Keep Learning - Academic Continuity During Disruption

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Need to contact us for help?

Have a specific pedagogical and/or technical question? If you need one-on-one assistance on moving forward with remote instruction, members of the Teaching and Learning Center are available. Please submit a Help Desk ticket.

Zoom Drop-Ins:

TLC Staff will be available in the Zoom meeting room to help faculty with anything and everything related to teaching and learning. Please email [email protected] for the Zoom meeting information.

  • 2:00 P.M. - 3:30 P.M., Monday and Wednesday to December 18th
  • 10:30 A.M. - 12:00 P.M., Tuesday and Thursday to December 18th

IT Online Workshops:

For additional training, the following online workshops are available. REGISTER HERE

Rider University Faculty Volunteers [NEW 3/27/2020]

Faculty members have also volunteered to assist their colleagues. They have set aside times specifically for meetings with instructors who need a little help. Please contact individual faculty members directly.

Please refer to the volunteer list to find your colleagues, their expertise and availability.

Faculty Resources for Remote Teaching and Learning [NEW 3/27/20]

The Teaching and Learning Center has begun compiling local resources. View the faculty resources document as a starting point if you'd like to dive a little deeper.

Updated: 3/24/2020

What's new/changed:

Adding the following new tutorials:

In the event of an emergency situation caused by any number of factors, your ability to continue your class in the manner that you've planned may be impacted. This guide helps you find alternatives for these situations.

General Pre-Emergency Planning Tips

  • Download student contact information from MyRider should you need to get in touch with your students.
  • At the beginning of the term/semester, send your students a welcome email that includes your contact information. Suggest that they hold on to the message until the end of the course in case they need to get in contact with you.
  • Remind students to download or print a copy of the syllabus.
  • Back up copies of any prepared teaching materials prior to the start of the term/semester in case you are unable to access the files on the Rider network.

Continuity Checklist

Issues to Address Possible Solutions
Establish a mode of communication to use in case of an emergency (Ensure students all have access to and are aware of this communication method) Canvas Announcement

Decide how you will distribute documents and readings during a disruption (Make your syllabus available digitally) Canvas Files

Canvas Modules

Designate a centralized place to collect student works (homework, assignment, paper, etc.) Canvas Assignments

Think about how you would continue class discussion in the event of a disruption Canvas Discussions

Consider capturing your lecture content for students to watch remotely Zoom

Holding class and/or office hours virtually/online. You can fall back on your chosen option if it is expected that several class periods will be missed. Zoom
Deliver online quiz/test to evaluate student learning Canvas Quizzes
Provide students with grades and feedback on their work online in the event of an emergency Canvas

Using Canvas to Facilitate Continuity

In times of planned/unplanned events, offering an online class session is a proactive way to maintain course continuity when meeting face-to-face is not an option. Rider University’s instance of Canvas (online learning management system) provides solutions that allow faculty to engage with their students in a variety of ways.

Online learning is comprised of many aspects including the dissemination of content, student collaboration, student assignments and/or activities, and communication - all completed virtually within the learning management system.

Every course section established through Banner/myRider has a corresponding online course in Canvas. To access your course(s), please visit to login using your Rider Key information.

It is imperative that all courses in Canvas are published in order for students to have access and receive communications.

Update Your Home Page

  • Set the Syllabus as your home page and include a message about new online components and expectations.
  • Include contact information for you.
  • Consider offering office hours through Zoom.

Suggestions for Student Success:

Communicate With Students

Post Announcements with written or recorded messages to communicate updates, changes and other relevant information to your students. This is the fastest way to communicate with your entire class from within Canvas.

Alternatively, you can get the student roster with emails from MyRider and use your Rider email to communicate with your students.

Suggestions for Student Success:

Host Class Virtually (Live Lecture)

You can schedule a virtual meeting using the Zoom video conferencing application. You’ll need a computer with a microphone and a webcam for this to work best. Your students can join using a computer, tablet or even phone. Zoom is available in every Canvas course.

To optimize your Zoom session, we recommend:

  • A device with a good internet connection.
  • Use headphones or earbuds with a microphone to minimize surrounding noise and maximize your voice.
  • In your Zoom settings, opt to Mute Participants upon entry into the meeting. As the host of the meeting, instructors are able to mute and unmute participants at any point.
  • As the host of the meeting, instructors can turn on the Breakout Rooms feature in their Zoom settings for group discussion or group problem sets. In a Breakout Room, instructors can split the large meeting into separate rooms for small groups of students to work collaboratively.

