Getting Started


This ‘Getting Started’ page aims to introduce you, both academic and professional staff in UCC, to the first steps in preparing to teach (and support teaching) remotely in September. Guidance is provided on how to teach remotely, the importance of Canvas, what tools to use and when, and signposting you to the relevant training and resources available in this regard.

In this video Prof. Paul McSweeney, Vice-President for Learning and Teaching, speaks with colleagues Dr Catherine O’Mahony, Director of the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, and Cliodhna O’Callaghan, Project Lead UCC, IUA Enhancing Digital Teaching & Learning, Centre for Digital Education, on plans for teaching remotely at UCC in the coming year.
This video addresses the following topics:

  • Teaching remotely
  • Teaching with the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment
  • Teaching using MS Teams
  • Recording audio and video using Panopto
  • Supports for staff

Teaching Remotely in UCC

Recommendation: A combination of pre-recorded (asynchronous) and live (synchronous) teaching is strongly recommended. Ideally, pre-recorded content is created for your students followed by a live session where possible.


The 6 C’s for UCC - Guidance on Teaching Remotely in September

TEACH THROUGH CANVAS. Canvas is the primary place of learning and teaching for all UCC staff and students. Staff should complete the 'Teaching with Technology' course on Canvas and there is an excellent 24/7 Canvas Support for all UCC staff. Canvas is UCC’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) or ‘Virtual Campus’. You can access and communicate with all your registered students via Canvas. 

CLARITY. When teaching remotely, clarity is critical. It needs to be clear to the student what is expected of them and the order in which they need to engage with materials/content and complete relevant coursework.

CHUNKING. This involves looking at the module content in its entirety and breaking up your content into similar sized ‘chunks’ which are easier for a student to work through (Ideally videos should be no longer than 5-7 minutes focusing on a single idea or theme).

COMMUNICATION Establish a clear plan on how and when you and your students will communicate throughout the academic year. For example, inform your students as to when they can expect replies to questions and where is appropriate to communicate (Canvas Announcements, Canvas Inbox, Discussion Boards or Email).

CONSISTENCY. Consistency of design, layout and mode of communication is crucial when teaching and learning remotely. This ensures a more seamless learning experience for the student.

Add activities to your module to foster engagement, provide feedback and enhance learning. This can include self-check quizzes, discussions and group work. Polling and quizzes can be particularly popular with students.

What Tools Should I Use for Teaching Remotely?

Canvas is the primary place of learning and teaching for all UCC staff and students. MS Teams and Panopto are the recommended additional tools for learning and teaching, and all supported by UCC. You can use Panopto from your own laptop/PC or phone from home or your office to record video and or audio over your slides. Google Suite is another supported option that you may wish to explore.

If a tool is officially supported by UCC it means that it will have support resources available for UCC staff and students. It also means that the tool will have been checked to ensure it meets required security and data protection standards.

The UCC Tools Wheel graphic identifies tools that may map to the student activities that you have already built into your teaching, or that you may consider in the future.

Do I need to record all of my lectures?


Initially as a consequence of the COVID 19 situation but with a view to longer term adoption, any teaching delivered online synchronously (including classroom discussion) is to be made available to students online in order to ensure equity of access for all. 

However, it is also noted that some teaching activities may not be appropriate for recording, e.g. small class discussions where all students are present in the live version, lectures containing confidential information or containing personal data.

It is a matter for individual staff to use their common sense, and decide what can reasonably be judged as appropriate for recording.

UCC's Lecture Recording policy can be found here. This addresses issues such as retention, use of recordings, copyright, consent and students recording lectures. We recommend all staff make themselves familiar with this policy.


If you have any queries in relation to this Policy, please contact the Policy Owner:

Prof Paul McSweeney

Vice President for Learning and Teaching

How Do I Teach a Pre-Recorded Lecture?

RECOMMENDATION: UCC staff are strongly encouraged to pre-record short video/audio content as much as possible with live elements where appropriate. There is a lot that can go wrong for both staff and students when live streaming / teaching live lectures/webinars (platform problems, local hardware and software failures, internet drops, low bandwidth etc.). Remember, you can use your existing content (PowerPoint slides etc.) and record your audio/video over these slides in Panopto from your own home. 

Panopto can be used from your own home or office laptop/PC and/or phone and can record presentations directly to your Canvas module. Panopto integrates well with Canvas and auto captioning of videos can be added (important for accessibility). Panopto can be used to record your screen (e.g.PowerPoint presentation) and/or your webcam/computer microphone.

How Do I Record a Live Lecture?

RECOMMENDATION: Pre-recorded content should be created for your students where possible.

If you wish to record a live lecture, there are two options - a Microsoft Teams Meeting or a Panopto Webcast. There are pros and cons to each approach.

We also recommend that anyone intending to record a live lecture visits their teaching space in advance of the lecture to become familiar with the technology and Covid-related layout changes.

Choosing whether to use MS Teams or Panopto Webcast depends on a number of factors and what you want to achieve. Generally, the university recommends Panopto for most instances of lecture recording.


Some thoughts on these are provided below:


Panopto Webcast should be used for live lectures for groups where interaction is not required or limited to simple text Q&As. With no interaction, this is similar to a broadcast where you have no feebdack from your audience. Recordings are automatically saved into the appropriate folder, so there is no requirement for you to do anything else once the lecture is over.


MS Teams

MS Teams should be used for live lectures where you need interaction with virtual students in the form of typed, verbal or videod Q&A, polling or groupwork. This is recommended for small, manageable groups.

With MS Teams, bear in mind that you will need to manage the class while lecturing as people can raise their hand, post questions in the chat, request control of the screen, turn off their microphone, etc. MS Teams can accommodate meetings with up to 300 participants. However, if you have a large class, only 49 will be visible onsreen.

