Getting Started

Prepare to create academic continuity during emergencies and other disruptions

There are a variety of strategies and tools that can get used when a disruption occurs. Check to see how prepared you are by using the Prepared for Remote Teaching Checklist. Review the "How do you teach online classes [pdf]" decision tree to provide guidance on activites. In addition, if looking to create similar activites, please review our Keep Teaching: From F2F to Remote Teaching Guide. To get started with Canvas, review the Beginning/End of Semester Canvas Course Checklist that will walk though the components you will want to include.

The Center for Faculty Development has developed four strategies to keep in mind when thinking above teaching in a remote format. 

  1. Give consideration to your own self-care and safety.
    You are a role model for your students, and, as such, it’s important to consider how you are modeling care to self and others.  How will you take care of yourself should you become ill? What plans can you make in advance to take care of parents, partners, children or other relatives?  If you are a parent, what will you do if your child(ren)’s school closes temporarily? Thinking through these questions before and during times of uncertainty can help us act decisively and effectively.  For example, in the case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), it may be the case that you will need to teach remotely due to illness or campus closure, and/or you may need to grant flexibility in mode of instruction for students who must take care of themselves or other family members. 

  2. Try to build in grace for students to the extent that is practical and appropriate for your course.  Take time now to consult with colleagues about how you can maintain a fair and equitable learning environment for students in online modes of instruction, via Zoom, or adjusted assignments or deadlines.  

  3. Develop a plan for how you will communicate with your students during times of disruption, taking care to share it with them via multiple modes.  How will you communicate with your students? How will you field phone calls? Do you need to gather any information from them now in order to reach them during an campus closure or other interruption?  Ask students to update their profiles in Canvas and make sure that they’re receiving announcements and messages in a timely way. Don’t forget about other tools, including the Google suite (Mail, Drive, Docs, Slides, Hangouts, etc.).  Where possible, try to make assignments, deadlines, and expectations clear and consistent for yourself and your students. If there’s time to test this plan with your students, you should do so; this will allow you to refine your process before communication may become more challenging.

  4. As you plan to incorporate online tools, be sure to keep in mind the needs of students who have disabilities.  It is more important than ever to make sure that your instructional materials are accessible.  

When possible, consult with appropriate colleagues during uncertain times.  Your department chair or program director can help you navigate many of your questions about your courses.