Keeping a Class Going During Emergencies

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Emergencies related to severe weather or a health crisis can result in missed class time for students and instructors. Learning Innovation recommends the following to keep a class going if you or students can’t safely get to class.

Online communication

  • Have a consistent communication strategy to avoid confusion. We recommend using Sakai Email and Announcements if your materials are in a Sakai course site.
  • Tell your students where to locate course information online and provide detailed instructions for assignments, online meetings, and technologies.
  • Post your syllabus online and update it with course changes as needed.
  • Follow best practices to build community and hold online discussions.

Substitutes for class meetings

  • Meet virtually over Zoom to hold online real-time, interactive classes and office hours. In Zoom, you can share your computer screen, poll students, live chat, and open breakout rooms for smaller discussions.
  • Host phone-based audio conferences for small classes.
  • For lab sections, find virtual labs online or arrange for alternative activities in place of the lab.
  • If your class meetings traditionally include lectures, you can record a narrated presentation on Zoom or use PowerPoint to narrate slides and share a video. Recording full lectures is not advised, think about how to redesign them.
  • Substitute readings or online materials for the missed class period, and follow-up with an online discussion in the Sakai discussion forum or Duke WordPress blogs.

Distributing, collecting and grading student work

Contact Learning Innovation for help thinking through moving your course online and OIT for an immediate technology help.