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Information • May 05, 2021 9:09 am • Latest information on COVID-19 and New Camosun Website • Read more…

Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Guidance for Remote Instruction

In the case of unforeseen events, instructors should be prepared to deliver their classes online temporarily on short notice. Instructors may take different approaches to online delivery that best reflects the context of their courses, students, and department/program expectations. The goal is to provide the best educational experience possible given the limitations of the current circumstance.

Be prepared to take your class online …

Use the following best practices and tools to help you during this time:

Communicate with your students: Even if you don't yet have a plan in place, communicate with your students as soon as possible, informing them that changes are coming. Let them know what your expectations are for checking email or D2L, so you can get them more details when available. Continue to communicate with your students regularly about the course and your expectations.

Check with your department/program: Your department/program may issue more details about the situation and guidelines about their expectations for classes. Administrators may want to have many of the department's classes handled in similar ways, so before doing too much planning, check with departmental leaders to get guidance.

Consider realistic goals for teaching online under the circumstances: As you think about continuing instruction online, consider what you think you can realistically accomplish. Do you think you can maintain your original syllabus and schedule? Do you hope students will keep up with the reading with some assignments to add structure and accountability? How will you keep them engaged with the course content? Consider realistic options for applied learning contexts.

Pick tools and approaches familiar to you and your students: Try to rely on tools and workflows that are familiar to you and your students, introducing new tools only when necessary, given the stress that instructors and students will be under.

Keep things accessible and mobile friendly: In a crisis, many students may have access to a mobile device only and not a laptop or desktop. It’s important to: • Consider that all students may not be able to equitably complete written course work, including written responses to quizzes/exams, and accommodate accordingly. • Ensure you are using mobile-friendly formats including PDFs and D2L pages. For example, consider saving other files in two formats, its original application format and a PDF. PDFs are easier to read on phones and tablets and keep the file size small, and the original file format often has application features that are helpful to students who use accessibility software.

NOTE: PDFs generated through photocopy scanning are NOT an accessible file format; digitally-speaking, they are just images. The text in a scanned PDF will not be accessible to anyone using text-to-speech assistive technology and the files will not easily resize for mobile devices. To create more accessible PDFs, start with simple Word documents and save these in PDF format. For some technical guidance, see PDF Accessibility.

You may want to poll your students confidentially to find out what access to devices and internet they may have in the event of a complete college shut down. This may guide some of your decisions regarding course delivery and/or accommodations for individual students.

Copyright Compliance: As you move materials online, be mindful of copyright. Consider providing links to third party resources rather than embedding them in your D2L course if they do not fall within the Fair Dealing guidelines the Canadian Copyright Act. Contact Camosun’s Copyright Advisor if you have questions:

Access Camosun Copyright guide

Tools and Supports

Camosun has a number of effective online learning tools and support staff available to help instructors transition their courses temporarily online. Many instructors may find using a combination of these tools helpful in delivering their courses.

D2L Learning Management System

D2L provides instructors and students with a suite of tools to support face-to-face enhanced, blended and fully online learning experiences. Instructors can deliver course materials, activities and assess student learning in a protected environment. Instructors can use D2L to:

  • Communicate class related news items and announcements
  • Post course related information such as PowerPoint presentations, videos, readings, and course notes
  • Collect, mark, and distribute assignments, quizzes, and exams
  • Create discussion forums to facilitate class and group communications
  • Manage and communicate student performance grades

Access D2L tutorials

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU) Web Conferencing

BBCU is a web-based conferencing system that integrates with D2L or can be used as a stand-alone application. Instructors can use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra web conferencing to:

  • Deliver live or recorded virtual classes, including lectures, demos, tutorials or help sessions
  • Share PowerPoints, PDFs and screen applications in real time
  • Create live virtual meetings spaces for student group collaborations and presentations
  • Other functions include whiteboards, breakout groups and live polling
  • Host guest speakers remotely

Access Collaborate Web Conferencing tutorials

Kaltura Video Creation and Streaming

Kaltura is a service like YouTube that can be used for importing, creating, streaming, and disseminating video to a wide range of devices. Kaltura fully integrates with D2L and provides a mechanism to insert videos directly into content, discussions, and assignment dropboxes. Students also have their own accounts to upload and share video.

Instructors can use Kaltura, video streaming service, to:

  • Create instructional videos using any combination of web-cam, audio, and screen recording to pre-record lectures, tutorials, demos, assignment instructions, etc.
  • Post videos in D2L in the News, Discussions, Content, and Assignment tools

Students can also record presentations using Kaltura and submit them via D2L for sharing and/or evaluation.

Access Kaltura tutorials


Email is also an effective way to communicate with your students, including your expectations during this transition and what eLearning tools you will be using. Student personal email addresses are available through myCamosun. You can also contact your students via D2L via the Classlist tool.

Support Options

CETL and Camosun’s eLearning team is fully committed to support you in this transition.

Support Options Students Faculty
Downloadable tutorials
for D2L, Kaltura and BBCU
D2L Student Guide in D2L On-Demand Training course in D2L*
Remote live support for
D2L, Kaltura and BBCU
Copyright advising
General pedagogy support N/A

*If you don’t have access to the On-Demand Training course in D2L, contact

The eLearning team is small, so please be patient and we will respond to your requests as quickly as we can. Co-workers experienced in using eLearning tools may also be a resource to you.

The content on this webpage is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons Attribution graphic

Portions of the guidance on this page are adapted, with permission, from the Indiana University website. “Keep Teaching” content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License by the Trustees of Indiana University.

Wondering what other learning opportunities CETL offers? See the full list.

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Victoria BC V8P 5J2
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4461 Interurban Rd
Victoria BC V9E 2C1
  • 250–370–3000
  • 1–877–554–7555 (toll-free)

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