Instructional Continuity Planning – Canvas Available

When classroom instruction is interrupted due to disasters and emergencies, you will need to use alternative methods and tools to continue class activities at a distance. Your class activities may vary depending on the subject you are teaching and the kinds of teaching methods you use. However, the following would be core categories of class activities that you will need continue:

  • Communicating with students
  • Delivering course content
  • Encouraging student participation: Answering questions, discussion, group work, etc.
  • Administering assignments, tests and grades

To preserve academic continuity, we recommend that you use Canvas. All courses automatically have a corresponding Canvas course. You can access your Canvas courses at the UNC Charlotte Canvas page.

Communicating with Students


To communicate with the entire class in Canvas, add an Announcement. A copy of the announcement will also be sent to your students’ UNC Charlotte email accounts.

To communicate with just a few students or an individual student, you can send a Conversation via the Inbox. Messages are sent to each recipient’s university email account.

To manage student inquiries, you may create Discussions in Canvas by topic or date. Then you can ask students to post their questions there instead of emailing you with the questions. You can also encourage students to answer each others questions. This helps you manage student inquiries quickly and also facilitates students’ interaction with each other.

Delivering Course Content

If you have your lecture materials written or otherwise recorded, then you just need to make them available by uploading them to your Canvas course.

You are encouraged to use the applications that you are most comfortable with to deliver course content. These options may include, but are not limited to:

Encouraging Student Participation


To encourage student participation via Canvas, you may use tools like Discussions, Conferences, and Chat.
To facilitate participatory activities, you may create Groups in Canvas and ask students to do group work. Please refer to:

Administering Assignments, Tests and Grades

In Canvas you can administer assignments, tests and grades. The following are some of the capabilities that both systems provide:

  • Creating various kinds of assignments and tests.
  • Student submission of assignments or tests.
  • Providing feedback to students’ submissions.
  • Specifying a timeframe during which a test will be available to prevent or reduce cheating.
  • Calculating grades automatically according to how you set up your grade book.

For tutorials on how to administer assignments and tests, please refer to:


For safe keeping of grades, we recommend that you backup all grades stored in Canvas by downloading them into an Excel spreadsheet. Please refer to: