Tech tools

What to consider

There are various technology and media questions to consider when you move to remote teaching.

  • What are synchronous versus asynchronous tools, and which one(s) should I choose?
  • Does SFU provide everything I need or will I need to find my own technology and media solutions?
  • Do I have the correct hardware and software for my needs?
  • Is there any funding or support available for what I want?

SFU IT Services supports many solutions that facilitate remote instruction, and the Centre for Educational Excellence has a team of professionals who can guide your practice. Many of the solutions are accessible via the Designing Your Course module of the Effective Remote Instruction Canvas shell.

What are the options?

Synchronous tools connect you with your students (or your students with each other) in real time. Asynchronous tools support on-demand access to, for example, recorded videos. SFU supports both synchronous and asynchronous content delivery. Here are some of the most popular tools.

For synchronous content delivery

Zoom: “An easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars”; it offers a rich set of features, including breakout rooms and screen sharing.

For synchronous or asynchronous content delivery

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: “A real-time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard”; it can be used to host live meetings or create recorded lectures, and it is fully integrated with Canvas, so that you can do everything from a single common interface.

For asynchronous content delivery

Canvas: Canvas is SFU’s institutionally supported learning management system. It has tools for storing course content, managing activities such as discussions, creating and grading quizzes and assignments, and much more. Read more about these tools and functions on SFU’s Canvas support website:

Check out the SFU Canvas Instructor Guide for further resources. You can also watch Introduction to Canvas (SFU video - 41 min 46 sec).

Creating, storing and sharing educational media (asynchronous)

There are many other tools for creating, storing and sharing educational media. Learn more about using some of the most common tools:

Additional resources