Frequently Asked Questions

These are emerging questions and answers related to moving courses online.

General Tips | Lectures | Assignments & Assessments

General Tips

What copyright issues should I be aware of in sharing my course content?
Read UBC's copyright considerations for transitioning courses online for a comprehensive breakdown.
How can I access library services and resources?
As of Friday, March 20 at 5:00 p.m., all UBC Library branches will be temporarily closed. The library continues to provide access to electronic resources and librarian support for research, teaching, and learning. Please visit the main library website for the latest on how to access.
How can I make my course materials and activities more accessible to everyone?
To get started with accessibility at a high level:

  • When possible, provide content in multiple formats
  • Files you upload for sharing should be reduced to the smallest practical size
  • Let students know when apps (e.g., Collaborate Ultra) are available to use on their mobile devices
  • Describe your visual content with good captions and "alt text"
  • Transcribe your audio content into text format
  • For video, provide closed captioning
  • Use meaningful link text
  • Make text readable with good sizes and contrast
  • Structure your content with regular headings
  • For more details, read the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology’s accessibility guidelines

For a deeper dive into accessibility:

How can I support my students' well-being?
You may want to share resources with your students to help them cope with feelings of stress, worry and isolation, and support their well-being. You can refer students to UBC Student Services's mental health resources for additional support.

What does the UBC Vancouver policy say?
Section 9 of UBC Vancouver's Senate Syllabus Policy V-130 states:

9a). Should the course instructor wish to make a material change to the syllabus after the last day by which students are permitted to drop the course without receiving a ‘W’ on the transcript, the course instructor must explain the rationale to the class. The course instructor must ensure that registered students have access to the changed details in a revised and dated version of the syllabus and should send electronic communication to students to alert them that a change has been made.

9b). Any student who sees the change to the syllabus as detrimental to their academic progress is entitled to discuss the case with the course instructor and seek a resolution. Where student and instructor cannot agree, students are encouraged to take their protest to the head of the department concerned and then to the dean of the faculty responsible for the course in accordance with the Academic Calendar regulations on protests for academic standings.

What are some ways of navigating late syllabus changes in my course?
One approach is to tell students the possible changes you are considering, get their feedback, and then revise your syllabus.

Another or complementary approach is to present options in the revised syllabus that students can choose from, if feasible for your course context. For example, instead of a final exam, you could allow students to:

  • Have existing assessment grades re-weighted
  • Write a take-home exam
  • Complete a final project


Can teaching assistants schedule and run sessions on my behalf?
Yes. Your TAs can access Collaborate Ultra as moderators. Moderators can set up, run, and record sessions, using all features like sharing slides, polling, and interacting with participants using video, audio and chat.
What aspects of the session are captured in the recording?
Audio is always recorded for the moderator and any participants who use their unmuted microphones. Visually, whatever is in the main screen and chat window are captured. For more details, see Collaborate Ultra’s information on recordings.
Do students need to sign consent forms before session recordings are made?
No. Collaborate Ultra complies with privacy regulations, with its data stored in Canada. Therefore, student consent is not legally required for its use. But you should let students know you are recording at the beginning of the session, so they are aware any participation will be captured as well.
Can students join a session by phone?
Not recommended. While this is technologically possible, the phone number to join is a U.S. number. Depending on their phone plan, students may incur long-distance charges when dialing in. You can disable this ability when you set up a session.
What help is available for my students in using Collaborate Ultra?
Collaborate Ultra has useful help documents for students. Additionally, 24/7 technical support is available for technical troubleshooting: 1-(877)-382-2293 (toll-free).

Do students need to sign consent forms before session recordings are made?
No, but you must share the following information with students before the session (recorded or not). Please copy and paste the following into a message for students:

  • Zoom is hosted on servers in the U.S. This includes recordings done through Zoom.
  • If you have privacy concerns about your data: a) provide only your first name or a nickname when you join a session and b) keep your camera off and microphone muted.

It is also best to let students know you are recording at the beginning of the session, so they are aware any participation (anonymized or not) will be captured as well.

Assignments & Assessments

How does Proctorio support taking remote exams?
Proctorio helps preserve exam integrity by:

  • Recording students' video, audio, screen, and/or keyboard activity during an exam
  • Requiring identity verification from each student before an exam
  • Restricting what students can do on their computers during an exam (e.g., accessing other applications, websites, and browser windows/tabs)

Proctorio’s algorithms analyze behavior within the recordings and flag potential issues for review. You have the final say on whether any flagged activity constitutes actual misconduct.

