Which tool should I use?

Scissors, pens, and other tools on coloured paper
Which tools should I use?

The tables below describe how tools for teaching and assessing remotely, such as myCourses and Zoom, can support student learning at McGill.

Need a tool that’s not referenced in the tables below? Check out this list of McGill-approved tools.

General Teaching Tools

Instructional Purpose



Resources & Tips

Communicate updates and other information to students

Announcements tool in myCourses.

Post announcements, updates, materials and learning activities

Encourage your students to set up Notifications to receive text or email messages about activity in the course, such as when you post announcements and make quizzes available. Direct students to Setting up email and text notifications for myCourses.

Email Classlist in myCourses

Email your entire classlist to contact students directly.

Audio capture tool in myCourses: Recording audio in myCourses.

The audio capture tool in myCourses allows you to record and post audio files in .wav format within the Announcement tool.

Have students engage with course readings

Library catalogue and databases

Use the library catalogue and database list to find online, accessible course materials.

Many publishers have temporarily increased access to online material, so content that was not previously available may now be accessible to students.

OneDrive for Business app scans

The OneDrive for Business app will allow you to create a multi-page scan of a print document using the camera on your mobile device. The resulting PDF can be uploaded to myCourses. ALL uploaded scans must be reported:

Instructors may scan up to 15% of a print course textbook.

Liaison librarians

Liaison librarians are subject-specific research experts who will help you find the best option to maintain the continuity of your course material.


Hold online office hours or drop-in sessions


Address students’ questions.

Let students know when you will hold your office hours.

Chat in myCourses

Give real-time lectures


Deliver lectures; share content; annotate content; use a digital whiteboard.

Allows students to ask questions, receive immediate feedback, and collaborate with each other in real-time. Be aware of cognitive load; you may wish to turn off the chat in Zoom during a presentation and open it when you want to take questions. 

See Zoom recommended settings depending on your class size.

Real-time lectures can be recorded and made available in myCourses.

Consider ways to make students feel connected and cared about: acknowledge current challenges, as well as good work, and remind students about the class being a community.

Record lectures, tutorials, video for later viewing

Camtasia and Snag-It

Pre-record yourself giving a lecture, record a slide show with audio or capture your screen for students to view on their own. 

Record in 7-10 minute chunks. 

Create a separate video for each topic. 


Pre-record yourself giving a lecture, record a slide show with audio or capture your screen for students to view on their own. 

Record in 7-10 minute chunks. 

Create a separate video for each topic.

Using Zoom from inside myCourses will allow you to automatically post recordings for students 

Set up whole class discussions

Discussions tool in myCourses

Create, manage, moderate, and grade discussions in myCourses.

Communicate clear goals and outcomes for the discussions. 

Zoom for live sessions

Zoom can be used to have live synchronous discussions with students, supports recordings and breakout rooms. Full group discussion may be difficult in live classes over 25. 

Increase a sense of community and belonging by participating in the conversations and providing feedback. 

Set up group work or small group discussions

Groups tools in myCourses

Students can do group assignments, group discussions and group projects.

Set your students up in groups. See Creating groups in myCourses.

You and your students can record and post audio files in .wav format within Discussions and Assignments. See Recording audio in myCourses.

Note that students are also able to use Zoom to record presentations


Zoom — Breakout Rooms

Use Zoom’s Breakout Room feature to assign students into groups for a short period of time so that they can hold a discussion.

Record podcasts

Smartphones and tablets generally offer excellent audio quality for recordings.

iPhone: Try the built-in “Voice Memos.

Android & Windows: Various built-in and third-party apps exist for voice recording. Learn more here.

Record your lecture with your smartphone or tablet and post to myCourses.

Consider providing content as an audio-only file/podcast if you don’t need visuals.


Assessment Tools

Instructional Purpose



Resources & Tips

Allow students to give oral presentations


Students can record themselves using a smart phone, tablet or laptop, and share the recording in myCourses with the instructor or the whole class.
Assignments - Submission to instructor

Discussions - Whole class sharing

Video assignment – Allows instructors to view individual student assignments or group assignments. The group project feature allows students to collaborate on a video assignment

If oral communication is less of a core objective for the course, students can submit a written script of their presentation, which can be assessed for content knowledge and skills like persuasive thinking.

In Video assignments, timestamp your feedback comments.


Students can use Zoom to give a live presentation to the whole class or they can create local recordings, which can be submitted as Assignments in myCourses. 


Collect assignments

Assignments tool in myCourses 

Students can submit assignments as a file upload in myCourses. Any file can be used as part of an assignment (PDF, Word, video file, audio file, etc.)

Assignments can be individual or by group.

Instructors can create and share a Grading rubric for their assignments.

Ability to set a start date, due date, and end date.

Ability to set release conditions for an assignment   

Provide feedback

Grading assignments in myCourses

Provide students with written or audio recorded feedback comments.

Let students know what they did well, and what and how they can improve.

Recording audio in myCourses


Use the built-in assignment annotation feature to mark-up submissions using highlighting, free hand drawing and associated commenting.

Offer exams or quizzes


Offer open-book exams.

Create different types of auto-gradable questions, such as multiple-choice, true or false, short answer, fill-in-the blank, and matching. Written response questions must be graded manually. See Overview of Quizzes, Surveys and Self Assessments in myCourses.

Set a date at which the quiz becomes available.

Enforce a time limit on your quiz.

Set automatic grading if applicable.

Give students one or multiple attempts.

Randomize your quiz questions so that every each student receives a unique set of questions. 

The University of Newcastle, Australia has a helpful guide to designing open book exams.


Test student knowledge through open-book type exam including long answer questions/illustrations/diagrams

Or, allow students to upload a completed assignment 

Best for large classes over 200.

A Crowdmark "Assigned" assessment creates an assignment type that students can write anywhere and submit online.

Instructors can set release dates and due dates to manage submissions.

Students can write responses on paper, take a photo and upload image or upload a word or pdf file.

Ability to grade assessments in Crowdmark using annotation tools and comment library.

Ability to send graded and annotated assessment to student.

Proctor an online exam

Respondus Monitor

This option is not currently supported. Read more.


Secured online exams that prevent students from using their computer

Respondus LockDown Browser

LockDown Browser “locks down” the browser on a computer or tablet. Students are unable to copy, print, access other applications, or visit other websites during an online exam.
This option is not recommended.

Note: LockDown Browser prevents students from using other parts of their computer, but students can still use another machine or mobile device.

Share grades with students

Grades tool in myCourses

Create gradebook in myCourses and input students' grades for them to view.



McGill University is on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. We acknowledge and thank the diverse Indigenous people whose footsteps have marked this territory on which peoples of the world now gather.

Back to top