Find out about your students

Your faculty may be collecting information about which students will be remote, but it may also be helpful to reach out to students directly. Find out if any of your students will need to attend class remotely and for how long. It may be helpful to ask if they can attend synchronously or if their location will make this a challenge.

Understand your options

There are many ways you can reach temporarily remote students: email, recorded lectures, live lectures, Zoom office hours, and more. Think about what options worked best for you and your students last year. Also, familiarize yourself with your classroom, the equipment available, and which tools will be available to you (e.g. Zoom).

The UBC Okanagan Learning Spaces website provides general information about the layout of the rooms on campus.

Visit the Classroom Technology page for information about recording equipment in the classrooms.


Send out a pre-course survey to better understand the extent that students are able to attend in-person classes.

Qualtrics is a widely-used survey tool at UBC.  The CTL has links to support documentation and the CTL Helpdesk can assist with basic questions.

To email students directly before the course starts, use Faculty Service Centre.


Use the Timezone tool in Canvas to determine remote students’ time zones. This information is particularly useful when planning for online synchronous sessions and virtual office hours. Please note that you can only get this information once students are enrolled in your Canvas course shell. Students may also need to update their timezone in their Canvas profiles.

Reuse online teaching material

During the previous year, many faculty developed online resources that will continue to benefit students in the years to come. Review what you developed and consider whether it might be a useful resource for your temporarily remote students. Re-using online resources such as classroom recordings and online activities can help remote students access and review course material at their own pace and keep on track while waiting to return to the classroom.


Please note: If you are planning to share instructional videos you developed in a previous term, you may need to edit these videos. If you share recordings outside the original course or in a different term of the same course, you do need to either obtain consent from students included and identifiable in the video or edit out the students population. You can edit videos using the Camtasia video editing software which is available to all faculty, staff and students at UBC. Learn more about downloading and editing video in Camtasia through the CTL website.

Consider alternative online readings

Remote students may face challenges procuring textbooks at the start of the term. Having a selection of online readings available can be a helpful alternative until students are able to purchase a textbook on campus. Remember: the Library’s Online Course Reserve (LOCR) service is an easy way for you to create a list for your course readings.

Prepare your students

Communicate with students as early as possible via email or Canvas announcements to let them know about the course format, what can be expected from you, and your expectations for them. You may also want to add a specific section in your syllabus that provides information for students regarding what options are available should they need to participate remotely for a temporary period of time. If you will be live streaming class meetings, you may want to include guidelines for remote students on how to engage during a live session.


By default, students have access to a course on Canvas on the official first day of class for each semester.  (September 7 for Fall 2021.)  Change the start date of your Canvas course so that you can begin communicating with your students earlier.  You must also publish your Canvas course for students to have access.


Concerned recording class meetings will result in a drop in attendance? Panopto reviewed 34 peer-reviewed studies looking at this relationship. They found only four out of the 34 studies reported a reduction in attendance, and that for those four studies the reduction was minimal.

Practice new technologies

Take time to familiarize yourself with technology that is new to you or that you might be using in a new way. For example, practice how you will manage group activities, especially if they will involve a mix of on-campus and online students. View the classroom technology instructional videos and instructions on how to use Zoom through the links on the Classroom Technology page. Practice will give you a chance to better time your teaching and make adjustments where needed.


If you run into technical issues, contact UBC IT Okanagan to get support with classroom equipment (call 250.807.9000).

If you need help on how to use Zoom or Kaltura for recording the classroom or with Camtasia and Canvas, contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning (email or call 250.807.9293).