Keep Teaching with Canvas

When meeting face-to-face with students is not an option, staff at Queen’s can participate in remote teaching activities as a way to maintain academic continuity. This guide will help you to consider your options for teaching remotely. Advice and guidance for synchronous (real time) and asynchronous (offline, self-paced) approaches to delivering virtual instruction and interactions with students are included. Join us as we deliver a virtual training session focused on how to screencast, live stream lectures and maintain engagement and contact with your students using Canvas and other suitable tools.  

🔊 Note: If you cant make it to one of the scheduled sessions, you can access a recording of the 45 min webinar – ‘Keep Teaching with Canvas’:  Click here to play recording

Facilitating Learning and Teaching in Canvas VLE

Scenario: You want your students to be able to access supplementary course materials and video resources off campus at a time and place that suits them.  You also want to use the VLE to supplement previously scheduled face-to-face time.

Canvas is a perfect tool for distributing learning materials and course content. Prepare to distribute course materials online. Replace paper handouts with digital copies for sharing with students. You can upload existing PowerPoint presentations, PDF files, excel spreadsheet, word documents, etc. to the Files area of your Canvas course and add each to the weekly structure of the course or embed in content pages.  Discuss and co-ordinate on the particular delivery method with your Module and/or Programme team. This will help provide a consistent approach to delivery.

Top 3 Tips for getting your Canvas course in shape for learning online:

  1. Ensure Canvas course has an updated Welcome page
  2. Upload PowerPoints, PDFs, handouts, etc
  3. Augment content pages by embedding short video resources and adding hyperlinks to external resources

Video Tutorial – Moving Learning Online

Using Canvas:

Scenario: You want to provide your students with a number of short bite-sized videos focused on key revision points taken from previous lectures.  You also want to create supplementary resources to use in place of a face-to-face lecture, in order to wrap up the delivery of the module content.

Screencasting enables academics to create a digital recording of any instructional activity performed on a computer screen, which can then be used as learning and support resources, made available from within Canvas VLE. This will provide learners with a student-centered and engaging learning experience when not on campus. Suitable Tools and how to use each is outline below:

Please use of the following Tools which are supported by Queen’s University:

  • PowerPoint – use a familiar tool for easy screen-casting (see tutorial below)
  • Canvas Media recorder – record a short piece to camera from within your Canvas course (see tutorial below)
  • Mediasite – record a presentation or capture your desktop – for guidance, link to MediaSite FAQs

What you will need to get started:

Decorative imageTo screencast, you will need access to a desktop or laptop, a microphone (most laptops should have inbuilt mic), and a reliable internet connection.  A webcam is not essential.


Video Tutorial – How to Screencast:

Using Microsoft PowerPoint:

Using Canvas Inbuilt Recorder


Scenario: You are trying to replace the lecture experience and communicate in real-time with your students who are off campus.  

If you have lectures scheduled in the coming days, you can optimise student participation by delivering synchronous learning activities during scheduled class time(s). There are a number of approaches you can choose from to support the above scenario.

Please use of the following Tools which are supported by Queen’s University: 

  • Canvas Conferences  – you can use the Conference feature available in your Canvas course (see tutorial below)
  • Microsoft Teams – you can also live stream your lecture using MS Teams in Office365 (see tutorial below)

What you will need to get started:

Decorative imageTo live stream, you will need access to a desktop or laptop, a microphone (most laptops should have inbuilt mic), and a reliable internet connection.  A webcam is not essential.


Video Tutorial – How to Deliver Online:

Using Canvas Conferences:

Using Microsoft Teams:


Scenario: You have successfully pre-recorded a video and/ or delivered a lecture online. You need to identify the most efficient way to share the resource with students. 

Despite a recent increase in storage allocation for all QUB modules in Canvas, either of the following approaches is recommended for sharing/streaming video resources in Canvas. 

Please use of the following Tools which are supported by Queen’s University:  

  • Microsoft Stream – you can use MS Stream in Office365 for hosting videos and then embed them in Canvas (see tutorial below) 
  • Mediasite – used to host video Content at QUB  (see tutorial below) 

Video Tutorial – How to Share Video with Students: 

Using Microsoft Steam & Canvas:

Using Mediasite & Canvas:

Communicating and Engaging with Students

Scenario: You need to make students aware about changes to delivery approach, schedules, assignments, procedures, and broader course expectations.

