Start by considering the fundamental purpose of the studio: learning a process, practicing a skill/procedure, working collaboratively, etc.

1. Explore possible engagement strategies

  • Determine what parts of process and production can work remotely while emphasizing the importance of “making.”
  • Modify expectations for what can be produced in typical studios as students don’t have access to material supplies and physical resources (e.g., printers, 3d printer, laser cutter, fabrication labs, etc.); rely on digital production and communication.
  • Adjust learning objectives and studio activities by focusing on smaller, more discrete projects, to reduce complexity and enhance skill-building.

If possible, hold synchronous studio meetings at the beginning of each course for general announcements, topical discussion, and Q&A. Record and post sessions on Canvas / Studio. Using a Chat function, keep a transcript of conversations and comments made during class—post them on Canvas Files / CyBox after studio. 

  • Consider making pre-studio instruction asynchronous with short videos or annotated slides to explain concepts and demonstrate the process.
  • Maintain connection with students to this learning through discussions in Canvas Studio. Create Announcements in advance of each studio meeting when new information/tasks are covered.
  • Articulate what deliverables are due BEFORE class begins so students can receive feedback (e.g., uploaded to CyBox, Canvas Files, Studio in Canvas).
  • Assign peer-to-peer tasks for reviewing and giving written feedback to other group’s work. Supplement instruction with open-source instructional tutorials to help teach the tools they’ll need to complete the assignment (see Resources).
  • During actual studio instruction, students often rely on instructors to mark-up/draw upon their proposals to suggest changes.
    • Create a virtual desk-crit (design critique) learning environment for these activities to happen.
    • Schedule these synchronous meetings, asking students to “screen share” their new work.
    • Use a variety of tools available to share files, sketches, add notes, etc. using annotation functions in Webex or Zoom.
    • Whiteboard functions may also be useful, as are screen-sharing options to display tablet-enabled drawing apps.
    • Take regular screenshots of the annotations made during the reviews and distribute them in a shared file (CyBox) after completion of the class.
  • For advanced work, utilize the remote control sharing function to help model/modify their shared screen file—this allows you to demonstrate particular digital modeling skills.
  • Encourage peer-to-peer participation by including multiple groups in breakout rooms.
  • Ask for peer questions via chat—record meetings if needed, and publish the transcript of the conversation (with screenshot images).
  • Set-up times to meet with student groups weeks ahead of time.
  • Establish a protocol for continuing collaborative teamwork often associated with studios.
  • Assign student teams for the labs, set up breakout rooms, create Discussions, etc. to make sure the learning can be shared.
  • Help them work through any issues with availability or access with teammates.

2. Use the quick start guide



Best Practices and Tools

Pre-Studio Instruction:

Identify opportunity/limits for at-home studio work

Studio and Panopto to record short lectures / demonstrations

Studio / Canvas Files / CyBox for students to upload latest work.



Adjust studio activities by focusing on smaller, more discrete activities, to reduce complexity and enhance skill building.

Make pre-studio instruction asynchronous (short videos or annotated slides) to explain concepts and demonstrate the processes/skills.

Develop methods to share files, sketches, notes, etc. through annotations of screen-shares in Webex or Zoom.

Be explicit with feedback and create a transcripts (video comments, chat function, saved screen-share annotations).

Video Creation


Studio Instruction:

Webex and Zoom for live meetings. Breakout Rooms for smaller groups “desk-crits”

Screen Share with Annotation and Remote Control Sharing for visual feedback.

Chat functions enabled for transcript of Q&A/feedback.

Canvas/Discussions based on student-produced video/presentation of work

Find ways to interact with students during the design process including virtual “desk-crits” and synchronous meetings (Webex).

Implement activities where students interact with each-other (peer-to-peer learning) both supervised and spontaneous.

Video Creation

Virtual “Student” (Office) hours

Web Conferencing (Webinars)

4. Make it accessible

Many of these tools may not readily accessible to students with disabilities, particularly to those students visual or physical impairments. Instructors should be prepared to offer reasonable accommodations to such students so that they may participate fully in course activities.