As part of our preparation for online teaching, in partnership with SEAS departmental staff, the SEAS Dean’s Office Academic Programs team has set up Zoom sessions for each lecture, recitation and lab session that correspond to the exact dates and times of the on-campus sessions. 

Faculty can contact the team at for any questions regarding Zoom setup.

Teaching Online Guides and Canvas Tutorials



Host Class Virtually on Zoom

Hold synchronous, live sessions, that will be recorded and uploaded to CourseWorks (by the SEAS Academic Programs team) for later viewing.

CUIT Zoom updates:

The details of the Zoom sessions are as follows. Please watch this 3-minute SEAS video on how to join the Zoom conference and how to prepare for your online lecture:

How to join Zoom for SEAS faculty:

  • Students and faculty will be notified of the Zoom URL link via email or an announcement in CourseWorks. The Zoom link can be found under the header “Join Zoom Meeting” and will remain the same for the duration of the semester. 

  • Faculty will be able to present by using video, audio, chat and by sharing their screen. 

  • For faculty who use chalkboards or whiteboards and do not have a smart tablet or a touch screen computer, we have ordered 200 customized kits that consist of a webcam, an adjustable monopod, and Sharpie pens to mimic a document projector during the Zoom session (see picture below).

  • For faculty who wish to write using their smart tablet or a touch screen computer, you can do so directly through Zoom by either sharing your screen or by using a Whiteboard feature.

  • The default setting for students during the Zoom session will allow them to participate through text chat. Instructors can allow students to also participate via video or audio if they choose.

  • 5 to 10 minutes before each session, a staff member of your department or the SEAS Academic Programs team will check in to review the Zoom settings.

  • Tips on taking attendance in Zoom.

  • Tips on useful Zoom features during your class.

  • After your class time is over, be sure to click on "End Meeting For All" to end the meeting.

  • Zoom sessions will be recorded and made available to the students in the "Video Library" section of your course within 24 hours (This includes CVN and Hybrid sections of your courses).

If you have never utilized Zoom, please use this link ( to test your computer settings. 

In addition, the following Zoom resources are also available: Join a meeting, Configure audio and video, Share your screen or write on a whiteboard, Connecting dual screens.




Disability Services

Please alert if you have any students in your class who are registered with Disability Services for sign-language interpreting and speech-to-text services.


Pre-record a Video for Your Class or Teaching Lab Using Panopto

Asynchronously record content.

Panopto is a desktop video recording and hosting solution for teaching purposes at Columbia. Instructors can use Panopto to asynchronously record lessons by using their computers, including screen capturing the desktop with voice over. Once these videos are recorded and finalized, they can then easily be shared with students. 


Set Up Discussions in CourseWorks

CourseWorks provides an integrated discussion tool that allows for interactive communication between instructors and students, focused discussions, and graded assignments.


Create and Grade Assignments (for setting up HW and Take-home Exams) in CourseWorks

Instructors can create assignments in CourseWorks, and students can submit them electronically. Once students have submitted assignments, the gradebook in CourseWorks offers an enhanced way for instructors to enter grades, track students and their progress, and calculate and submit final grades to SSOL. 


Create Online Exams (for timed Exams and Quizzes)

To set up timed exams and quizzes, please use the Canvas Quizzes feature. For take-home exams please see the paragraph above.

When created as a quiz, students have to take an actual action to access the exam (e.g. clicking on “Take this quiz”). At this point, a timer that marks how much time they have left to submit will appear (this timer is optional though). For a general overview of what can be done, below are the main approaches to creating exams online:

1) Uploading the paper exam as a PDF file. Students would essentially download the file and submit their complete exam through a File Upload question.  

a. As is the case with uploading any sensitive content to Canvas, you should upload the exam file to a Restricted Folder in the Files section. This will prevent students from being able to see the exam in the Files section before they start the actual exam. For instructions on how to restrict files and folders to students in Canvas, click here.

b. Please review and modify these Exam Instructions we created for students who are taking timed exams using a PDF file. You can copy and paste these instructions into the Quiz Instructions window when editing your Quiz. 

2) The exam questions can be created directly on a Canvas quiz, so that students can submit their responses. This approach can also allow for uploading files.

a. Some exams can be set up with auto-graded exams (particularly exams that have multiple choice, true/false or numeric entry questions): Canvas Quiz Multiple Choice tutorial.

Faculty can choose to append the honor code to their exam and ask the students to sign it:

For additional information on online exams, please contact


Group Work

As a first step, assign students into groups then the students can use Conferences with each other, post on in the Discussions, share documents and use chat. The Canvas native Conferences tool is available in all course sites. The Conferences tool allows Teachers and TA’s to start a web conference using Big Blue Button.  Students can also use Conferences in any group sites that have been put in by Instructors. CUIT posted a guide for teachers up on the Canvas Tips and Tricks page while Canvas has documentation for here

Office Hours

For office hours, faculty, TAs and CAs can either use the CourseWorks Conferences feature (Big Blue Button) or Google Hangouts.


Teaching Labs

  • We recommend that you record your experiments asynchronously and upload them to Panopto, and share any necessary data sets in advance. 
  • You should consider online resources for experiments and virtual simulations. SEAS faculty colleagues pointed out, a website for peer-reviewed, visual experiments from top laboratories around the world.

    JoVE is providing free access until June 15. How to Gain Free Access: Interested academic administrators, educators, and students can fill out this form or reach out to to set up an account.  The email option might be easier to request access for a department/class versus students filling out the form one-by-one. 


Further Reading


Detailed messages and updates on University Closures are posted at

Contact us at

SEAS Academic Programs Team Members: Alexis Moore, Marina Zamalin, Genevieve Fleming, Leora Brovman, Soulaymane Kachani, Jessica Rosa, Yannick Brookes, Shadman Islem, Elizabeth Strauss, Alvaro Rojas-Caamano, Jenny Mak, TJ O'Neill, Abby Lee, Leander Keizer, Nora Cashell, Liam Maserjian, Alexander Browne, Shu-Yi Hsu, Adrieanna Cheyenne Reyes, Tania Velimirovici.

SEAS Departmental Team Members:
APAM: Svitlana Samoilina, Christina Rohm, Stella Lau 
BME: Jocelyn McArthur, Helen Cen, Mindaugas Paunksnis
ChemE: Kathy M. Marte-Garcia, Ariel Sanchez 
Civil: Scott Kelly, Michael Smith 
CS: Rob Lane, Cindy Meekins, Maria Joanta 
EE: Cassandra Kokofu, Pamela Gordan, Susan Ceballo, Dustin King 
EEE: Muamer Lihic, Elizabeth Allende 
IEOR: Jenny Mak, Carmen Ng, Lola Radev, Yosimir Acosta 
MechE: Mel Francis, Milko Milkov, Amoy Ansell