Emergency Planning for Continuity of Instruction
There may be occasions when you need to move a face-to-face class online. These might be for planned absences, for example when you are attending a conference, or for the unexpected, in the case of inclement weather.
See the resources below and also consider reaching out to the Hub if we can help support your teaching changes.
Find the Appropriate Tool
Use either this infographic or the links below:
The time to communicate with students about how the class will continue in case of an emergency is before the emergency. Early and frequent communication can ease student anxiety, and save you dealing with individual questions.
Set expectations: Create a contingency plan and let students know how you plan to communicate.Tell students both how often you expect them to check their email, and how quickly they can expect your response.
Use Announcements in Canvas to broadcast a message to your class.
The main challenge during a campus disruption is whether students have access to computers, as anyone needing a campus computer lab may be unable to access necessary technologies. Some students will undoubtedly have difficulties meeting deadlines. Make expectations clear, but be ready to provide more flexibility than you normally would in your class.
If you are new to collecting student work in Canvas, creating an Assignment is the simplest route. You can also use Discussions or Quizzes to collect student work.
Make sure students know when new material is posted. Use Files to upload and store materials. Use Modules or Pages to organize your files for your students. Use Announcements or Pages to communicate the organization of the materials to your students.
One way to deliver a lecture at a distance is to record yourself.
MiVideo is University of Michigan's branded version of Kaltura Capture, providing video storage and playback options in UM-Dearborn's Canvas.
The first time you use Kaltura Capture you will need to install the software. Kaltura Capture is available for both Windows and Mac, and includes several options for recording: your voice, with or without webcam video; your computer screen.
For help with Kaltura Captura see this help page. For video tutorials, use this link.
Or consider some of these other Video Tools.
If you need to record yourself writing and explaining calculations, here are three easy techniques (1, 2, 3). If you would like some guidance about the best way to record something at home, email Greg Taylor, firstname.lastname@example.org, to set up a virtual consultation.
This captioning comparison of Zoom, MiVideo, and YouTube shows which services are most accurate on the features that matter to you, such as punctuation.
Fostering communication among students is important because it maintains a sense of community that can help keep students motivated to participate and learn.
Instructors and students may meet in a virtual classroom equipped with audio and/or video connections, screen sharing, and chat. Synchronous virtual meetings could be held with Video Tools, including Canvas Conferences which is a tool already in Canvas. Be sure to record and post the session for students who might not have reliable internet at the specific time.
Also consider asynchronous tools when possible, like Canvas Discussions, which allow students to participate on their own schedules. In addition, bandwidth requirements for discussion boards are far lower than for live video tools.
One of the biggest challenges of teaching during a building or campus closure is sustaining the lab components of classes. Since many labs require specific equipment, they are hard to reproduce outside of that physical space.
The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning has tips for remote labs, including links to online resources, organized by the lab's focus:
- learning techniques and their application to specific experimental situations
- interpreting experimental data
- project-based lab research
Faculty are encouraged to consider the alternative final exam assessment strategies 1-2. Faculty will be expected to provide an opportunity for a make-up exam to any student encountering technical or other types of difficulties.
If you do hold a synchronous or timed exam, you might work with the Hub to design a comparable, make-up asynchronous assessment for those of your students who cannot complete the exam, such as students working extra hours in pharmacies or who have technology issues. This might keep your grading load manageable while still supporting students who are essential workers.
Rutgers' Remote Exams website has special advice for open-book assessment in quantitative courses.
Communicate fully and explicitly with students. Summarize all of the changes to your course in a dedicated Canvas page. Here are guides for creating a page and uploading media.
Utilize Canvas announcements to keep your students up-to-date on any changes or modifications.
Get up to speed on Canvas tools and processes by contacting your Canvas Administrator to request an in person, phone call, or Google Hangout appointment.
Plan ahead for how you will handle the pedagogy of a snow day by clicking here to request an in person, Google Hangout, or phone meeting with an Instructional Designer at the Hub for Teaching and Learning Resources.
Visit the Hub's Online Course Building Toolkit for tools and tutorials.
Take advantage of the ideas of colleagues and departmental practices. Share ideas.
Practices to Avoid
Holding class via video conferencing at a time and day the class does not meet.
Extending class beyond the time the class usually meets.
Increasing the amount of work students are expected to do.
Asking students to do the same amount and kind of work the syllabus initially expected them to do while (a) compressing the work into a shorter time period and/or (b) reducing their access to instructor, peer, or campus resources they’d otherwise have access to. If you have more content than time, reflect on the student learning outcomes for your course, and focus on those that are the most important.
Teaching via individual consultation & tutorial (unless you were going to do that anyway).
Increasing the weight of any graded assignment.
Extending the course so that it ends after finals week. Many students have multiple finals and many will have a time conflict during finals week.
Add a class session during finals week.
This page is modeled on examples from Indiana University and University of Washington.
Disability and Accessibility Services (DAS)
Disability and Accessibility Services (DAS) is available to help faculty with articles etc. that may need to be made accessible.
Contact Judy Walker 313-593-5310