Continuity of Instruction
How to keep teaching when you can’t meet in person.
Need help moving your class online? Our team of learning technologies specialists and instructional designers have prepared some helpful tips on leveraging some simple technologies to keep your class on schedule when you can’t meet in person.
All courses have an associated site in Canvas, Virginia Tech’s learning management system (LMS). Even if you don’t use Canvas regularly, it can help you in the event of class cancellations, simply by providing a secure, easily-accessible place for your students to access materials and communicate with each other.
Create Your Material
- Text documents, Powerpoints, PDFs, etc.
- Multimedia – webcam videos, podcasts, screencasts, etc.
- Discussion forum prompts
Post Your Material
- Post Materials to Canvas
- Upload Videos to Canvas
Communicate With Your Students
Use Canvas to send a class-wide email notification on how to access Canvas, what material is there, and where to find it inside the site (Announcements, Files, etc.).
Creating Your Materials
In some cases, posting text-based documents or PowerPoint presentations may suffice to give students material to cover on their own time. However, you may want to record a narration for your materials to simulate the lecture you would have delivered using Kaltura Capture or Zoom.
Recording Software Options
Kaltura is the software company behind Canvas’ My Media and Media Gallery. Visit our Create a video with Kaltura Capture desktop software guide for more information.
Zoom is a live video conferencing tool that has recording capabilities. Visit our using Zoom on Personal Computers and Mobile Devices guide for more information.
To sign in to Zoom, visit https://virginiatech.zoom.us.
Innovation and Outreach Studio
The Innovation and Outreach Studio has two sound-deadened audio bays set up with multimedia recording equipment that can be used to record content for lectures. Both rooms feature a high-quality microphone for use in recording narration and voice-overs with software including Audacity, Garageband, and Adobe Audition. The audio bays also have software that can be used to combine your audio recordings with visual media such as Camtasia, Quicktime Pro, Adobe Connect, and Captivate.
To reserve time in the audio bays, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media Design Studio
The Media Design Studio is a space for members of the Virginia Tech campus community to create or co-create various types of media, including video, audio, and other multimedia. Use our variety of hardware, software, and spaces to create media on your own or with help from our staff.
For more information, check out their website at: https://lib.vt.edu/create-share/mdsb.html.
To promote active learning in an asynchronous environment, you may wish to use the Discussion Forums in Canvas to engage students and invite their participation. Simply post a prompt(s) and invite the students to lend their input, and/or respectfully respond to other student’s posts. Using Discussion Forums, combined with clear instructions (due dates, netiquette expectations, etc.), can pique student’s interest in a topic and make them feel a sense of ownership in the material under discussion. Learn more about setting up discussion forums.
Host Class or Office Hours Remotely with Zoom
To host synchronous class meetings or office hours, you can use Zoom, one of the Virginia Tech platforms for video conferencing. Everyone at Virginia Tech has a Zoom license that can be used on personal computers, mobile devices, in classrooms, and conference rooms. Plus, Zoom meetings can be recorded and transferred automatically to My Media in Canvas. Faculty and staff can host up to 500 people in their Zoom room and Students can host up to 300 people. All meetings have unlimited minutes.
Visit our using Zoom on Personal Computers and Mobile Devices guide or view the videos below for more information.
Posting Your Materials
Posting to Canvas
After creating your materials, log in to Canvas at https://canvas.vt.edu/, access your course, and upload the materials into the “Files” area of the course site. Next, you can create a Page or an Announcement and link to the files you have uploaded, along with some contextual material.
You can link videos from YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn Learning, or other publicly-accessible video sharing sites to your course. Once you’ve uploaded a video or selected a pre-existing video that can serve as learning material for your lesson, copy the video’s URL and share it with your students inside your Canvas course.
If you have used Zoom or Kaltura to capture your lecture, then you can copy the link to the recording and post it inside Canvas to direct students to that recording.
Communicating With Students
Once you’ve created and/or posted your materials, you can use the Canvas “Announcements” feature to notify your students that new course content has been posted. You can link to your materials from inside this announcement, regardless of whether the materials were uploaded to the Canvas site or if they are an external recording.
In your announcement consider providing a brief explanation to provide context for how the linked material fits into the overall scheme of the course, and/or how it builds upon material the students have already covered. Clear instructions and expectations for deliverables should also be included.
Looking for More Assistance?
Please feel free to contact us if you are looking for more information about you can engage your class during cancellations.