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Emergency Online Instruction

When an emergency affects your ability to teach your courses, ODL is here to help. Even if you've never taught online, learning a few basics can help you keep your courses running in spite of a campus closure. It can also help you recover after the emergency is over. Whether you're new to Canvas or have some experience, we've assembled resources for delivering your classes online.

Step 1.

Canvas & Content Delivery Basics

FSU has a plentiful supply of tools to help deliver courses online. However, if you’ve never taught online before, getting familiar with just three is a great starting point. Learn some basics about the Canvas learning management system and how to use Zoom or Kaltura to offer classroom instruction via live or pre-recorded video.

Protect your class session from "Zoombombing." Find out how to prevent the intrusion of unwanted content during your Zoom session.

  • Using Canvas to Teach During University Closures. Start by reading our support article on how to quickly convert your courses to an online delivery method.

  • Kaltura.  Learn how to record videos that students can watch on their own time. The Kaltura video capture tool in Canvas is the best option for secure, asynchronous delivery of your recorded content (also now available: Kaltura Express Capture for "one-click" video recording).

  • Zoom. Get instructions for using Zoom to hold a live classroom session with your students. Zoom is an easy-to-learn web conferencing tool, and sessions can be recorded and saved for students to watch later. We recommend using Zoom within the Canvas learning management system when teaching your courses. To prevent "Zoombombing," don't post the join URL in Canvas announcements or email it to students individually. Instead, use the announcement to direct students to  the Zoom area of the course to join the meeting. Read more. If you're teaching a class larger than 300 students, we recommend using Kaltura in place of Zoom.


Step 2.

Assignments, Grading & Assessment

Once you’re familiar with Canvas, Zoom and/or Kaltura, you’re ready for the next step: learning how to create assignments, track grades, and assess your students' learning. 

  • Assignments. Learn how to use the assignments feature in Canvas to facilitate homework and written assignments.
  • Grading. Get instructions for using Canvas to input, manage, and release grades to students.
  • Assessments. Learn how to create assessments in your Canvas course using the quizzes feature.   
  • Alternative Assessment Strategies. Browse online alternatives to in-person proctored exams, like discussion forum assignments and online simulations or labs.
  • Proctored Testing. When online alternatives to in-person proctored exams don't meet the instructional needs of your course, you can offer proctored tests online.

Step 3.

Engaging Online Learners

Engaging online learners is a critical component of teaching online. The following resources will help you identify real-time (synchronous) and time-delayed (asynchronous) activities that offer a substitute for face-to-face contact hours.


All done. Now what?

Do you have a student experiencing financial hardship related to acquiring the appropriate technology? Case Management Services may be able to help. For free and discounted WiFi, refer students to the ITS Free and Discounted WiFi Options page.

  • Register for Additional Training. ODL offers training and workshops designed to help instructors teach in the online environment, from Canvas basics and web conferencing to designing for accessibility. For your convenience, we offer webinars and online, one-on-one consultations.

  • Leverage Distance Library Services. FSU Libraries provides customized services for instructors teaching distance learning courses. Learn how to integrate library resources and services in your Canvas courses with the FSU Libraries integration in Canvas. You can add eReserves to your course, make use of affordable textbook alternatives, import video tutorials, or add a librarian in your subject area – all from your Canvas dashboard and course.

  • Get Instructional Technology Support. Are you having issues with Canvas or Zoom? Need help with Kaltura, our secure, Canvas-integrated video capture tool? Whatever the issue, ODL's instructional technology staff are ready to assist. Call 850-644-8004 or create a new support ticket and we'll be in touch.

  • Get ITS Technical Support. Having trouble setting up Zoom on your computer, connecting to the FSU network, or using campus technology resources? The ITS Service Desk has resources for helping you work at home. Contact them at 850-644-HELP or submit a service request.

  • Search the FSU Canvas Support Center. You'll find easy-to-follow guides on all the tools in our Canvas toolbox, from plagiarism checking and video capture to web conferencing and accessibility software.

  • Consult with ODL Faculty. Our instructional development faculty provide expert consulting on course design and pedagogy. We can help you leverage strategies and tools to engage your learners and promote their success in the online environment. Call 850-644-4635 or email odl-faculty@fsu.edu.

  • Reach out to Peers. Any instructor with experience teaching online can be a helpful resource when you're just getting started. If your department doesn't have online instructors or instructional support staff to consult, try to identify peers who have experience using campus technology. They can be an additional support and resource during emergencies.

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  • 02-Sep-2020
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