Early and frequent communication can ease student anxiety, and save you dealing with individual questions.  Try to login to Canvas at least once a day. Keeping in touch is vital during any changes to normal timetable.  Let students know about changes in schedules, assignments, procedures, and broader course expectations. There are a number of approaches you can take to maintain contact and engagement with Students using Canvas:

  • Set up discussion forums and prompt class discussions to maintain engagement. Canvas Discussion Forums support short audio/video postings as well as text
  • Keep course FAQs updated and direct student email queries towards the FAQs where possible
  • Set up online self-test quizzes or interactive activities. Follow up with further discussion and peer reflection
  • Use Announcements to alert students of alternate activities within your Canvas course

Key Canvas Tools:

Scenario: You want to use Canvas to hold real-time discussion and facilitate Q&A sessions at a scheduled time with your students in remote locations.

For any Lectures, Tutorials and/or Seminars that have been replaced by supplementary video resources, your students could also benefit from a live Q&A discussion session delivered in Canvas VLE.  Taking a (Virtual) Flipped Classroom approach, use your online session time together to discuss the lecture materials/resources which students should have watched/reviewed ahead of the scheduled online session.

Key Canvas Tools:

Video Tutorial – How to Deliver Online:

Using Canvas Conferences:

Still have questions?

Why not join us for a live virtual training session with opportunity for Q&A:

Over the coming days we will be delivering a number of  virtual training sessions focused on how to screencast, live stream lectures and maintain engagement and contact with your students using Canvas and other suitable tools.

First Available Date:  Mon 16th March 2020      13:00-13:45 – Register Now!

Note: Additional dates for w/c 16 March 2020 will be added very shortly.

Need Help?

Canvas Tier1 Support


For all your Canvas Related Queries


The Canvas Tier 1 Team are available 24x7x365 for all Staff and Students. There are a number of contact methods available to you via the HELP menu option in Canvas. Tier1 support technical queries and provide advice on your ‘how do I…’ type questions. If for any reason you cannot log in to Canvas, Tier1 Support can also be reached outside of Canvas by email:

>> Go to HELP menu option in Canvas

IS Service Desk


For all Technical Queries (hardware and software related)



Contact the IS Service Desk with any technical issues or account access queries regarding Mediasite, Office365, including Microsoft Teams and Stream. IS can help with all your hardware and software technical queries.

>>Visit the  IT Service Desk webpage

Centre for Educational Development (CED)


For all queries relating to remote teaching preparation


The VLE Pedagogy Support Team based in CED, are ready to assist with any of the approaches described on this page.  We can take you through the various steps involved in getting your Canvas course in shape for online learning. We can also advise on best approaches to replacing the lecture experience.  If you are not sure where to start, please get in touch. We can help with any query you may have about remote teaching and online learning. Happy to help!


Alternative Assessment Options

In completing the assessment of modules, exams should be avoided if learning outcomes have already been satisfied through continuous assessment components or if they can be satisfied by other means.

Where exams are necessary to satisfy the learning outcomes for a module, these will be arranged by the School, either: 

  1. As a scheduled online assessment of duration equal to the original module exam duration plus one hour 
  2. An online open book assignment of duration 24 hours 
  3. Coursework-type assignments submitted online (with slightly longer duration)

Click here to view the Alternative Assessment guidance to support assessment which the University are advising at this time (Second Semester 2019-20).  

Training & Support Resources

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Keep Teaching with Canvas – Morning Session

Keep Teaching with Canvas – Morning Session

Click the image above to register for training the next virtual session today – Mon 23 Mar 15:15-16:00. Daily virtual sessions will be delivered this week, focused on how to screencast, live stream lectures, maintain engagement with students, etc.   

Canvas Cafe

Next Available Date: 20 September 10:00-12:00 Register now! Come join us in Junction Cafe for a coffee and a chat about Canvas VLE at Queen’s. Get out of the rain, come build your module in Canvas with some expert help from one of the Canvas…
Canvas for Support Staff

Canvas for Support Staff

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Set up and Start to Build

Set up and Start to Build

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Canvas Drop-In Clinic

Canvas Drop-In Clinic

Come along to a Canvas Drop-in Clinic.  Work alongside a member of the team, ask questions, trouble shoot issues, fast-track the course development process, get to grips with the latest tips, trips and much more. Registration not required.  Simply drop in at a time that…
Canvas Webinar

Canvas Webinar

Welcome to the Canvas bite-size webinar series. A range of short online webinars will be available throughout the academic year to provide you with the opportunity to find out more about a varied range of digital learning approaches which Canvas VLE can accommodate, all from…

Link to Staff FAQs

A list of FAQs have been compiled have been compiled over the last few weeks. To view this list click the link below

Staff FAQs – Keeping Teaching With Canvas