Getting Started is as Easy as 1… 2… 3!

1 Communication

Early communication with your students is key regarding campus closures and alternate teaching arrangements.  There are two primary tools to use to contact all students within your class

Canvas Announcements

Faculty can send an announcement that students will receive in their email program outside of the Canvas LMS. On the class menu, simply click Announcements, and then the "+ Announcement" button. Then type your message, including any links or attachments, and click the Save button at the bottom. Step by Step Instructions

My.SMU Class Roster

Faculty can quickly email their entire class via my.SMU. Login to my.SMU and go to the Faculty Center. Then click the Class Roster button. You can use the notification option to communicate with your students. Video    Step by Step Instructions

2 Choose a Teaching Method

To maximize safety, flexibility and quality — SMU leverages several instructional modes (SMUFlex—a variant of HyFlex, Fully Online, etc.) for the Fall 2020 academic term. Below is a description of these modes and how an instructor might achieve particular pedagogical strategies within each mode.

SMUFlex (variant of HyFlex)

Key Features:

  • Instructor simultaneously runs the course face-to-face while also including online students during class time.
  • Video conferencing chat feature can be used to allow for Q&A and interaction with face-to-face participants
  • Follows SMU best practices for online course design and instruction

Fully Online:

Key Features:

  • Well-designed, high quality online course
  • Follows SMU best practices for online course design and delivery

Choose a path

Need help choosing a teaching mode?

Find out which teaching mode might be best for you.

3 Instruction

The two primary tools we recommended to facilitate the various types of instructions during a campus closure are Zoom and Canvas.


Canvas is the online course management system at SMU. It allows faculty to post class assignments, notes, conduct tests, host discussion boards, and more, all through a standard web browser. Classes are automatically created in Canvas, and both students and faculty are automatically assigned to their courses. To begin using Canvas, go to


Zoom is a cloud-based audio/video conferencing solution. It will allow faculty to connect with up to 300 students through simple online meetings, group messaging, and a software-defined conference room solution all in an easy-to-use platform. It is available to all active faculty at   

Click here for our one- page guide for remote instruction


You can present live via Zoom and provide audio, video, and content sharing.  The Zoom meeting can be recorded and even shared afterward by posting to your Canvas course.

You can pre-record your lectures and post within your Canvas course. There are several built-in tools in Canvas to accommodate the recording of your lecture, such as Big Blue Button, Panapto, and Zoom.

Discussions or Group Work:

Zoom can provide real-time discussion with video. You can even use Breakout rooms within Zoom to separate the class into smaller groups.

Canvas provides an integrated system for text-based class discussions, allowing both you and the students to start and contribute. Discussions can also be created as an assignment for grading purposes (and seamlessly integrated with the Canvas Gradebook), or simply serve as a forum for topical and current events. Discussions can also be created within student groups.

Tests and Assignments:

Canvas allows for assignments or tests to be scheduled so they are accessible to the student only during specified timeframes.  For test integrity, consider using LockDown Browser or Respondus Monitor. Webinars are also available from Respondus for additional information. Additional resources are posted on the Faculty Guides page.


Substituting Lab instruction may be the more challenging teaching delivery in a campus closure scenario since many labs require specific equipment.  Consider other ways to facilitate learning such as providing data for analysis, presenting online content related to lab activities or procedures. Students may access the computers on campus using Remote Desktop.  Although they will need to share the computers just as if they were on campus, this will allow them to utilize special software installed on those machines.  Visit the Wiki for more details.

? Get Help

IT Help Desk will remain open and available to assist with the various technologies outlined above. The IT Help Desk is available by phone at 214-768-HELP (4357) or via email at We will be able to connect you to your Academic Technology Service Director or other OIT personnel to provide the support you need.  In addition, there are several other resources for support including 24/7 Zoom and Canvas support, library support and more.

The Office of Information Technology website ( provides links to various training resources for Zoom, Canvas, Box, as well as thousands of training videos on LinkedIn Learning.