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.
NOTE: Instructors do not create their own Canvas courses—Canvas courses are created automatically each quarter for all courses listed in Axess. Instructors and students signed up in Axess are also automatically added. 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.
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.
Use Zoom or WebEx for live class sessions
Zoom allows you to host live class sessions via videoconference. Download Zoom for free here. Sign in using your SUNet ID, 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.
If you do not have the equipment you need to use Zoom, EdTech may be able to assist—just submit a support request.
Whether you are teaching entirely or partially in Zoom, your approach to teaching will need to adjust to support the students who are joining via Zoom. We encourage you to schedule a consultation with EdTech on how to facilitate web-based class sessions.
WebEx - 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.
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 email us for assistance with lecture media from previous academic years.
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/Canvas how-to video here). 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 (see this Teach Anywhere guide for more detail). Or, if you are presenting live using Zoom, you can use Zoom to record that session and share the video with your students.
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). Email us for assistance with these options.
Assess Students in Canvas
You can create assignments and quizzes in Canvas to assess and grade students. Here's our review of best practices for delivering and taking Canvas exams, and our video on steps to setup a Canvas Quiz.
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 connect 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 popular question once (as opposed to 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 are 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 while it's likely only a few students will actively participate (just like in the classroom). 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.
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 facilitate:
- 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 the Stanford SoM and EdTech home pages for updates. Information for courses offered through Canvas will also be available on your Canvas dashboard page.