Skip to main content

bright red and orange autumn leaves on trees behind tar heel bikesWelcome back to another fall semester! Here is a tech checklist for instructors to help you get tech ready for the beginning of classes. As always, please contact the ITS Service Desk opens in new window if you need any assistance. We also offer personal consultations over Zoom. We’re here to help!

1. Create Sakai Course Site

One of the first things students will look for is the class syllabus, which you can share through your course site in Sakai opens in new window. You’ll first need to create your Sakai site and then publish the site to give students access. Don’t forget to make sure your TAs have appropriate access!

You can upload your syllabus in a number of places — add your tools to Sakai through Site Info > Manage Tools:

Important Notes:

  • To create your Sakai course site, your departmental course scheduler must list you for each of your rosters in ConnectCarolina as Primary Instructor, Secondary Instructor, or Proxy.
  • Teaching a cross-listed course? All cross-listed rosters will appear under one roster in Sakai, taking the name of the sponsoring department.

2. Check Your Classroom Connection

Get familiar with your General Purpose Classroom before even entering the room by reviewing photos and seeing what technology is available through the Classroom Hotline opens in new window. You can also schedule a demo or learn how to use the equipment in your classroom by getting Hotline help opens in new window. Having an issue while teaching? Pick up the red telephone in your classroom!

We highly recommend sharing this document on Tips for Avoiding Student Wireless Connectivity Problems During Class download file. When using devices on campus, the connection will vary by location, devices, and network access points. Especially before taking a test in class, using devices to answer polls, or needing to connect through personal devices for whatever reason, it is always a good idea to confirm you and your students have strong connection in the classroom.

3. Connect through Zoom

Meeting with students online or recording lectures to share with students? Be sure to log into Zoom through opens in new window. If you ever use a non-UNC Zoom account, make sure the Zoom application on your computer is correctly logged into your UNC Zoom account. Open the Zoom app > click your photo/avatar in the top right > account should show

When meeting students through Zoom, add your Zoom meeting join link to your Sakai site for easy access. If you set your Zoom meeting to be a recurring meeting opens in new window through the end of the semester or with “No Fixed Time,” you can reuse the same Zoom meeting. This is great for office hours!

If you’re taking this a step further and teaching through Zoom in the classroom, please review our blog post on Using Zoom in General Purpose Classrooms to confirm you’re set up correctly before you start teaching.

4. Share Videos through Panopto

Any videos you share with your students should be done through Panopto (Zoom cloud recordings are automatically sent to Panopto). You can easily embed your Panopto videos directly on your Sakai site. These steps must be taken to give you and your students access to Panopto:

  1. Add the Panopto tool to your Sakai site (Site Info > Manage Tools)
  2. Log into Panopto through at least once (this creates your account)
  3. Click the Panopto tool to be added to the Panopto course group

If your students don’t follow the last two steps, they won’t get access to videos you share with the class! See more on the relationship between Zoom, Panopto, and Sakai and how to share your videos.

5. Engage Students through Poll Everywhere

A great way to engage students without putting individuals on the spot is by collecting in-class student responses through polls using Poll Everywhere. Students use their own devices and don’t need to purchase any clickers to respond to polls. You can display your polls through a web browser or embed them directly in your PowerPoint lecture slides or through the Sakai Lessons tool.

You can request an instructor account and have your students register for student accounts through

Have a great first week of classes!

Comments are closed.