It may be very simple to adapt your existing assignments for circumstances where you miss face-to-face meetings. For example:

  • In lieu of in-class discussion, you could use the Blackboard or Canvas discussion board.
  • For more guided discussion, you could ask students to write one-page response papers on a particular topic, or short responses to discussion prompts. They could post these to Blackboard, Canvas or a class blog, or email them to the rest of the class. You could then ask each student to respond to at least one other student’s paper.
  • If students are working on independent projects, you might ask them to update one another on their progress via Twitter. (This can prove useful even in normal contexts that involve limited face-to-face interaction, such as thesis colloquia.) Specify a hashtag for easy viewing of all the tweets about a certain project.
  • If you know in advance that you will miss class, you might record a video lecture or audio podcast. You could post this to Blackboard, or Canvas or a course blog, and assign students to review and comment on the material.
  • In a large class, you might facilitate class discussion by dividing students into groups and assign them different questions. Each group could come to a consensus, or work together to summarize their comments, and then share a single document with the entire class.
  • You could ask students to upload video comments on a particular topic and to respond to one another’s videos.
  • Browse the Faculty Stories page for examples of how Georgetown faculty have used these strategies in designing and adapting assignments.

Moving student assessment into digital spaces:

  • Create student quizzes in Blackboard, or Canvas on Google Forms, or via a survey tool like SurveyMonkey or Zoomerang (Assessment Surveys)
  • If you are unable to meet with students face-to-face to discuss drafts of written work, you could make comments using Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature and email the drafts back to the students. You could also use Google Drive's comments feature.
  • You could also record voice comments on student work using VoiceThread.