Faculty can contact the team at [email protected] with any questions. The CVN team is available for office hours upon request.

Teaching Online Guides and Courseworks/Canvas Tutorials

Step-by-step Instructions For Starting Your Zoom class (for hybrid and in-person courses held in the classroom):

Hyflex classroom is a regular classroom that is also equipped with a video camera, lavalier microphone, and speakers. Each room has an overhead projector and a podium computer. Video and audio in the room are controlled through the Crestron panel. Faculty control the video camera by selecting one of the camera presets on the Crestron panel. This allows you to zoom in on parts of the board so that students in the Zoom meeting can see the writing. We recommend selecting one preset at the beginning of the class (preferably, the board that's behind the podium computer) and using the same board to write throughout the class so that you don't need to change the presets.

If you are teaching a Hybrid course this semester in a CUIT-controlled classroom, please see this getting started guideFor help before/during class: Call CUIT's eRooms team at 212-854-3633 Monday–Friday, between 8am–8pm.

If you are teaching a Hybrid course in one of the CVN classrooms (Mudd 524, 545, 1024, 1127, 303 or 750 CEPSR), please see the guide below. For help before/during class, call 212-854-3385 or email [email protected]

Zoom sessions for each lecture that correspond to the exact dates and times of the hybrid and on-campus sessions are scheduled in your CourseWorks course site, under the "Zoom Class Sessions" menu link.

Zoom session must be started at the podium computer in the classroom so that it connects to the room audio and the online students can hear you and can be heard through the room speakers.

  1. From the podium computer in the classroom or from your home computer, start Google Chrome or Safari browser.
  2. Login to Courseworks: courseworks2.columbia.edu.
  3. Navigate to your class and select "Zoom Class Sessions" on the left-side main menu.
    Please note: You are the host of all scheduled Zoom sessions. You can schedule additional Zoom sessions in the same Courseworks class and let your students know about these additional sessions. Do not send the Zoom link to students, simply ask them to navigate to the "Zoom Class Sessions" within your course.
  4. Click on the class session scheduled for that day.
  5. Test audio and video, you may need to select different audio and video sources at the bottom of the Zoom window to test.
  6. For Hybrid and In-Person courses scheduled in CUIT Hyflex classrooms:
    - Start the Crestron Panel, select projector to turn it on.
    - Select rear camera and select one of the presets to zoom in on the board. To switch to the student view, select front-facing camera.
    - Use a podium microphone to speak. If you will be writing on the board or moving around, put a lavalier microphone located at the podium on your shirt or jacket. Remove the lavalier microphone and put it back on the podium. If you were given a personal microphone remember to disconnect it from the receiver, leave the receiver at the podium and take your personal lavalier with you when you leave the room.
  7. Cick on "Share" screen to present your slides or to select a "Whiteboard" feature to write.
  8. If you are presenting from a smart tablet or a laptop that you brought with you, connect to Columbia wifi, join the same Zoom session following steps 1-4 above and mute your audio on your tablet or laptop. Do not use cables to connect your device to the podium system, this will prevent you from using the room audio and video.
  9. If you are using a web camera and paper to present at home, see this video on how to set it up: https://youtu.be/CVkx-9lhYAI.
  10. After your class time is over, be sure to click on "End Meeting For All" to end the meeting.

  11. Zoom sessions will be recorded and made available to the students in the "Video Library" section of your course several hours after the course takes place.

  12. Recordings in the "Video Library" will be available until the end of the semester.


Instructions For Courses that have a CVN section (for in-person courses held in the classroom):

If your course has a CVN section, the CVN team will record your lectures remotely. Before the start of each class, be sure to attach a clip-on lapel mic to your jacket or shirt. Lectures will be streamed live and available to the students several hours after the class takes place, in the "Video Library" section of your Courseworks course. Students watching the live stream will not be able to ask questions during your session.

Disability Services

Please alert [email protected] 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 Office Hours, Teaching Lab or Supplemental Lecture 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.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    1. 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: https://www.cc-seas.columbia.edu/integrity

For additional information on online exams, please contact [email protected].


There are a few different ways faculty are choosing to ensure academic integrity for exams this semester:

  • Honor Code - students sign an honor code before taking a timed exam in CourseWorks or a take-home exam.
  • Proctoring via Zoom.
  • The University made available an AI-based proctoring solution Proctorio. Proctorio can be enabled in the Quiz section of CourseWorks. More information on how to set up and enable Proctorio can be found on CUIT website: https://cuit.columbia.edu/proctorio.

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.


CTL resources on polling: https://ctl.columbia.edu/resources-and-technology/teaching-with-technology/tech-resources/ars/

Poll Everywhere information, faculty can sign up for an account: https://cuit.columbia.edu/live-polling

Using Zoom to conduct polls: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/213756303-Polling-for-meetings


If you would like to use Gradescope to administer and grade assessments, it is now integrated with CourseWorks.

To enable Gradescope in your CourseWorks class, see the following CTL link: https://ctl.columbia.edu/resources-and-technology/teaching-with-technology/teaching-online/grading/ 

Courseworks Scheduler

Schedule meetings with students using Canvas: Faculty Guide Using Courseworks Scheduler and Student Guide Using Courseworks Scheduler

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 www.jove.com, 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 [email protected] 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. 

Columbia's JupyterHub Service

Jupyter is a computational environment for data science. It has also grown as a platform to use in the classroom, to develop teaching materials, to share lessons and tutorials, and to create computational stories. Jupyter Notebooks are documents containing text narratives with images and math, combined with executable code and the results of that code. This marriage of content and code makes for a powerful new form of data-based communication.

JupyterHub provides a convenient way to serve Jupyter Notebooks for multiple users with a pre-configured computing environment where users do not need to worry about installing software packages or maintaining computing environments. This relieves students, instructors, and TAs of the responsibility of troubleshooting and managing software issues on their computers. Other features of JupyterHub include the ability for instructors and TAs to remotely view student notebooks when they require assistance with particular code. Also, course materials and files are automatically synchronized from instructor Git repos into student Jupyter environments every time they log in. 

In Fall 2019 and Spring 2020, Columbia piloted CUIT-managed instances of JupyterHub in the Google Cloud for a total of 7 classes. Columbia's JupyterHub instances employ code from the open source Zero to JupyterHub with Kubernetes project to provision auto scaling JupyterHub instances for each class. The auto scaling feature automatically grows and shrinks the compute resources to support computing demand specific to that class. The Kubernetes technology provides Columbia with the flexibility to run JupyterHub on any major cloud vendor, thus avoiding vendor lock-in and pricing constraints.

The JupyterHub software environment can be customized to specific class requirements, and provides us with the ability to add additional software, including packages and plugins to the environment as needed by instructors. Additionally, Columbia's JupyterHub instances provide secure, CUIT-managed environments, which are easily accessed with Columbia login credentials.

Further Reading


Detailed messages and updates on University Closures are posted at https://preparedness.columbia.edu/.

Contact us at [email protected].

SEAS Academic Programs Team Members: Alexis Moore, Sean Wiggins, Genevieve Fleming, Soulaymane Kachani, Yannick Brookes, Elizabeth Strauss, Jenny Mak, Liam Maserjian, Alexander Browne, Adrieanna Cheyenne Reyes, Tania Velimirovici.

SEAS Departmental Team Members:
APAM: Montserrat Fernandez-Pinkley 
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 
MechE: Mel Francis, Milko Milkov, Amoy Ansell