Guidelines and Recommendations for Faculty Teaching Online

Prepare your course site and your students for online instruction

In an effort to set expectations and provide clear guidance for your students, you should:

  1. Publish your Canvas course site(s)
  2. Upload your syllabus
  3. Add contact information so your students know how to reach you
  4. Communicate via email to your students any and all course details and logistics you can (eg: where and how class will meet; set expectations for how your course will be facilitated for the  semester so students can plan manage their time)
  5. Post a welcome announcement and/or introduction video prior to the first day of the course and consider having a discussion forum in Canvas so students can say hello and ask questions
  6. Login to to create your Zoom account if you haven’t already

If planning to use Zoom for required sessions, access your meeting room, try a dry-run, and let your students know the schedule for these sessions.

Teaching the remainder of your class online

Below are minimum expectations for faculty to ensure academic continuity and as positive experience as possible for your students during this difficult time.   

  • Log into your Canvas course(s) on a regular or daily basis to check for questions, participate, and provide feedback.  
  • Schedule office hours, and/or make yourself available for 1:1 real-time support, every week via Zoom, WebEx, telephone, or Canvas Conferences.
  • Keep course materials up to date and release weekly materials on time for students.
  • Monitor student activity, especially during the first week of the course, so you can check in with those who are failing to meet your participation expectations.  Canvas’ People tool is a good way to check student activity and participation.
  • Respond to all students’ communication within 24 to 36 hours. If a student concern requires additional time to resolve, send an acknowledgement to the student to indicate receipt of their request.
  • Promote interactivity.  This may include asynchronous forum participation, assigning group work, and live sessions via Zoom.
  • Assign work and activities with clear descriptions for how students will submit, due dates… 
  • Provide grades and feedback to students within a reasonable amount of time.