Options for Remote Instruction

Below are considerations for contingencies that may be deployed to move more lecturing out of the face to face context. This page will update regularly with new information based on best practices in the classroom, the priorities for support and our changing needs.  Please check in regularly.

Interactive Dual Delivery may be considered in instances where classes  are still held face to face but videoconferencing is used to included students who have to join at a distance.  Please follow these steps as you prepare:

1. Assess the classroom that you plan to facilitate from and determine if you have the audio and video equipment to include remote students in the session.  Sufficient microphone equipment to broadcast audio to the students is the priority over video cameras.  If you do not have sufficient microphony in the room, you can use the built-in microphone in a personal laptop computer, or contact tandl@ucalgary.ca request a peripheral microphone to be plugged into your computer. Also there will be rooms available with more equipment to support the broadcast of a session while you are teaching face-to-face.  To reserve one of these rooms, email angela.crowley@ucalgary.ca with your schedule and the number of students you anticipate having face-to-face.

2. Generate a Zoom meeting link for the session. Before running the session, test your audio quality by recording your session in the room and with the equipment you will use.  If the sound quality is insufficient on the recording, contact tandl@ucalgary.ca for technical support and advice.

3. Consider strategies to keep remote students engaged and active in the class.  You may consider the following:

  • have a student in the room participate via Zoom and monitor chat messages from remote participants.
  • create opportunities for remote students to participate in group work in real time
  • provide remote students classroom materials in advance of the session whether by mail or D2L
  • share your PowerPoint throughout the session rather than video of the classroom
  • complement your presentations with videos of narrated PowerPoints that summarize the core content of the session
  • Look for opportunities to allow remote participants to share their contributions (speaking, notes, etc. whether by screen sharing, collaborative whiteboard or other means)


Instructors using Zoom for synchronous online sessions should schedule their Zoom sessions for the times that their face-to-face sessions had been scheduled.  This will minimize disruption to schedules.

Schedule recurring sessions to allow participants to use a single Meeting ID/ URL for all the sessions in the course. Do not feel it necessary to fill the entire length of the face-to-face session while in the Zoom environment.

Check the calendar for the Office of Teaching and Learning for Zoom training sessions that will be facilitated regularly.  If you need further support, consult the Zoom instructor handbook or email tandl@ucalgary.ca to arrange a training session to review the fundamentals of Zoom.  Teaching and Learning will be facilitating several Zoom coaching sessions to ensure you are prepared. Check your email communication for links and scheduling of Zoom training sessions.

Zoom allows the sharing of PowerPoints, other documents on your computer and webpages in real time and it allows other participants to do the same without disrupting the flow of the meeting by altering sharing and hosting privileges. Documents do not need to be uploaded to accommodate this. Breakout rooms can also be activated to allow group work to occur.

When facilitating a Zoom session from your laptop, it is recommended that you use smart phone earbuds or a similar headset with a microphone to ensure sufficient reproduction and transmission of your voice.

Zoom can be used to host virtual office hours.  You would schedule a Zoom meeting in your account, but for office hours, activate the waiting room feature when scheduling the meeting.  This will allow you to see the names of participants coming into the session, but prevent them from intruding on the appointment you are engaged in. More tips on virtual office hours are available among our Online Learning Resources.

When teaching face-to-face, you may have made less extensive use of D2L for the distribution of course materials and for facilitating of group discussions outside the classroom. With the shift to teaching online, there has been greater demand for the features available in D2L. For guidance on using D2L, you can visit the university's eLearn page. You can also visit D2L's YouTube page for tutorial videos.

If you are making use of D2L for the first time, ensure that your D2L shell is active. To do this, go into the shell under Edit Course and click on Course Offering Information on the subsequent page.  Scroll down the Course Offering Information page and click the box next to, “Course is Active.”

If you are sharing material in D2L for the first time, the ideal place to do it is under the Content.  This will accommodate the upload of documents and the addition of links to files, webpages and videos and other content.  This will also facilitate the upload and assessment of student work through the Dropbox built into each shell. However, the dropbox would need to be defined for each assignment.

Also, in D2L, using the Discussion Boards as a venue for discussion about aspects of using D2L can help ensure that the experience is a productive one for everyone while they are participating remotely.

YuJa is a video management site that allows the recording of desktop video.  It accommodates the narrated recording of a PowerPoint presentation as it appears on your computer. 

You can launch the YuJa platform from either D2L or https://yuja.ucalgary.ca and then record from your desktop or a laptop or peripheral camera.  This would allow you to make a video of a presentation that you would then be able to upload to D2L for student review.

If you are looking for tips or tutorials on features of these programs, visit the following:

UCalgary IT: tips on D2L, YuJa, WordPress and more
Getting Started in Zoom: Help page from the Zoom website
Zoom Student Handbook: Developed by Werklund for use by students in Zoom sessions
D2L/Brightspace video tutorials: YouTube videos on several possible applications within the D2L learning management system.
Teaching Continuity (Taylor Institute)more resources and guidelines to support the transition to further online instruction