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Develop Your Instructional Materials

After creating a plan for remote instruction, identify the instructional materials that will best equip students to participate in course activities, succeed in their assessments, and achieve the intended learning goals. Think about the learning experience you want your students to gain each week in your course. Then, consider the materials that will help them achieve that learning experience. Course materials could include, but are not limited to: videos,readings, recorded lab or performance demonstrations, PowerPoint slides, articles, and graphics. In the topics below, we share ways of making these instructional materials available using the technology supported by UC San Diego.  

As you choose instructional materials for your remote course, it is also important to consider the accessibility of those materials. In a subsequent section, we will share more details on designing for inclusion, accessibility, and academic integrity.


Upload your Instructional Materials to Canvas

Your instructional materials include:

  • Lecture Videos
  • PowerPoint Slides
  • Reading articles and Text
  • Practice Worksheets
  • Handouts

and any other documents and content files that equip your students and help them learn the information, concepts, processes, terminology, and applications in your course.

These materials should be uploaded or linked in the Canvas course and made available to your students within a weekly module.  

Use Kaltura Media to securely store and share your videos to Canvas. Kaltura Media is integrated into Canvas and has unlimited space, rather than Canvas files, which is limited to 4GB of space.

Remote Lectures

Teaching a remote course provides a couple of avenues for instruction. If you choose to continue lecturing at your regular scheduled day and time (synchronously), you can invite students to attend virtually via Zoom, the campus-supported video conferencing tool. Or if you choose to pre-record your lectures at your own time, you can upload the lecture videos to Canvas/Kaltura for viewing (asynchronously). There are considerations for both methods, and thoughtful design practices for how to foster your teaching presence and cultivate a meaningful learning experience. (See drawers below)



Deliver live lectures at a scheduled day and time, using video conferencing tools that offer real-time, two-way video and audio.

Synchronous Lecture

live video conference


Pre-record your lectures and release them to students in advance so that they can watch and learn at their own pace and time.

Herbst Asynchronous Lecture

Matthew Herbst (HILD 20R)

Advantages for your students:

  • can ask questions in real time
  • may feel a stronger sense of community
  • develop and demonstrate skills in real-time


  • scheduling conflicts or time zone differences
  • technical and equipment requirements for students
  • privacy and personal preferences when recording
  • troubleshooting live technical challenges can be much harder and distracting to the lecture

Campus-Supported Tools:

Advantages for your students:

  • Know what to expect, better manage their time
  • More time to process and be thoughtful in their work
  • Instructors can prepare materials in advance and focus on engagement and coaching


  • students can feel a sense of isolation if there is no communication
  • students need guidance on engagement expectations and required contribution

Campus-Supported Tools:

Record Shorter, Focused Videos for Asynchronous Lectures

When lecturing in a physical classroom, you have the opportunity to build in natural check-in points with your class or incorporate pauses to process, reflect, and discuss/practice. Using the same model for remote asynchronous lectures, organize your lecture into smaller teaching points, concepts, and units of information. Identify these “chunks”  to record shorter, more focused videos that build in natural breaking points for students to self-check, discuss, or engage in a practice activity. Chunking your lecture into smaller, more digestible learning concepts will also help you organize your lecture, as well as help your students better retain the information. 

For example, in HILD 20R, Professor Herbst delivers weekly lecture content through smaller, topical micro-lectures, supplemented by notes and self-check activities on Canvas. In the course's week on "Religious Change in Afro-Eurasia and MesoAmerica," Professor Herbst presents the content through the following videos, listing the title and length of each video for student view:

  • Introduction: The Rise of Universal Religions [1:34]
  • Christianity and Empire [6:26]
  • Spread of Christianity [7:10]
  • Transformation of Empire [8:50]
  • Persian Empire [4:31]
  • Persia, Rome, and the Silk Roads [5:12]
  • South Asia [5:37]
  • Changes in Post-Han China [7:57]
  • Religion and Society in Post-Han China [6:50]
  • MesoAmerica: Overview [3:47]
  • MesoAmerica: The Classical Era [4:30]

Keeping videos short and focused will help your students better grasp the concepts, navigate directly to a particular concept video for further learning, and also help them self-regulate and pick up where they have left off in the course.



After recording your lecture videos, organize the order in which your students watch the videos by embedding each video directly onto a Canvas Page.

See How to Embed a Video (Canvas)

Tips for Synchronous Lectures

If real-time synchronous lectures are necessary to facilitate interaction, demonstrate specific processes, and develop skills that can only be done in real-time, the strategies below will help you prepare, organize, and focus on delivering and facilitating an effective synchronous lecture.

If you wish to record your Synchronous Lecture videos and make them available for students who are unable to attend at the scheduled time due to special circumstances, technology requirements, or other conditions, add a note to your Syllabus indicating the lectures will be available for later viewing.

At the start of your Lecture, also be sure to announce that you will be recording and include a note on your slides indicating the lecture is being recorded, will be captioned, and made available on Canvas.

Zoom Record Notice



Use the ZOOM LTI Tool in Canvas to schedule your lectures. This will appear on the student's course calendar and notify them of an upcoming meeting. Students will be able to join the meeting from the same ZOOM LTI link in Canvas.

See Schedule Synchronous Meetings.

Tips for Synchronous Virtual Lectures:

  • Pre-set your meeting to mute participant’s microphones upon entry. This helps to avoid background noise and allow your students to focus on your lesson.
  • Close down any background apps or programs that you are not sharing for lecture to avoid any distraction or accidental sharing.
  • Create and communicate a consistent structure to your lecture so that students know what to expect, what to pay close attention to or take notes on, how to engage, and when/where they can ask questions.
  • Discuss online etiquette and expectations of the students in your first virtual class and periodically revisit the topics.
  • When lecturing, look at the camera to create eye contact with your students. This helps to create a more personal connection while teaching over video. 
  • Take a second to check chat, non-verbal cues, or your student’s video (if on camera) to check-in with your students and get feedback
  • Use descriptive language to describe images on the screen or processes you are demonstrating so that all students can follow along.
  • Embrace the pause. Take a moment after the end of your comments and allow for students to engage before continuing on. 


Modified from: Teachers Educating on Zoom.

For help with setting up a meeting on Zoom, see the EdTech Zoom Guides.