Remote Teaching Tips (using LEARN)

Given the "pivot" to remote teaching with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, efforts to support teaching and learning have been ramped up here at uWaterloo which focus on the mix of asynchronous and well planned scynchronous learning. 

To this end, a few occasions arose where specific "help documentation" was needed to further support your efforts in this remote setting...Jason started crafting these Remote Teaching Tips and sending them out as emails.  Several have pointed out they'd like access to these tips in an ongoing fashion, so this Remote Teaching Tips page is the answer to those requests.

Note: This page is a continual work in progress - so the "under construction" items are being worked on and will be released when complete.

  1. LEARN Templates *updated*
  2. LEARN Quiz tool for Online Term Tests
  3. Copying Content to another LEARN course
  4. Checklists in LEARN - Under Construction...coming soon!
  5. Creating Simple Videos - Under Construction...coming soon!

1. LEARN templates *updated* (as of Nov 2020)

To help give instructors a head start in building your content pages, the Keep Learning - CEL team developed several content templates that can be used in LEARN.  The templates were designed to provide a starting point/framework for instructors to craft their own HTML pages that help keep both themselves and students organized.

These content templates are now available directly from your LEARN course!

How to access the templates

From your LEARN course:

  1. Go to Content of your LEARN course.
  2. Select the module you want the page in -or- create a new module by typing the title in the Add a module... box
  3. Click on the Upload / Create button and select Create a File.
  4. BEFORE entering a title, click on the Select a Document Template button

  5. Select a template from the dropdown menu (eg. "02-weekly-introduction-page").
  6. Provide a title for your page e.g. "Week 1: Introduction to Biochemistry".
  7. Save (no need to close, this step is just to save the page before you start editing the content).
  8. Edit the content as you see fit, but try to maintain the overall look and feel as they are designed with accessibility and minimizing cognitive load in mind - for example, the use of headings vs bold and bigger font, incorporation of ample white space, etc.)

Create a File - then Select a Document Template from the dropdown

There are seven templates:
  • 01 Basic Page
  • 02 Weekly Introduction Page
  • 03 Course Schedule
  • 04 Syllabus
  • 05 Discussion
  • 06 Dropbox
  • 07 Quiz
An example of the Weekly Introduction template edited for a course:

example of the weekly introduction template with edits for a course

    NOTE: When working in tables in these HTML files (templates)

    • use the "tab" key to advance to the next cell. 
    • when you come to the end of a table (last cell at the right, bottom), if you hit the tab key, a new row will be created.

    For more information, visit the Course Templates page on the Keep Learning website.

    2.  Online exams/test - using LEARN Quiz tool


    Refer to the guidelines on strategies for final exams and assessments for tips such as setting a flexible time window to complete the exam and administering a timed exam.

    If you are using the LEARN quiz tool to facilitate as summative assessment (such as, an online term tes, midterm or final exam), you might want to also alter the Submission View so that students DO NOT see their score immediately upon submission.

    Editing the submission view for summative assessments

    For example, term test, midterms, final exams, etc.

      1. "Edit" a quiz in LEARN and go to the "Submission Views" tab.
      2. Click on the "Default View" link.

    From the Submission View tab - click on the Default View link

    1. Editing the submission message: Under "View Properties", you can edit the existing message that displays when the exam is submitted.
      • Optional: Consider replacing the word "quiz" with "exam" and add additional commentary if you wish.
      In the Message text box, consider replacing the word "quiz" with "exam" or "term test" etc. and add additional commentary if you wish
    2. Hiding question and scores: Scroll down to "View Details".
        1. Under Show Questions?, select "No".
        2. Under Score, uncheck "Show attempt score and overall attempt score".
        3. Under Statistics, uncheck "Show class average" and "Show score distribution".
      Especially for summative assessment, you may want to UNcheck "Show attempt score...".  Additionally ensure No is slected for "Show Questions" and uncheck other "Show" checkboxes.
    3. Click "Save".

    3.  Copying Content to another LEARN course

    Copying Contents in LEARN - Overview

    LEARN course shells can be created upto 7 weeks prior to the first day of classes of the upcoming term using the Course Request form.  If you would like to start building your course prior to the 7 week timeline, you can send an email to to request a "development course" to work in.

    Below are detailed instructions on how to copy content from a course of a previous term or a development course.

    NOTE: you must be "instructor" in both courses to be able to copy content.

    Copying contents to another LEARN course

    1) Go to the LEARN course in which you want to bring the contint into and click on "Course Admin" link in the upper nav.

    Click on the "Course Admin" link of the course in which you want to copy the content into

    1. 2) From the Course Administration page, click on "Import / Export / Copy Components".

    From the Course Administration page - click on the "Import / Export / Copy Components link

    • From the Import / Export / Copy Components page:
      • Select the radio button for "Copy Components from another Org Unit".
      • Click on the "Search for offering" button.
      • In the pop-up window:
        • Type in the course title of your development course (CHEM 200 Dev in this example).
        • Select the radio button in front of the course you want to copy content from.
        • Click "Add Selected".

    Search for offering (course code of the course you want to copy FROM) and click Add Selected button

    • Once the course you want to copy from is selected, click on "Select Components".
    • NOTE: If you are sure you want to copy ALL the content from the course, you can click on "Copy All Components" but ALL content will be ported into the new course (which will also include groups, announcement, etc. that tend to be term specific).

    Recommended practice is to click the Select Components button -- given the Copy All button will copy term specific content like groups, announcements, etc.

    • From the Choose Components to Copy page:
      • Check the box for each component you want to copy into your F20 course.
      • The radio button is defaulted to "Copy all items" from that component.
      • If you only want specific items from that component, select the radio button for "Select individual items to copy".
      • When done with the selection, click "Continue".

    Choose the commponents - and select items or all items, by checking the apporpriate checkboxes - click the Continue button

    • If you chose "Select individual items to copy" for some components in Step 5, the next page(s) will allow you to choose which specific items you want to copy. From the Select Content Modules and Topics to Copy page:
      • Use the +/- button to expand/collapse items.
      • If you select a high level of the +/- section, all items within will be selected.
      • You can check the box of individual items as necessary.
      • Click "Continue" when ready.

    Select the specific items you want to copy over for each of the components

    • Once you're done with all the selections, you will come to a confirmation page.
      • Review the items listed on the confirmation page.
      • If you see something you need to correct, click on the "Modify" link to adjust that specific component selection.
      • If you have any date specific items you are copying over (eg, quizzes, dropboxes, etc.), you can offset the dates upon copy.
        • "Offset by direction and range" can work.
        • Easier/best if you do the math first, for example:
          • Items with dates of May 15, 2020 (Friday)
          • I want them to be the Friday the next year, which will be May 14, 2021
          • So, I want to offset my dates Forward by Range = 364
      • Click "Finish" to complete the copy process.

    You will see a confirmation page of the number of items you're copying over to the new course.  If desired, you can offset dates of any date specific content (quizzes, dropboxes, etc.) - click Finsh when ready

    4. Checklists in LEARN

    Under Construction...coming soon!

    5. Creating Simple Videos

    Under Construction...coming soon!

    If you have questions or if you run into any problems, please don't hesitate to contact LEARN Help (, x31744) or Jason Thompson.