Academic Continuity During Disruption

In the event of an emergency situation caused by any number of factors, your ability to continue your class in the manner that you’ve planned may be impacted. This guide helps you find alternatives for these situations. Please contact for help and more information.

General Pre-Emergency Planning Tips

  • Download student contact information from SIS should you need to get in touch with your students outside of Canvas.
  • Remind students to download or print a copy of the syllabus.
  • Back up copies of any prepared teaching materials prior to the start of the term/semester in case you are unable to access the files on MyNOVA.


Click here to download the NOVA Go-Kit with essential information about taking your courses online.

How can I offer synchronous recorded lectures or meetings for my students?

Zoom is a web-based video conferencing application available at no cost to all NOVA faculty, staff, and students. With Zoom you can connect and collaborate online with anyone, anytime, anywhere. To activate your Zoom account, go to: and click on Settings. You can also access your Zoom account tile in MyNOVA.

Zoom users can use in-meeting features to work on projects, share content and engage in live discussions. You can record Zoom sessions locally or in the cloud, and then upload your Zoom recordings to canvas for students to view on demand.

Zoom can be linked directly into your Canvas course so students can access it easily.

To make Zoom recordings you will need:

  • A device with a good internet connection.
  • Headphones or earbuds (optional).
  • Microphone (a separate microphone can be better than your device’s built-in if possible).
  • Web camera (optional, preferred for face-to-face contact)

View these handouts for instructions on setting up and using Zoom.

How can I collect and grade student assignments confidentially and digitally?

Canvas has a feature to collect assignments digitally, provide students feedback, and share student grades. This is widely used by faculty at NOVA to collect papers and other digital projects.

How can I facilitate quizzes, tests, or exams digitally with my students?

Canvas has a Quizzes feature that allows instructors to author many different types of questions, such as multiple choice, true/false, fill in the blanks, matching, etc. The options available within Quizzes allow you to control when each quiz is available and what is released to students. You can also analyze how students perform question by question and see general information about a student’s performance on the assessment (time to complete, etc.) Once a Quiz is published, there is also a feature enabling you to provide extra time and other accommodations that might be in place for specific students via Student Accessibility Services.

Also, a good idea for quizzes that are going to be taken at home, is using Respondus LockDown Browser which locks students into the quiz until its complete and doesn’t allow them to open other browser windows or search the internet.

How can I communicate updates, changes, and other relevant information to my students?

The Faculty and Staff Resource Center team recommends using the Canvas Announcements feature when you need to communicate with your class. With this feature, you also have the option to communicate with individual sections within a combined section course. Canvas Announcements will email the students and include a copy of that announcement on your course site. Alternatively, you can use the Canvas Email feature to communicate with your students, or you can get the student roster with emails from SIS and use your NOVA Email to communicate with them.

How can I facilitate class discussions in an online format?

Setting up a Canvas Discussion board is an easy way to allow students to share their research and work with each other, and to provide feedback to each other.

How can I pre-record asynchronous lectures and videos?

The best way to provide pre-recorded material to your students is by using Canvas Studio. It is very similar to Screencast-O-Matic but it lives inside Canvas and is easy to link to your courses.

Studio can be used in several ways. You can record a video of yourself talking using a web-cam, you can record a narrated presentation on the screen using PowerPoint, you can add an existing video from YouTube.

The advantage to recording or adding your videos using Studio is that you have the ability to track student use. You can see if your students have viewed the video and for how long. You can allow your students to add comments or questions while watching the video. You can create a quiz as part of the video.

How can I organize my course content so my students know what to do next?

Using Modules in Canvas is the best way to organize your course content for your students.

Create a module for each week of instruction, and add the appropriate content such as assignments, quizzes, discussion boards, documents, and web links to each module.

How can I access the documents in my H Drive or on my office computer?

Access Files in my H Drive
Access Files in My Office Computer
More Information about Working Remotely