For technological questions, please reach out to the Digital Learning Team at x4420 or

For pedagogical, assessment, and student learning questions, please reach out to the Center for Teaching and Learning x3351, or

Note: This document was adapted from a document created by Jenae Cohn and Brian Seltzer, Stanford University, California. Their work was outstanding and served as the basis for Hobart and William Smith Colleges guide for Academic Continuity During Disruption.

Top Tips for Teaching Remotely at HWS

Do you need to teach your students remotely?  You absolutely can offer some continuity for your students, but you will need to prioritize,  recognize that you probably can’t do everything, and set realistic goals.

The two primary platforms that the Digital Learning Team recommends under such circumstances are Canvas and Zoom. Perhaps you’ve used Zoom for campus meetings or job candidate interviews.  Zoom has some compelling features that you can also leverage for a virtual classroom.  In fact, we’ve already been facilitating some instruction with less-frequently taught language classes at HWS via Zoom, most recently Vietnamese. 

If you haven’t already used Canvas (or would welcome a refresher!), please check out our Canvas 101 guide, customized for HWS faculty to help you get started with the basics.   

If you haven’t already used Zoom (or would welcome a refresher!), please check out these materials to help you get started with Zoom meeting basics.  

Once you have some basic familiarity with both Canvas and Zoom, linked below is a list of “Top Ten” (or close to it!) functionalities that we’ve mapped to instructions specific to the teaching and learning environment. 

Using Canvas you can facilitate quite a bit of student engagement.  We recognize that faculty will be reading this page with a broad range of experiences.  Below are some selected links from the Canvas Instructor Guide to help get started:

 Using Zoom you can facilitates synchronous “real-time” functionalities such as:

Note: You are likely already using tools such as e-mail, network space, VPN (Mac & PC), Box and Large File Transfer. In addition to using Canvas or Zoom, you are encouraged to continue using the tools with which you are comfortable and finding effective. 

Questions? Please reach out to the Help Desk at ext. 4357 or