaching with Canvas resource site.
- A computer or tablet
- Internet access
- microphone (e.g. - earbuds with a built-in mic)
Access Canvas (the UMN's Learning Management System)
- Go to https://canvas.umn.edu and sign in with your UMN username and password.
- Your Canvas course site is located in Canvas Courses menu.
Move your Syllabus Online
- Upload your syllabus to your Canvas course site. Most CCAPS Canvas course sites include the course syllabus. If you find that you don't see your syllabus in your course site, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and state that you need to be directed to CCAPS-ATD support.
Communicate with your Students
Use your UMN Gmail account: go to gmail.umn.edu and sign in with your U of MN Internet ID and password.
- If you forgot your login information, reset your password.
Canvas Communication Tools
In your Canvas course site, you can communicate with your students using various tools. Here is a list of Canvas communication tools:
Send email to your students from Canvas using the Canvas Inbox.
Announcements allow instructors to broadcast information to all members of a course.
- How do I add an Announcement in a course?
- Please note - students can customize how they receive notifications from Canvas, so make sure to direct students to change their notifications to receive Announcements notifications right away.
Zoom is the University’s video conferencing tool that supports and enables real-time conversations.
Consider using Zoom to hold virtual office hours or full class online meetings when needed. Please don’t assume you need to use Zoom to meet with your class in real-time for all of your remaining class sessions. Use Zoom sparingly. Take a look at the following section on Conduct Your Class Online for more in depth strategies about how to use some of the common tools within Canvas to build discussions and reflective assignments that students can do asynchronously.
Conduct Your Class Online
Assignments are a place to provide instructions/due date, and accept online submissions (i.e. files, images, text, URLs, etc.).
Creating assignments in Canvas using the Assignment tool is really pretty simple to do. Once your assignments are in Canvas, students can submit their work to the Canvas Assignment. Building Canvas Assignments offers you the benefit of using the Canvas Speedgrader to view all your students’ submissions in one spot and do your grading. More information about the Speedgrader is available in the following section: Grading. The ATD Team can assist you with this effort.
If you are uncomfortable working with ATD to build assignments in your Canvas course site, you can still have students submit work to you through email. This method is less efficient, but ultimately, it’s your choice.
Note: When creating an online assignment, be sure to change the submission type to Online.
- Format links in the Syllabus Document that is linked to Home Page
- Place the resource in the Assignment or Discussion Description
- Post resources in Canvas Announcements
When adding resources and links to your Canvas course site it’s important to make sure your content is accessible.
Some basic rules for accessibility follow:
Use a controlled vocabulary. aka: Use the same name for an item throughout the site. If you called it Discussion 1 when you created it, call it Discussion 1 when you refer to it or link it elsewhere. This also applies to your outside links!
Proximity is usually the best choice. Place resources near the activities that use them so students don’t have to go hunting for what they need. There are exceptions to this rule, but if you are creating a basic site this is pretty much going to be a standard for you.
One best place for everything. Try not to link the same item in multiple places. That gets confusing!
Try to create course rhythms. If your course will be online for multiple weeks, try to keep things in the same order every week. That way students start to expect a similar agenda week to week.
If you’re providing documents or study notes, Use Headers and Bullets where appropriate. Screen-readers interpret headers and bullets differently from paragraph text. Using them will help students who rely on screen-readers organize their thoughts more efficiently.
For more information on making content accessible refer to the Accessible U website.
Discussions allow for interactive communication. Users can participate in a conversation with an entire class or small group. Discussions can also be created as an assignment for grading purposes (and seamlessly integrated with the Canvas Gradebook), or simply serve as a forum for topical and current events.
The University recommends using Kaltura for recording short videos for your course, like short lecture presentations, video announcements, and even video feedback on your students’ work.
- UMN Kaltura resources
- Add Media from Kaltura Using the Rich Content Editor
- Use Kaltura Capture to record webcam or desktop
As you record your content, Kaltura captions your video, which is a great starting point for ensuring your video is accessible. Sometimes auto-generated captions are not accurate and require additional editing. Editing captions in Kaltura is pretty straightforward and we have more information below in the description.
Grading in Canvas
SpeedGrader allows you to view and grade student assignment submissions in one place. Canvas accepts a variety of document formats and even URLs as assignment submissions. Some document assignments can be marked up for feedback directly within the submission. You can also provide feedback to your students with text or media comments.
If you want to give students extra time to finish their assignments, you can do that by granting due date extensions on Canvas Assignments and Discussions.
Getting Assistance from CCAPS-ATD
To reach us, contact support at UMN IT’s 1-Help (email@example.com or 612.301.HELP).There are several ways to contact 1-Help, but the best way is to use Canvas Help link as it will provide support-staff with information on your course.
When making your request, please have the following information ready:
- Course designator/s (i.e. CRN 1234)
- Section number/s (i.e. 001, 101, 301, etc.)
- Semester/s of the relevant course
Also make sure to tell the 1-Help staff that this is a CCAPS-ATD course and to redirect the request to us. UMN IT’s Tier-1 support staff will then know to direct your query to our team.