Class Continuity Preparation


Class Continuity Preparation

What if an emergency happens in Auburn and the campus is not physically accessible due to closure? Or if half the students are absent due to sickness or weather? How will this affect your course delivery? How can we accommodate these inconveniences without derailing our whole teaching schedule?

As our campus prepares for the possibility of disruptions to university operations and instructional delivery caused by COVID-19, representatives from the Biggio Center are available to meet with academic department and units to provide hands-on workshops and training for software that supports the following functions:

  • Conducting live classes, meetings, and office hours using Zoom;
  • Communicating with students, and securely collecting assignments and issuing grades using Canvas;
  • Virtually proctoring exams while ensuring academic integrity and minimizing the burden on faculty time; and,
  • Recording videos for course content to securely share it with students using Panopto.

Auburn University Academic Contingency Policies

Auburn University has adopted Academic Contingency Policies with three key areas of guidance: faculty contingency plans, academic unit contingency plans for instructor absences, and the contingency class attendance policy. Next steps:

  • Add language in your syllabus so students know you will monitor and adjust course delivery as needed. Consider the following example: “If normal class and/or lab activities are disrupted due to illness, emergency, or crisis situation, the syllabus and other course plans and assignments may be modified to allow completion of the course. If this occurs, an addendum to your syllabus and/or course assignments will replace the original materials.”
  • Communicate your plans with students, even if it is to let them know that you will make a decision at a later time.

Live Classes, Meetings, and Virtual Office Hours with Zoom

Using Zoom, students can remotely join a video session and participate in an engaging lecture or class with active learning. Offering your office hours through your Canvas course via Zoom is also a powerful way to stay in touch with students.

The first time you use Zoom, sign-in from either the webpage or from the App on your computer or device. If prompted, choose Single Sign On (SSO) and enter "auburn" as the domain. You will then be taken to the AU AUthenticate login page where you will use your AU credentials to sign-in to Zoom. Note: Sign-in must be completed before starting or joining a meeting in order to have full host permissions for your events. Once integrated, your Zoom link within your course will launch Zoom and connect students with your personal meeting session. These Zoom meetings offer functionality such as shared screen, breakout rooms, and chat. You can also record the sessions and make the link available to students.

We recommend using Firefox for using Zoom in Canvas, Chrome may fail to load the page.

The Getting Started with Zoom screencast below will guide you through setting up Zoom sessions for class or office hours in Canvas.

Next steps:

Additional resources and Support

Canvas for Grading and Communication

Canvas is the official Learning Management System (LMS) used by Auburn University. Canvas already contains enrollment information directly from Banner. Canvas offers a FERPA-compliant solution for collecting assignments securely from students, issuing grades securely, and sending communication and announcements to all your students.

Next steps:

Additional resources and support

Lecture Capture with Panopto

Panopto allows you the option to record video, capture your presentation (such as PowerPoint files), and share this content out with your students through your Canvas course.

The Getting Started with Panopto screencast below will guide you through using Panopto to record and share videos with students through Canvas.

Please note that by default, Panopto videos can be downloaded. To change this setting, please view this guide provided by Panopto.

Next steps:

Additional Support

Online Exams and Proctoring

The learning management system (LMS) used by Auburn University, Canvas, has a secure quiz feature that allows instructors to assess students using multiple choice, short answer, essay, and other types of questions. The steps below will guide you to create an assessment in Canvas, select a proctoring option, and assessment grading options. Instructors requiring the use of platforms other than Canvas should contact the Biggio Center Testing Services to configure ProctorU.

Step 1: (Re-)Creating an assessment

  • Consider redesigning the assessment such that it does not need proctoring - reflective, personalized work, videos and pictures of the student demonstrating their understanding of concepts, and similar types of activity that focuses on the core learning objectives may arrive at a high-quality assessment despite the challenging situation.
  • Specifically for final exams: determine if it is necessary. If students have adequately demonstrated learning through the entire term, and calculating their grades without the final exam yields a grade acceptable to the student, then making the final exam optional is a viable solution.

Building a Quiz Assessment in Canvas

Step 2: Select proctoring option

Despite the challenges of remote instruction, academic integrity remains critically important at Auburn. 

During Spring 2020, Auburn University is covering the cost of virtual proctoring through two partners: Honorlock or ProctorU. Both of these solutions are a combination of human and artificially intelligent computer-based systems.

