Learning Technology@LJMU


Blog Post: Keep Teaching with Canvas (Staff)

Blog Post: Keep Teaching with Canvas (Staff)

As the Institutional VLE, Canvas is a key tool in managing continuity of teaching in the event of any disruption. This document focuses on core Canvas functionality that is available to all staff and students and is straightforward to use.

UPDATE – Please see guidance about COVID-19 and alternative assessments from Academic Registry.

Direct Access to Canvas

We recommend that you directly access Canvas via canvas.ljmu.ac.uk in your internet browser, you do not need to access Canvas via Citrix Off-Campus or the new VPN process.


Communication between staff

Ensure you discuss different delivery methods and any changes with other members of your programme team to deliver a consistent approach. In the event of prolonged disruption, stay in contact with the programme team in order to coordinate and be consistent in delivery. This will help students to understand expectations for engagement.

Communication to students

Create an announcement in Canvas at least twice a week to keep students updated every time you release materials. Tell students how and when you intend to communicate with them. Use this as an opportunity to be very clear about your expectations for their engagement over this period. In addition, clarify virtual office hours when you will be available online.

Further information

  1. How do I make an announcement?
  2. Tell your students to update their course notification preferences
  3. Update your own Canvas notification preferences as an instructor
  4. How can I access Canvas by mobile?


If physical classes aren’t possible, then materials that were delivered in class should be recorded using Panopto. Good practice indicates Panopto is most useful when lectures are divided into short (up to ten minute) segments for recording and playback. Students are more likely to watch shorter segments and will retain more information, particularly when combined with suggested activities, or online tasks.

Do not use offcampus or any VPN service to make a Panopto recording. Use the process below.

If you have a student with a hearing impairment, please contact the helpdesk before making a recording.

Further information

  1. How do I download and install Panopto software for HOME USE?
  2. Create a Draft Panopto Recording
  3. How do I make a recording?

Other useful guides and information

Encouraging engagement

In-class discussions are a useful element of the learning process. Virtual delivery captures some of the benefits of discussion through structured activities that promote reflection and test learning. Hence, consider setting students short reflective exercises for them to engage in. These should relate to the context of delivery and/or any additional learning materials that you have provided. Whilst there is not always a need for these to be marked, having them submitted through Canvas offers an opportunity for you to track engagement. These can take several forms depending on the type of activity including the creation of assignments. Please read this short post on designing your activity.

Offering an online quiz to address key messages in the session is a useful way for students to assess their own learning. It also provides data on who is engaging and any areas of common confusion/misunderstanding that need to be addressed. You can build feedback into the quiz design to reinforce learning.

Further information

Discussion boards and ‘Canvas Chat’

Discussion boards can be used to encourage students to interact with you and their peers to explore issues covered in course learning materials.

Further information

In addition, there is the Canvas Chat function. You can use the chat tool to allow students to contact you when you are online. It offers the opportunity for individual or group discussions. All users in the course can also access the chat history.

Further information

One to one tutorials

If you have a tutorial booked at a time when you are unable to meet in person please use an appropriate electronic video conferencing tool or other suitable method to keep in touch with your tutee to make sure they are okay, have the support they need to learn, and can raise any issues with you.

Other Options

It is recognised that teams and individuals will have developed approaches to online learning that differ from the above. In addition, some activities may require specific activities that cannot be covered using the above. In that event, please contact the TEL team in the Teaching & Learning Academy to discuss other tools or processes that may support delivery. Raise a ticket here.


Canvas experts and the TEL team are available to help answer your questions. Use one of the following methods to get in touch. Visit canvas.ljmu.ac.uk and use the help icon in the main menu to Chat to Canvas support, submit a ticket or call a Canvas expert. Support is available 24/7. All Canvas queries should be logged with this service, in the first instance. For other TEL queries (Panopto, Turnitin) submit a ticket via the LJMU helpdesk .

Canvas Help Menu
Canvas Help Menu