Once a meeting is over, those students who attended will be able to view the recording. To make the recording available to other students, you will need to download a video file from MS Stream (where all Team meetings are recorded) and then upload it into Panopto. Steps on how to do this can be found here.


A Word on Moderation

If you are running a live event which you are recording and expect interaction from students, we recommend you have a second person assisting you to moderate questions and contributions in order to allow you to focus on presentation.


MS Teams is a UCC tool, has UCC support resources available and is integrated into Canvas. You can generate a Teams meeting from Canvas and all your students need to do is click on the link they receive. 

Please remember that all live (synchronous) lectures should and can be recorded. When using MS Teams, ensure you record the live session so that students can revise content at a later date, and those who cannot attend for reasons beyond their control, also have access to the live lecture/session.

When inviting a student to a 1-2-1 meeting, or smaller group meeting in Teams, you need to schedule a teams meeting from Outlook. Steps on how to do that are here.

NOTE: Students who did not attend the meeting may not be able to view the recording afterwards, so you would need to complete an extra step of downloading the video file from MS Stream (where all MS Teams meetings are captured) and uploading it into Panopto. It is important to use Panopto as this will ensure the video is optimised for web delivery and made accessible to students for playback on different devices. Steps on how to do this can be found here.

Do you have questions you need answered about MS Teams? All Staff should join the Teaching with Technology team - an invaluable resource for staff, a community of shared knowledge and you can learn more on new and upcoming features too. For help with any technical issues you are having with MS Teams you can either email or submit a service request online through

Panopto is the recommended tool that can be used to live stream lectures taking place on campus or from any laptop, that require little or no interaction.

The basics of using Panopto are covered in the Panopto module on the Teaching with Technology course on Canvas.


Further Resources for Effective Remote Teaching

The Teaching with Technology course contains everything you need to know about using Canvas and Panopto in UCC.

Click here for a list of some of the most commonly-used supports for UCC staff: Teaching with Technology: Supports for UCC Staff (Sarah Thelen)

On October 5th, the Irish Universities Association held a webinar entitled The Student Perspective of Online/Remote Teaching. This was run by student interns from participating universities under the IUA Enhancing Digital Teaching and Learning project. Most of what the students had to say is not surprising, as the same points have already been made in the 2019 INDEX survey and in other surveys with students. However, it is worth reminding ourselves of these tips, so we have distilled their advice down into Top 10 Tips from UCC Students to Staff Around Remote Teaching and Learning.

We know most of these tips are already being taken on board, but there may be a couple of things in there people haven't considered before.

This new MS Team was launched on September 21st. This is where you can go to ask any question around the use of educational technology in UCC.

It is staffed by students from the IT Helpdesk, who have back channel access to staff members from IT Services, the Learning Technologies Unit, Audio Visual Media Services, the Centre for Digital Education and the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning.

It functions as a community of practice so you often see staff members sharing their experiences and tips on how to use a particular technology.

Please join this team by following this link.


  • UCC Teach Digi Training Access our Weekly Sessions & Resources specifically preparing UCC staff for teaching in September. Video sessions are short and the content includes Student Engagement, Group work, Finding Materials, Playing to Your Strengths, Accessibility, Podcasting and much more.This training series is highly recommended for all UCC staff preparing to teach remotely in September.
  • IUA EDTL (Enhancing Digital Teaching & Learning) Project Approach to Effective Remote Teaching

All students are enrolled in the The Success Zone course, which covers support and tips from the Skills Centre, IT Services, the Library and Graduate Attributes. Please encourage students to visit this site if they have any questions.

Other Resources

Yes, UCC now offers a Teaching with Technology Support Service and online Teaching with Technology course.

The purpose of this service will be to answer queries from UCC staff about how best to use technologies available in UCC to support their teaching and learning activities.

This new service will provide a channel for queries on how to use technology such as Canvas, Panopto and MS Teams. The Service works through MS Teams, so staff simply go to the Team here, post a question and it will be answered online as soon as is possible. The service is staffed by two students who have been trained by IT Services and the CDE to deal with commonly asked questions.

Where questions can't be answered directly, queries are directed to the relevant expert staff:

  • The Learning Technologies Unit (Grace, Maria, Tim) in IT Services will provide support around issues of administration of Canvas.
  • The Centre for Digital Education (Sophie, Sarah, Rianna, Tom) in the Office of Vice President for Learning and Teaching will answer queries on how to use Canvas for teaching and policy questions.
  • The Audio Visual Media Services team (Aidan, Eoin) will support the service around the use of Panopto and classroom technology.
  • IT Services (Chris) will deal with common queries around MS Teams.
  • The Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (Catherine, Patrick) are there to provide support on questions relating to learning design and pedagogical activities.


Other supports available to staff include:

  • UCC’s Centre for Digital Education offer Consultations with an Instructional Designer for individual staff or disciplines/departments
  • UCC IUA EDTL (Enhancing Digital Teaching & Learning) Project Lead Clíodhna O’Callaghan. Contact for support on navigating the first steps in ‘getting started’ with effective remote teaching
  • UCC Learning Design Workshops – 90 Minute Collaborative Workshop Supporting Curriculum and Learning Design

Canvas 24/7 support is available through phonecall or online chat. You will see this under the Help menu item when you log into Canvas.

The Teaching with Technology Support Service is available to support you during office hours.

Please note that UCC has issued guidance to staff around the following:

Office of the VP for Learning and Teaching

Oifig an Leasuachtaráin Foghlama agus Teagaisc

East Wing, Main Quadrangle, UCC