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Center for Instruction and Research Technology

Academic Continuity


Preparing for continuity of instruction in the event of emergencies that disrupt the regular academic schedule provides stability for students. It ensures that they can maintain academic progress during interruptions due to weather or illness. In instances such as these, it is the university’s responsibility to provide students with alternative means of access to course content and be flexible in enabling them to meet course requirements. The following information offers faculty strategies and resources to assist in transitioning face-to-face courses to online delivery during unexpected emergencies.

Step 1: Add content to your course’s Canvas page

All courses at UNF, including those that meet face-to-face, are provided with a Canvas site that can be used to make learning materials available to students in the event of an emergency. Instead of starting from scratch, you can import this Quickstart Template to develop your remote instruction course. The template includes general information to help orient your students with your Canvas course. It also features starter components (modules, pages, assignments) that can be customized to create a comprehensive online learning experience. Follow the link above to preview the course template (you’ll be asked to enroll in the course). If you’d like to import the template into your Canvas course, contact CIRT Lab.

By using Canvas, you can add content such as documents, videos, slides, images, and links for students to access. For those who have never worked in Canvas before, this short video can help you start working in Canvas and add things like modules, pages, and documents.

Depending on how long the university will be delivering remote instruction and what different types of content you want to make available, you may want to explore the Canvas Instructor Guide to access additional information.

Step 2: Implement a method for communicating with your students

Once you have made the content available for students to access on your Canvas site, you will want to determine the best way for communicating with them. You will need to let them know what they can find in Canvas and what you want them to do with it.

Communication options with your students include the Canvas Announcements tool or the Canvas Inbox. You can also send a traditional email outside of Canvas by accessing a class list of student email addresses in the Faculty Self-Service Summary Class List in myWings.

You might consider hosting virtual office hours to meet with your students in real-time. Open office hours can be hosted directly through the Zoom integration in your Canvas course, and you can adjust meeting settings to require a password for one-on-one meetings.

Step 3: Decide the best method for delivering course content

If it looks like courses will be in a remote format for longer than a few days, you will need to think about how you want to deliver the course content. Options for delivering content include recording a webcam and/or screen capture video in Canvas Studio, adding narration to a set of PowerPoint slides, or simply adding slides as-is as files to your Canvas course without narration. (If you choose this last option, you may want to add some additional information about them on the Canvas page using the Rich Text Editor). Another option for delivering course content might include hosting synchronous Zoom meetings with your students for the duration of remote learning.

Step 4: If needed, transition assignments over to Canvas

Again, depending on how long courses are delivered remotely, you may find that you need to transition your assessments to Canvas as well. Several options are available to you directly within the Canvas platform. You can have students engage in group discussions, submit a traditional assignment by uploading a document, video, or other file types, or add a quiz that students can take directly in Canvas.

You can grade the work that students submit in Canvas using Speedgrader or by using the Gradebook tool.

Step 5: Get additional assistance as needed

If you need additional help transitioning over to remote learning in an emergency situation, you can always reach out to the Center for Instruction and Research Technology (CIRT) here at UNF by email at You can also visit the Instructional Design Team's page to schedule a consultation with an instructional designer.

Additional Resources and Support

Refer to the Academic Continuity Quick Reference Guide to assist with planning for remote instruction in the event of a university closure or widespread absences.