COVID-19 information

All employees:

Latest updates

Wellness tools

Mental health and wellness resources for staff and faculty:

There are several articles on how to navigate COVID-19 that might be helpful:


Tools for Delivering Classes Online


Background information and guides you can download and print:

Create a room in LEARN  NOTE: instructors must request that the online room be added to their Learn shell via

How to Access the Online Course on “Learn”

Links to other resources:

Updated version of Getting started in WebEx

Online teaching technology:  The CTE webpage now gives a much more comprehensive listing of technologies. See and specifically the link


Using LEARN to administer exams:

The advantage of using LEARN is that you can upload a question bank, and different students receive a different group of questions--making it more challenging for them to do the test together.

Take home exams can be offered in a few ways. You can offer a timed test with a specific start and end time and use the randomization function in LEARN. You can provide the exam at the end of classes and give the students until the date of the exam to submit to the Dropbox--similar to an assignment. You could even have a few different versions of the assignment and randomize which students receive which version. Or, depending on how exams are spaced, all the instructors could release the exam the day before the current exam date and give the students 24 hrs to complete it--and submit via Dropbox.  The length of the exam would vary depending on the approach/outcomes. You will want your questions to be higher order questions as per Bloom's Taxonomy.

Using Crowdmark to administer exams:

Instructors may be wondering about using Crowdmark for non-proctored exams/assignments. For those who have never used the assigned assessment feature in Crowdmark, Crowdmark has created a step-by-step video guide.

It would be a great idea for first time users to create a mock assignment and send out to the students in advance of any online exam so that students are familiar with the process of uploading their scanned solutions to Crowdmark (and instructors/TAs are familiar with the differences with administered assessments).

If you have questions, contact your UW local Crowdmark support at

Another option is a summative assignment that would replace the exam.  The assignment should be something like a "case study" or the equivalent type of problem they could complete in a couple of hours. This could be released and the students given 24 hours to complete it. It would be best if there was no overlap with other courses and a short break between each released exam. The problem, or case, would require them to understand and adapt content from the course in order to complete it. Again, aiming for the higher order Bloom's functions (applying, analyzing, evaluating and creating).  Maybe something like: analyze this problem and create a solution.  You will have to keep in mind the level of the problem be relevant to their academic level and test material covered by their readings or course lectures.

Dealing with time zones:  Earlier it was thought that not many students would be in very different time zones, but it looks like many will be.  If at all possible, please try to accommodate such students in any on-line testing.  Consider allowing a 12-hour window to write the exam. In the worst case, if accommodation isn't possible, and the student refuses to write a 2am exam, please use an INC grade instead of a DNW grade.

Exam timing:  Please remember students have multiple exams (or replacements for exams).  You cannot assume everyone in your class is available during a specific 4 hour slot, for example.  Many students have left Ontario as well, so we also have to think of time zones.  Finally, there are AccessAbility students to accommodate.  If you need to have a narrow-window test, I recommend contacting your students to find out if any of them will have a problem with that timing.  Providing a wider window, or more than one offering, are also good approaches. 

There are many other options. The best option depends on the type of material covered in the course and the desired outcomes.

Looking for on-line exam advice, suggestions for timing on take-home exams or summative assignments – contact Renate Donnovan.

Branding tools for online learning and virtual meetings

Images for LEARN, Teams and WebEx – to create a more consistent Waterloo-focused experience giving you the chance to download image banners featuring popular campus spaces and faculty colours to use as backgrounds or banners in LEARN. Many of you will be able to use these banners as custom backgrounds for video conferences. We’ll work with IST make these backgrounds available as standard in Microsoft Teams and share instructions on how to use them as soon as the tool allows

Courseware development support – we’ve partnered with the team behind the Keep Learning site  to share existing resources and downloads on our Brand site that includes PowerPoint templates, Word doc templates, icons and more. Using these branded templates is another way you can help create a sense of Waterloo even while we are working and learning remotely.

