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Online Coursework Planning and Resources

Dear colleagues:

As Chancellor Plowman has indicated, we are preparing our campus in the event we have a case of COVID-19 here. We are in regular communication with the Knox County Health Department and have had no confirmed cases on campus or in Knox County. That being said, the situation is evolving quickly and we need to be prepared to respond quickly.

Now is the time to plan how your courses could be shifted online in a manner that maintains the high quality and rigor that you provide in the classroom. Please work with your department head and draw on other resources in your college for support of your efforts.

Taking these measures now will make it easier for you to continue to support UT’s important missions of teaching and learning in the event that in-person classes do not resume. Please complete the following before the end of spring break, if not before:

  1. If you have not already done so, learn how to use your Canvas course site to post course content and announcements.
  2. Identify your major course assessments (papers, exams, etc.) for the remainder of the term and either modify them as needed so they can be delivered online or develop substantially equivalent assessments that can be delivered online. The university is developing guidance for instructors who teach laboratory courses and other courses such as performance or field courses that may be difficult to deliver online.
  3. Set up your UT Knoxville Zoom account at no charge and practice setting up and hosting a Zoom meeting so you can deliver your course, meet with students, and hold office hours online in a synchronous environment.
  4. Make sure you can connect to Canvas, Zoom, and email from your home if you would prefer to deliver classes from home rather than from your office.
  5. Move important course- and work-related files to Microsoft One Drive or Google Drive so you can access them from anywhere.

Instructions that can help with these tasks, and much more information about working and teaching online, can be found at OIT’s Teaching and Working Remotely web page. We will also post opportunities for training sessions.

Once you’ve taken the proactive measures listed above, be sure to visit the Quick Start to Online Teaching page for tips on effective online teaching provided by the Online Programs unit in Teaching and Learning Innovation.

For assistance with technical issues, contact the OIT HelpDesk by phone at 865-974-9900 or online at

Thank you for your leadership and good work in this evolving situation. We will keep you updated on new developments.