Creating online materials
December 07, 2021

Creating online materials

This site introduces the following tips useful for creating online materials.

The contents of this site are based on the workshop on March 23 by Prof. Toda from the Information Technology Center and Prof. Nakajima from the Center for the Studies of Higher Education.

Get the workshop materials (Japanese)

Before creating online materials

  1. Check your course syllabus and its goals. You need to create assignments and materials for each lesson to meet the goals.

  2. There are two types of online materials you can create: on-demand materials using an LMS such as NUCT (i.e., self-learning) and two-way interactive materials using a TV conference system such as Zoom or Vidyo (i.e., interactive learning among the teacher and students). You need to decide which type is appropriate for your lessons.

On-demand type materials are based on students’ self-learning, and teachers do not have enough opportunities to give advice or feedback to students. So you need to revise the lesson contents by making them shorter or including only essential elements.

With a two-way synchronous type using a videoconferencing service, you can do almost the same thing as in the regular face-to-face lessons. Many of the materials you use for regular lessons can be used in this type of lesson.

You can refer to the following tips (in Japanese) by the the Center for the Studies of Higher Education when you design your lessons and create teaching materials.

  ・Seven proposals for using IT in lessons (Japanese)

Available tools


NUCT (Nagoya University Collaboration and course Tools) is an LMS that enables you to provide online materials, conduct online quizzes, collect students’ reports, and send emails to students. The user needs to have a Nagoya University’s ID.

    ・How to use NUCT

  ・NUCT lectures (PDFs and videos are available)


Canvas is also an LMS, and anyone with or without a Nagoya University’s ID can use it. If you would like to use it, contact the HLC office at the Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences (ILAS).

  ・CANVAS (Being serviced)


This is an online polling system supported by ILAS. You can easily create a questionnaire with Yes/No answers or multiple-choice answers. Students can access the questionnaire using their smartphone or PC. Anyone with a Nagoya University’s ID can use the system without any registration.

 ・About Meikai-kun (Japanese)


This is a videoconferencing service. You can use it for free until April 30. You need to create an account using your Nagoya University email.

  ・Zoom startup


This is a videoconferencing service managed by ILAS. You can use the service at several lecture rooms at ILAS. If you would like to use it, contact the HLC office.


Course textbook

If you use textbook in your lecture, you may want to make full use of it. You tell your students exact pages they need to read for each lesson. Then you give assignments or quizzes for each lesson on NUCT, where students can upload their assignment work.

Electronic books

There are varieties of online publications available at Nagoya University Library. You can also use Maruzen eBook Library (academic books), Aozora-bunko (out-of-copyright Japanese novels), and Project Gutenberg (out-of-copyright English novels).

 ・Electronic books at Nagoya University

  ・Project Gutenberg


Free online materials provided by universities

  ・MIT OCW  

  ・Stanford Online

  ・Nagoya University OCW

Other tools


 ・Ted Talks

Checking students’ Internet environment

According to a Nagoya University’s poll, although most students have PCs and smartphones, only half of them have a broadband Internet connection at home. Many students use smartphones for their Internet connection.

You need to keep in mind that students may have problems if you provide large online files or use Zooms for a long time. For example, Zoom consumes 150-300MB per hour. For the sake of your students, try to make your online files smaller or use a videoconferencing service at minimum occasions such as at the beginning of the lecture or at the Q & A session only.

Introducing online tools to students

At the first class session, you need to explain how you will proceed the sessions and what online tools you will use. You need to check and make sure that students can use the online tools. It is a good idea if you actually use and show the tools in the classroom. For example, at NUCT, you can easily switch your role to a student and can show what students can do with NUCT.

  ・How to use NUCT (Japanese)

  ・How to use NUCT for students (Japanese)

  ・Academic skills guide for Nagoya University students (Japanese)

Creating online materials

On-demand online materials

You are going to upload these materials on an LMS such as NUCT. Slides are the most popular materials that can be created by PowerPoint or Keynote.

Here are some tips when you create slide files.

  1. After saving the slide files, make sure you also save the files as PDFs. You should upload the PDF files on NUCT, so that students who do not have PowerPoint or Keynote can open the slide files.

  2. Try to make the file size smaller, so that students do not have to use much mobile data. Inserting too many images in your slide makes the file size bigger. So try not to add images.

  3. You can add your voice (narration) to the slide using PowerPoint or Keynote. Although adding your voice makes the file size bigger, it will help students understand the slides. It is a good idea that you upload two types of files; one without narrations and the other one with narrations.

  ・How to save as PDFs (PowerPoint)

  ・How to save as PDFs (Keynote)

  ・How to convert your presentation into a video (PowerPoint)

  ・How to record your voice (Keynote)

Two-way synchronous (videoconferencing) materials

With videoconferencing services such as Zoom, you can conduct the lessons that are not very different from regular face-to-face sessions.

Here are some tips when you conduct videoconferencing lessons.

  1. You can share your screen with students on Zoom. So if you share your screen, you can show your slides on students’ screens. If you draw or write something on a slide, you can also share it with students.

  2. You can use the whiteboard feature on Zoom to share your writing.

  3. It should be noted that videoconferencing use much network data. So try to use a videoconferencing system at minimum and necessary occasions such as at the beginning of the lecture or at the Q & A session only.

  4. You can turn off the video on Zoom and send only your voice, saving a lot of transmission data. If you ask your students to download the PDF files on NUCT before the lesson, only sharing your voice with them may be enough for the lesson.

  ・Sharing a whiteboard (Zoom)

Online materials and copyrights

Currently, the Japanese Copyright Law does not still allow you to use copyrighted materials for public transmission without asking for permission, regardless of whether you upload them on NUCT or stream them to students through Zoom or Vidyo.

Under the emergent situation caused by COVID-19, the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs asked the copyright management companies and organizations to permit the public transmission of copyrighted materials by educational institutions.

Accordingly, on April 10, the Cabinet decided that the “remuneration system for public transmission at school lessons” is to take effect on April 28. Following the decision, SARTRAS (Society for the Administration of Remuneration for Public Transmission for School Lessons) has announced that copyrighted works can be transmitted publicly without permission for educational purposes under the new remuneration system, which does not require any remuneration for the 2020 academic year.

However, it is advisable that you still follow the current law and use copyrighted works in a moderate way, so that the benefits of copyright holders will not unreasonably be harmed. For example, copying and posting a large part of a textbook on NUCT without permission is not a good idea.

  ・Use of Copyrighted Works and Copyright in University Learning Resources

Useful links

You can refer to the following links when creating online materials.

   ・So You Want to Temporarily Teach Online    ・Prepare to Move Online (in a Hurry)    ・Going Online in a Hurry: What to Do and Where to Start    ・How to Be a Better Online Teacher    ・How to Quickly (and Safely) Move a Lab Course Online

Free resources sites

Creative Commons

A Creative Commons (CC) license is a public copyright license that enables the free distribution of a copyrighted work.

For example, CC-BY or CC-BY-NC means you can use the work in your materials.

 ・CC-BY(If you give appropriate credit, you can copy, redistribute and remix the material)

 ・CC-BY-NC (If you give appropriate credit, you can copy, redistribute and remix the material for commercial purposes.)


You can get free images under CC-BY-NC.


You need to make a registration.

Please check the terms of use before you use materials.