Preparation

While it is impossible to predict particular circumstances that might affect normal class schedules — whether related to illness, weather, or other factors — there are a number of steps, ranging from extremely simple to more complex, that faculty can take to prepare themselves and their students for possible interruptions.

This checklist is meant to address issues that may arise in the event of university closure or widespread absences. You may also want to consider how these suggestions could be adapted for single absences (such as one student’s prolonged absence due to illness or your absence for a conference).

Preparation checklist

Issues to Address Possible Solutions
Establish a mode of communication to use in case of an emergency. 

  • Ensure students all have access to and are aware of this communication method.
Email
Blackboard
Canvas
Course Blog
Make your syllabus available digitally. Email
Blackboard
Canvas
Course Blog
Decide how you will distribute documents and readings during a disruption. 

  • Become familiar with the process of making PDFs from hard copies.
  • Familiarize yourself with how to use Lauinger e-reserves.
Email
Blackboard
Canvas
Course Blog
Library e-reserves
Google Books
Designate a centralized place to collect student submissions. Email
Blackboard
Canvas
Course Blog
Google Drive
Think about how you would continue class discussion in the event of a disruption. Email
Blackboard Discussion
Canvas Discussions
Course Blog
VoiceThread
Zoom
Consider capturing your lecture presentation for students to watch. Lecture Capture
VoiceThread
Zoom
Identify an option for holding class and/or office hours virtually. You can fall back on your chosen option if it is expected that several class periods will be missed. Zoom
Skype
Google Hangouts
Canvas Conferences
Think about how your methods for evaluating student learning could be moved to a digital space. Blackboard Quizzes
Canvas Quizzes
Google Forms
Settle on an option for providing students with grades and feedback on their work in the event of an emergency. Email
Blackboard
Canvas