Faculty: Best Practices and Advice

Our goal is to equip Yale faculty, teaching fellows, and students to maintain academic continuity. In coordination with several campus partners, the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning will support Yale faculty members during any situation that requires academic continuity, with the aim of preserving an effective learning experience for Yale students.

Organize your course site

Canvas is Yale’s learning management system (LMS). This platform allows instructors to organize a course online. Canvas includes several features to facilitate online communication between instructors and students, in the event of a situation that prevents you from holding your class in person. Instructors can also use Canvas to upload assignments, quiz students, grade completed work, place readings electronically on Course Reserves, and much more. Learn more about Canvas.

Connect virtually with your students

Zoom allows you to set up a virtual classroom where you and your students can see and speak with each other in real time. Additional collaboration tools, including video breakout rooms, screen-sharing, polling, and group chats help create a dynamic online learning environment. Instructors can record and post Zoom sessions so students can review the content at their own pace. Learn more about Zoom.

Share recordings with your students

The Media Library tool allows instructors to upload audio and video files to their Canvas course sites to allow students to access the content. Instructors can create video/audio lectures from their own computer, as an alternative to live, virtual classrooms via Zoom. Learn more about creating personal recordings using the Yale Media Library and adding media files for your students to view.

Provide accessible course materials

Yale is committed to ensuring all learners have access to educational content in the event of an unexpected campus closure. Ally is a tool integrated into Canvas that offers feedback on the accessibility of your digital course materials and provides multiple ways to remediate, or fix, detected accessibility issues. Learn more about using Ally to improve the accessibility of your digital course materials.

Instructors should also review the information provided on the Student Accessiblity Services website. ADA regulations apply to all courses, whether residential, online, or online temporarily in the case of a disruption to normal campus operations.

Request support from the Poorvu Center and Yale ITS

Yale ITS and the Poorvu Center have a limited supply of laptops and external cameras available for loan to faculty. We are working to secure digital tablets to help instructors who plan to use the whiteboard feature through Zoom. Please contact us to submit a request. Unfortunately, we may not be able to fulfill every request at this time.

Avoid non-Yale supported technology

The Poorvu Center is dedicated to working with all Yale faculty as they adapt their courses. Contact the Poorvu Center if you need help identifying and implementing solutions to continue teaching and sharing course materials/activities. To avoid compromising the integrity of Yale’s secure networks, systems and institutional data, you should not implement new platforms or resources (free or paid) for Yale teaching without consulting with an educational technology or ITS staff member.