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Center for Teaching & Online Learning


Planning online instruction

Create a plan for instruction & communicate with students

Instruction can shift in a number of ways:

  • Moving content online and utilizing Canvas and other related software
  • Students continue working at own pace with reading/homework, with some plan for support provided

Send students an announcement or email (or both) to let them know the plan for instruction while the campus is closed. 

  • If your plan includes utilizing Canvas for instruction, be sure to let students know what they are expected to do and how they can access the information. 
  • If you are not currently using modules, consider adding a Canvas module specifically for the content being covered during the campus closure. 

Assess students' technical options

Consider doing a quick check-in survey via Canvas that assesses students ability to access your coursework remotely. Questions might include: 

  • Do you have access to a computer? 
  • Do you have access to a stable internet connection? 
  • Is there anything that will prevent you from being able to keep up with coursework if the campus is closed? 

Be mindful that some students may not have access at home for a variety of reasons. Be ready to provide some grace periods for assignments for students who do not have access to technology.

  • Encourage students to download the Canvas App on their phones, particularly if they do not have access to a computer at home. It is much easier to navigate Canvas via the App than through a mobile browser. 


If you have technical questions or if you need assistance brainstorming ideas, contact the Center for Teaching & Online Learning personnel: Brady Fowler ( or Kari Thierer ( We will still be responding to emails in the event of any campus closure. There are also answers to many questions in the Canvas Instructor Guides and Canvas Video Guide

For live information on training you can get online, check out the CTOL calendar page and SBCTC Events page

Canvas 101

canvas logo

Starting up with a new Learning Management System can be daunting. If you're transitioning from another LMS, you'll have questions about how to do things you already know; if you're new to online instruction, you need a quick path to get your course up and running. The State Board for Technical & Community colleges offers a fully-featured Canvas training, about 20 hours of facilitated asynchronous learning designed for faculty and staff who have never used the Canvas learning management system or who are just getting started using Canvas.

Icons based on graphics by IO-Images from Pixabay