Teaching Online

Teaching online is different than teaching face to face. If you are new to it, there is an initial learning curve. If you are familiar with teaching online, the learning curve is keeping up with pedagogical innovation and education technology advances.

No matter how novice or expert you are at teaching online, this page contains resources to support you in creating phenomenal online learning experiences.

Feel free to reach out to the CU Nursing Instructional Design Team with any questions you have at con.id@ucdenver.edu


Communicating with students online is a more intentional approach than verbally reaching out during face to face teaching. Key things to consider when teaching online are:

  • How often will you communicate with students?
  • How will you communicate?
  • What phone number should students contact you at?
  • What phone number should you contact students at?
  • What is your students’ preferred email address?
  • What is your turn-around time for
    • Email
    • Grading
  • What are you virtual office hours?

Internet Status

Having reliable internet access is key to online learning, especially during a pandemic when internet usage is high. To create a phenomenal online learning experience, it is important to assess:

  • What internet connectivity issues students currently having
  • What internet connectivity issues you currently having?

Many internet service providers are offering expanded coverage during the pandemic. Be sure to check with your provider of choice to take advantage of any available offers for educators.

Education Technology

There are a variety of resources available to you is assist in your online teaching. To help you decide which is the best to use in your class, if the technology helps your students to meet the course outcomes in meaningful and engaging ways, it is likely a good tool to use.

A variety of “how to” videos and resources are available. To view, enroll in our CCC- Canvas Resources Course at: https://ucdenver.instructure.com/enroll/BFBYWR

Examples of topics are:

  • PowerPoint
    • Zoom PPT Slides While Viewing Hidden Notes
  • Sharing Content
    • Requesting a CCC Shell
    • Importing Content into a CCC Shell
    • Copying Course Content from a CCC Shell to an Active Course
    • Importing from Canvas Commons
  • Syllabus
    • Utilizing PDFs in Canvas Syllabus
  • TechSmith Relay
    • Log in at https://ucdenver.techsmithrelay.com/
    • Uploading Existing Media
    • Relay - Downloading and Recording with Classic Recorder
    • Recording a PowerPoint Presentation in Relay (Asynchronous)
    • Embedding Relay Content into Canvas
  • Video Editor (PC)
    • Video Editor - Trimming Recorded Videos
  • Zoom
    • Log in at https://ucdenver.zoom.us/
    • Zoom Overview (pdf only)
    • Joining a Meeting
    • Scheduling a Meeting with Zoom Website
    • Meeting Controls
    • Scheduling a Meeting in Outlook
    • Breakout Rooms
    • Closed Captioning
    • Recording a Zoom Meeting
    • Joining & Configuring Audio & Video
    • Renaming Call-In Participants
    • Sharing Your Screen
    • Sharing Multiple Screens Simultaneously
    • Sharing PowerPoint Presenter in Zoom

Zoom Considerations

Here are a few tips to help you have a successful Zoom experience.

  • If many people are using Zoom, there might not be enough network bandwidth to support the increased demand
  • If your students live in more rural places, they might not have enough bandwidth to join Zoom via audio and visual methods
    • Solutions
      • Each Zoom meeting invite has a dial in number. 
        • Meeting via conference call using the dial in number might be a good way to chat as a class or chat with those students experiencing internet access challenges
      • Consider asking folks to turn off the video function of Zoom and just use the audio function. 
        • This decreases the amount of data passing through the internet and thus may prevent connection interruptions due to network bandwidth issues.
  • To prevent unwanted attendees in your Zoom classroom/meeting (Zoombombing) only the person who set up the meeting through a UCDenver Zoom account will be able to use the Share Screen function initially. Once the meeting is up and running, the “host” can allow others in the Zoom classroom/meeting to Share his/her/their screen.
The College of Nursing Information Technology (CONIT) Support Team created this document which explains Zoom Screen Sharing.

HIPAA Considerations

It’s important to not use identifiable patient data as part of an assignment or student submission so that Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) compliance is maintained. A key thing to keep is in is that Canvas is not HIPAA compliant. Thus protected health information (PHI) cannot be stored there.

There are steps you can take to make sure protected health information (PHI) is not used in assignments.

Online Testing

Providing a secure online testing environment requires preparation, testing of proctoring software, and supporting students to use proctoring software, etc. If time is of essence, here are some strategies to consider to assess student learning in different, yet meaningful ways.

  • Change the test to an open book format for this unique circumstance & change the intent to a formative vs. a summative learning assessment
    • That way you don’t have to worry about a secure testing environment
    • Students can check where they are with their knowledge and understanding of the material
    • You can check where students are with their knowledge and understanding of the material and provide additional resources if there are knowledge gaps
  • Consider providing a PDF version of the test to students who are having internet connectivity issues and have them email their answers back to you
  • Change the test questions to a scenario and have students submit what they would do and why they would do it via Canvas or email you their answers
    • This could be a group or individual response
  • If an exam is essential, provide small, low or no points practice quizzes in Canvas to prep students for what it’s like to take a test in Canvas
    • This will also allow you to assess for any connectivity issues student have during a campus closure.