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Teaching Remotely

If You’re New to Canvas…

If you’re new to Canvas, follow the steps below. If you want more information on Canvas, use the links to the left.

Important: How to back up student email addresses and grades

During this period of transition to online courses, when many of us are working remotely, FERPA compliance is still in effect. This is important when communicating to students or third parties via phone, email, or other online services, including recorded class sessions. You should always use email with the amount of caution appropriate to:

  • the level of sensitivity of the information being disclosed,
  • the likelihood of inadvertent disclosure to someone other than the intended recipient, and
  • the consequences of inadvertent disclosure to someone other than the intended recipient.

As a general rule, communications should contain the least amount of FERPA-protected information as possible. For example, the subject line of an email should not include FERPA-protected information. The email, voicemail message, or online session should not contain highly sensitive FERPA-protected details, such as a student’s social security number. In addition, files containing FERPA information should only be stored in UTK-approved FERPA solutions, such as UTK OneDrive and UTK Google Drive. For more information related to FERPA and privacy of student information, please go to

The first thing you should do is consult your syllabus. See what you intended to cover for the next few weeks and determine what you can switch to an online format. 

Then, login to Online@UT (Canvas) with your NetID and Password. After logging in, your Canvas Courses will appear on your Canvas Dashboard.

If this is your first-time using Canvas or you don’t know much about it, we recommend learning how to use a few basic features (instructions are below):

  • Posting announcements to your students
  • Uploading your syllabus (Word Doc)
  • Posting class materials
  • Creating an online lecture with Zoom
  • Creating an assignment for student submissions
  • Creating a Quiz (or test) in Canvas

Once you are finished uploading content for at least one class, you need to publish your site for students to see it. To publish your site, click the Home link and then click Publish from the right sidebar.

Learn more about Canvas
Learn more about Copyright Law and Instructional Materials
Download Canvas Semester Start Checklist (PDF)

How do I post an announcement?

  1. In your course site, click the Announcements link.
  2. Click the Add Announcement button.
  3. Enter a title and your message.
  4. Click the Save button.

I need to upload my Syllabus

First, consider what you might need to update and/or rearrange on your syllabus. We suggest you include the following:

  • List your contact information and expectations for response time.
  • List your office hours, explain how office hours will be conducted and how to schedule a time to meet, etc. Provide a link to your LiveOnline@UT (Zoom) personal meeting room.
  • Provide students a revised course schedule with topics, assignments, and due dates.
  • Lay out ground rules for online behavior and interactions.
    • Examples: Participate, help others, be respectful, be aware of strong language.
  • List your course policies and provide links to student support services, accommodations and assistance, and accessibility and privacy statements.

    1. In Course Navigation, click the Syllabus link.
    2. To edit the syllabus, click the Edit button to open the Rich Content Editor.
    3. To upload a document using the menubar, click the Insert menu, select the Document option, and select the Upload Document option.
    4. Click or drag and drop your Syllabus file to the uploader window to upload a file from your computer.
    5. Click on Open and then click on Submit.
    6. Click Update Syllabus to save your changes.

How do I post my class materials?

When adding course content, use the Save & Publish button to ensure student access to that content.

Modules are used to organize course content by weeks or units. Each module can contain files, pages, videos, discussions, assignments, quizzes, external websites, and other learning materials. You can easily add items to your module, such as Pages and Files that you have already created in the course or create new content items within the modules.

Instructions on adding course content

I need students to submit assignments

I require quizzes and tests

Create an Online Quiz Use Quizzes to design your quiz or tests. You can scramble the questions and/or answers, time each attempt, assign password for access, etc.

Canvas Teacher (Mobile Application)

Canvas Teacher allows you to facilitate your courses on the go, both inside and outside the classroom by providing quick access to grading, communicating, and updating content. Available for download free from the Apple® App Store or Google Play.