A number of university-supported tools are available for use.

Beneath each tool is a brief description and some examples of how you can integrate it into your course to meet your teaching and learning needs. The tools are all cloud-based and available from anywhere with an internet connection.


Zoom is a web conferencing tool that allows you to meet remotely or create recordings. Integrated into Canvas, you can record, edit, and embed a video using Zoom. It is good for office hours, large groups, and for capturing short, no frills videos. 

Zoom is a video conferencing tool that allows users to speak with others in different locations by streaming audio and video. The tool is accessible from a computer or a smartphone, and it is possible to invite non-Northwestern affiliated people to join the virtual meeting. The Zoom interface includes a variety of features such as chat, screen sharing, annotation tools, and breakout rooms to enhance communication, as well as the option to record. It is fully integrated into Canvas.

You can use Zoom in smaller classes to hold a “live” class as you would normally, but with everyone at their computer, either by setting it up through Canvas or by sending students a link. For those who may have had their Internet connectivity affected, the session can be recorded for later viewing. For larger classes, you may want to schedule a number of “office hour” sessions that students can attend as their schedules allow. If students were scheduled to present during a class that cannot meet in person due to an interruption, students can record their presentation using Zoom and share it with you and the other students in the course.

Here are some tips for using Zoom:

  • Speak clearly: Make sure the microphone on the computer sounds clear and you record in a place with minimal background noise.
  • Keep it short: Break up your long lectures into shorter pieces to keep students engaged.
  • Include activities: Between segments, have students participate in the chat feature or in breakout rooms before moving on to the next segment.
  • Turn on your camera: Even if it is just for a few moments, students are more engaged with instructor content when they can see their face, not just the slides.


Canvas can be used for a variety of purposes in an emergency. Every course at Northwestern has an accompanying Canvas course shell that can be published and used as a closed portal for you and your students to interact. On Canvas, you can communicate with your students via Announcements and Inbox Messages. You can share a variety of resources for students to access via Modules. And you can create assignments for students to complete using Assignments, graded Discussions, or Quizzes.

Canvas provides a platform for you to share materials with students, as well as facilitate synchronous and asynchronous communications and collaborations.

You can also use Canvas to share just about any digital artifact, including course readings, videos, lecture slides, audio files, and more. These can be combined into modules for the missed classes, allowing students to engage with the materials in a controlled way.


Email can be the easiest and fastest way to communicate with your students about what to do if and when a class is canceled. Remind your students to check their email and to have their notifications in Canvas turned on.

Email, one of the most basic options for communicating with students, is a simple and ubiquitous solution for exchanging information and files.

Set your Northwestern Law email to forward to your preferred email, if you use another address. We have a number of systems that can only send messages to NU accounts, so make sure you don't miss any important announcements. We recommend to either be sure to check the NU account frequently, or be sure to set it to forward to an account you regularly use.

How to forward your email



Northwestern University has partnered with Box to deliver file sharing services to faculty, staff, and students. Northwestern Box provides individual, flexible online space for unlimited file storing or sharing. All Box content can be accessed online from computers or mobile devices.