Common remote teaching questions

The first thing to consider is whether the student's ability to present is part of the assessment or if only the content of their presentation is being assessed. If only the content is being assessed, then consider removing the presentation portion, and have the students submit slides or other work through Blackboard. You can use either the Assignment tool or have them post their work in the discussion forum so they can receive feedback from other students.

If the presentation is necessary, you could use tools such as WebEx for students to present to the instructor, or to the instructor and a small group of students.

Panopto could be used for individual students to submit a video of their presentation. See this post for steps on how to do this.

Learn more: An explanation of various virtual presentation methods.

No, as most campus buildings are closed and classes are not taking place face to face there will be no means for students to submit paper copies of their work. Students may have left the city, and we do not recommend giving out your address as an instructor.

Students can submit their assignments digitally through Blackboard. If you want students to submit a file (for example a .docx, .pdf. .pptx), using the Assignment tool on Blackboard is the most efficient option. It saves you time by compiling all of the submitted files in one place and provides a timestamp and student ID for every submission. You can decide to grade the files within Blackboard or download them all to be graded elsewhere.

If a paper copy is essential for some reason, USask’s Distance Education Unit (DEU) has a process for mailing content and assessments to students and receiving work back. When using this option, students would mail completed assessments back to you via DEU (students do not use your personal mailing address), or scan the paper copy using a scanner app to submit it back to you by email. Students have access to a free PDF scanner built into the OneDrive app.  Please see this USask Knowledge Base article for faculty and students regarding scanning from a phone. 

Yes, but please share the PowerPoint file in a video format such as .mp4, not just the PowerPoint file as it will not open properly on all devices.

Please see this blog post for further discussion on this topic.

Read through this tip sheet for creating videos in a remote context.  See great ideas when you are creating videos for introduction, demonstration and short lecture in video format.  In it you will find key points to make your video more accessible and impactful for your students.

You can include a statement in your syllabus regarding ownership of created content (see below and in the USask syllabus template). The following language could be included in your syllabus and/or your online course material to clarify copyright:


Course materials are provided to you based on your registration in a class, and anything created by your professors and instructors is their intellectual property and cannot be shared without written permission. If materials are designated as open education resources (with a creative commons license) you can share and/or use in alignment with the CC license. This includes exams, PowerPoint/PDF slides and other course notes. Additionally, other copyright-protected materials created by textbook publishers and authors may be provided to you based on license terms and educational exceptions in the Canadian Copyright Act (see

Before you copy or distribute others’ copyright-protected materials, please ensure that your use of the materials is covered under the University’s Fair Dealing Copyright Guidelines available at For example, posting others’ copyright-protected materials on the open web is not covered under the University’s Fair Dealing Copyright Guidelines, and doing so requires permission from the copyright holder.  

For more information about copyright, please visit where there is information for students available at, or contact the University’s Copyright Coordinator at or 306-966-8817.

Additional copyright information for faculty can be found on the Copyright information page from the University Library.

Anything created by a faculty member or instructor and posted in a course remains the intellectual property of the faculty member or instructor including PowerPoint/PDF slides, Panopto videos, and course notes. This material should not be shared or used without your permission.

You can copy your content to other course sections in Blackboard in which you are an Instructor or Course Builder. The Distance Education Unit (DEU) can assist you with the copying process if you do not know how to do this. Note that in order for you to copy to another course, you will need Instructor or Course Builder access on BOTH courses.

Please see our page on Student Access to help address the three main challenges that your students might be facing when trying to connect with you to learn remotely:

  • access to a computer
  • access to wifi or internet
  • access to software required

You can get more information, or direct students to the USask Updates page, which include a details specifically for students, on virtual learning - Learning Remotely

The University Library offers modified remote assistance for students in a variety of ways. Please visit the Library's continuity page to see the alternatives for academic support for your students.

Share with students the Remote Learning Readiness Tutorial.  Attending classes and learning online can be a rich experience. In this tutorial students will get tips and explore the skills necessary for academic success in a remote learning environment.

