Resources for Teaching Online contains comprehensive information for teaching your course online.

IMSS Help Desk

Due to the "safer at home" order, the IMSS Help Desk has now transitioned to working remotely. To contact the Help Desk, email Technicians will also check voicemails left on (626) 395-3500 every 30 minutes during weekdays.

Caltech Help:

Quick Reference

Important Things to Consider

Student Experience

Students may be accessing courses from different time zones, have limited or shared access to computers and internet bandwidth, and working under different stresses due to the pandemic and/or working in isolation.
Should they need it, students should be encouraged to access resources at Student Wellness Services.

**NEW** Support Site for Students

A new support site for students’ online learning needs is available: Instructors may want to add this link to their course syllabus/website.

VPN Usage Guideline

Please DO NOT USE Caltech VPN when accessing platforms and tools for teaching and learning, such as Moodle, Zoom, Google Drive, Google Hangouts Meet, and Gradescope. Doing so will degrade the overall experience and may not work properly. Applications requiring VPN can be found at:

FERPA Compliance, Security, and Use of Other Applications

Due to compliance issues (including student privacy and copyright) associated with the public posting of recorded lectures, instructors should only post recordings on the most up-to-date recommended applications listed under /tech-tools.

Online Teaching for Spring 2020

  • All spring quarter 2020 class lectures must be recorded and properly shared; they should be made available only to enrolled students and approved auditors.
  • March 30 remains the formal start of spring term. However, Caltech has asked faculty to defer the start of required class meetings and assignments until Monday, April 6. Use the week of March 30 to prepare and test online course elements, communicate with students regarding expectations and course procedures (and their circumstances and concerns), and to place essential information (e.g., your syllabus and links to other resources) on Moodle.
  • Every scheduled course has a course site created in the Caltech learning management system, Moodle (except for individual reading/research courses, which can request course sites if needed).
  • The campus will use Moodle as a central hub for students, so every course should have a presence there, even if you use another site for your primary course materials.
  • At minimum, please post in Moodle (or work with your TAs or administrator to do so) a syllabus with course policies and course schedule with due dates (a template is provided in Moodle), and links to any other sites or resources students will need to use. You are welcome to use additional Moodle functions, or refer students to other tools and resources for teaching and learning, as you prefer.

Course Management Systems


Moodle is Caltech's campus-wide learning management system, available for online teaching and offering a variety of tools and functions. At minimum, please link your syllabus and any platforms/tools that you plan to use in your basic Moodle course site, so that students can find your course materials from one central location.

Moodle can be used for:

  • Course materials
  • Assignment distribution and submission
  • Online discussion and forums
  • Surveys
  • Grading

For general questions and to request a Moodle site for your course, submit a request at (request type IMSS-->Applications-Academic-->Course Management (Moodle)-->Other)


Gradescope is an online tool for submission and grading of problem sets, quantitative assignments, and coding assignments; Caltech now has an institutional license.

Tools for Live Online Meetings


Zoom is a video conferencing app that allows you to share your screen and record your session.

Zoom can be used for:

Faculty members automatically have a pro license with these features:

  • 300 maximum participants
  • Unlimited time
  • License for one year

For seminar (colloquia) classes that are open to non-students for synchronous/live streaming, be careful to follow Zoom security recommendations when sharing links/invitations, and share recordings only with enrolled students and approved auditors. See:

Zoom Security

Helpful information from Zoom

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts has been implemented as an alternative to Zoom and to allow students to have unlimited collaboration sessions. Learn more at