The Center for Teaching Excellence is gathering tips and resources to assist with creating courses for online teaching and learning.

Summer 2020 Online Course Preparation

  1. Request your Canvas course shell (as soon as possible).
    Important: Do this now if you plan to cross-list/combine multiple sections into one shell (this must be done before May 6th)
  2. Set the start date and publish your course (as soon as possible).
  3. Set up a Welcome Announcement (as soon as possible).
    • Create an announcement that will automatically be set to message your students at the start of classes
    • Describe where to locate course materials and explain how they should communicate with you
  4. Update your syllabus to include:
    • How you will deliver lectures (asynchronous, synchronous via Zoom, etc.)
    • How your students will engage with the course content (assignments, discussion, etc.)
    • How you will assess whether students have achieved course learning goals and objectives (quizzes, exams, assignments, etc.)
    • How students will communicate with you (virtual office hours, open Canvas discussion, Canvas Inbox, etc.)
  5. Adapt course materials for delivery within Canvas.
  6. Get Help!

Additional Guides

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Asynchronous Online Teaching Workshops

Asynchronous Active Learning with VoiceThread

This workshop offers a quick and easy asynchronous solution to take your face-to-face classroom activities or lectures and convert them into dynamic, engaging, and interactive activities.

CTE's Online Teaching Toolkit

Do you need to shift your class to online quickly? The Online Teaching Toolkit will walk you through the process step-by-step. Using your course syllabus, we’ll suggest ways to adapt your assignments and assessments for online teaching. Import the Online Toolkit Canvas course site. (Canvas login required)

Great Teaching with Vulnerable Storytelling

This workshop is inspired by research professor Dr. Brene Brown who is a renowned expert in the study of vulnerability, courage, shame, and empathy. Through an imaginative exercise, we will explore our own stories and life experiences and discuss how we might be able to use them in the classroom to build trust with the teacher, help students evaluate their own life choices, and/or segue into teaching a concept.

Humanizing Your Course

Humanized learning increases the relevance of content and improves students' motivation. Students can see themselves as part of a larger community with instructors who foster connections. Join us as we explore strategies to improve awareness, empathy and presence while sharing specific techniques, activities and course designs ideas that can help to humanize any course. View the resources.

Nature as a Classroom!

Have you wondered if you can bring the curiosity of nature into your class? Join us as we discuss how to use nature to “Teach Without Walls.” Participants will come away with practical examples that can be quickly modified for nearly every class.

No Walls Teaching Retreat: Day One

Day One of the No Walls Teaching Retreat will introduce you to ways you can humanize online courses and enrich the learning experience for your students. View the resources.

No Walls Teaching Retreat: Day Two

Day Two of the No Walls Teaching Retreat will begin with a presentation about liquid syllabi and how they can be used to make your online course more appealing, engaging, and dynamic. View the resources.

No Walls Teaching Summer 2020 Guided Workshop

The NoWallsTeaching Summer 2020 guided workshop will help you to shift your face-to-face assignments and activities to a synchronous online course. Use your syllabus along with a Canvas template to plan and create a quality learning experience for your students. Share your teaching challenges to get ideas and suggestions from colleagues and CTE staff.

*This workshop is worth 300 miles in the Passport to Great Teaching program. In order to receive miles, you must complete a reflection in the Passport Portal. Applicable Passport Categories: Great Online Teaching

Online Assessment

This session will review online formats as well as ideas for “authentic” assessment. Suggestions and tools to support academic integrity will be discussed as well. View the assessment resources.

Revamping Discussions for Online

What are the discussion practices that can help your online students connect with course topics and each other? In this session, we will cover the features of a good discussion prompt, how to get your students to write thoughtful responses, and how to provide feedback in a time-efficient manner.

Collaborating in Google

Creating a Google account Using Your UF login Information

To create a Google account with your UF login information follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you are not logged in to another Google account and visit Google Drive
  2. Enter your UFL email (not a department specific email such as and GatorLink password. This should automatically give you a UF Drive account

If you need further assistance, contact the UF Computing Help Desk.

My Students Need to Collaborate to Create a Presentation for Their Final Project and Present. How Can we Do That?

