Academic & Course Continuity2020-04-02T11:25:48-07:00
  • Academic & Course Continuity

To accommodate students or faculty during this period of remote teaching and learning, the following options are available. These options are intended to temporarily maintain course continuity; they are stop-gap measures and should only be used as such. To develop a fully online or hybrid course, which requires Dean/VPAA approval and DLINQ’s instructional design support, please contact DLINQ for an initial consultation.

Request a DLINQ consult

IMPORTANT UPDATES as of April 2, 2020


We have seen recent reports from instructors having issues with Panopto video processing and uploading. According to the Panopto service status page at there have been multiple incidences over the past few days impacting server performance. If you are recording videos with Panopto, we recommend you consider using the “record offline” option and then upload afterward. Offline recording is initiated through the desktop recorder. Simply sign out of Panopto. By signing out, the recorder does not register a folder on its server to upload. When recording is completed, you can click on the recording list on your computer and then sign in to upload. ITS also offers a system and performance dashboard on its homepage at


In order for students to be able to view your Panopto videos in Canvas, please make sure you:


Due to increasing security concerns of uninvited guests accessing public online meetings, Zoom has turned off the default setting that allows meeting participants to share their screens without needing the host’s permission. Though this is off by default now, you can still allow your meeting participants to screen share via one of these three options:

  • Selectively allow individual meeting participants to share their screen when a meeting is in progress. To do this, while you are in the meeting, open the participant list (click “Manage Participants”) and hover your mouse over the name of the person you want to allow to screen share. You should see a “More” button. Click that and select “Make Co-Host” from the dropdown. As a co-host, that individual will have permission to share their screen.
  • Selectively allow all meeting participants to share their screen when a meeting is in progress. To do this, while you are in the meeting, click the arrow next to your “Share Screen” button, and then select “Advanced Sharing Options” from the list that pops up. In the Advanced Sharing Options window, select “All Participants” under “Who can share?”.
  • Universally turn the participant screen share setting back on in your Zoom settings at Navigate to Settings > In Meeting (Basic) > Screen Sharing and under “Who can share?” select “All Participants”.

We strongly recommend that you make the following additional security adjustments to your Zoom settings:

  • Turn ON the “Waiting Room” feature (you then manually admit attendees into your Zoom meeting by opening your Manage Participants panel and clicking “Admit” or “Admit All” to allow participants to join the meeting as they try to enter your Zoom room)

Additional Zoom security options that are recommended by ITS:


  • Videos recorded in the Middlebury Zoom cloud are now stored for 90 days (extended from 30 days), unless you choose to delete them sooner
  • If you schedule your class meetings using the Canvas Zoom LTI and then record those meetings to the cloud, those cloud recordings are accessible to you and your students via the “Cloud Recordings” tab in the Canvas Zoom LTI. The videos will open in a new tab or window when the link is clicked.
  • There is an institutional limit to the cloud storage available, so we still recommend that you consider alternatives to recording hours-long class meetings. For example, consider designating a student as the class note-taker for the day, and/or recording shorter canned lecture videos using Panopto that you can then embed in your Canvas course site.


  • Make sure for Middlebury-related meetings you are logging into Zoom using your “” email, not your “” email or a personal Zoom account.

Who to Contact for Help

DLINQ serves all of Middlebury, including the College in Middlebury, VT, the Institute in Monterey, CA, the Language Schools, Schools Abroad, the School of the Environment, and Bread Loaf School of English. By combining expertise in instructional design, pedagogical research, learning space design, animation and video production, and more, the team provides dynamic, strategic, and robust resources that are accessible to faculty, staff, and students across all of Middlebury’s programs. Click the button below to request a consultation with a member of our team.

Contact DLINQ for assistance with such things as remote teaching strategies, how to work with remote teaching tools and technologies, structuring remote teaching activities.

Request a DLINQ consult

Contact the ITS Heldesk for assistance with such things as logins, VPN, access to software and remote teaching equipment (order requests, installation, technical problems), system and application access status.

Helpdesk hours are subject to change. The Helpdesk Hours page will reflect these changes.

Helpdesk support is available via a ticket, email, Zoom, or phone (802) 443-2200 VT and (831) 647-6656 CA. Please Zoom or call to schedule.

Visit the Middlebury ITS website for the latest updates and system status information.

If you are having upload/download or processing issues with online tools or software, we recommend checking the system status to see if it’s already a known issue before contacting the Helpdesk. ITS offers a system and performance dashboard on its homepage at

Contact the Middlebury Libraries for assistance with such things as e-Reserves, digital research, digital textbooks, and copyright questions.

