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Multimodal Learning

Multimodal Learning Academic Instruction Continuity Plan


In the event of a campus closure, instructors may be called upon to teach remotely. To keep students progressing toward the course learning outcomes during a disruption, faculty can create a combination of activities that are delivered online. The following guidelines will help you transition your content to the online modality. 

Guidelines for Teaching Online Teaching  

Before you transition your course materials for remote instruction, please consider the following general principles: 

Communicate with students 

Establish and post a routine communication plan with students (best way to contact instructor, online office hours, faculty response time). Consistency helps in times of disruption. Utilize Canvas announcements, the Canvas inbox, live chat, online office hours as well as phone and/or email. Make sure you update the syllabus with this information.  

Consider access to technology

Just like you, your students did not anticipate participating in an online course. They may not have access to all technologies that facilitate all online activities: e.g. high-speed internet, computer, webcam and microphone.  Design your course with mobile in mind. The provided checklist (link to checklist) uses mobile design.

Focus on learning outcomes

Keep students moving toward course outcomes, even if you need to adjust the specific activities that contribute to those outcomes.

Prioritize course activities

Focus on delivering the most significant course activities that impact learning outcomes. 

Make all work due on the same day and time for the rest of the semester

We recommend Sunday night at 11:59 pm. Students who are now stay-at-home parents will need help from others to get everything done, and that help is more likely to arrive on a weekend. Consistency in due dates reduces confusion and allows students to plan ahead.

Convert synchronous (live) activities to asynchronous (participation happens at different times) activities 

Synchronous activities require immediate participation and provide immediate feedback. Asynchronous activities can be completed at different time intervals and have delayed feedback (e.g. consider replacing an in-person discussion with an online graded discussion). The key is to confirm the activity is still aligned with the outcomes. 

Synchronous courses that require students to have real time interaction with instructors and classmates can present access barriers for students with a variety of disabilities.  Recording lectures and making them available on Canvas for students to review, can alleviate most of these barriers.  Allowing students to re-watch lectures when necessary also benefits students who experience technical difficulties or are otherwise interrupted during the original presentation. Designing classes in a way that anticipate and eliminates barriers increases the opportunity for all students to be successful.

Provide students opportunities to practice with new technologies 

Give a practice quiz to help students become familiar with the technology before assigning a graded quiz.  

Replace physical resources with digital resources

 Take advantage of CWU Libraries’ digital resources and streaming media collections in lieu of live instruction. It is best if you embed journal articles directly into Canvas instead of uploading scanned copies. 

Consult your Chair or Dean about any department-specific considerations

Changes to course modality or class cancellation should come at the direction of your academic department, university center, or the office of the President. Consult with your department chair or dean for more information.

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Fundamentals for Online Course Delivery 

If instructors are called upon to teach remotely, they all will have access to Canvas, the CWU Learning Management Platform. A learning management platform provides a place where faculty can share course documents, assignments and syllabi with the students registered in the course. At CWU most courses have a Canvas component. 

Reminder: Use CWU licensed platforms for teaching, learning and communicating to maintain security and FERPA compliance. 

Design with Mobile in Mind

Many students will be accessing your course via their mobile device because they do not have access to other technology. Students can login to Canvas via the web browser on their phone or tablet or utilize the Canvas Student App. However, mobile browsers are not fully supported, and features may not function as expected compared to viewing Canvas in a fully supported desktop browser.  

  • Canvas Student App Allows students to submit assignments, post discussions and take quizzes 
  • Canvas Teacher App allows faculty easy access to grading, communicating and updating 
  • Blackboard Ultra - web conference accessible through mobile browser (no app required, launches from Canvas on mobile)
  • Upload and view video from mobile device to Kaltura (no app required, launches from Canvas on mobile)
  • View Panopto video presentations from mobile device (no app required, launches from Canvas on mobile)
  • LockDown Browser - setting can be modified to allow LockDown Browser on iPad only

Access Canvas 

  • Login to Canvas ( with your CWU Username and Password 

Substitutes for class meetings 

Distributing, collecting and grading student work 

Online Assessments

Below are options for moving your assessments online. If your assessment cannot be facilitated online, please discuss the options with your Department Chair or Dean. 

Online Tests 

Recorded Presentations 

Online Submission Assignment Papers / Essays

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Faculty Resources  

CWU Multimodal Learning Support Team 

General Questions

Canvas, online assessments and grading, Instructional design

Lecture capture, audio/video recordings, Panopto, web conferencing

Streaming media & library resources 

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Checklist for Quickly Moving a Course Online

Complete the checklist below to create an organized, accessible and mobile-friendly Canvas course. Download the checklist. 

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