Instructional Technology Tools and Practices for Remote Teaching and Learning

The following ideas can guide us in the process and the technology we can use to support our students during a remote learning experience. Each of the experiences below can be supported through various web-based technology tools.  

Instructional Tools and Practices Topics:

Encourage and Support Student Engagement


Measure – Use the Canvas Analytics tool to collect statistics related to student engagement 

What is New Analytics in Canvas? View site usage statistics and user activity to track engagement and outcomes. Create custom reports for more detailed information.  

Personal touch - Update your Canvas profile to include a picture 

Add your own picture to Canvas and invite your students to do the same. 

How do I add a Profile Picture in my User Account? 

Create opportunities for community and engagement 

Methods could include, VoiceThread media conversations, synchronous online meetings, Padlet, and more. Make sure to include everyone in these activities. *Note that not all tools listed have real-time support available. 

Check in with students individually to find out how they are doing

Methods could include Canvas conversations (message inbox), email, or phone.

Create VoiceThread or other media-based assignments that encourage student expression, reflection, and communication 

Encourage student expression, reflection, and communication. Student media submissions can be private to the instructor or visible to the class. 

Add VoiceThread to your Canvas Course. 

Hold Class Virtually


Use ZOOM on your computer or mobile device 

Download and Install Zoom Client  

Set up your computer with webcam and microphone (recommended) or use the call-in phone number. Zoom is integrated with Canvas and should be in your course navigation menu. Use Breakout Rooms and have a large class meet in smaller groups. Explore Tips and Tricks for Teachers Educating on Zoom

For text-based discussion use the Canvas Discussions Tool 

Canvas Discussion tool documentation - synchronous or asynchronous text-based forums in Canvas  



Record your lecture with ZOOM

Start a Zoom meeting from Zoom application on your device or go to Turn on Cloud Recording. The video will be saved for 30 days or until you delete it from your Zoom files. 

Use Personal Capture in Kaltura  

Visit Kaltura Personal Capture Recording or Kaltura Capture – End User's Course. Personal Capture is a simple capture utility that works within and can be easily linked into and embedded in Canvas. Use this to record your desktop, webcam, or both. 

Use the Voicethread Tool in Canvas to create media-rich instruction

Using VoiceThread with Canvas Login to or use the Voicethread Tool in Canvas for slideshows and discussions using voice, text, and video. Voicethead is supported with closed captioning services. This is a preferable option for creating PowerPoints with embedded video or audio. See below for instructions on how to Add VoiceThread to your Canvas Course 

Support Students' Oral and/or Poster Presentation


Make presentations asynchronous

Ask students to record and post their presentations using Canvas Studio, VoiceThread, or another media tool. Voicethread is a powerful tool for recording slide-based presentations with video, audio, or text.  Voicethread allows peers and instructors to leave comments & feedback on the media timeline and even respond with their own video or audio messages. 

How to Add VoiceThread to your Canvas Course 

Shift to a written script instead of an oral presentation

If oral presentation skills aren't the core focus, you can ask students to submit a written script of their presentation to assess content knowledge and other skills like persuasive thinking. If you want students to provide feedback you could have them submit this in the context of a Canvas Discussion. 

How to Create a Discussion in Canvas as an Instructor 

Modify Language Learning


Move synchronous, interactive conversations online 

Instructors can host a ZOOM meeting for the whole class and create breakout rooms within Zoom for smaller groups. Instructors can organize smaller groups of students to complete speaking assignments using their technology of choice to talk with other members of the group. 

Use online media for discussion-based assessment 

Voicethread allows audio responses to be recorded in response to any document, image, audio, or video.  

How to Add VoiceThread to your Canvas Course 

For practicing written language comprehension and composition, try the text-based Canvas Discussions Tool    

Learn more about How to Create a Discussion in Canvas as an Instructor 



Use Perusall to make readings social and interactive 

Perusall is a tool integrated with Canvas that allows you to have threaded discussions with your students inside of a reading. Students can highlight passages and make comments, ask questions, and upvote their peers’ responses. Research studies have shown an increase in pre-class reading engagement to almost 100%. You can leave these reading responses ungraded, or grade them manually or automatically. 

Using Perusall with Canvas 

Use Course Readings in Canvas 

The Course Readings tool, also called Leganto, integrates with Canvas to allow you to assign readings virtually to students from the Ithaca College Library database or your own collection. 

Course Readings in Canvas 

Modify Laboratory Learning


Have students watch, rather than perform, experiments 

Explore the POD Listserv Online Science Simulations and Laboratory list of resources 

Consider having lab SLO be data analysis rather than data collection

MERLOT also serves as a repository housing 90+ virtual labs

Hold Virtual Office Hours


Set up a ZOOM meeting for 1:1 or multiple students in your class

Download and Install Zoom Client Set up your computer with webcam and microphone (recommended) or use the call-in phone number. Sign into to schedule a meeting and send the student the invitation link. For a group meeting click on the ZOOM link in Sakai and schedule a meeting.

Use the Canvas scheduler tool for easy office-hours sign-ups  This feature in the Canvas Calendar lets you easily set a range or multiple ranges of time (e.g., 2 hr windows twice a week) and allows students to sign up for shorter blocks of time within that range (e.g, 10, 15, or 20-minute blocks.) These appointments will automatically update the Calendar and can provide email notifications to you and your students. You can edit and cancel appointments if necessary. For more visit Easy Appointment Scheduling with Canvas Calendar