Middlebury College Libraries, Vermont

To access a library-licensed resource from off campus, click on its link from the Library Homepage, LibrarySearch, MIDCAT, Research Guides, Middlebury Databases, or Journals.

Middlebury Institute Library, CA

You do not need a VPN connection to use these databases.

When using the Library Catalog, be sure to use the “Advanced Search” tab and select “Middlebury Institute – Online” as the item location to access our e-books.

See the DLINQ Remote Student Resources page for remote learning support and guidance for students.

Thanks to video annotation software (and a timely grant from the DLA!), Oratory Now is now offering Asynchronous Coaching. For classes meeting online, faculty can request Real-time Zoom Coaching. To sign up, or for more information, visit Remote Oratory Coaching.

Resources for Remote Teaching

DLINQ has created a number of resources for transitioning to remote teaching. We encourage you to start with these resources, as they contain Middlebury-specific information. Also see links to articles at the bottom of this page covering topics such as asynchronous teaching strategies, creating accessible digital materials, remote lab courses, remote foreign language teaching, and more. Our Toolshed page includes more detailed information and links to tutorials about specific remote teaching and learning tools and technologies.


Canvas can be used for a number of tasks, such as announcements, assignments, discussions, content delivery, media delivery, collaborations, and more. If you or your students are unable to attend class in person, Canvas can provide a central location for your course materials and activities.

If you’re new to Canvas, here are some steps to get you started:

  • Create a Canvas site for your course, if you have not already created one. To do this, log into the Course Hub ( and add a Canvas site. When you add a Canvas site for your course through the Course Hub, your students are automatically enrolled in the Canvas site.
  • Import a course template from the Canvas Commons. Templates should be applied to NEW courses only. Adding a template to a course that already has content may override the content. To find the templates in the Canvas Commons:
    • Go to the Canvas Commons page
    • Copy and paste the link for the template that you would like to use into the search bar on the Canvas Commons page
      • Middlebury College 12 week standard template: Search for
      • Middlebury College 12 week enhanced template (more visual design features): Search for
      • Middlebury Institute 16 week standard template: Search for
      • Middlebury Institute 16 week enhanced template (more visual design features): Search for
    • Once you have found the template, we recommend adding it to your favorites (click “Add to Favorites” in the far right column). That way, you’ll be able to find it again quickly in the future.
    • To import the template to your course, click the “Import/Download” button. This will pull up a list of courses you have access to. Find your course in the list, click the checkbox next to the course name, and then select “Import into Course”.
  • Add a copy of your syllabus to Canvas and post an announcement for students about how you will use Canvas (and/or other tools) to continue offering your course.
  • Upload course materials, such as PDFs, videos, presentations, and more.
  • Create a discussion forum for conversation among students about course content.
  • Learn more about Canvas and, if you need help, contact DLINQ. Canvas tutorials are available here.

Need more help with Canvas? Middlebury has 24/7 Canvas support. For tech support/trouble shooting, please refer to Instructure’s 24/7 phone [+1-833-890-4166] and real-time chat support available via the Help tab (must be logged into Canvas).

Additional Resources

Zoom allows you to host live class sessions via videoconferencing. Go to to log into Zoom and create your Zoom room. Sign in using your Middlebury credentials (use the extension to your e-mail address) and click Meetings > Schedule a New Meeting to create a Zoom room and link that you and your students will use for class sessions. You can also find Zoom documentation on the ITS website.

You may host a class session entirely in Zoom, with you and all of your students joining via the Zoom link you created. Alternatively, you can join Zoom from your classroom and invite remote students to join the class via Zoom. Most classrooms have the equipment you will need to host a Zoom session (camera, computer, microphone), but if your classroom does not have the equipment you need, please contact the Help Desk at

Breakout rooms are a feature in Zoom that allows the Zoom host to assign groups of participants to their own space in which to meet and talk. Faculty and students are able to use breakout rooms, but you must first activate the feature in Zoom. To turn on breakout rooms, you need to go to your advanced zoom settings (on the web, at go/zoom/) and choose Settings > Meeting (tab) > In Meeting (Advanced). There you should see an option to turn on “Breakout room” with additional option to “Allow host to assign participants…”

Whether you are teaching entirely in Zoom or having some students join a classroom remotely, your approach to teaching will need to adjust to support the students who are joining via Zoom. We encourage you to visit DLINQ’s webpage on Zoom for insights and/or to consider scheduling a consultation on how to facilitate web-based class sessions via Zoom with DLINQ staff by sending an e-mail to

NOTE: We urge you to recognize that conducting synchronous activities could mean that students who do not have access to high speed Internet and/or appropriate hardware will be left out of your classroom. Synchronous activities may also be challenging for students who have returned home to non-Eastern Time zones, and for students with disabilities who need accommodations related to audio and visual learning.

Additional Resources

Zoom Security Recommendations from ITS:

While Zoom is useful for conducting live sessions, that may not be an option for your classes, especially if you have students who will be dispersed across multiple time zones, or if you have students who do not have access to high speed Internet at home. Please check out our blog post for more information on the benefits of asynchronous discussion, and suggestions for asynchronous activities that mirror your real-time activitites.

Asynchronous discussion boards allow you to have a conversation over an extended period of time. They are often text based, but can also include video, audio, and other media. Canvas includes discussion boards in its feature set (how to create a Canvas discussion board). Microsoft Office 365 Teams is another option for hosting chats and discussions (find out more about Teams).

When creating discussion board activities, consider what types of activities generate actual discussion (avoid no yes/no questions or questions that have only 1 right answer). We suggest creating posting deadlines to help provide structure to the discussion. Post-discussion, consider asking students to synthesize main takeaways or reflect on their learning.

Additional Resources

In addition to (or instead of) offering live sessions via Zoom, you can record videos and embed them in Canvas, or simply record and share them out directly using a tool like Panopto.

Additional Resources

Google Apps for Edu is a cloud-based productivity tool suite for creating, sharing, and storing different types of documents among classes, offices and departments, and colleagues, including slideshows, spreadsheets, documents, websites, and more.  (How to access Google Apps for Edu) Similarly, Microsoft Office 365 makes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Office applications available via the cloud. (How to access Microsoft Office 365)

Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 also offer a file storage solution with a large quota. If you have files with a large file size, such as slides with lots of images, they may exceed the Canvas files storage quota. We recommend storing course files on Google Drive or Microsoft Office One Drive, and then embedding into Canvas from there, which will help to manage storage quota issues. (How to view Google Drive files in Canvas) (How to view One Drive files in Canvas)

Additional Resources

If the disruption to your course continues, you may need to create assignments and quizzes in Canvas to assess and grade students. Learn more about Assignments here. You can learn more about Quizzes in Canvas here.

Canvas also offers a Grade Book, which will allow you and your students to keep track of their grades. Heather Stafford (DLINQ Instructional Designer) wrote a helpful blog post about the Canvas Grade Book.

Additional Resources

Dealing with labs: Do you teach a course that has a lab requirement? Check out this blog post for tips on offering virtual labs.

Communicate with students: Let them know about changes or disruptions as early as possible, even if all the details aren’t available yet, and let them know when they can expect more specific information. We suggest creating a holistic communication strategy and plan; view the slide deck from our Communication Strategies workshop for more ideas.

Offer virtual office hours: Even if you cannot visit with students in person, you can offer virtual office hours using Zoom. Check out this blog post to learn more.

Set expectations: Let students know how you plan to communicate with them, how often you expect them to check their email, and how quickly they can expect responses from you. To help manage your communications with students, create a Q&A discussion forum in Canvas and encourage students to post questions there. That way, you can answer a question once (as opposed to answering the same question multiple times via email).

Make digital course materials accessible: Videos, handouts, and other digital materials should be made as accessible as possible for students. Check out this blog post to learn more about making digital materials accessible.

Keep things phone friendly: In a crisis, many students may only have a phone available, so make sure you are using mobile-friendly formats. PDF is a common and mobile-friendly file format. Consider saving other file formats (e.g., PowerPoint presentations) as PDFs, which are easier to read on phones and tablets. Try to keep file sizes small.

Use asynchronous tools when possible: Having students participate in live Zoom conversations can be useful, but scheduling can be a problem, especially if students are dispersed around the world. Try using asynchronous tools like Canvas discussions allows students to participate on their own schedules. Bandwidth requirements for discussion boards are far lower than for live video tools.

We looked at continuity sites from Indiana University and the University of Delaware to help us in building this site. Thank you to those folks for the inspiration!


Synchronous Discussions

Asynchronous Discussions

Discussions in Canvas
Google Drive

RISE Rubric

Asynchronous vs. Synchronous

  • DLINQ Blog post – an overview and suggestions about the differences, benefits, and challenges with both modes of communication

Designing Effective Discussion Questions

SpeedGrader in Canvas

Download/Upload Assignments in Canvas

Peer Review in Canvas

Rubrics & Checklists

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