A brief overview of the virtual proctoring process

Instructors configure the assessment in Canvas to utilize one of the proctoring solutions. When a student connects into a proctoring session, students verify their identity using government-issued ID, and secure their location through a 360-degree scan of the test-taker’s location. The test-taker is then recorded through their webcam during the testing. An AI system triages the video and identifies red flags for the instructor to review. Canvas auto-grades any multiple choice and short answer questions; instructors must grade essay type questions.


Both proctoring solutions require the Google Chrome browser and a webcam, and both are available 24/7.


The primary difference between Honorlock and ProctorU is that ProctorU has a human proctor further triage the red flags in the recorded video, thus reducing false positives. For faculty using Honorlock, this service is available from Biggio Testing Services.

Addressing privacy concerns:

All software and technology at Auburn University is vetted through an extensive process that includes compliance with privacy standards, data security, accessibility, and legal requirements. The platforms we support on campus have all demonstrated to the appropriate experts at Auburn that their practices and policies align with our requirements and expectations.

Assurance of academic integrity is critical for Auburn University. There is no alternative to a secured testing experience.

Students may consider:

  • Going to a location that is not their personal room and conducting the proctored exam;
  • Using a cellular hotspot with sufficient connectivity speed to take the exam;
  • Create a second profile in Google Chrome which can be deleted after the proctored exam.

Option A: Self-proctor

Using Zoom to proctor is not considered a secured proctoring environment, however it is a better alternative than e-mailing exams to students. This solution is one option for classes in which one proctor is available per 8-10 students, and the assessments are open-notes. E-mailing exams to students is not recommended unless it is an open-book exam, the instructor is not concerned with students sharing information, and the instructor is not concerned about exam security (students publishing the exam to websites or sharing it in private groups).

  • Use Zoom to view each test-taker via webcam and request to secure their location (minimally: ensure no cellphones are within arm's reach, only allowed resources are in the visible area, and no windows are in front of the test-taker).
  • Use breakout rooms in Zoom to assign up to 8 students per individual proctor, e.g. TA. The proctor must stay in the room with the test-takers.
  • Disable the private chat feature, allowing students to only chat with the instructor/host
  • Ensure you have time available for students with accommodations, or contact the Office of Accessibility for assistance

Option B: Honorlock virtual proctoring

Option C: ProctorU virtual proctoring

Step 3: Grading and Review

For virtual proctoring, not all yellow or red flags are indicative of cheating. Faculty should use their discretion in determining if flagged incidents warrant additional action for Academic Honesty.

University Writing

University Writing will continue to support students, faculty, and staff with writing and writing instruction. The Miller Writing Center will offer online appointments and University Writing administrators will contribute to faculty support efforts lead by the Biggio Center, including remote help via Zoom for faculty who are managing writing assignments. We will also continue to be available for one-on-one consultations through email. Please access this resource to see the full details of our COVID-19 plan.

Academic Support for Students

Academic Support is here to help students with their transition to remote learning. We will continue to offer remote delivery of our free services for the remainder of the spring semester. Encourage students to learn more and connect with these programs using the links below:

Students can check out our helpful resources page for strategies on organizing, focusing, connecting, and staying motivated with their online courses. For more online learning strategies, students have the opportunity to schedule an online Academic Coaching appointment through our website.

Next Steps:

Library Support for Remote Teaching and Research

The Libraries Ask-a-Librarian service will be monitored during regular university business hours. Email, telephone, and chat help is available.

Innovation & Research Commons (I&RC) and Adobe Creative Cloud

  • All I&RC Multimedia/Adobe Workshops are posted as pre-recorded videos on the I&RC Instructional Content page
  • Adobe offers additional resources for distance learning, such as Zoom to Rush video editing
  • Consider Adobe Spark as a tool for students to complete assignments who may not have access to powerful computing. Adobe Spark is available online through a browser and on mobile devices through free app store downloads, enabling students to complete assignments on their phones
  • Access to Images on Adobe Stock continues
  • Assistance for using Adobe Creative Cloud is available via the I&RC: Adobe Creative Space and email, Zoom: contact: Chelsy Hooper.

This page will continue to be updated with the latest resources for faculty and staff. Follow Auburn University’s COVID-19 website for the most up-to-date information.

Last modified: May 5, 2020