Academic Continuity Support – Resources and Recommendations for Teaching at a Distance

In this section you will find a variety of resources provided by the University and the School of Social Work (SSW), along with specific recommendations to help support the continuity of distance academic instruction.

SSW faculty are encouraged to utilize these resources whether preparing for a full online course, or responding to an interruption in seated course delivery, such as COVID-19, inclement weather, etc.

Academic Continuity refers to the continuation of academic instruction at the University at Buffalo through synchronous and asynchronous eLearning (online modalities) in the event classroom instruction is interrupted for an extended period of time.

The resources below are available to support School of Social Work faculty in teaching from a distance.

On this page:

Where to Start - Faculty Moving a Seated Class to Distance Delivery

Take inventory of your course, ask yourself...

  • How much of your current course plan/syllabi can be delivered with no changes?
  • If you delivered the course previously, what updates would you like to make moving forward? 
  • What are the critical assignments students must complete?
  • Are there projects/assignments that would have been done in a live classroom that now need to be online?
  • How can students be more active and engaged participants in their learning?
  • What balance do you want to create between in class and out of class work?
  • Do you want to hold live interactive classroom lectures through Zoom?
  • Are there (synchronous) activities that students need to work on during class time? 
  • Are there (asynchronous) activities students can do outside of the classroom independently? 

Prioritize the most important things you need to do and need to consider

  • Recording or revising lectures for the new format
  • Changes or revisions to assignments, assessment or activities
  • Revising due dates
  • Revising course policies and student expectations

Do you have questions or need help prioritizing or planning?

If you need help revising assignments or ideas for different assignments please contact our Instructional Designer, Steve Sturman, he will be happy to help brainstorm with you and figure out the best ways to accomplish your assignments in an online environment.

General Considerations

  • Use UBLearns or Blackboard as your central means of communication and course delivery, see the online template linked below for:
  • Start with technologies you are comfortable with and then slowly add other technologies that will meet your teaching objectives. Blackboard and Zoom are the best places to start.
  • Make sure to post and hold office hours. Zoom is a great platform for this.
  • If you are moving a previously scheduled seated course to a distance format, make sure to keep your live (synchronous) video lectures and actvities to the same scheduled block time as the seated class. 
  • Pre-recorded lectures (and other asynchronous content) can be linked through your UBLearns class site.

School Specific Resources

School of Social Work Template for Use in UBLearns (Blackbaord)

The School of Social Work (UBLearns) template has a lot of useful information that can help guide you in moving your course to a distance format including:

  • A recommended structure for your course content
  • Tips on how to structure assignments for online learning
  • Links to best practices for teaching online
  • Links to various technology tools that are available to you as an instructor

You should see the school of social work template in your course list when you log into If you do not please contact Steven Sturman at and he will be happy to add you to the template.

Delivering Remote Education in Place of Seated Education: What and How

In light of the current public health challenges in delivering all scheduled seated classes with enough social distancing (reduced capacity of classrooms), and given the differences in the programs that students have chosen, we have created an instruction guide. This guide highlights the differences between the three modes of delivery.

Teaching from a Distance Training Videos

The school has a library of videos, created by our faculty and instructional designer, describing how to do in class activities in the online environment. Specific topics include, doing role plays, student reflection through journals, discussions through flipgrid, and online group assignments. You can access these videos by going to the Teaching from a Distance playlist on YouTube.

General Instructional Questions and Specific Teaching Technology Support

If you have general questions about how to teach from a distance, how to modify your in class activities to fit a distance modality, or questions about any of the teaching technologies available to you please contact the school's Instructional Designer, Steven Sturman at and he will be happy to email, call or set up a zoom meeting to answer your questions.

University Resources

Teach Anywhere

Whether you are looking to get started with online teaching, or you require advanced resources to enhance existing courses, the Teach Anywhere Site will help you navigate the comprehensive resources that UB has, helping to ensure your success in teaching anywhere.

Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) - Teaching Beyond the Campus

The CEI website, Teaching Beyond the Campus, has a wealth of information on how to transition to teaching online in an emergency situation. This includes information on both technologies to use and good teaching strategies in the online environment. [specifically point to place to start or priority]

Library Resources and Equipment Loan

The University Libraries provide a broad array of resources and services to support UB faculty and teaching assistants. The libraries also have facilities and equipment to loan to help you develop course materials.  The subject librarian for your department, school, or research center is available to discuss Libraries' resources and services for your research and teaching, and for the students you teach. Please contact your librarian today.


UBLearns is the University version of Blackboard. This is what you would use to create and manage an online course. (Course shell, share syllabi, reading assignments, grading, etc.)

UBLearns Log-on

UBLearns Help for Faculty

Zoom Video Conferencing

Zoom is the recommended video conferencing platform for real time (synchronous) online teaching. You can use this for class lectures, discussions or office hours. Zoom meetings can also be recorded and made available to those unable to attend the live session.  We highly recommend SSW faculty follow all security practices listed in the University webpage linked below, Setting your Zoom Security Settings.

UBIT support page for Zoom

Setup your UB Zoom Account

Setting your Zoom Security Settings (to prevent ZoomBombing)

General Zoom Support


Panopto is used to record lectures and upload videos to make them available to your classes. This software allows you to easily record a lecture with powerpoint from your home computer.

UBIT support page for Panopto


WebEx is an alternate video conferencing system that you can use for synchronous teaching and office hours.
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