Virtual Instruction Readiness Quiz

Instructional Technology Services has assembled an array of tools to help you move your classes online, engage students in distance learning, and meet course learning objectives. The links on the right take you to specific tools and resources, while the Virtual Instruction Readiness Quiz below will help you identify specific issues and solutions relevant to your particularx courses.

Many of the actions you will likely want to take will be implemented through Canvas.  It serves as a powerful hub, providing access to a number of tools for communicating, teaching, and assessing online. You may also want to consider becoming familiar with Zoom for web conferencing and course capture.

ITS will continue to develop and enhance this site in response to the situation and to answer instructors’ questions as they emerge. The guidance provided here is focused on the process and technology of course conversion.  It is not meant to address the educational policy issues, such as attendance, that are certain to arise. The university, working with the deans and departments, will provide guidance on those matters.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact SDSU Instructional Technology Services.

Start Here: Take the Virtual Instruction Readiness Quiz

Establish effective communication channels with your students


  Yes   No
    I am prepared to communicate updates, changes, and other relevant information to my students.    
    I can create channels where students can respond to me    
    I can schedule live sessions    
    I can create opportunities for students to contact each other and collaborate online    
    I can hold online office hours    

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, learn more in our guide to remote communication with students.

Put your course materials online

    Question   Yes   No
    I currently have a Canvas course site or course website that is up to date    
    I use Canvas to make course materials available to my students    
    I can pre-record my lecture materials and share them with students    
    I can set up course sessions via Zoom to deliver live lectures    
    I can record and share PowerPoint slides online    

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, learn more in our guide to delivering course content online.

Assess your students online

    Question   Yes   No
    I can create quizzes in Canvas to verify that students understand the material    
    I can collect student submissions online    
    I can facilitate student presentations online    
    I can grade assignments, exams, problem-sets, etc. online    

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, learn more in our guide to assessing student learning online.


Strategies & Resources

There are many ways to teach successfully online. The following tables list tools to immediately facilitate various online course activities. Each tool is identified as synchronous (tools that are used in real-time/live) or asynchronous (tools that facilitate learning free of time constraints).

Communicate with your students

Clear, consistent communication is an important part of successful online teaching. Your students will need information about how your class is changing and what they are expected to do. These tools help you communicate with your students and can help them communicate with each other.

Activity   Tool Synchronous /
Communicate updates, changes, and other relevant information. If you plan to use Canvas Announcements, have students verify their settings to allow Announcements to be forwarded directly to their email address. That way, messages will reach students even if they are not signed into Canvas. Canvas Announcements Asynchronous
Communicate information and allow students to respond at any time. Email, Canvas Discussion Boards Asynchronous
Communicate information and allow a live response Zoom Synchronous
Facilitate written discussions among students and instructors Canvas Discussion Board Asynchronous
Facilitate live discussions among students and instructors Zoom Synchronous
Hold remote office hours to provide an opportunity for live, one-on-one or small-group communication with you. Zoom Synchronous

Deliver your course content

There are a range of ways to share course content with your students, depending on whether you want, or need, to meet in real-time or not.

Activity Tool Synchronous /
Deliver live lectures (and record for later use)   Zoom Synchronous
Pre-record lectures as videos including slides   Zoom, Mediasite Asynchronous
Upload videos to stream to students (including Zoom recordings)   Mediasite Asynchronous
Record a slide show with narration   Zoom, Camtasia Asynchronous
Share files with your students   Google Drive Asynchronous

Assess student learning

Online tools can provide additional ways for students to demonstrate their learning. These tools help you collect students work online, create quizzes and exams, and grade digital submissions.

Activity Tool Synchronous /
Collect student submissions online   Canvas Assignments Asynchronous
Check if students understand the material   Canvas Quizzes Asynchronous
Facilitate student presentations   Zoom Synchronous
Grading assignments, exams, problem sets (etc.)   Canvas, Gradescope Asynchronous

For information on using Zoom to teach virtually, please see the following resources:

Guide to Educating Through Zoom
Tips for Teachers Educating on Zoom
Live Training Webinars
Recorded Training Webinars
Zoom Meetings for Education Training
Zoom Tips for Students


Note: This page was inspired by work produced by Cornell University and the readiness quiz was adapted from the University of Washington.