Academic and Course Continuity

Supported Options for Remote Instruction

Use Canvas as a central meeting point

Many Stanford Medicine courses already use Canvas for a number of tasks, such as announcements, assignments, discussions, content delivery, media delivery, collaborations, and more. If you or your students are unable to attend class in person, Canvas can provide a central location for your course materials and activities.

 Click for details on Canvas 

NOTE: Canvas courses are created automatically each quarter for all courses listed in Axess. Instructors can not create their own courses. But, instructors and their students will be added to their courses automatically if they are signed up for the course in Axess. If you are an instructor and don’t see a course you are teaching, verify you have been added in Axess, then contact the MedCanvas team for help.

To log into Canvas and view your course's site, visit and log in with your Stanford SUNetID and password. Your course sites will be available on your Dashboard page.

If you are teaching a face-to-face or hybrid course at Stanford that doesn’t require students to register through Axess, contact the EdTech team to determine the best option for a new Canvas course website.

If you’re new to Canvas, here are some steps to get you started:

  1. An empty Canvas course is automatically created for every course listed in Axess. Students and faculty are automatically added to these courses and they are found on an individuals’ Dashboard page. Students can not see a course until that course is published by faculty.
  2. Add a copy of your syllabus to your Canvas courses’ Syllabus page.
  3. Upload course materials, such as PDFs, videos, presentations, and more using the Files page.
  4. Create a discussion forum for conversation among students about course content.
  5. Publish your course page. Canvas courses must be published by faculty to be seen by students.
  6. Post an Announcement for students about how you will use Canvas (and/or other tools) to continue offering your course.

For more detailed instructions about setting up a new Canvas course, view our Quick Start Guide

For specific questions not answered by the Quick Start Guide, contact our dedicated support team at


Use Zoom or WebEx for live class sessions

Zoom allows you to host live class sessions via videoconference. Go to to download the supported version of the Zoom client. Sign in using your SUNet ID credentials then click Meetings > Schedule a New Meeting to create a Zoom room and link that you and your students will use for class sessions. You can also find additional help using Zoom at the University IT Zoom website. For tips on how to setup breakout rooms in Zoom, check out this Zoom help page.

 Click for details on Zoom 

If you do not have the equipment you need to use Zoom, EdTech may be able to assist you. Please submit a support request via

Whether you are teaching entirely in Zoom or having some students join a classroom remotely, your approach to teaching will need to adjust to support the students who are joining via Zoom. We encourage you to schedule a consultation on how to facilitate web-based class sessions via Zoom with EdTech staff.

If you prefer not to use Zoom or if Zoom is unavailable, an alternative option is WebEx. WebEx offers similiar benefits to Zoom and is available via University IT at

Zoom and PHI - Zoom is a secure platform and can support the communication of PHI and high risk information (, as long as the session is not recorded to the cloud.  Recording of PHI or high risk information is only supported when recorded directly to a Stanford security-compliant device.


Re-use previous lecture videos or create new ones

In addition to (or instead of) offering live sessions via Zoom, you can re-use lecture recordings from previous offerings of your course or record new videos and make them available to your students. If your course has previously used the LKSC Classroom Capture system to record lectures, EdTech can assist in making specific recordings or an entire quarter's lecture media page available via Canvas. Please submit a help request to for assistance with lecture media from previous academic years.

 Click for info about recording with Panopto or Zoom 

If you have a SUNet ID, you can use Panopto to create new lecture presentations from your computer screen and then deliver them through Canvas. Panopto offers many powerful options, like in-video quizzing, the ability to upload a PDF of slides directly to a video, and student note taking and bookmarking. Or, if you are presenting live using Zoom, you can use Zoom to record that session and share the video with your students.

To get started with Panopto, review this guide from Stanford's Teach Anywhere site and then add Panopto to your Canvas course.

To learn how to record a screen capture/presentation using Zoom, check out this video tutorial from San Diego State University.  Once you have recorded the presentation, you can upload it directly to your Canvas course or link to it via Media DropBox (SUNet authorization required). Assistance is available for these options via


Assess Students in Canvas

If the disruption to your course continues, you may need to create assignments and quizzes in Canvas to assess and grade students. Click here to review best practices for delivering and taking Canvas exams. To review how to setup a Quiz in Canvas, please watch this short video.

Additional Advice

Communicate early and often with students: Let them know about changes or disruptions as early as possible, even if all the details aren’t available yet, and let them know when they can expect more specific information.

Offer virtual office hours: Even if you cannot visit with students in person, you can offer virtual office hours using Zoom or WebEx.'

Set expectations: Let students know how you plan to communicate with them and how often. Tell students how often you expect them to check their email and how quickly they can expect your response. To help manage your communications with students, create a Q&A discussion forum in Canvas and encourage students to post questions there. That way, you can answer a question once (as opposed to answering the same question multiple times via email).

Keep things phone friendly: In a crisis, many students may only have a phone available, so make sure you are using mobile-friendly formats. PDFs is a common and mobile-friendly file format. Consider saving other file formats (e.g., PowerPoint presentations) as PDFs, which are easier to read on phones and tablets. Try to keep file sizes small.

Use asynchronous tools when possible: Having students participate in live Zoom conversations can be useful, but scheduling can be a problem and only a few students will actively participate (just like in your classroom). Try using asynchronous tools like Canvas discussions allows students to participate on their own schedules. Bandwidth requirements for discussion boards are far lower than for live video tools.

Get Help

Academic & Course Continuity Strategy

To accommodate students or faculty who are unable to attend class in person for an extended period of time, or in the event that in-person classes are suspended unexpectedly, the following options are available to continue some aspects of a course. These options are intended to temporarily maintain course continuity; they are stop-gap measures and should only be used as such.

Stanford Medicine supports options for remote instruction that faciliate:

  • Online delivery of course content and assessments
  • Live online video conferencing for class lectures, office hours, and small group discussions
  • Self-service recording of lectures or supplemental content
  • Self-service publishing of recordings to Canvas or dedicated lecture media pages
  • Re-use of lecture recordings from prior academic years


If you are new to using digital tools in your class, please start by reviewing EdTech's catalog of services.

Students: Are you looking for some guidance about what to do if your course/program is suspended and/or offered remotely? Monitor and for updates. Infomation for courses offered through Canvas will also be available on your Canvas dashboard page.