Technology Center

Instructional Continuity Guidance

Communicate Through Canvas Announcements

Post Announcements with written or recorded messages for your students. This is the fastest way to communicate with your entire class from within Canvas.

Suggest to students that they check their notifications settings to allow for copies of Announcements to be forwarded to their email address.

Additionally, you can set up Announcements to display on your course home page.

Update Your Canvas Home Page

Confirm that your Canvas course site home page contains meaningful information,  including a message about new online components and expectations.

If you are using Announcements to communicate with your students, consider following the steps above to display Announcements in your home page.

Ensure that contact information, for you and your teaching team, are prominently located, and consider updating your office hours information to reflect virtual office hour availability and your personal Zoom meeting link.

Host Class Virtually through Zoom

Classes can continue to meet synchronously using Zoom virtual meetings. Zoom Pro accounts are available to all members of the UW community.

  • Set up a recurring meeting in your course using Zoom.
  • Post an Announcement in your course, or email your students, to share the Zoom meeting. Note that managing participants is easier when students have already created their UW Zoom account.
  • If you are not planning to host your virtual class session from a classroom with video conferencing equipment, test your computer video and audio, and use a headset or earbuds with a microphone to minimize sound issues.
  • Use Zoom breakout rooms to allow for small-group discussions. You can manage breakout groups during a session or pre-assign groups while scheduling the meeting.
  • Record the meeting for students who are not able to attend. Recording options are available both when scheduling the meeting in Canvas and during the session.

Set up a Class Discussion

Canvas Discussions allow instructors to discuss course content or assignments with students, or for students to share work or ask questions.

  • Create a discussion board, considering the discussion settings (e.g. graded or ungraded, threaded or focused) that best match your instructional or communication goals.
  • Learn more about increasing engagement in online discussions.
  • For large classes, consider creating group discussions.

Share Course Documents and Information


Upload all files you’ll want to insert (images, videos) or allow students to download (syllabus, readings, worksheets) before creating content in Canvas Pages. It’s easiest to build Pages when your files are already uploaded.


Content can be added by creating and editing Pages. Pages can be created from within Modules or added to Modules after being created. Don’t forget to publish finished Pages and Modules!

Google Drive

Google Collaborations are also available through the Collaborations area. Collaborations can be shared with one, some, or all students in a course, and options include Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. 

Share Lecture Video and Audio

To record or share large or long lecture videos or screen share presentations, you have two options:

  • Schedule, host, and record a Zoom session with or without your students. You can then share the video in your course. Zoom provides whiteboards for annotation, slide and screen share, and video and audio capture. 
  • Panopto is available for more complex lecture and screen capture and offers robust editing features and view analytics. Learn more about Panopto.
  • For short, simple videos, you can use the video recorder available in the Canvas rich content editor to record a video or audio message for your students. The tool is available in several areas in Canvas and can be used when posting an Announcement.

Assignments & Grading

Assignments in Canvas allows students to submit assignments online, as well as allowing instructors to grade and provide feedback online. 

Learn how to grade student work and offer feedback through Speedgrader.