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 Canvas' 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.

How Do I Teach a Pre-Recorded (asynchronous) 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 (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 Teach a Live (synchronous) Lecture?

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

MS Teams is a UCC tool, has UCC support resources available and is integrated into Canvas. Breakout rooms (used for smaller group work activities) are due to be added as a feature of MS Teams in September. You can generate a Teams live event or 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.

Do you have questions you need answered about MS Teams? All Staff should join the Teams@UCC 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

Useful Links to help you get started:

MS Teams Cheat Sheet

Using MS Teams in Canvas

Further Resources for Effective Remote Teaching

  • 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

Other Resources

  • 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

IT Services Helpdesk: / +353 (0)21 490 2120.

Office of the VP for Learning and Teaching

Oifig an Leasuachtaráin Foghlama agus Teagaisc

East Wing, Main Quadrangle, UCC