Guidelines For Online Courses – Faculty

What Happens Before A Course Starts?

Step 1 – Set up your UBNet account
You MUST have a UBNet account in order to access Canvas.  A UBNet account is available to all faculty and provides you with a email account, and also allows you to access myUB, Canvas, online library resources, & Webadvisor. Create a new UB Net account.

Step 2 – Login to Canvas
Once your UBNet account is active, you can now login to Canvas through myUB. You will see all the courses you are scheduled to teach. To login to Canvas:
Log in to myUB
(Scroll down to “Library & Technology Resources” and click on Canvas).

Step 3 – Complete the Canvas Teaching Certificate Course
The Global Learning office (GLI) offers a complete Canvas training course that is required for all faculty preparing to teach online. To participate in the “Canvas Teaching Certificate Course” contact the Global Learning office at: or 203-576-4853

Step 4 – Tips for teaching online (and how it is different from teaching on campus)
While online teaching is similar to campus teaching, and good teaching is still good teaching whether done online or on campus, here are some “best practices” specifically for online teaching:

(NOTE: E-Personality is very important in an online course.  UB Online courses are taught by live instructors for good reason.  Simply posting materials is not an effective way to teach – so go ahead and share your knowledge of the subject, add personal examples, and develop your “e-personality”).

What Happens During The Course?

Step 5 – The day your course starts
On the day your online course starts:

  • The Global Learning office will make the course available to students. At this time the course will also be set to become unavailable to students one week after it ends (which instructors can adjust as needed through course Settings).
  • You can access your roster through Webadvisor (which can be accessed through or myUB) and through People in your Canvas course.
  • On the first day of your course you should send a message (from Inbox in Canvas) to your students welcoming to the course, and provide any specific instructions for getting started.

Step 6 – Guidelines for teaching your course
There are several best practices that should be followed when teaching an online course:

  • Provide responses to student questions within 48 hours (or sooner) – if this is not possible (due to vacations, business trips, etc), you MUST get approval ahead of time by the Dean of your academic department.
  • Provide grades for assignments with written feedback to students within 1 week – feedback in an online course is very important, so students have a benchmark to follow for future assignments, and to assess their level of mastery of the material.
  • Instructors must actively participate in the discussion board each week – in order to model student interaction, build a sense of community, provide feedback to students, and make sure discussions are appropriate and effective. (NOTE: Active participation is defined as actually posting to the discussion board – simply viewing student postings is not sufficient for letting students know the discussion is on the right track).

Step 7 – Adding & Dropping Students
All students who register & drop courses are processed automatically on a daily basis. Instructors do not need to add or drop students. You should check their course roster in Webadvisor or Canvas periodically for students who add & drop (click on People on the left while in your course).

What Happens When The Course Ends?

Step 8 – Students evaluate your course
Near the end of each course, students will receive an email with a link to UB’s online course evaluation form.  The form is completely anonymous, and results are sent directly to the academic departments.  Students are given an opportunity to evaluate each online course and provide feedback to the instructor.

Step 9 – Preparation for future courses
Each semester a new course “shell” (empty course) will be created automatically for you within Canvas, even if you teach the same course.  Transferring course materials from one course to another is a simple process, and can easily be done by the instructor, or upon request by the Global Learning office. For assistance see Getting Help below.

Step 10 – Getting help
For assistance using Canvas and other online technologies visit our online support pages:
Virtual Training Center and also Canvas Help


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