The University's Retail Services Bookstore is also working hard to assist instructors and students during this transition. Visit this page for updated information on eTextbooks.

Common privacy questions

There are many reasons why a student’s ability to participate fully in a course may be restricted by privacy concerns. For these reasons, students may approach you about protecting their privacy in your course.

To facilitate students feeling comfortable in a web conferencing session you might:

  • Advise students to turn off their video, not use the chat, and/or not participate actively in the virtual session (where not participating would not impact their grades or significantly limit their learning).
  • Where possible, meeting with small student groups or individually will also assist in mitigating privacy concerns.
  • When necessary, a student could participate in a completely anonymized way by logging in as a guest.

Additionally, participation in asynchronous online activities, like a discussion forum, may cause concern given that the ideas a student contributes are connected to their identity. For example, a student studying from an international location may be concerned about participation in discussions about gender or sexuality or contributing ideas that could be perceived as critical of local government. As there is no technical means of disconnecting a student’s identity from their contributions in the LMS (Canvas or Blackboard), an instructor should connect with the student to discuss alternatives to this type of participation, where appropriate and possible (e.g. submission of ideas on a topic via other means).

See additional resources for students on protecting their privacy in remote learning.

Unless use of video is essential to support student learning outcomes in the course (e.g. in language learning, to observe and provide feedback on enunciation) it is recommended you accommodate a student’s request to not use video.

If use of video is essential, the following language should be included in your syllabus and/or your online course material:

Required video use:
At times in this course you will be required to have your video on during video conferencing sessions. It will be necessary for you to use a webcam that is built into or connected to your computer. 

We suggest inclusion of a sentence on why this is being required, for example, in order to allow instructors or peers to use video to observe a skill being practiced and give feedback.

Common assessment questions

We have designed a series of questions for you to work through based on the type of learning you want to stimulate and what you want students to demonstrate in your final assessment. This resource will help you to think through the options in relation to your goals.

You can attend professional development events offered through the GMCTL on assessment design or academic integrity in remote teaching or book in for a consultation with one of the GMCTL team members to explore options and the tools that are available.

Canada’s privacy laws and other relevant legal requirements have not been suspended at this time, and a tool you find online may not have been assessed by USask’s privacy and legal team. Please use tools that are in the suite of testing tools already approved (like Blackboard or Canvas), or are a part of an approved pilot for your college. Also, USask's IT Support Services are most familiar with the approved tools, like the Blackboard Test Tool or Canvas exam tool, and can support you in using them.

There continues to be an exam schedule while the university remains in primarily remote teaching. A due date is set for all take home exams and a 3-hour time scheduled for all other exams (the time can be used in all or in part if you wish your exam to be of shorter duration). Those requiring an exam due date or time complete the exam information sheet made available by The Registrar's Office at the start of each term, accessed via the PAWS ‘My Exams Schedule’ channel. The submitted information ensures that the exam schedule is set with minimal conflicts for students.

Faculty and Instructors can contact with questions on the exam schedule.

If you cannot change your exam to make it suitable for an online environment in the ways described or you require help setting up your assessment remotely please contact us for a consultation.

The University will have browser lockdown software available across the institution. Information on the tool and how to use it will be available from ICT this summer. Some colleges have purchased a license for computer lockdown software, please contact your College ICT Coordinator to determine if this is available for your course. Both of these types of software (browser and computer lockdown) have limited effectiveness in deterring access to content or materials. It’s use may, however, give students more confidence in the overall fairness of assessment, particularly if the assessment design is unchanged from face to face delivery.

At this time, most colleges and schools do not have access to invigilation software because of student connectivity, cost, and student privacy considerations. Please contact your College ICT Coordinator to determine if this is available for your course. You can find many resources to support assessment design decisions on our assessment for remote teaching webpage that will mitigate academic misconduct and provide you with alternatives to closed book exams.