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Remote Instruction Tips

Illustration of computer with gears and toolsFrom power outages to pandemics, various scenarios may interrupt District instructional operations.  When facilities become unavailable, for whatever reason, instructors can use a variety of tools to provide an alternative means of communication and instruction for students.

Most importantly, faculty are not expected to replace every minute of your face-to-face class or be online at the exact same time that it was scheduled.


  • Keep it simple!
    If you are new to using online tools, such as Canvas or Zoom, start slowly, and get comfortable with one before moving on to others.  Less tech is OK!!

  • Tell your students!
    Let your students know that you are adding content online and/or will be communicating through Canvas.  The Announcements or Inbox tools in Canvas, as well as District email, are all good communication options.

  • Make it accessible!
    Remember that all content should be accessible to all students, regardless of abilities.  This can be challenging, but it is doable.
    Learn About Accessibility And Canvas

  • Take time to learn!
    If you are reading this page, it’s probably because you are looking for ideas on how to make accommodations for an interruption in the normal teaching environment.  Learning new things takes time, so be patient, and take the time review available resources, such as the Canvas Guides.




Get Started With Canvas

Start buttonIf you are new to using Canvas with your course, please begin by reading through the Canvas Quick StartBefore using Canvas with your students, know what you are doing!!!

Let’s say that again…. If you are NEW to using Canvas, please take about 15-20 minutes to READ (and watch a few short videos) the material in the Canvas Quick Start.  (Seriously, it’ll save you a lot of time and trouble.)

You should know how to:

  • Find and organize your Canvas courses
  • Publish your course to make it available to students
  • Arrange and manage the Course Menu and course tools
  • Use the Canvas content editor


How Do I Get Help?

Man in blue shirt shoutingCanvas offers 24/7 phone support for faculty and students.  Click the Help menu icon in the sidebar within Canvas, and look for the Canvas Support Hotline.

Canvas Help menu icon





Post Class Announcements

BullhornThe Announcements tool is a quick and easy way to get information to the whole class. The content can be a short note, or sophisticated content with links, images, embedded videos, etc. 

Publish the course
     Enable the Announcements tool

About Announcements:

  • Are sent from the instructor to all students
  • Notifications go to the Inbox, Dashboard, course Home page, Butte College email (may opt-out), and the Canvas Student mobile app
  • Can be composed in advance, and posted later at a pre-determined date
  • Are archives of course communications between instructor and students

See the Canvas Guides:



Stay In Touch With Students

Canvas Inbox iconThe Canvas Inbox is used to communicate from one person to one or more others.  An instructor can send a message to one or more students, and students can contact their instructor or classmates.

Publish the course

About Inbox Messages:

  • Can be sent from the instructor to one student, or several, or the entire class
  • Can include file attachments
  • Can be sent to specific sections of students in combined Canvas courses

See the Canvas Guides:



Have A Class Discussion

It’s easy to add an online discussion to a Canvas course.  

Online discussions can give students a way to respond to a prompt, answer questions, share with the class, and reply to classmates.

Publish the course
     Enable the Discussions tool

About Discussions:

  • Available to the entire class
  • Asynchronous, students participate at their convenience
  • Posts can include images, links, video recordings, and more
  • Can be graded, or unngraded
  • Can have a due date



See the Canvas Guides:



Have A Live Chat

Blue message bubble

The Canvas Chat tool is used to communicate synchronously (all together at the same time) online, within a Canvas course.

Publish the course
     Enable the Chat tool

About Chat:

  • One room for all users who join by clicking Chat (no “breakout” rooms)
  • Chat cannot be limited to specific students
  • Instructors can delete chat messages (students can not)
  • Chat history is archived, and available to students and the instructor



See the Canvas Guides:



Meet Online With Colleagues & Students

Zoom logo and cameraUse Zoom (aka ConferZoom) to communicate with BC colleagues, conduct meetings, and/or students in real-time (requires a high-speed connection, webcam/microphone).

Faculty should not be attempting to utilize Zoom to replace entire lectures or take the place of a previously scheduled class meeting.  Zoom is best used to make opportunities available for students to meet with an instructor, and cannot be made mandatory.  Think “office hours”.

For guidance on creating pre-recorded video content for use in Canvas, please Request an Appointment with TMI staff. There are several options, and there is no “one size fits all” approach.

  • All faculty & staff have a free “Pro” level Zoom account
  • Students do not need a Zoom account to participate in a session
  • Zoom is already integrated in every Canvas course







Add Content To Your Course

Files iconCanvas is a perfect place to provide students access to basic course content in a convenient online location, accessible from anywhere.

Use the Pages tool (preferred) to enter a variety of content in the built-in editor, or use the Files tool (not preferred) to upload files for students to preview or download.

See the Canvas Guides:


Accessibility icon Don’t forget about Accessibility!!





Add Video To Your Course

There are several tools available for recording and creating videos for use in your Canvas course.

Snagit and Camtasia

Snagit and Camtasia logosSnagit and Camtasia are two screen capture/recording products licensed by the District.

Snagit is simpler, used for capturing still screenshots, with annotation and image editing tools, as well as basic video recording of either the screen or webcam.

Camtasia is more sophisticated, for recording video with options to edit and merge clips, add transitions, effects and annotations.  


3C Media

3C Media SolutionsAfter making your video, it needs a home. 3C Media is a video host for the California Community Colleges, and a good place to store and host the videos you create.

More Info:



Share Content

There are easy ways to copy content from one Canvas course to another, and from one instructor to another.

Direct Share

Most content can be easily copied to another course, or shared with another Canvas instructor.

Look for the options to Send To… and Copy To…for most course items.

See the Canvas Guides:


Canvas Commons

Commons icon“Commons is a learning object repository that enables educators to find, import, and share resources. A digital library full of educational content, Commons allows Canvas users to share learning resources with other users as well as import learning resources into a Canvas course.”

See the Canvas Guides:






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Online Readiness Training

Green power buttonThe Online Readiness Training is recommended for all faculty who have not previously taught online. Faculty can self-enroll in the for the Online Readiness Training in Canvas. Completion of this course requires all assessments to be completed with 80% proficiency.




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Additional Resources

Light bulb shape with tool iconsAcademic institutions across the country and around the world have needed to move face-to-face instruction into a remote/online environment.

See the following list of resources for more suggestions and guidance on temporary remote instruction.


This list will be updated periodically.



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