Getting Started with Online Teaching in Canvas

This guide provides an overview of the Canvas tools available to help you set up your course for online teaching. The information below provides you with the core set-up to get your course running in an online environment.


1. Canvas for Remote Teaching

1.1 Providing course materials online

All courses at UBC can be delivered through Canvas. If you have never logged in to your Canvas course site, go to and log in with your CWL. There are lots of online resources and video tutorials that are available to help you get started. Canvas course templates are also available; contact for information.

1.2 Delivering online lectures/tutorials/office hours (real-time)

  • Use Zoom to meet with your students remotely. You can use the virtual whiteboard, create breakout rooms, conduct online polls, and share PowerPoint slides/files.
  • To learn more about Zoom's features, refer to the Zoom Features page.

1.3 Recording lectures

  • Use Zoom to record your live lectures and publish them on Canvas.
  • Use Kaltura to record and/or upload pre-recorded lectures to Canvas so students can watch them in their own time.

1.4 Communicating with students

1.5 Implementing online assessments

1.6 Grading

  • Use the Canvas Speedgrader to distribute grades and feedback to students on their assignments.

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2. Online Exams

2.1 Recommendations for online exams

Skylight's Alternative Exam Resource page provides suggestions and ideas for the design, grading, and invigilation of online exams, for academic integrity pledges, and for accessibility and accommodation considerations.

2.2 Exam and invigilation learning technologies

The following resources will guide you on the selection of learning technologies to deliver and invigilate your online exams:

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3. Considerations for Large Enrolment Courses

If you are teaching large enrolment courses or if your Canvas course is merged with multiple sections, there are some limitations that you should be aware of:

  • Zoom participant limit. There is a limit on the number of participants per session. Zoom can host up to 300 participants in a regular session and 1,000 participants in webinar mode. Meetings in webinar mode have reduced functionalities, which are outlined in the Zoom Features page.
  • Canvas Quiz load issues. Having all of your students start a quiz at the exact same time may result in students experiencing problems loading the quiz. To avoid this issue, separate students into smaller groups (e.g., by first/last name, course section, tutorial, or lab) and stagger the start times by five minutes. This will prevent load issues when starting and submitting the quiz.
  • Canvas Gradebook/Speedgrader load issues. Assignments with a large number of submissions can result in delayed loading times. Filter the gradebook and view the students by section, or create multiple assignments assigned to each section instead of one assignment for all students.

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4. Support and Resources

  • Drop-in sessions with Skylight staff are available if you want to ask questions, test out learning technologies, and discuss your pedagogy more generally.
  • Please contact Skylight ( if you are interested in joining the Science Online Teaching Canvas course, which curates resources and suggestions for teaching online.
  • Visit the Skylight LT website for information about learning technology tools, workshops, and consultations.
  • Visit CTLT’s Keep Teaching website for information about online teaching, including resources to walk you through moving your course online.
  • Contact Skylight LT support ( if you need assistance or have questions about the use of any learning technologies.

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Last updated on: August 27, 2020


Learning technology support

If you have any questions or if you would like to report an issue regarding a learning technology, please don’t hesitate to contact us at For in-person support, please join our LTRs at one of our drop-in sessions.