There are a variety of circumstances which may require you to temporarily take your class online with minimal notice: a campus closure, flu outbreak, etc.

This guide will provide you with the resources needed to make that shift quickly.

Online Communication Tools

The following tools are centrally-supported and available in the event faculty need to temporarily move courses online:

  • Canvas
    All D’Youville faculty and students have access to Canvas. In the case of an emergency, Canvas will become the main instructional vehicle until normal operations can resume. All faculty and students have access to 24/7 Canvas technical support:

    • Faculty support: 1-833-278-2014
    • Student support: 1-877-703-3455
  • Email (Outlook)
    Your D’Youville email is the offical communication method of the college. In the event of an emergency, please check your email for updates as well as to communicate with your students.
  • Office365 (Microsoft Office Online)
    The entire suite of Microsoft Office tools (Outlook, Word, Excel, OneDrive, etc.) can be accessed through our Office 365 portal. This allows faculty, staff, and students to be able to access their documents from any location.
  • Lecture Recording (Panopto)
    Panopto is a video hosting platform that allows faculty to easily record and embed videos within their Canvas courses for immediate student viewing.Panopoto should be used if you need to record lectures.
  • Video Conferencing (Zoom)
    D’Youville provides Zoom accounts to all students, faculty, and staff for online meetings, video conferencing, and screen sharing.Zoom can be used to hold live online course meetings.
  • Online Exams (Proctorio)
    Proctorio is a secure online proctoring service software that integrates with Canvas and works within your Chrome web browser to monitor test takers for suspicious behaviors.Proctorio can be used to faciliate secure online exams.

When you realize you have to move your class online quickly, consider the following:

  • Identify plans early: Consider addressing emergencies and expectations up front in your syllabus, so students know what will happen if classes are cancelled, including procedures you will implement. Consider doing this each semester, so you are ready in case of an emergency.
  • Get details about the closure or event: Campus closures or emergencies will be reported via official communication channels (D’Youville email,, etc.), so those are good places to look for information, including estimates of how long you may need to teach your course online.
  • Check with your department: Your department may issue more details about the situation and guidelines about their expectations for classes. Administrators may want to have many of the department’s classes handled in similar ways, so check with departmental leaders before doing too much planning.
  • Communicate with your students right away: Even if you don’t have a plan in place yet, communicate with your students as soon as possible, informing them that changes are coming and what your expectations are for checking email or Canvas (learning management system), so you can get them more details soon.
  • Consider realistic goals for continuing instruction: What do you think you can realistically accomplish during this time period? Do you think you can maintain your original syllabus and schedule? Do you hope students will keep up with the reading with some assignments to add structure and accountability? Do you just want to keep them engaged with the course content somehow?
  • Review your course schedule to determine priorities: Identify your priorities during the disruption—providing lectures (via Panopto), structuring new opportunities for discussion or group work, collecting assignments, etc. What activities are better rescheduled, and what can or must be done online? Give yourself a little flexibility in that schedule, just in case the situation takes longer to resolve than you think.
  • Review your syllabus for points that must change: What will have to temporarily change in your syllabus (policies, due dates, assignments, etc.)? Since students will also be thrown off by the changes, they will appreciate details whenever you can provide them.
  • Pick tools and approaches familiar to you and your students: Try to rely on tools and workflows that are familiar to you and your students, and roll out new tools only when absolutely necessary. We recommend faculty use the College-supported tools listed on this page.
  • Identify your new expectations for students: You will have to reconsider some of your expectations for students, including participation, communication, and deadlines. As you think through those changes, keep in mind the impact this situation may have on students’ ability to meet those expectations, including illness, lacking power or internet connections, or needing to care for family members. Be ready to handle requests for extensions or accommodations equitably.
  • Create a more detailed communications plan: Once you have more details about changes in the class, communicate them to students, along with more information about how they can contact you (email, online office hours, etc.). A useful communication plan also lets students know how soon they can expect a reply. They will have many questions, so try to figure out how you want to manage that.

Information courtesy of Indiana University:​​​​​​​

Class Communication and Interaction 

Encouraging and maintaining course communication and interaction is essential when moving courses temporarily online. The following links will walk your through some common online communication methods.

Posting of Course Materials 

  • Deliver your course materials via Canvas
  • Post syllabi and other documents in Canvas
  • Record video presentations in Panopto
  • Setup discussion boards to simulate class discussions
  • Submitting work and online assessments
  • Setup an Assignment in Canvas for students to submit assignments to
  • Setup a discussion form in Canvas for students simulate class discussions
  • Setup online assessments for students
  • Setup Proctorio for Online Exams

Help & Support

  • Contact Canvas support

  • Contact the D’Youville Help Desk
  • Contact the Online Learning department
  • Canvas 101: Faculty-training course

Please remember to check the Instructional Continuity Plan SharePoint Page for updates and refer to the daily email updates from said department with additional training links.