This page is designed to help faculty prepare for and conduct classes during a possible disruption to campus operations (i.e from a pandemic or extended severe weather). This information can also be used to enhance interactivity with students and provide additional classroom resources and activities online.


Putting Course Materials and Activities Online

Placing course materials materials online will enable students to easily access them, even in events that they (or you) cannot make it to class. The following list contains a number of methods and technologies you can use to share various types of files with your students.


Canvas is the course management system at UWB. Instructors can use this tool as a central place to post course materials, resources, and links as well as provide a number of online classroom activities. Use Canvas to turn in assignments online, to grade online, and to create online student groups. Canvas courses are automatically created and provisioned for faculty through the UW registration system.

In addition, use the canvas course request form if you are not teaching a class and would like a course for other purposes. You can learn more about Canvas and find tutorials at Learning Technologies Canvas site.

Course Reserves and eReserves

The UWB Library has eReserves resources available for faculty to upload to their Canvas sites for their students. For information on Course Reserves click here. For information on uploading your eReserves to your Canvas site click here


Panopto can be used by faculty to create lectures that can be accessed remotely. With Panopto faculty can record, edit, and post lectures at their leisure that students can access from any computer. To learn how to record lectures using Panopto click here.

UW Catalyst

UW Catalyst Provides a collection of tools, including file sharing and grade books, that can be used to enhance face-to-face courses. These tools are tied to student's and faculty's UWNetIDs. Catalyst tools can be used in conjunction with Canvas courses. Click here to learn more about Catalyst.

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Communicating Online

This list provides recommendations on establishing channels of communication between faculty and students. While these will be useful during course disruptions, using different methods for discussion may also benefit you during regular operations.


Email is one of the most common methods of online communication. Faculty can use a Canvas course to email an entire class, individual students and groups. Click here to learn more about Canvas Conversations. Additionally, the UW Email ( or is given to every student, faculty, and staff member at the University of Washington and is an official method of communication. Faculty can request an email class list in their MyUW space under the teaching tab. See using UW email for more information.

Online Discussion Boards

Provide a very effective way for faculty and students to interact online. Discussion boards can be used to hold online conversations about classroom topics including: have students post resources, peer review work by other students, and answer student questions.

The Canvas Discussion Board is directly built into Canvas and is available to all Canvas courses. Catalyst GoPost is tool from UW Catalyst that  used to create discussion boards.  

Canvas chat

Canvas Chat can be used to hold same-time online meetings with students for office hours or other course activities. Or consider using just a telephone for office hours if circumstances prevent meeting face-to-face.

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Accessing Materials From Home

Use the following resources to access files and other materials from off-campus.


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Other Academic Considerations

  • Consider relaxing attendance policies if it's appropriate, so sick students do not feel pressured to go to class and infect others. Also, remind students if they get sick, they should stay at home 24 hours after their fever has subsided.
  • Consider extending the time for completing an assignment and/or reducing late penalties to make it more manageable for students who are sick to finish their work.
  • Consider developing a plan of continuing classroom activities if you are unable to meet face-to-face.

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Getting Help

If you need help in using technology to prepare for a class disruption, please feel free to contact Learning Technologies at


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