Teaching Online FAQs

Below is a list of commonly received queries regarding teaching online.

Where can I find guidance about COVID-19 in relation to my teaching?

The university has published a document outlining key considerations and guidelines for educators, teachers and lecturers as they return to face-to-face teaching on campus.

Due to the dynamic nature of the situation, this document will be updated regularly.

University of Melbourne COVID-19  Guide for Educators (required login)

What should I know about teaching a Dual Delivery subject?

Dual Delivery subjects include two modes of learning: entirely ‘online’ and ‘blended’ (which combines on-campus and online learning experiences). In the UoM approach, students will enrol in one learning mode or the other for each of their Dual Delivery subjects.  BEL+T has produced guidance that outlines practical issues related to Dual Delivery for teaching and subject coordination in ABP in 2021:

BEL+T's  Guidance for Dual Delivery

BEL+T's guidance has been informed by review of two decades of international research on the topic, by student voices across the Faculty and University, and Dual Delivery guidance from Learning Environments as at January 2021.

BEL+T is available to consult with ABP subject coordinators on the design of Dual Delivery approaches and to assist with updates to Canvas sites. Please email abp-belt@unimelb.edu.au to discuss.

Where do I start when moving my teaching online?

To start moving your subject to an online learning model, first work through our steps for moving online. For more resources and general advice for the ABP instructors, explore our Guidance for Moving Online pages (where you are now). We recommend you start at the following pages, which have been tailored to offer ABP-specific guidance:

Further steps to support your students' online learning experience can be found in MCSHE's guide, 'Seven Ways to Improve Students' Online Learning Experiences in your Subject'.

If you have a query not covered on the BEL+T website, or would like BEL+T to offer some specific advice on the steps you can take to improve the online learning experience offered through your Canvas subject, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Resource Delivery FAQs: Lectures and presentations

  • Can I pre-record lectures in advance and schedule it to activate when needed?

    You can use Universal Capture to pre-record lectures and keep them in your own private Library.

  • How can I deliver learning that would normally occur on on a site visit?


    • Providing relevant guidance for students to conduct site analysis online.
    • If public access or government restrictions are an issue, allowing students to choose an alternative (more accessible) site. Please consider the University advice here before considering this option.
    • Creating a virtual site visit, for example using a collection of site photos to build a 360° panorama. You can find a range of methods here. These methods have been designed to cater to a range of different equipment and resources.
  • My content is quite large and taking a long time to upload. What can I do?

    If you are struggling to upload large video content, or files with embedded video/audio, such as a dynamic PDF, we recommend splitting this into smaller pieces/sections. Although not always possible, we recommend 5-10 minute segments. Not only will this help you upload your content, but it will also improve the accessibility for students, who may struggle to download large files.

    You can find best practices when creating screen capture videos here.

    Large files can also be shared in Canvas via your University OneDrive account. You can find guidance for large files in OneDrive here.

  • How do I provide the best streaming/downloading experience for students watching my videos/lectures?

    BEL+T has curated advice for online delivery of content, including tactics and some tool options for you to consider. We suggest you start at this page for advice, and take note of the ‘Tactics for delivery + some tool options’ under each section.

    Learning Environments have advice on creating, editing, and sharing your videos/lectures. A good starting point is the Using Lecture Capture and Zoom for Online Classes page.

    After reading these two pages, you can also contact BEL+T directly to discuss your delivery of content.

Interaction FAQs

  • When using video to support interaction, what recommendations do you have?

    You can find guidance for incorporating videos into your online teaching and learning via the BEL+T Delivering Content Online page. Some frequently asked questions that can be answered on this page are:

    • What is the best way to set up students for sharing videos online?
    • What’s the difference between ‘My Media’ and ‘Media Gallery’
    • How do I delete videos from my gallery?
    • Will my students have enough allocated space for uploading their videos/files?

    Learning Environments also offer guides and resources for producing online videos.

  • Zoom FAQs

    You can find a great range of resources for getting started with Zoom at this Learning Environments page. We have included links to commonly-used guides below.

    Frequently asked questions for Zoom include the following:

    • I want to create Zoom co-hosts, is this possible?
      • Yes: to achieve this, ask each tutor to create their own meeting link and give it to the head lecturer. For more details on adding a co-host, see the Zoom Host and Co-host page or refer to this guide, created by ABP tutors.
    • How can I set up breakout rooms for tutorials during a Zoom presentation?
      • For instructions on enabling breakout rooms, please click here.
    • Should I use a webinar or a meeting?
      • This link contains a table that outlines the differences between Zoom meetings and webinars. For most cases, meetings should provide you with everything needed, and you won't need to request access to the faculty webinar account unless you are expecting a lot of attendees.
      • For subject coordinators who would like to host a webinar event either as a design review or a lecture with a Q&A session, the faculty now has a dedicated Webinar account for subjects with over 300 students. The webinar session can host up to 500 participants. If you would like to book a webinar session, please email Tom Frauenfelder at thomas.frauenfelder@unimelb.edu.au for password access to the account. Please note that the account can only host one webinar session at any one time, i.e. no concurrent events. For an event with fewer than 300 students, please use your University Zoom account to host the activity.

