Skip to main content Skip to main content

Self-Help Tutorials

Read through the list of instructional topics to identify which tools can help you with your course construction and online instruction. Each tool comes with a tutorial to specifically address how you can implement it in your course.

Table of Contents

Use the Table of Contents page to quickly find the tutorial you're looking for or to browse all of them at a glance.

Top 10 Self-Help (with InfoGraphics) Guides

We've created some self-help guides in the form of infographics in order to help explain a few of the more in-depth ideas and processes we offer.

An Introduction to Canvas

Welcome to Canvas! This new LMS has some special features and a new look that you may be unfamiliar with coming from Blackboard. As you venture into this new territory, take these tips and tricks with you to help you master Canvas in no time.

Integrated Tools

Part of what makes a learning experience rich and engaging is variety. This may mean a variety of materials themselves (i.e., providing a lecture video and/or reading to accompany a chapter reading) or a variety of ways to interact with materials and peers (i.e., collaborative annotation, video discussions, and more). The tutorials in this section explain exactly how to integrate a plethora of tools with your Canvas course.


When working on your online course, there are a number of considerations to make in order to keep your content and activities usable by all of your students. If you have students with specific learning needs, the links here will help you ensure that your Word documents, PDFs, Powerpoints, videos, and other course content are effective for all learners.


From essays to worksheets and homework problems, your course probably has assignments of some sort. Listed below are some tools you could use to distribute instructions and related assignment files to your students as well as collect their completed work.


The blueprint is a template that will provide all published MSU Denver courses with a similar structure and implement many best practices for online learning. For example, the blueprint creates a Course Information Module and adjusts the course navigation menu and homepage settings in every course. The information and design consistency provided by the blueprint will help students easily navigate all of their courses.


Communication with your students is a crucial element to effective online teaching. It is very important to keep your students updated and to check-in with them throughout the semester. Weekly agendas at the beginning of the week can help your students stay on task, a review at the end of the week can really tie everything together, and 1-on-1 check-ins can help keep your students engaged with the course. Listed below are some tools you could consider using to keep your students informed and engaged online.


In-class discussion is often a large part of face-to-face classes. Discussions can also be beneficial when teaching online as they help to facilitate conversations both student-to-student and student-to-instructor. These conversations can help students to look at a course concept from a new perspective, talk about current events related to a certain topic, or share their opinions on pieces of content you provide. A discussion could even be used to incorporate collaborative activities like peer review. There are a couple of different tools that you can use to have discussions in your online course as outlined below.


Grading can still be as simple as using the system that already works for you. However, if you would like to take advantage of some of the tools in Canvas you can grade directly in the Gradebook.

Group Work/Collaboration

Group activities can be a great way to incorporate collaboration and interactivity in your course.


Lectures are a cornerstone of face-to-face classes, and it’s important to ensure your students can still get important information and explanations of course content online. Listed below are several tools and methods you can use to continue to give lectures in your online course.


Modules are the main organizational unit in Canvas. They are the building blocks of your course. Modules are often split up by week, unit, or topic, and they contain all of the Pages, Discussions, Assignments, Quizzes, Files, and other resources you would like students to access during the course.


You’ll probably want quizzes and tests in your course. Traditionally we think that quizzes or tests online are just multiple choice or true or false questions, but you can employ a number of different question types. Listed below are different methods for assigning quizzes/tests.


One of the most important parts of your course is the content that lives within it. Sometimes the content will come from somewhere else, like a journal article or website. Other times, it will come directly from you in a word document, pdf, or powerpoint and could include anything from important documents, like your syllabus, to notes and instructions. Listed below are several tools and methods you can use to distribute course materials to your students.


Videos are a great way to re-create face-to-face lectures, Powerpoint presentations, etc., and to give life to complicated concepts for students. Although using YouTube or Vimeo videos are great, look below to find a few tips and things to consider before posting a video for your students. There are a few different ways to distribute for students, you can embed the video into your Canvas course or you can email a video to your students directly. For video creation, Yuja is a video platform built into Canvas that makes recording and uploading your own video incredibly easy.

Faculty & Staff FAQs

Have an outstanding question that needs answering? Click the button below to view a list of FAQs created by ITS organized by topics.

Remote Teaching Resources

There are a large number of useful resources for faculty teaching online, both general tools and advice, as well as items specific to this particular moment. Jeff Loats has compiled many of these in an online spreadsheet.

These resources are each tagged with discipline, type/topic, and short descriptions. Please explore these, and share them with your colleagues. If you find other resources that you think could be added to this list, please email Jeff Loats.


Edit this page