Canvas

The Canvas course site created for each course offering at Harvard is an important tool for teaching—whether in classrooms or online. Many instructors already use these sites to share the syllabus for their courses, and possibly as a place to collect assignments or circulate readings. In a situation in which you need to make changes to your course's instructional practices, Canvas can be an extremely useful means through which to communicate changes, coordinate lecture or sections, promote discussions, collect student work, provide feedback, share materials, etc.

Using Canvas for Course Communications / Logistics

When teaching remotely, the Canvas Calendar can become a valuable tool with which to keep your class organized. Just as you would do, share, and collect things during specific class meetings, you can use the Canvas Calendar to organize course components. In the calendar, you can create an event to share class materials (synchronously or asynchronously), and you can use the interface to create an assignment shell which can then be filled out in the assignment interface. Assignments can be used to collect materials (such as evidence of section work) that will stand-in for course components that might have taken place in person.

Canvas has a variety of tools for communication. The Course Emailer, Conversations, and Announcements are likely the most helpful for coordinating with your students. (There are other tools, discussed elsewhere, that are more helpful for promoting discussion.) If you would like to message your class or a class section but would like your correspondence to be sent through your email (which means that responses would come to your inbox), you will want to use Canvas’ Course Emailer. Although the messaging will take place in your email, you will need to use Canvas for the initial email. Canvas also provides a messaging system within Canvas called Conversations. You and the students can use this system within Canvas for many types of communication. Announcements are meant to be a way to communicate with students about the logistics of your course. They will be shared with students based upon their notification preferences.

Academic Technology for the FAS / HUIT

Your starting place for learning about and accessing many of the technological tools you may need, such as Zoom, Canvas, and related plug-ins.

The Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL)

VPAL convenes university-wide conversations about teaching and pedagogical research, particularly in the online space.

The Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE)

OUE oversees, and stewards resources devoted to, the undergraduate curriculum at Harvard College..

The Division of Continuing Education (DCE)

DCE offers a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online courses, and their staff are experienced in thinking about multiple ways to achieve your goals through different mediums.

SEAS and the Division of Science

Advice on teaching in the sciences.

The Harvard Libraries

Request help modifying/troubleshooting your research-based assignments.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Schedule a consultation with the Bok Center's Senior Staff. (Please note that consultations are available only for Faculty and Teaching Fellows in the FAS.)

Faculty can visit our daily office hours, every Monday–Friday 10:30–11:30 AM; register for a one-hour practice teaching session; and request in-class support for your first Zoom meeting.

Daily Office Hours  |  In-class support

Teaching Fellows can attend the Fall Teaching Conference, which includes both asynchronous Canvas resources and synchronous sessions devoted to collaboration and practice.

Fall Teaching Conference

The media production staff of the Bok Center's Learning Lab can provide consultations for faculty teaching Harvard College courses using Zoom and other modes of media capture. We can provide suggestions for setting up remote video capture environments in your home or office, and on ways to integrate media into your courses.  Please contact us if you would like to discuss your needs with our staff.

Email the Learning Lab  |  Request a Media Tutorial

Reimagining the Fall Teaching Conference

Reimagining the Fall Teaching Conference

September 21, 2020

In the midst of a pandemic, many global challenges, and the prospect of a fully remote fall semester, the Bok Center spent the summer grappling with a multitude of questions: How should we prepare graduate student TFs to teach remotely? How could we reimagine our flagship event, the Fall Teaching Conference, usually a bustling two-day conference held in Sever Hall the week before classes start? How could we meet the needs of both new and experienced TFs facing an unprecedented semester?

Like instructors everywhere, we couldn’t take anything for granted. We...

Read more about Reimagining the Fall Teaching Conference
Machine in deep sea

Dispatches from the Field: Teaching Innovation Videos

September 16, 2020

Back in July, Peter Girguis, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, reached out to the Bok Center after a series of informal conversations with faculty colleagues about their innovative ideas for the upcoming semester, which would be taught entirely remotely. The faculty Girguis encountered were working hard across the summer to develop innovative, rich experiences for undergraduates in the fall. While some types of...

Read more about Dispatches from the Field: Teaching Innovation Videos
hands over table stretching out rubber bands with words "Lengthen," "Emphasize," and "Slower" written on them

How Do You Hone Your Oral English Language Skills?

August 12, 2020

The Bok Center’s Professional Communication Program for International Teachers and Scholars supports international PhD students in developing oral English proficiency, cross-cultural understanding, and teaching skills. We recently sat down to talk with two students who have participated in the program over the past two years. We asked them to share how they developed their oral English communication skills to prepare to be teaching fellows as well as advice they would give incoming international PhD students, based on their...

Read more about How Do You Hone Your Oral English Language Skills?
More