Student Transition to Canvas (3-13-20)

Dear Students,

Thank you for being patient as we work to safeguard everyone’s health. Yesterday morning, President Ferguson announced that all remaining Spring 2020 course sessions will convert to online using Canvas beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, until the close of finals week. We wanted to provide some additional information that might be helpful to you.

How Classes Will Be Held

At this time, internships, lab courses, clinicals, and service-learning opportunities will continue as scheduled. We are continuing to evaluate these learning opportunities on a case-by-case basis. Please look for updates from your instructors or departments in these areas.

All courses will be using Canvas. You have a Canvas site for each of your courses, where materials and assignments will be posted and graded, and you can communicate with your faculty member. You will receive a communication from your faculty about how they intend to manage courses in the next few days.

Your instructor may choose one of three ways to continue classes with you.

  • Synchronous Classes
    • Your instructor may wish to continue your course at the same scheduled time, so that he or she may teach all the students at once (synchronously).
    • This might be done by using Canvas Conferences, Google Meet, Zoom, or some other software that allows multiple people to be “in a room together.” You would be instructed to click on a link in order to get into the class session. The link might be embedded in a Canvas course or it might be emailed to you, depending on the instructor’s preference.
    • Even if a faculty member uses this option, he or she will still post the syllabus, assignments, and other important materials in your Canvas course.
  • Asynchronous Classes
    • Your instructor may set up the course so that the instructional materials and assignments are loaded into Canvas, and you can proceed at your own pace. In this case, there won’t be any regularly scheduled class time, but you will need to meet any deadlines associated with course assignments or discussions that the faculty member may set up.
  • Blended Synchronous/Asynchronous
    • Your instructor may do a little of both of the above, meaning there may be times when the instructor wants the students all together for discussions or lectures, and there may be times when you can work on your own. It is important to communicate directly with your instructor to verify your course participation requirements.

Getting Help with Canvas or Other Technology

Ongoing University Services

  • University housing and dining services will remain open. We will continue to assess this decision in light of guidance from public health agencies.
  • General operations of the University will remain open. Employees will continue to work as normal.


  • Events hosted on APU campuses are canceled for the remainder of the semester, effective immediately.
  • Exceptions will be made for events deemed essential for academic progress and degree completion.
  • Athletics events may only occur in accordance with recent NCAA COVID-19 guidelines, and will be spectator free or with limited family attendance.
  • Commencement ceremonies and related activities, such as Baccalaureate and hoodings, remain scheduled at this time and under close review.

How to Stay Healthy

  • While on campus, please minimize contact with larger groups and maintain 6-10 feet of distance as much as possible.
  • If you are sick, please stay home or in your residence hall.
  • If you need help, please contact the APU Student Health Center.

Additional guidance and resources are available at the APU COVID website.

Rukshan Fernando, Ph.D. Interim Provost