Digital Learning Transition Guide

These recommendations provide tips, guidance and strategy in the event that your classes needed to be moved fully online due to unforeseen circumstances. A suite of learning technologies are available to all instructors and students and supported by the Center for Innovation and Digital Learning. 

You can preview the training schedule here. Zoom links for training sessions will be provided in the coming days. In the meantime, we've outlined the following first steps:


4 Steps to Get Started:​

  1. Complete Online Training to learn how to ensure your and students succeed online. 

  2. Create a plan for communicating with your students. Communication is more critical than content (See sample communication templates). 

  3. Use Canvas as your home-base (See Canvas Basics).

  4. Choose to meet your class live via Zoom or use assignments and pre-prepared materials -- all with the aim of meeting learning objectives  (See Digital Learning Tools).

Complete Online Training



Canvas Basics

You'll soon receive an email about a self-paced AU course title "Teaching and Facilitating an Online Course." This course covers basic design and pedagogical principles related to online instruction. 

You may get a head-start on that course by joining here:

COVID-19 contingency planning materials and updates from CIDL will be shared in this course as well. 

Publish Course:


Students can only access courses that are published. Check the status of your course within Canvas and publish if necessary.

Verify Published Content:

Verify that all necessary pages and corresponding document folders have been published in Canvas.


Make Course Announcements:

Create announcements to share important information with students. Announcements can be viewed by the student within Canvas or through email.

Create at least one course announcement regarding your plans for Digital Learning Week Plans:  

Digital Learning Tools


Host Class Virtually through Zoom


In the event that campus is closed due to an emergency closure, use Zoom to schedule online, synchronous meetings. Zoom is available to every student and instructor at Anderson within and outside of Canvas. Instructors are able to record meetings for students that are not able to attend live sessions.

Record Video Lectures or Screencasts 


Ensemble is a system wide media server available to all instructors within Canvas. Ensemble Anthem is a screen recording tool that enables instructors to record their screen and audio to record lectures. 


Set up a Discussion


Setting up a Canvas discussion is a simple way to allow instructors and students to discuss course content or assignments. 


Create a Quiz


The Quiz tool in Canvas can be used to deliver quizzes and tests. Instructors have numerous options for quizzes - question types, number of attempts, auto-grading, etc. 


Assignments & Grading

Assignments in Canvas enable students to submit assignments online and allow instructors to grade and provide feedback. 


Additional Online Support Tools

NetTutor - Online Tutoring Support

NetTutor is a free online tutoring service available to online students 24/7. Students can access NetTutor from inside every Canvas course. It is located in the course menu on the left. (If it does not appear, check Course Settings then Navigation to ensure it’s not been disabled.) A wide range of subjects are available, including an online writing center. This resource would be ideal in cases where on-campus tutoring or Writing Center support is unavailable. See this document for more info on how to use NetTutor.


Using Existing AU Online Content

There are 250+ online template courses that have content readily available. See the full list here. Contact the CIDL for access to this material and/or reach out to the coordinator for content questions. All or part of the content in these courses may be copied to your course, or it may be used for idea generation.


Frequently asked questions

Will we be able to provide proctored exams?

Yes. We are working with our remote proctoring provider for a broader solution. Training and documentation will be available beginning Wednesday (3/18) or Thursday (3/19).

How do I take attendance?

It may be tempting to take attendance through synchronous means like through a Zoom meeting for instance. While you can certainly do this, we recommend taking attendance through more asynchronous, participative methods. Here are a few ways to do it. • Create quick, low-stakes Canvas quizzes with a window of completion. • Create required Canvas discussions for students to participate in as they are able to. • Create quick, low-stakes assignments with a window of completion For help implementing these, see the Canvas section of this page or contact your learning experience designer.

What if my students don’t have the hardware or software needed for my planned activities?

Certain software companies like Adobe, Autodesk, Techsmith, Google, and others have opened up their platforms to provide free access to premium or paid services. You may also consider redesigning your activities to better suit student resources and the resources AU makes available. For help with a solution to software or redesign, please contact your learning experience designer. For hardware limitations, keep in mind that activities, content delivery, and assignments should be as simple and hardware free as possible. Consider redesigning these elements, if possible to accommodate student resources. All students are issued an iPad from AU, so it can serve as a good baseline for activities and interactions with your students. Still it is best to create assignments and activities that are device-agnostic and asynchronous when possible. For more help thinking through your situation, please contact your learning experience designer.

What about textbook access?

Textbook publishers are quickly moving to support universities caught by surprise by the sudden cancelation of traditional classes. Many are providing free access.

On new source of help is VitalSource.

Look here for a variety of textbooks free through May 25.

If your textbook is not there and you are between a rock and a hard place, then search for your topic. You might want to try switching to the textbook of a competing publisher for the duration.