The first thing to consider in remote teaching is how you’re going to deliver content to your students. This includes:

  • An up-to-date syllabus
  • Course materials, such as readings and handouts
  • Lectures and recorded videos
  • Note that you’ll need a reliable internet connection for remote teaching; if you run into problems, see this UIS page on internet connectivity issues.

The most convenient place to deliver this content is in Canvas. The Canvas Learning Management System is the tool most students and faculty will be familiar with.

While there are excellent guides available online for using Canvas, many from right within Canvas itself as well as our own Canvas tipsheet, we’ve highlighted a few things to consider below. 

Some Initial Considerations

When faced with an unexpected shift to remote teaching for an extended period, please consider updating your syllabus, including in Canvas. It’s a good idea to highlight changes that you’ve made, to foreground the new modes of communication and content delivery you will be using, and to update any policies related to academic integrity and student accommodations that you may have adjusted for this new learning environment.

Whether the remote teaching is unexpected or not, it’s important to keep in mind the fact that Canvas approaches content delivery a bit differently from Blackboard, our previous LMS. Canvas uses modules and pages as the primary organizational structure and content delivery mechanisms. If you need help with moving and organizing content in Canvas, please stop by one of our office hours or send us a note.

Making Media Files (documents, images, video clips) Available Online

Hard copy materials such as readings or photos can be digitized using using a smartphone camera. There are many excellent scanning apps that will convert the scans to PDFs on the fly, and allow you to send them to yourself via email for easy upload to Canvas. These files can then be uploaded to your Canvas site. Of course, it’s important to make sure these resources are accessible to all students.

Other media, such as audio or video, can be embedded into a Canvas page if it is hosted elsewhere on the Internet, on platforms such as YouTube or SoundCloud.

If you are asking students to mark up PDFs and return them to you as part of an assignment, please bear in mind that not all students have access to a printer to print and mark up their assignment. We have assembled a tip sheet on annotating PDFs.

Live and Pre-Recorded Lectures

If you would normally deliver lectures live in class, it’s still possible to do that. Our tipsheet on Teaching Large Lectures Remotely has ideas for how to adapt this practice to the virtual classroom.

On the other hand, there may be circumstances that make it preferable for you to pre-record a lecture and post it for students to view at their convenience. You can pre-record lectures on your computer with Zoom—or Panopto, a screencasting tool—and post that file to your Canvas site. Our lecture capture tipsheet has more details on how to do this.

With Zoom, you’re able to save meetings directly to the cloud and share them on Canvas.

If you decide to use Panopto, take a look at the following resources:

Whiteboarding Online

If you usually rely on using a whiteboard or document camera in your classes, please have a look at a few different ways you might approximate whiteboarding in an online setting.

Office Hours

For support with tools and tips for teaching online, CNDLS provides virtual office hours, Monday-Friday. Click here to enter virtual office hours.  Hours of operation: Monday – Thursday, 10 am – 4 pm and Friday between 10 am and 12 pm. After hours, you can reach us at  


CNDLS is hosting a series of webinars to help address key questions when teaching at a distance. Please find a list of the webinars below and for more training opportunities, please visit the training page. Recorded sessions are available here.