What do students need to use Proctorio?
To take a Proctorio exam, students must have:

  • A desktop or laptop computer (mobile devices will not work)
  • The Chrome web browser with Proctorio Chrome extension installed on their computer
  • A working webcam (if you plan to record video) and microphone (if you plan to record audio)
  • A clear photo identification (e.g., UBCcard)
Are Proctorio recordings stored in Canada?
Yes. All Proctorio encrypted recordings are stored at Amazon Web Services in Montreal.
Who outside UBC can see the Proctorio recordings?
No one. While the recordings are scanned by Proctorio's algorithms, the footage is only available to the appropriate users at UBC. No person at Proctorio can access the encrypted recordings.

Any UBC instructors or teaching assistants doing Proctorio reviews should ensure they are in a fully private space to further protect student privacy.

How do I address student concerns about using Proctorio?
Students may be reassured by explicitly stating:

  • Proctorio is necessary to make sure the exam experience is fair for everyone. If you engage with the exam honestly, you do not need to worry about the recording, even if something unusual or unexpected happens during your exam (e.g., a loud noise).
  • Proctorio only runs when you're in an exam in your Chrome browser (you will see a shield icon in the browser address bar when it’s active). There is no separate program collecting your data and no data collection once you leave your exam.
  • No person is watching you during the recording and only your course instructor and/or teaching assistant will review the recording afterward. Proctorio’s role is limited to: a) providing temporary data storage for your video and b) running its automated algorithms to flag any moments in your video for review.
  • An automated flag on your recording does not mean your instructor or teaching assistant will automatically assume you cheated or that you will receive a grade deduction. Human interpretation of the flags is essential; your instructor and/or TAs make the final call.

Additionally, giving students a no-stakes practice exam (that you can also take) allows everyone to get familiar with the Proctorio experience, before being in a high-pressure, high-stakes situation.

How can I help my students prepare for Proctorio exams?
  • Make sure students have access to a desktop or laptop computer (mobile devices will not work), have installed the Chrome web browser with Proctorio Chrome extension, and have a webcam and microphone available.
  • Encourage students to arrange a space to take the exam ahead of time in a private, quiet, well-lit location with access to a reliable Internet connection.
  • Explain to students they will need to show clear photo identification for the exam to prove their identity. On exam day, it’s also best if they match (as best they can) the chosen identification, e.g., wearing or not wearing glasses, applying or not applying make-up, styling hair similarly.
  • Be explicit restrictions around what is and isn’t allowed during the exam.
  • Give students an extra half-hour to take the exam to allow for the room scan that happens at the start of the exam, as well as any technical issues. This can mean broadening the window of when the exam is available for students to start in Canvas and/or the time limit you give them for the actual exam.
How do I review Proctorio recordings?
Since Proctorio can only be enabled on Canvas Quizzes, you will use Canvas to access the results within each quiz’s Proctorio Gradebook. You'll get a quick colour indicator to show if any exams should be reviewed further and where potential issues in each flagged exam occurred.
Do teaching assistants have access to review Proctorio recordings?
Yes. Most teaching assistants have access to Proctorio recordings, since this is based on their role in Canvas. If you have a TA who is unable to access Proctorio, please contact UBC support.
Does a flagged exam in Proctorio always mean the student has cheated?
No. Proctorio’s algorithms look for potentially suspicious parts of recordings that should be reviewed by the instructional team. Sometimes, these will be false flags (e.g., a loud noise). You also have a say in how sensitive Proctorio’s algorithms are to recorded student behaviours, and you can adjust these settings at any time.
Students are asking me about an exam access code, what do I tell them?
Your Proctorio-enabled exam will not require an access code. If students are being prompted for one, please ensure they are:

If this doesn’t resolve the issue, contact Proctorio support.

What technical support is available for students?
Proctorio provides a support page specifically for test-takers. Additionally, Proctorio support can be reached:

  • During an exam: by clicking the shield icon in the web browser, then clicking Live Chat
  • Outside an exam: by connecting via phone (1-866-948-9087) or email (

Learn more

Contact the Learning Technology Hub for hands-on assistance:
604.827.4775 | | LIVE Online Support (Mon-Fri 9:00-4:30)


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