If you need to deliver instruction remotely, what should you consider? 

Do's & Don'ts for the Remote Delivery of Instruction


  • Build expertise with Canvas tools if you need to do so. Visit eLearning Miami to access online resources and knowledgeable staff to support you in meeting your instructional goals.
  • Communicate with your students early. Let students know your plans for how you will facilitate learning anywhere using online approaches. Describe to students new course routines, the tools within Canvas you will be using, what resources will be made available, and how assignments will be managed.
  • Communicate with your students often. Use Canvas Announcements to keep your students up to date on course goings-on. Use Canvas Discussions to promote interaction among students and with you.
  • Make the most of expertise next door. Identify colleagues in your department with online expertise and learn from them. Share practices within the department and work together to devise ways to meet the learning goals of your disciplines.
  • Focus online instruction on learning outcomes aligned with online approaches. For example, instructors of studio and lab courses may wish to focus more on developing knowledge and thinking rather than skills, which require access to specialized equipment, instruments, and facilities.
  • Consider accessibility when choosing web conferencing options. Webex is the preferred university supported tool and must be used whenever you have an enrolled student using deaf or hard of hearing accommodations (D/HoH), such as real time captioning. Google Meet may be used as an alternative option for courses that do not require D/HoH accommodations.
  • Check in with students who are missing virtual classes. These students may be having accessibility challenges.
  • Look out for students' expressed needs that fall outside of your immediate instructional duties. Times of stress and uncertainty may require advising, counseling, or other student support services.
  • Observe rules of copyright compliance. The library has an electronic reserve service to connect instructors and students with textual materials via Canvas. Information about our film streaming options for remote instruction is also available.  


  • Assume students are on email all of the time: Let students know when and how to check for course communication.
  • Use a learning management system (LMS) other than Canvas: While choosing tools that are comfortable for us seems reasonable, imagine a student having to work in multiple systems and switch among them as they do their coursework. Stick to Canvas. It is Miami's LMS and is supported for all users by eLearning Miami and IT.
  • Increase student workload: Avoid compressing the course into a shorter duration or reducing their access to you, peers, or key resources.
  • Drop out of instructing to wait for regular classes to resume: We have a responsibility to ensure that instruction is continuous, high-quality, and aligned with course learning outcomes.
  • Hold class at other than the regularly scheduled time.
  • Extend class beyond the actual meeting time: Stick to the schedule to show students that you respect their schedules.
  • Record students without alerting them that an online class meeting is being recorded: One strategy is to pre-record a presentation and then conduct follow-up discussion live without recording the discussion.

Share Information with Students

Letting students know what is going on early and often can reduce their confusion and anxiety, plus it will save you time since you will receive fewer individual emails from them.

Communicate early.

Give students advance notice of changes or disruptions—even if all details are not in place yet—and let them know when they can expect more specific information. If the situation changes after your initial communication with students (for example, if a campus closure is extended), send them updates on how your class will be affected. 

Set expectations. 

Let students know how and when you plan to communicate with them: 

  • How will you be sending updates (e.g., Canvas announcements, email)? 
  • How often will you be messaging them? (Set a regular schedule.)
  • How often do you expect them to check their email? 
  • How quickly will you respond to their messages? 

Share answers with all students. 

It is likely students will keep emailing you the same questions, so making a list of your answers to them could save you time. You could share your FAQ list as a Google Doc or create a page in Canvas for it. Encourage students to check your FAQ list for answers before emailing you with questions.

Add New Course Materials and Readings

Your best option for keeping learning on track may be to provide new readings and assignments, especially if your class has to move online without much advance notice. If you upload new materials to Canvas or Google Drive, send an update to students that includes when you posted the materials and where students can find them. 

University Libraries staff, as always, are available to assist in the transition. Locations remain open, and a great many of their resources are available online. Special provisions for remote access to physical collection content are being made.

Deliver Lectures

You can still deliver lectures when your course is online, either through web conferencing or video recording them. Consider that meeting with students in real time or recording a message in which students can see/hear you speaking will be more personal and help them stay connected to you and the course.

Foster Student Collaboration

Maintaining a sense of community in your class can keep students motivated to participate and learn and help them remain connected with one another during a stressful time, so consider ways they can collaborate with one another while your course is online. Just be sure to communicate to students the purpose of any collaborative activities you assign (so they don't seem like "busy work"), and make sure you have resources in place to support students if they need to learn new technologies.

Collect Assignments Online

Collecting assignments by email may seem like your easiest option, but in larger classes, student submissions might swamp your email inbox. Plus, students may worry that their email with their work was somehow lost. Instead, consider having students submit assignments to Canvas; it has features that make grading and sharing feedback less time consuming for you, and it provides students with a record that both confirms their work was submitted and displays your scores and feedback.

In addition, consider why campus is closed. It may be related to conditions that will make it hard for some students to meet deadlines. Make sure your expectations are clear, but be more flexible than you normally would, especially if electricity or internet service could be disrupted.

Make Changes to High-Stakes Assignments

If a high-stakes exam is due during a campus closure, consider moving its date if possible. If not, then schedule an online low-stakes or ungraded practice quiz first so students can confirm that they have all required equipment, test their internet speed, and learn how to use technologies in advance.

If a final project or research paper requires access to campus resources, research whether there are ways for students to access them online or at an off-campus location. If not, consider whether you can make changes to the assignment’s requirements and/or extend its due date.

Promote Academic Integrity

With the change to remote delivery of instruction, students need additional reminders about academic integrity expectations and assignment guidelines. Use Canvas tools (including Turnitin and Proctorio), review the faculty guide, and/or reach out to Brenda Quaye, Assistant Director for Academic Integrity.

Report Midterm Grades

As we know, University policy requires the submission of midterm grades for students meeting the midterm grade criteria, and we strongly encourage midterm grade feedback for all other students.  With the move to remote instruction it will be more important than ever to ensure that our students receive meaningful feedback on their academic performance thus far in the semester, and midterm grades are a valuable performance indicator.

To facilitate midterm grade submission, the deadline is being extended from Friday, March 20, to Friday, April 3 at noon. On Friday, March 20 we will make all submitted midterm grades viewable to students, and we will continue to keep the midterm grade submission application open for faculty to continue to submit until noon, Friday, April 3.

Questions regarding midterm grade submission can be directed to the Office of the University Registrar at, 513/529-8703.