Tools for Teaching

How do I get started?

Whether you are building an online course for the first or the tenth time, creating from the ground up can seem overwhelming. Teaching online may also be daunting not only for first time virtual instructors, but also for experienced instructors who are trying to use the newest technologies. The resources below will give you a leg up on the process.

Canvas Feature Requests

The Canvas Priorities Committee at IU is requesting votes from all Canvas users to let us know what features matter the most to you. Vote for new features, or submit a feature request.

Canvas Studio

What will you create today? The Canvas Studio is a resource filled with templates, ideas, and pro tips for creating online Canvas courses. It is designed to provide you with a repertoire of thoughtful recommendations, customizable components, and useable examples to get your Canvas course started—or to enhance an existing Canvas course.  

Discover templates for:

  • Your Class Syllabus
  • A Welcoming Home Page
  • Visual Design Elements
  • Tools for Assessment
  • Layouts for Modules
  • Customizable Content Pages


Faculty Starter Kit

If you want to learn best practices and practical steps for designing and delivering online courses, the IU Online Faculty Starter Kit is for you. This free, self-paced tutorial, available through the IU Expand portal for online, noncredit coursework, includes 17 modules designed to orient instructors to teaching online at IU. The kit is also a repository for resources on best practices for designing and delivering online courses that you can return to any time.


VoiceThread allows you and your students to create, share, and comment on images, PowerPoint presentations, videos, audio files, documents, and PDFs.

Even better, you can use a variety of input methods to do so, including microphone, webcam, text, phone, and audio-file upload.

Learn more about VoiceThread

Engage reading platform

The Engage reading platform allows you to include a variety of digital course materials in your class, including eTextbooks, open source materials, and your own content.

Students get access to all materials on the first day of class—and the latest versions are automatically distributed as they become available.

Best of all, you can see detailed analytics about who’s using and engaging with the materials you provide.

Learn more about Engage


Next.IU investigates the tools and approaches that extend the capabilities of Canvas and support diverse learning environments. It is also a platform for digital learning options powered by Unizin.

The pilot program goes beyond the latest trends to discover which technologies best serve IU’s needs for education—in the traditional classroom and flipped, hybrid, and fully-online learning environments.

Learn more about Next.IU