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Canvas Announcements

Post announcements with written or recorded messages for your students. This is the fastest way to communicate with your entire class from within Canvas. Suggest to students that they check their notifications settings to allow for copies of announcements to be forwarded to their email address. You will need to make sure your course is published for your students to see the announcements.

Canvas Discussions

Setting up a Canvas discussion is an easy way to allow instructors to discuss course content or assignments with students, or for students to share work or ask questions.

Canvas Syllabus

Upload your syllabus on the Syllabus page in your Canvas course. Make sure to include a message about new online components and expectations.

Course Content

Use Canvas Modules to organize things like pages, files, assignments, and discussions in one place. Add Canvas Pages to your module to present text, hyperlink to files, and embed videos.

NOTE:  The UAB eLearning Online Course Template can provide structure for setting up your online course in Canvas. This template includes a homepage, Course Information module, UAB Policies and Resources module (with UAB policies, technical information, etc.), and weekly modules for weeks 1-15. This can be imported into your Canvas course shell and edited for your course. Request the eLearning template by filling out our eLearning request form.


Live Meetings through Zoom

Host live (synchronous) meetings using Zoom. This allows instructors to hold meetings the same time they would have had class. Instructors and students can share their video, screen, and audio. Follow the directions below to schedule use Zoom. Check out Zoom Security information here.

  1. Create a UAB Zoom Account.
  2. Schedule a Zoom meeting in your Canvas course.
  3. Post an announcement with a link to this student Zoom guide in your course notifying students of the date and time of the meeting. Let them know they can access the meeting through the Zoom tab in your Canvas course or the Canvas Calendar.
  4. Be sure to test your audio, video, and equipment well before the start of class. If you are facing a low bandwidth signal, shutting off your video will help. If you are experiencing connectivity issues, there are always call-in number options.
  5. Start the Zoom meeting from Canvas. You can share your computer screen, webcam, and audio.
  6. Be sure to record the meeting (to the cloud) for students who are not able to attend. Meetings can be set to automatically record to the cloud when scheduling or recorded manually once the meeting begins.
  7. Share the recording of the Zoom meeting through Kaltura or Zoom.

Pre-Record Lecture Videos through Kaltura

To record and share lecture videos or screen share presentations you can use Kaltura.

  1. Enable My Media/Media Gallery (Kaltura) in the Canvas course
  2. Upload existing video or record a video using Kaltura Capture
  3. Use the editor to edit/trim video
  4. Request Captions for video
  5. Share video by embedding in Canvas or publishing to Course Media Gallery

NOTE:  The Division of eLearning is prepared to edit your academic videos professionally. Contact eLearning Media Team with the name (title) of the video once it is uploaded in Kaltura and our Media team will edit it and email you once the edits are complete. Here is a guide on uploading media to Kaltura.

Simple Narrated PowerPoint Slideshows

Instructors can record their voice narration over the PowerPoint and share with their students. Follow the directions below. 

  1. Create a Microsoft PowerPoint. More information on getting access to Microsoft Office suite is available on the UAB AskIT website.
  2. Click the Slide Show tab in the ribbon menu, select the slide where you want the recording to begin, and then click Record Slide Show.
  3. Once you are done recording, you can save as PowerPoint Show (ppsx file) or a video (mp4 file). 
  4. Share this with your students by uploading the file in Canvas or Box. Videos can be uploaded to Kaltura.

Find more information and instructions on recording voice over PowerPoints on Microsoft's website.

Collect student Work and Conduct Online Assessments

Canvas Assignments

Add Canvas Assignments to your course modules so that you can collect students work and record grades in the gradebook.

Canvas Discussions

Add graded Canvas Discussions to your course modules so that students can respond to a prompt with text, files, or video/audio.

  • Allow threaded responses so that students can easily reply to other classmates.
  • Check that students must post before seeing replies so that they do not copy their classmates.

