Instructional Continuity

In the event that it becomes necessary, in order to minimize disruption to the learning process, please use the resources below to transition your course to the online format.

The Online Learning Environment

Duquesne University has infrastructure in place to support online learning that occurs at a distance. Canvas, a learning management system where course sites are located, can be accessed through any web browser.

Each course at Duquesne has an associated Canvas course site that is automatically created in advance of the semester. Duquesne instructors can access Canvas through DORI from clicking the Quick Links menu in the upper right hand corner and then from the dropdown menu, by selecting Canvas. On the Canvas Dashboard you will see a list of the courses that you are officially teaching or otherwise have access to. Click on the course name to access the Canvas course site.

Each student officially registered for a course through Duquesne's Student Information System (Banner), subsequently gains access to its Canvas course site. Through Canvas, instructors provide instruction and engage with students to support learning.

All students have access to Essentials in Online Learning at Duquesne, an orientation to online learning that helps students prepare for online learning.

Getting Ready to Use Canvas

What technology do I need to teach online? Visit Technology Expectations for Teaching Online
What should I do to get started with my course site?
How do I make my Canvas course site available? Visit Publishing a Canvas Course Site

Content Delivery

Think about the information that is necessary to support student learning in your course. Below you will see several suggestions on how you can provide that content to support learning in the online environment.

How do I interact virtually using video and audio in real-time with my students?

Zoom is used for real-time virtual meetings using video. Consider holding these events during the time-slot that your course was previously scheduled for. Zoom can be used for office hours, one-on-one appointments, review sessions, on-the-fly student created group student group meetings, etc.

How do I deliver a recorded lecture?

Instructors can record video using a built in webcam on your computer or laptop, a USB connected webcam or even a smartphone. Record and share the content using Canvas Studio, MyMediasite or VoiceThread.

  • While in Canvas select Help > Instructor Resources > Canvas Studio / MyMediasite / VoiceThread to learn more about these tools.
How do deliver a narrated PowerPoint presentation?

Upload your PowerPoint file, images, and other media to VoiceThread and then record audio narration to guide your students through the slides.

  • While in Canvas select Help > Instructor Resources > VoiceThread to learn more.
How do I add other content to my course? While in Canvas select Help > Instructor Resources > Canvas Resources to learn more about adding content and sharing information in your course site (e.g. text, web links, file attachments, media, etc.)


Regular and intentional communication is important to online learning. It is always important in this environment to frequently communicate your expectations of students. Be sure to communicate all course updates, but also think about how you will create meaningful interactions and dialogue to support student learning in the online environment.

How do I choose the right communication tool? The Engaging & Assessing Students with Online Tools chart will help you select the right communication tool based on the learning goal that you have established.
How do I provide updates to students in Canvas?
  • Use announcements frequently to update your students on course happenings (e.g. new information added to your course, newly graded work or feedback available, upcoming events or deadlines, etc.)
How should I use the discussion board?
  • Discussion boards are an effective way to engage in a written dialog between you and your students and students with each other. This can occur asynchronously on whatever timeline you deem appropriate. Consider using topics that you discuss in the physical classroom to drive conversation within discussion forums.
  • Watch Engaging Students Through Asynchronous Discussions (webinar recording)
How do I use these and other communication tools in Canvas?
  • While in Canvas select Help > Instructor Resources to learn more about communication resources that can be used in your online course (e.g. announcements, discussion boards, email, VoiceThreads, Zoom Meetings, collaboration tools, etc.)
  • Watch On-Demand Webinars to learn about effective online teaching strategies and educational technology tools used to support engagement and learning.
Do you have any tips for helping teach students online?

Clear communication that sets student expectations is very important when teaching remote and online courses. Remember to remain calm, show empathy and be patient with your students.


Online students are assessed in ways that are similar to the face-to-face classroom. Be sure to regularly evaluate student work and provide feedback in a timely manner to keep your students on track toward achievement of course learning objectives.

How do I choose the right assessment tools? The Engaging & Assessing Students with Online Tools chart will help you select the right assessment type based on the learning goal that you have established.
How do I assess online students?

The most common forms of assessment online are assignments, projects, presentations, quizzes and tests. Discussion boards are often considered the equivalent to classroom participation in the physical classroom.

While in Canvas select Help > Instructor Resources > Canvas Resources to learn more about assessment related resources (e.g. assignments, tests, grading, etc.)

How do online students submit a paper?

Use the assignments feature in Canvas. This allows students to upload a file to the grade center for your review.

While in Canvas select Help > Instructor Resources > Canvas Resources to learn more about assignments.

How do I create and deploy tests?

While in Canvas select Help > Instructor Resources > Canvas Resources to learn more about Canvas Quizzes (tests).

How do I evaluate and provide feedback to online students? While in Canvas select Help > Instructor Resources > Canvas Resources to learn more about grading and providing feedback.

Lab Instruction

What is recommended for Teaching Lab Sciences Remotely?

See Ideas for Teaching Lab Sciences Remotely 

Additional Resources for Remote Lab Courses (source: EAB Remote Instruction Resource Center)

Strategies to redesign lab courses for remote learning based on their focus/learning goals (Harvard University)
Crowdsourced list of virtual labs, simulations, and data sets by subject (Google Doc)
Virtual labs across disciplines (MERLOT)

Resources & Support

Online students and faculty have access to all Duquesne support services and resources. See the information below to help you be successful.

Where do I direct online students to go for guidance on learning resources, technology resources and other services & support? Visit the Student Resources web page
Does Gumberg Library provide any online resources?  Resources for Faculty Teaching Online: Gumberg Library
Where do I direct students to learn how to use Canvas and its features and functions?

Direct students to the "Essentials in Online Learning at Duquesne" Canvas site

Are there best practice guidelines for faculty related to online course design and delivery?

For questions related to remote and online delivery of your course email