    Some common guides that may help you with your Zoom queries are:

  • What tools should I be using to support tutorials/studios/collaboration?

    For advice on integrated LTIs or external tools you can use to support your instructor–student interactions, recommended Learning Tools for ABP are explained under the Interaction section here. You can also find strategies and ideas on improving your subject's interaction and collaboration online available here. You can also contact BEL+T to discuss which learning tools are best suited to your needs.

    The Celebrating Great Teaching Online page includes some video examples of how ABP staff are employing software to strengthen their teaching strategies!

  • How can I fix setup/technical/file size issues with my discussion boards?

    Students are seeing 'Storage quota exceeded': If students are going to attach files to the discussion board, you will need to make sure the discussion boards are graded. A Graded Discussion won’t have size limits for file attachments. You can change the discussion board by selecting “Edit”, and then you click on “Graded”. Please note, graded discussions will appear in the Gradebook, however you can assign them a value of 0 points, so students are aware that they are not meant to count for their final grade.

    Specific discussion board is not visible to the tutor and to some of the students:  It may be that the tutor and your students have been placed in the wrong section. See here for instructions on using sections.

    You can find discussion board resources here, including guides for staff and students: https://lms.unimelb.edu.au/blackboard-lms/communication/discussion-board

    Find answers to many more common Canvas questions here: https://lms.unimelb.edu.au/staff/guides.

Assessment and Grades

  • How do I set up a peer-reviewed assessment in Canvas?

    The following articles may assist you in setting up a peer-reviewed assessment in Canvas:

    For advice on how to approach the creation of your online assessments, please view our Assessment + Feedback page, or contact BEL+T directly.

  • Can I provide letter grades and feedback only via Canvas?

    Providing only letter grades and feedback is not recommended for ABP subjects. If you would like to discuss preferred methods for providing feedback in an online environment, please view our Assessment + Feedback page or contact us directly.

    Learning Environments also offers guidance on digital assessment, available here.

  • How can I run crit sessions in design studios?

    For faculty advice on moving your crit sessions online, refer to our Assessment + Feedback page. This page also contains a range of advice specific to the unique challenges and opportunities of successfully translating studio assessment into an online environment.

  • What is the University's advice for end-of-semester Exams?

    To help guide you in setting up your end-of-semester Exams, the University has outlined seven assessment types and compiled step-by-step technical guides that offer academic staff step-by-step advice on how to set up each mode of assessment in the LMS.

    The step-by-step guides can be accessed via this page. To help you navigate these guides, the University has compiled a summary table, which outlines the assessment types and their related guides to help you set up your end-of-semester assessment. This table was designed for end of semester one, 2020, but may guide you in later semesters.

  • Which assessment tool should I use in Canvas?

    Canvas has a range of online assessment types available to use. These include Canvas Quiz, Canvas Assignment, Gradescope Assignment or Cadmus Assignment.

    You can find advice on what each Canvas assessment type is best suited for via this page.

  • Is there any way to retrieve a submission from a student who already withdrew from the subject?

    When a student is no longer enrolled in a subject, their submissions should disappear from your subject’s Canvas site. At times, you may need to reference this past work, such as to investigate plagiarism.

    To retrieve past work for unenrolled students, you will need to submit a request to Learning Environments for the submission to be extracted. Submit a request here.

  • Can you use Turnitin with Gradscope?

    Despite both Gradescope and TurnitIn being from the same company, as of Semester 2, 2020, this is not possible.

Remote Access to ABP Resources

  • What alternatives exist for accessing paid or licensed software that would normally be available in ABP computer labs?

    For students and staff using a personal device: There is a range of licensing arrangements in place for available software. For more information, refer to the ABP Software Guidance On License Types for a comprehensive list of licensing agreements and free trials available.

    For staff using a UoM owned device: Staff are able to install software from the Software Centre (Windows) or Self Service (Mac). To access University systems, including licenses, connect to the University VPN. Instructions can be found on the IT Services Knowledge Base. If staff are unable to pick up a license, or cannot install the desired software, they should contact central IT on 8344 0888 for assistance.

  • My subject requires access to on-campus library resources. What online alternatives can I offer?

    The ABP library staff have been working hard to expand the online collections available to staff and students. If your students need something that is not currently online, consider:

    • Contacting ABP librarians to enquire about the potential to digitise offline resources or the existence of comparable online resources.
    • Altering the focus of the assessment task to allow students to use only online resources.