Maricopa Emergency Management System Alert

  CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE: Face coverings are mandatory inside all South Mountain Community College buildings, including the SMC Library. Read more about this decision here, and a message from the Maricopa County Community College District here

Remote Teaching

Continuity Plan: Covid19 Virus

Please have compassion for yourself and your students during the next couple of months. You did not plan to instantly become a fully online instructor and your students did not plan to be a fully online student but compassion will go a long way to ensure we are all successful. Also, do not panic because the Centers for Teaching and Learning are there to support you and additional resources are being put in place for students. We’ve got this!

The purpose of this plan is to transition you quickly from face to face instruction to fully online instruction in one week. Recommendations are not ideal for long term online instruction but are being provided for our current situation with the Covid-19 Virus. These are general recommendations and guidelines to get you started but other strategies are supported if the recommendations do not meet your instructional or student learning needs.



When considering what content to include, keep it simple and focus solely on the course competencies and the essential skills you have scheduled to cover during this time.

Our recommendation is to keep things simple and conduct live remote meetings during your regular class meeting times. You can record the live meetings and make the recordings available for students who cannot attend in person through Canvas. Another option is to create recordings that are not live and can be posted in your Canvas courses.

When conducting live or recorded sessions, do not worry about background noise, animals in the background, editing, etc. These are extreme circumstances and students will not mind. It may even add some levity.

Please consider the following regarding your students (Rebecca Barrett-Fox, 2020):
Students may struggle with technology
Many students will be accessing your course via phone, as they did not sign up for an online class and cannot be expected to procure wifi, computers, etc. at short notice.
Students may have their entire family home, with competing needs for their technology as students and adults working from home
Some students may fall ill and be unable to participate, use compassion.
Given the situation, some students may be working more hours which could interfere with live remote instruction.
Students will be under stress given social isolation, loss of jobs, family members home, etc. Please use compassion.
Reach out individually to students that are missing virtual classes or not completing assignments. This may be a sign they are experiencing accessibility or other challenges.

Ask students how you can help them during this transition and experience.

Help is Available!

Know that you are not alone. Your Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is here to help you, you can get assistance at any of the MCCCD CTLs.


Below are a few to-do list items to get you started for teaching remotely through an online learning environment.

Here are a few quick steps for how to continue your instruction online.

Step 1: Establish Canvas course. Every course has an instance within Canvas, our district’s learning management system. Familiarizing yourself with Canvas is important; to start, focus on these key elements.

  • Logging in and Getting Acquainted with Canvas
  • Set Up Your Course Structure
    1. Create Modules - Modules are used to organize content by weeks, units and other organizational structures for courses.
    2. Import Course Content or Template. If in doubt on how to do this, please contact your CTL for assistance prior to starting the copy process.

      Note: due to so many people possibly copying content, it could take up to a day for your content to copy to your new course shell.

      Do not resubmit it, check with your CTL for assistance if it takes more than 24 hours to copy.
  • Add a weekly checklist using Canvas Pages for each module/week/unit
  • Check the Student View
  • Remove any tools you are not using from the Course Navigation
  • Publish and Unpublish Courses (Do not publish until course is ready)

Step 2: Remote Teaching. Two options for live (synchronous) instruction are currently supported, Google Meet, and Conferences (Big Blue Button) in Canvas.

  • Creating and Recording teaching sessions
    1. Taking your lectures online
    2. Recording lectures using your ipad or iphone
  • Move Office Hours/Hold Synchronous Sessions Online
    1. Create appointment slots in Canvas Calendar
    2. Create Virtual Office Hours in Canvas using Conferences

Step 3: Assess immediate activities. What would you be teaching in-person in the coming week? What parts of that easily transfer to a digital space? What parts require more technology to accomplish? What seems daunting? Consider these in terms of available technology resources.

  • Move Content and Resources to Canvas
  1. If you need assistance with this, please contact a CTL Near You to brainstorm instructional approaches.
  • Create Assignments, Quizzes and Discussions on Canvas
  • Refer to the Examples of In-person Class Sessions Transformed to Online chart below.
    1. How to quickly record assignment instructions using audio or video in Canvas using the Rich Content Editor.
    2. How to use DIscussions in Canvas
  • Provide Students With Feedback on Canvas
  • Step 4: Communicate with your students. On the first day, send a Canvas Message and post a course announcement. Identify the manner in which you will primarily communicate (email, Canvas, etc), and begin a conversation about course plans and expectations.

    • Get In Touch With Your Students - send a Canvas Message and post a course announcement.
    • Decide on Communication Strategies With Students - Identify the manner in which you will communicate (email, Canvas, etc) with students and how often. Share that communication plan with your students. Regular and authentic communication is the key element in successful mergency-based instruction!
    • Be clear with your instructions on how you will use Canvas and other tools for instruction.
    • Communication is key to your success and student success, please communicate regularly.

    Step 5: Assessment and Exams. Look ahead for the next few weeks and reflect on your assessment tasks: where might they need to be adjusted? Here are a few options or opportunities for managing assessment tasks during remote teaching.

    • Remote Assessment and Exams by South Mountain Community College CTL
    • Convert your paper quiz to an online quiz in Canvas
    • Remote testing created by Scottsdale Community College CTL

    Additional Resources:

    • Continuity of Instruction - Mesa Community College CTL
    • Taking your lectures online - created by Scottsdale Community College CTL
    • Teaching and Learning Remotely - created by ASU
    • Remote Assessment and Exams by South Mountain Community College CTL
    • Remote testing - created by Scottsdale Community College CTL
    • Co
    • mmunication Templates - created by South Mountain Community College CTL
    • Canvas Instructor Guide
    • Canvas Student Guide
    • A Student's Guide to 'Working From Home'
    • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Quick Reference Guide