Top 5 Questions for Moving Your Course Online

Are you moving a traditional face-to-face course online? This page will lead you through the top 5 questions to think through for a successful transition. You will receive our best recommendations for building your online course based on your responses. Just click on your answer(s) to each question below to see recommendations; you may have more than one answer to each question.

Please contact Instructional Technology at if you would like to learn more about these options.  See also the teaching support resources linked on the Faculty Support webpage.

1. Content Delivery: How will you deliver lectures and other content you would typically cover in class?

For required synchronous live sessions, we recommend Zoom.

For optional synchronous live sessions, we recommend Zoom.

  • Find out about Using Zoom.  All faculty, staff, and students have Zoom Pro accounts. 
  • Meet at your scheduled class time, as if you were meeting on campus, to avoid creating conflicts with other classes.
  • Use the Canvas-Zoom integration to schedule and record class meetings to conduct class or office hours.
  • To give credit for those who cannot attend a live session, record the session, and share the link in Canvas, and have students post a summary of what was covered.

For pre-recorded lectures, we recommend Panopto.

  • Review this article to get started using Panopto to record lectures.
  • Consider chunking your recorded lectures into short segments of no more than 10 minutes. 

When locating existing resources, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Review what video resources are available
  • Check for accessibility: videos should have captions, text should be formatted with headings, images should include concise descriptive text.
  • Link to videos in Canvas rather than downloading/uploading the video file.

Have other ideas on how to deliver lectures and other course content? Great! Contact if you would like to consult with Instructional Technology staff about how to implement them.


2. Interaction: How will your students interact with each other?

Suggestions for facilitating student interaction during synchronous live sessions in Zoom:

Suggestions for setting up discussion boards in Canvas to promote student engagement:

  • Enable the setting that requires students to post before viewing other students' posts.
  • Require that each student respond to at least 1 or 2 other students' posts.
  • Model quality discussion posts by participating in your discussion boards.

Suggestions for facilitating group assignments:

  • Have students use GSuite tools like Google Drive, Docs, Slides, and Meet.
  • Have students record virtual meetings.
  • Assign a peer evaluation to assess group member participation.

For social annotation, we recommend Hypothesis, Zoom, or Perusall.

This support article reviews the steps for setting up and using a Google chat room.

Have other ideas on how to have students interact online? Great! Contact if you would like to consult with Instructional Technology staff about how to implement them.


3. Student Assessment: What types of graded assignments will students need to complete?

Papers, projects and other work typically done on paper can all be submitted online through Canvas. Review best practices for creating Canvas Assignments.

Quizzes and exams can be set up in Canvas:

Discussion boards can promote student interaction and engagement:

  • Review the steps to create a discussion in Canvas.
  • Discussions can be graded or ungraded. For graded discussions, consider using a rubric to clearly explain your expectations for each post.
  • Consider requiring that students respond to one or more of their peers to encourage more interaction.

Digital media projects such as videos and websites can enhance the learning experience for students and/or provide engaging alternatives to papers and exams. You can request a consultation on developing digital media projects by contacting

Have other ideas on how to assess your students? Great! Contact if you would like to consult with Instructional Technology staff about how to implement them.


4. Student Presentations: How will students conduct presentations they would typically deliver in class?

For live student presentations, we recommend Zoom:

  • Be sure to enable screen sharing so students can present their slides. 
  • Recording the session will allow you to go back and review the presentations later for assessment.

For recorded individual student presentations, we recommend Panopto:

For live group presentations, we recommend Zoom:

  • Be sure to enable screen sharing so students can present their slides. 
  • Recording the session will allow you to go back and review the presentations later for assessment.

For recorded group student presentations, we recommend a combination of Panopto and Zoom:

If your class does not require student presentation, move on to Question 5.


5. Technology Requirements: Will your course require any specialized technology?

Great! All St. Edward’s University students have access to Microsoft Office and GSuite applications for free with their student credentials.

Refer to our list of available academic tools to see if St. Edward’s provides access to the software you need. Contact to verify whether students have access to required software off-campus.

TurnItIn is a tool you can use to identify unoriginal content in student submissions. Refer to our support article to learn more about Turnitin, best practices for using it, and how to set up an assignment with it in Canvas.

Honorlock provides options for remote exam proctoring. 

  • Remote exam proctoring presents multiple challenges, including technology requirements, student anxiety, and instructor labor.  Please consider carefully whether the learning outcomes for your course require remote proctoring. 
  • Plan on giving your students a practice quiz or exam to get used to remote proctoring.
  • Review the steps for proctoring an online exam with Honorlock.
  • Honorlock has specific hardware requirements that may pose a challenge for your students (they must have macOS, Windows PC or Chromebook with a webcam, microphone and stable internet; not compatible with tablets or smartphones). Communicate these needs early to make sure all students have what they need.
  • Include language on your syllabus to let students know about proctored online exams and technology requirements.
  • Consider alternative forms of assessment that can promote academic integrity and provide your students more flexibility.

If your class will require students to have this technology (for videoconferencing, recording, or remote proctoring, for example) inform students early on and verify that all students have access.

If your class requires additional specialized hardware and/or software, inform students early on and verify that all students have access.


6. What’s next?

This page is intended to jump start your efforts to develop your online course, but there is much more to learn.  To review resources for developing your expertise in online pedagogy visit our page on Preparing to Offer Your Course Online, which includes a full list of available development options.  See also the teaching support resources linked on the Faculty Support webpage.

  • Google Drive archive of recordings and slides for all CTE and Instructional Technology co-hosted events, as well as additional curated resources.
  • Shared Google Calendar with all events related to teaching support, which you can add to your own calendar. Please subscribe to the Teaching Support Events calendar and RSVP to upcoming events. Note: You must subscribe with your St. Edward’s Gmail account.
  • Teaching Forum Closed Workplace Group for faculty to promote conversation and sharing so we can help each other prepare.

Open Educational Resources

Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that are freely available and openly licensed, allowing you and your students to access and use them in your courses for free. OER include textbooks, curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, video, audio, simulations, assessments, and any other content used in education (ELI 2018).

Have you considered incorporating OER into your courses? Use of OER reduces cost for students and ensures all students have access to course materials from day one, thus breaking down barriers to access and affordability. As an instructor, using OER allows you to choose the most current, meaningful content and customize materials to your specific course learning outcomes.

Check out this video for a brief overview of OER and research on their effectiveness:

To get started using OER, we encourage you to visit Educause’s Open Educational Resources page, which provides some key resources for understanding and integrating these resources into your courses as well as links to OER repositories. Prefer to talk to someone in person? Contact an Instructional Technology staff member to set up a consultation.

We also invite you to two events we are hosting on the topic of OER in the coming weeks:


“7 Things You Should Know About Open Education: Content.” 7 Things You Should Know About Open Education: Content, ELI, June 2018,

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