Suggestions for Student Success:

  • Students should ensure they have access to the Internet, either on campus, at home or a publicly available hotspot.
  • Students should ensure they have access to a computer or a mobile device. This device will need to include:
  • Audio - At a minimum, ensure you have speakers and a microphone; however, we recommend a headset or earbuds (with mic).
  • Video - Ensure you have a webcam, either built into your computer or an USB webcam.

Set up a Class Discussion

Setting up a Canvas discussion allows students to respond to you and one another asynchronously (i.e., not in real-time). You can provide a prompt that asks students to discuss course material, reflect on how key concepts are linked to other fields of study or to their own experience, or share their works in progress, among other things.

Tips for administering effective online discussions:

  • Communicate clear guidelines in the prompt that establish your expectations for students’ contributions to the discussion. Many instructors choose to provide details about the writing style (e.g., formal/informal), number of posts, length (e.g., number of words), frequency, tone, and content (e.g., elements that constitute “value-added”).
  • Use threaded discussion responses to allow students to respond to one another multiple times in an organized way in each discussion board post.
  • Be present in the discussion board by providing feedback and coaching to student responses.
  • Create questions and prompts that require complex thinking and application of ideas to avoid repetitive student responses.

Suggestions for Student Success:

Share Course Documents and Information with Files & Modules


The Files area in Canvas provides a place for storing all course materials. Add files such as documents, PDFs, slides, or spreadsheets.


Modules are like units of study. They allow you to group your content materials with your assignments, quizzes, discussions, and other resources in whatever way makes sense to you and your students.


  • Many instructors find it useful to have a Welcome or Resources Module at the top of the page that will feature items students will need throughout the course, such as a Syllabus file, a Content Page for Announcements and a Q&A Discussion forum.
  • Instructors use many different organizational structures for Modules. Time-based modules might be titled Week 1, Week 2, etc.. Topic-based Modules might be titled Course Introduction, Cells, DNA, etc.. Item-type Modules might be titled Lecture Notes, Assignments, Quizzes, Discussions, etc.

Share Lecture Video and Audio

To record and share lecture videos or screen share presentations, you have several options:

To optimize your asynchronous recorded lecture, we recommend:

  • Draft a script or an outline of your ideas for your lecture before recording.
  • Use headphones or earbuds with a microphone to minimize surrounding noise and maximize your voice.
  • Record longer lectures into smaller, separate video lectures, organized by topic, idea, or skill. By watching video lectures of less than 15 minutes each, learners are more likely to maintain focus and retain key information.
  • Include questions throughout your lectures to engage learners and allow them to check for understanding as they watch.
  • Upload PDF files, websites and media that support the content of your lecture to provide your learners a comprehensive and immersive learning experience.

Assessing Students Digitally

Instructors can leverage Canvas tools to formatively and summatively assess student learning.


Instructors may use the Assignments tool in Canvas to collect student work.


  • When you create an Assignment with the Online Submission type, Canvas automatically creates the dropbox for students to submit their Assignment files.
  • Graded Quizzes and Discussions are also considered Assignments. When you create them on the Quizzes and Discussions pages, they will show up on the Assignments page as well.
  • You must create an assignment for anything you wish to assign a grade in the grade book.
  • Make sure that you publish each assignment to make them available to students and create the corresponding column in the Gradebook.

Suggestions for Student Success:


Instructors can use Speedgrader to make annotations and comments on students' work, enter a numeric score that will be stored in the Canvas Gradebook as well as provide rich feedback in written, audio, or video format.

Suggestions for Student Success:

  • Look for the feedback or speech icons next to assignments in the Gradebook to find feedback and comments on graded assignments.


Instructors can create quizzes, exams and tests using the Quizzes tool in Canvas.

Tips for administering effective exams online:

  • Create complex questions that require deep, analytical thinking skills to complete.
  • Use time limits for the exam availability to maintain students’ focus during the exam.
  • Randomize the questions of a quiz to maximize academic integrity.

Suggestions for Student Success: