Instructor Toolkit - Recommended Best Practices

All-Modes Ready Resources

We will be “All Modes Ready” to deliver a distinctively Arcadia education, be that in person, blended (in person and online), or fully online. Our decisions will be guided by campus public health experts, local and state health and safety recommendations, our lived values, and our commitment to equity. No student will be required to take courses in person; we will respect the wishes of community members to meet their health and safety needs. In order to be ready for All Modes instruction, students will need a web-cam enabled laptop or tablet.  Any students for whom this may be a challenge should contact us at

For more information on All-Modes Ready please see the All-Modes Instructor Information page.

Syllabus and Course Policies

  • Include a statement about COVID-19 on your syllabus stating your plan to address possible student absences, the possibility of your absence, alternative assignments, grading, etc.
  • Exercise flexibility and make reasonable accommodations for students who miss class, miss an exam, or are unable to submit coursework.
    • If a student cannot attend when classes are held, it is their responsibility to notify instructors in a timely manner and discuss reasonable ways to make up any missed class content.

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Course Structure and Materials

  • Include more frequent assessments throughout the term in case a grade needs to be determined based on “grade earned to-date.”
  • Communicate with students fully and completely. Use Arcadia email or Canvas announcements.
  • Share content and facilitate digital activities in Canvas, even if you don’t usually use Canvas.
  • Ensure your course content remains accessible to students with disabilities if you change course/material formats. Contact the Disability Support Services to learn more.


All Spring Semester course exams cannot be held in person, there are a number of alternatives to consider. Several of these strategies can also help to promote academic integrity in the absence of proctored exams. Consider also reminding students of their responsibilities for academic integrity.

Remote Exams

Move an in-class exam to a remote exam in a variety of ways.

  • Use Canvas to distribute and collect exams via Canvas Assignments. Optionally, use date restrictions to set time limits. Consider whether the exam should be an open book exam or not. If you are able to assess students’ learning outcomes with an open book exam, we highly recommend you consider doing so in this situation.
  • Use Arcadia gmail to distribute and collect exams. Consider whether the exam should be an open book exam or not. Again, we recommend you consider this format.
  • Use Canvas to create and administer an exam. Canvas exams (called “quizzes” in Canvas) provide functionality for enhancing academic integrity through features like randomized questions and exam time limits. If you are new to using Canvas quizzes, please contact Academic Technology Services prior to administering the quiz to your students.
  • Consider using Zoom to “Remote Proctor” Exams. This allows you to see students while they are taking the exam.

Final Papers, and Presentations

  • Collect papers or other final projects via the Canvas Assignment tool or via email.
  • Move in-person presentations to digital formats:
    • Ask students to submit recorded presentations. Students can create Panopto recordings and the links to their recordings will appear in a new folder [Assignments] within the Panopto Recordings page. You can also create an assignment in Canvas to collect links to their recordings or ask them to email you.
    • Create a Zoom session for students to give their presentations virtually. Schedule the Zoom session for the same time as class would usually meet.

Alternative Assessment Options

  • Decrease the weight of high stakes exams (exams that are weighted to comprise a significant portion of the overall course grade), and consider assessing students’ achievement of stated course learning outcomes based primarily on prior work.
  • Self-assessment of course performance/progress with justification that aligns with stated course learning outcomes. 
  • Consider using another method to assess students’ achievement of stated course learning outcomes, such as:
    • personal reflection on learning,
    • infographic,
    • summary video,
    • advertisement,
    • brochure,
    • research proposal,
    • annotated bibliography or article review,
    • analysis of data
  • Consider granting credit and assigning the final grade based on all course performance and grading prior to final exam (e.g. omit the final exam from grade calculations). In this case, instructors should provide students who want to take the final the option of doing so. Consider making arrangements for students to complete the exam later if this is necessary.

Practices to Avoid

  • Do not hold class via Zoom at a time and day the class does not meet or extend class beyond the class end time.
  • Try not to increase the amount of work students are expected to do.
  • Avoid asking students to do the same amount and kind of work the syllabus initially expected them to do while (a) compressing the work into a shorter time period and/or (b) reducing their access to instructor, peer, or campus resources. If you have more content than time, reflect on the student learning outcomes for your course and focus on those that are the most important.

Adding Content to Canvas

Tips and Resources for using Technology to Connect with Your Students 

Adding and Organizing Content

Adding Assignments and Grading in Canvas

Change Course Settings and Navigation


Zoom - Login Details

Training and Support

Teaching & Learning

Additional Resources for Students for Instructional Continuity

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe is making temporary at-home access to Creative Cloud available until May 31, 2020 for schools and colleges.  Students - please fill out the form below if you need access to Adobe for your course or work study.

You will be added to our instance of Creative Cloud and have full access to the Adobe Suite.

Please contact the help desk at if you have any issues or concerns.

Connectivity Options and Resources

  • FCC agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.
  • Comcast COVID-19 response: offers free WiFi for 2 months to low income families plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time
  • Charter Free Internet offer for 2 months
  • AT&T COVID-19 response: offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low income families
  • Verizon COVID-19 response: no special offers, but following the FCC agreement.
  • Sprint COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge (I expect others will follow).
  • T-Mobile COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge (I expect others will follow).