Canvas Quizzes

Add Canvas Quizzes to your modules to provide formative or summative assessment. Multiple choice, true/false, matching, and fill in the blank question types can be automatically graded while short answer and essay can be graded in the Speedgrader. Instructors can utilize Online Proctoring services to increase academic integrity.


Respondus Lockdown Browser & Monitor is great for low-stake exams as it requires students to use a webcam to record their test taking session.


ProctorU is good choice for high stakes exams as it requires students to schedule a session with a live online proctor. Please contact the Division of eLearning (select 'other' as the technology) to make arrangements for using ProctorU in a transitioned course.

Distribute Grades and Submit Final Grades

Canvas SpeedGrader

Most assignments can be graded using SpeedGrader. Or, you can navigate to the gradebook in your course space and enter scores directly by clicking on a cell and entering a number.

While we recommend instructors take advantage of Canvas, Zoom, and Kaltura (mentioned above), the following resources are available for instructors needing low-tech solutions.


  • Instructors can send emails to their entire roster via BlazerNET. This option only allows text to be sent and cannot include attachments (files).
  • Instructors can use Outlook or Outlook web to send an email that includes links and attachments. Click the Course Roster icon in BlazerNET to see the names and emails of every student in your course.

Provide Content and Collect student files

  • Smaller files can be attached to an email (less than 30 MB in size).
  • Larger files can be uploaded to one of UAB's approved file storage options and shared with students.
    • Box allows users to upload all types of documents and provide students access as collaborators. You can give students read only access or give them permission to add files to a shared folder.
    • OneDrive allows users to easily create new documents, spreadsheets, and presentations through Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You can also upload other types of files such as PDFs and media. You can then share those files with UAB faculty, staff, and students by typing in their emails or creating a sharing link.

Teach and Assess

  • Not all courses will need video in order to teach their material. PowerPoint files can be added with notes to Box or OneDrive and share with students or just emailed to students as an attachment.
  • You can allow students to email you finished assignment files as long as they are small enough to fit as an attachment.
  • Instructors can use free desktop capture software (like Screencast-o-matic) to record their voice with webcam and/or computer screen. Instructors can then place this video file in Box or OneDrive to be shared with students.
  • Instructors can also use Zoom to make a recording (to the cloud) with no attendees. Then go to Zoom recordings and share the link with students in an email.
  • Instructors can schedule Zoom meetings outside the Canvas environment and host the entire meeting from a smart phone or tablet. Students can join these meetings without an account. Zoom meetings can be scheduled at uab.zoom.us. Make sure to send the Join link to your students and communicate when they should join. Visit the eLearning Zoom page to create a UAB Zoom account.
  • Chat can be used in your Canvas course to correspond with text in a live setting. Your course will need to be published in order to use this feature. Make to communicate when your students should join the chatroom in the Canvas course.

The Division of eLearning is prepared to assist you in finding solutions. Please schedule a consultation here.


Training and Support

The Division of eLearning and Professional Studies is prepared assist all instructors in moving a face-to-face course to an online environment using Canvas.

Disability Support Services (DSS)

There are students registered with Disability Support Services (DSS) who require accommodations which have been tailored to meet their needs in the traditional “in-class” setting.  In the event that the university decides to move toward a plan of “online only” classes, DSS will be available to consult with faculty to ensure students continue to have an accessible experience at UAB.  Please note, if the University has not made this change in format, but an individual instructor chooses to change their course to “online”, it is critical that faculty who have students utilizing certain accommodations, contact DSS to consult.  For example, students with hearing loss who utilized interpreting services or captioning services in the classroom, will need to access the “online” version of the course which will need to continue to be accessible.  For example, if an instructor is using Zoom to conduct their class, and a student requires interpreting or captioning services, the instructor will need to work with DSS so we can ensure these accessibility features are included in the delivered format. For questions, please contact Disability Support Services at (205) 934-4205 or dss@uab.edu.

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