  • They can use the Google suite - Slides, GoogleDocs, Hangouts, Duo
  • Class can still be hosted at the same time, but virtually in a Zoom meeting instead of face-to-face
Delivering Quizzes and Other Assessments


Honorlock is UF’s designated online proctoring service for moving classroom exams and quizzes online. The Office of Distance Learning has Honorlock tutorials, and so does UF e-Learning. If you have additional Honorlock questions, contact Chris Newsome or the Office of Distance Learning.

Respondus LockDown Browser

Respondus LockDown Browser provides another level of security for online testing. The LockDown Browser disables all functions of the student’s computer other than the test being taken so students cannot copy/paste, search the internet, or access any documents on their computer while using LockDown Browser.

Video Lectures

Recording and Uploading Video Lectures

If you are new to video lecture recording, Zoom is likely to be the easiest tool for you to use. Then, you can set up your recordings in Canvas. If you need additional assistance, you can request instructional design support from the Center for Instructional Technology & Training or view the Zoom Guide.

NOTE: instructors must sign-in once through the UF Zoom website in order to create their account before using Zoom through Canvas.

How Good Does the Video Quality Need to Be?

Your videos don’t need to be perfect. They just need to deliver the information your students need to successfully complete the course assignments, activities, and assessments. Good audio is the most important element.


Getting Started in Zoom

Step by Step Faculty Guides for Using Zoom

NOTE: instructors must sign-in once through the UF Zoom website in order to create their account before using Zoom through Canvas.

Breakout Rooms in Zoom

If you want your students to work in groups and you already know how you want to split them up, you can pre-assign your students to breakout rooms using a CSV file. If you aren’t quite sure how to plan a group activity in Zoom, use this Zoom Breakout Room Group Activity Facilitator Guide to get started.

NOTE: Let your students know that it’s a UF Student Honor Code violation to share Zoom links to people outside of your course. If other students appear in the video, this could also be a FERPA violation.

Recurring Zoom Meetings

Depending upon how often your course meets, follow these steps:

  1. Select the checkbox next to recurring meeting
  2. Select the appropriate recurrence in the dropdown (weekly will most likely be the best option).
  3. Select from the dropdown repeat every 1 week (unless your course doesn’t meet weekly)
  4. Select the days in which your course meets by clicking the checkbox next to the day
  5. Set an end date

Polling in Zoom

You will need to load your questions in advance using a .csv template. (Scroll to the bottom of the meeting creation screen in your Canvas Zoom tool.)

Enabling the “Raise Hand” and Other Non-Verbal Features in Zoom

  1. Access your account via the UF Zoom website
  2. Click on “settings” in the left menu
  3. Scroll down and turn on “nonverbal feedback”

Zoom Security

When setting up a Zoom session, set up access to your session to allow only individuals with UF credentials access.

  1. Under your meeting options, select “Only authenticated users can join”
  2. Choose “UFL participants” from the list
  3. Provide instructions to students:
    • Click on the meeting link
    • Select the “SSO” sign in option
    • When asked to enter your company domain, type in “ufl”
    • This will take you to UF’s Gatorlink authentication page
    • Sign in with your Gatorlink credentials

To learn more about privacy in Zoom and best practices, visit the e-learning website.

NOTE: To enhance the security of Zoom, all new meetings generated with UF Zoom will automatically have a password set. If necessary, meeting owners will still be able to turn the password setting off for individual meetings prior to the start of a meeting using the “Edit this Meeting” button. Learn more about this and other important meeting options on Zoom's support website.

Virtual Office Hours in Zoom

You can use the “Waiting Room” feature in Zoom to allow you to use the same meeting link for your office hours for the term. By enabling the “Waiting Room” feature in Zoom, you can choose to admit only one student at a time into a meeting to ensure privacy. We recommend asking students to sign up for specific time slots on a calendar or spreadsheet to avoid long wait times.

When setting up a Zoom session:

  1. Under your meeting options, select “Enable Waiting Room”
  2. When you join your meeting:
    • Click on the “Manage Participants”
    • Select the student you want to join in the meeting, and select “Admit"