EngLab - Web based solution making computer lab workstations easily accessible to students remotely

Engineering Computing has developed EngLab — a Web based solution to start remote desktop protocol (RDP) sessions. EngLab makes many hundreds of our computer lab workstations easily accessible to students remotely, by giving each user a full dedicated workstation with lab software for the duration of the session. It is to be used to deliver high performance Engineering and Scientific software to Engineering students during the COVID-19 crisis. This service will be announced to the Engineering students near the start of Spring 2020 term.
On the EngLab webpage users can enter various 'rooms' corresponding to departments or the general undergraduate room of Engineering Computing. Some rooms, e.g. Mechanical & Mechatronics room (MME), are only available to 4th year MME students. The Engineering Computing undergraduate rooms are available to everyone in Engineering. Each room displays a list of currently unused computers. Users can select a random computer from the room and will be connected using their system's RDP client. When the user logs out, or times out after 30 minutes of inactivity, the workstation is logged out and returned to the not-in-use pool for use by someone else. The list of workstations in each room contains comments, giving details of specific software or user restrictions (such as 4th year only).
Instructions for Users
Access EngLab from a web browser. 
You will need a Windows Remote Desktop (RDP) client to connect to a lab workstation.  
Windows users: RDP is built-in.
MacOS users: Download and install “Microsoft Remote Desktop 10” from the App Store on your computer before you can connect.
Linux users: you can install a free client using the store or the usual packing tool which varies by distribution (aptget, yum, etc.).
On most systems you will simply need to click on a computer's name on the EngLab webpage to start the RDP session, or click on the downloaded file.

Information for Researchers

NSERC program information in relation to COVID‑19

CIHR COVID-19 information page

Online COVID-19 "match-making" platform for Canada/EU research collaboration

Potentially another tool Canada could use to collaborate faster with EU researchers:

Earlier today, UK-based open innovation network Crowdhelix, in partnership with Brussels-based media company Science|Business, has launched a free online match-making service to help COVID-19 researchers find one another across the globe, check out funding opportunities, and get to work tackling the virus faster.

The service:

At, is a simple online tool to help COVID-19 researchers connect, whatever their country or specialty. This new network is advised by Dr. Björn Kull, Head of Grants Office at Karolinska Institute, the Stockholm medical university. It is also supported by leading Belgian university KU Leuven.

How it works:

With the Crowdhelix service, researchers can click through to a special COVID-19 section of its custom-built Open Innovation platform. There, they can profile themselves, their teams, and their organisations, and post opportunities to collaborate. An intelligent recommender system then matches these opportunities with the most suitable prospective collaborators, using natural language processing and machine-learning.

COGNIT.CA - Researching while 'social distancing'

In a partnership between various federal agencies, a search engine for research expertise, at COGNIT.CA has been created:

Although not yet finalized, in this time of crisis, it was deemed useful to advance the release of COGNIT.CA.  COGNIT.CA is expected to be particularly useful, not only to COVID-19 researchers but to the entire research community, now engaged in ‘social distancing’ research.

Anyone can now access the ‘public beta’ version of COGNIT.CA by simply visiting: .

As with any software, COGNIT.CA is not bug- or error-free.  Users are encouraged to report any bugs or errors using the Feedback button that appears on the right-hand side of the screen.  The Feedback button takes a screenshot of the window and allows you to annotate the window.  That information is then transmitted to the developers for action. 

COGNIT.CA currently makes use of the awards databases of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), as well as the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) Research Facilities Navigator.  In addition, COGNIT.CA contains a catalogue of licensing opportunities and patents to allow users to identify the intellectual property filed by Canadian researchers and institutions.

COGNIT.CA provides access to more that 200,000 federally funded research projects, more than 100,000 pieces of intellectual property, 120,000 researchers and 10,000 businesses and not-for-profit collaborators.  In addition, COGNIT.CA provides direct access to the more than 700 CFI-funded research facilities available on CFI’s Navigator website.  COGNIT.CA will be of special interest to businesses, governments, not-for-profit organizations and media who need access to world-class Canadian expertise.

COGNIT.CA is a partnership between the U15, Universities Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Mitacs and the Tri-agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC).