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Academic Continuity

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Communicating with Students

Communication is critical during times of uncertainty. Use Canvas or UNF email to establish expectations, collect questions, and let students know how to contact you. Maintain contact with virtual office hours and online communication tools in Canvas.


Announcements Overview

You can use Announcements to send a message to your entire class. Announcements are posted to your Canvas course, and students are notified via their UNF email account (if they haven’t changed their default settings). Encourage students to review their notification preferences and check the Announcements area in the course to ensure they see your announcements.

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Canvas Inbox | Conversations

Conversations Overview

Instead of looking up email addresses, you can send individual or group messages to students using the Canvas Inbox. With default notification settings, Canvas users will also be notified by UNF email when they receive a new message in their Canvas Inbox.

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Email provides a fast and easy way to communicate with students about what to do in the event of emergency. Faculty can obtain a class lists of student email addresses in the Faculty Self-Service Summary Class List in myWings. Sending a message or publishing an announcement in Canvas also sends an email notification to students. Remind your students to regularly check their email and set their Canvas notification preferences to be notified right away for emails and announcements if they have changed preferences from the default.

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Discussion Board Netiquette

You’ll want to consider expectations for online etiquette in your course and encourage professional interactions. The Quickstart Template outlines netiquette guidelines, and this video shares pointers for positive communication behaviors in an online environment.

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Host Virtual Office Hours


Zoom is a video-conferencing tool that you can use 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.

Text Guide

Getting Started on Windows and Mac

Schedule a Zoom Meeting

Zoom Meeting Controls

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Student Online Learning Orientation (SOLO)

Encourage students who have never taken a distance learning course to enroll in SOLO to learn more about effective strategies for online students and the technologies used in an online course.

Instructors can create a Canvas announcement to notify students using this sample language:

Please use this link to self-enroll in the SOLO: Student Online Learning Orientation course. This course will help you identify strategies to be successful in the online environment and in using Canvas. If you have never self-enrolled in a Canvas course, detailed instructions are available here. You only have to complete SOLO once, so if you completed it previously for another course, I will be able to see that.

Instructors can monitor the completion of SOLO conveniently in Faculty Self-Service and can email students encouragement directly from the SOLO Status Roster there.

Information for Instructors

Instructions for Students

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