Frequently Asked Questions

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

Transition Tips | Collaborate Ultra | Proctorio | Zoom

Transition Tips

What copyright issues should I be aware of in sharing my course content?
UBC's copyright considerations for transitioning courses online gives a comprehensive breakdown.
How can I access library services and resources?
On Friday, March 20 at 5:00 p.m., all UBC Library branches temporarily closed, but 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 are available to use on their mobile devices
  • Describe your visual content with good captions and descriptive alternative text (aka "alt text")
  • Transcribe your audio content into text format
  • For video, provide closed captioning and/or transcriptions
  • Use meaningful text when you link out to other content
  • 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 replicate or replace my in-person lecture?
You can present real-time lectures using audio/video web-conferencing and collaboration tools like Collaborate Ultra (for up to 250 participants) and Zoom (for 250+ participants). Alternatively, you can record your lecture with tools like Camtasia or Kaltura and share the video in Canvas or wherever you are posting course content. UBC Studios has helpful recording tips for getting started.
How can I replicate or replace my in-person lab?
Some alternative suggestions for labs include redistributing grade weight, running online simulations, enacting labs on behalf of students, and providing sample lab data. This list of alternatives was collaboratively generated by engineering deans, faculty, and staff across the country.

How can I replicate or replace my in-person exam?
One option is to run exams in Canvas that are remotely proctored with a tool called Proctorio. You can also consider other alternatives to in-person exams like redistributing grade weight, open-book exams with an integrity pledge, equivalent learning activities (e.g., assignments, presentations, discussions), or oral exams.

Note that your Faculty, Department, School, or Program may have provided specific guidance about exams already; please be sure that what you choose fits with that guidance, and consult with your Department Head, Program Director, or Faculty for more information if needed.

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

How can I support my students in using new learning technologies?
The Learning Technology Hub has created student guides which provide application information, technical requirements, setup instructions and additional tips to support your students. Please share these documents with your students for each application you will be making use of in your course:

How can I accommodate my exams for students with disabilities?
The Centre for Accessibility at UBC Vancouver will not be conducting any in-person exams for the remainder of the 2020/21 Winter Session Term 2; however, alternative accommodations are being offered.

UBC Okanagan faculty should consult the UBCO exam accommodations page.

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.

Collaborate Ultra

Get started with UBC’s Collaborate Ultra instructor guide and read more below.

Can teaching assistants schedule and run lecture 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 lecture 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 lecture 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 if you are recording at the beginning of the session, so they are aware any participation will be captured as well.
Can students join a lecture session by phone?
Not recommended. While this is 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?
You can share UBC's Collaborate Ultra student guide and Canvas student guide with your students. Collaborate Ultra also provides support documentation for participants.

For troubleshooting:

  • If students have trouble accessing Canvas or Collaborate Ultra from their current location, they can contact UBC IT’s Service Centre Help Desk.
  • Additionally, Collaborate Ultra 24/7 technical support is available through live chat or via the toll-free number: 1-(877)-382-2293.


Get started with UBC’s Proctorio instructor guide and read more below.

How does Proctorio support taking remote exams?
Proctorio helps preserve exam integrity in Canvas 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 teaching assistants 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. For suggestions on setting up practice exams and more tips for using Proctorio, read UBC's Proctorio instructor guide.

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 about 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 that come up. 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 for the actual exam.
Students are asking me about a Proctorio exam access code, what do I tell them?
Proctorio exams do not require an access code. If students are being prompted for one, please ensure they are:

If this doesn’t resolve the issue, ask them to follow the instructions on page 3 of UBC's Proctorio student guide or contact Proctorio support.

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 teaching assistant 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.

What help is available for my students in using Proctorio?
You can share UBC's Proctorio student guide with your students.

For troubleshooting:

  • If students have trouble accessing Canvas or Chrome from their current location, they can contact UBC IT’s Service Centre Help Desk.
  • If students have trouble setting up Proctorio, they can contact Proctorio via phone (1-866-948-9087) or email (
  • If students have technical issues while taking a Proctorio exam, they can:
    • Contact Proctorio via phone (1-866-948-9087) or email (
    • Or, inside an active exam, they can click the shield icon located in the Chrome browser address bar, then click Live Chat.


Get started with UBC’s Zoom instructor guide and read more below.

Do students need to sign consent forms before lecture 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 if you are recording at the beginning of the session, so they are aware any participation (anonymized or not) will be captured as well.

Can students join a lecture session by phone?
Not recommended. While this is possible, students may incur long-distance charges when dialing in.
Can Zoom be used without an account?
You will need a UBC Zoom account to schedule sessions with Zoom that can run beyond the 40-minute time limit of a free Zoom account. Students will not need an account to attend sessions. They can simply click the session link you send to join.

What help is available for my students in using Zoom?
You can share UBC's Zoom student guide with your students. Zoom also provides support documentation in the Zoom Help Center.

For troubleshooting:

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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