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Teaching Remotely in Canvas

In the event of emergency or campus closure, it is important that Mt. SAC faculty continue to provide a high quality educational experience for its students. Below are some steps that Mt. SAC professors can take to ensure the continuity of instruction during an emergency or campus closure. 

Health Alert Page See the Mt. SAC Health Alert page for the latest updates on COVID-19 and Mt. SAC response.
    • Readying to Go Remote

      Getting Started

      Here are a few useful things to know about using our LMS, Canvas:

      • all faculty, staff, students, and managers have accounts in Canvas
      • all courses automatically have course shells that can be used in Canvas.
      • If you do not see your course shell:
      1.  scroll down to see unpublished items.
      2. Look in Courses > All courses
      3. Check that your department has assigned you in the Banner registration system.
      4. Submit a ticket to IT Online Help Desk. or call 909-274-4357.

      If you have never accessed Canvas, this video shows you how:

      Requesting a Canvas Sandbox

      A sandbox is an empty course shell that has no students enrolled in it. It does not expire. Sandboxes are useful when you want to

      • practice using tools
      • try out functionality
      • share materials with other professors
      • set up a course before the active course shells have been released for a future term
      • set up a a template
      • preview materials from the Commons (a library of shared materials you can use)

      Click the link below for more information, and to request one. Please allow 24-48 hours for your request to be processed.

      Canvas Sandbox Request Form

      Get Started with the Remote Teaching Canvas Template

      So now that you know how to access Canvas and have a sandbox or 2 to work with, what do you do next? The next video shows you how to access the Remote Instruction Canvas template in the Commons and use it to set up any of your Mt. SAC courses. This template contains a document called Convert Your Course to Canvas that walks you through a sequence of useful steps for setting up courses in Canvas.

    • Communicating with your Students

      It is important to communicate you plans to your students. Like you, students are receiving official communications and messages from other professors, so take a moment and organize your message in a way that helps students get the most important takeaways. Here's an example:

      Student Message Example


      Once class begins, it is important that you log in during the first week of class and complete the course activities to remain enrolled in the class. Please note that there are multiple resources to support you in Canvas.

      • The Mountie Student Hub can be accessed from the gray global navigation bar or from your dashboard. This resource contains guides to help you use Canvas, info on distance learning, and links to many student services including counseling, tutoring, and online access to the library.
      • Questions or concerns about COVID-19 or about resuming classes online? You can find resources to help and inform students at
      • You can contact me if you have concerns about equipment, internet access, or other questions about this transition.
      • If you need to request accommodations, please go to the ACCESS website soon to give the ACCESS staff and I the best opportunity to arrange content that meets your needs.

      Until you are notified otherwise, please do not come to Mt. SAC campus. Following guidelines to stay home, especially if you do not feel well. Practice good hygiene: wash your hands thoroughly. Avoid touching your face. Maintain a reasonable distance from others. Thanks, and I look forward to seeing all online soon!

      Students are probably receiving lots of messages, and everyone is experiencing some uncertainty and changes to routines. If you use Announcements in Canvas and turn on the option to see announcements at the top of the page, it can help students find relevant information for our class when they look in your class in Canvas.

      Post current conditions on one prominent location in Canvas, so that your students can find changed information such as due dates, how they are going to submit assignments, and where to find virtual conference meetings. Be clear if there will be any synchronous time (meeting online together at a specific time).

      Another way to stay organized and track student questions is to create an "Ask a Question" discussion in your course in Canvas. Students can then post their question rather than emailing you directly. You or other students can then answer the question in the forum, thereby, allowing all students in the course to view the answer.


      Remember: Canvas does not send out messages until a course is published!

    • Resources on Canvas and Remote Teaching

      Mt. SAC Canvas Resources

      Commons Templates

      Teachers can click on the Commons in Canvas to see a shared repository of information. We have added a course template that you can use to start. You can apply this template to any of your courses, but it is recommended to first apply it to a Canvas sandbox, which is a Canvas course with no enrollment attached. If you don't have a sandbox, you can request a Canvas sandbox here. Watch the video below to learn how to access the Remote Instruction Course template in Canvas.

      Local Guides and Resources in Canvas

    • Workshops, Recordings, & Videos to Learn Canvas & Other Tools


      On the Mt. SAC POD Connect Calendar, you can find many local and external workshops on topics related to managing your course in Canvas, using conferencing tools, and other topics on effective online teaching and available tools at Mt. SAC. POD also offers free self-paced online training options on may online teaching topics from LinkedIn/Lynda and Skillsoft. Skim or complete these trainings at your convenience.

      FCLT Workshop Recordings

      Workshop recordings for FCLT workshops are not provided publicly due to confusion related to whether watching videos counted for the same credit as attending workshops. 

      Activities that cannot be tracked cannot count for any type of POD/PGI/SPOT/SPOT Recert/FOMAR credit since there is not any way to validate completion. There has also been a shift in the management of Zoom recordings that delayed our ability to provide to videos to attendees.

      Below are some videos we have curated to support your learning. We will return to the workshop videos as we are able to see if there's a clearer way to make those available. Thanks for your understanding. 

      Other Useful Videos

    • Resources for Managing Stress

      Managing Stress

      If you need some support from the stress, please remember that the college has EASE available to call for all employees and their families. This is a call-in phone line offering counseling services to let you talk to a friendly someone in these times of stress.


Student Resources

    • Canvas Resources for Students

      Mountie Student Hub in Canvas

      The Mountie Student Hub is a new resource to connect students with the information and Mt. SAC services they need from where they are: in Canvas! In the Hub you will find:

      • Useful Canvas info for students
      • What to know about taking online courses at Mt. SAC
      • Links to many helpful campus services & resources for students
      • Videos about cool locations and people at Mt. SAC
      • Connections to Mt. SAC news and social media

      Visit the Mountie Student Hub in Canvas

      Canvas Student Support Center

      The Canvas Student Support Center is a course shell in Canvas that Mt. SAC students can self-enroll into, where they can get support on learning how to use Canvas. In addition to static resources in this shell, Mt. SAC students can also receive support from our Mt. SAC Canvasadors, student employees whose job is to support other students in the use of Canvas at Mt. SAC

      Visit the Canvas Student Support Center

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