Student Support

Managing Teaching Disruptions

  • Revisit your Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and think flexibly about how to achieve the outcomes. If you’re feeling anxious about the quick transition to online delivery, start your planning by looking back at your SLOs. In most cases, you will be able to guide students to achieving these outcomes—even if you may not be using the exact assignments or teaching strategies you originally planned to use. Keeping the outcomes at the core of your transition planning will help you consider the kinds of changes you might need to make.
 
  • Review your syllabus, course materials, and policies to determine what needs to change. As much as possible, set reasonable, flexible expectations. Lay everything out clearly in your syllabus and assignment sheets, and use Blackboard Announcements, email, or other digital means to communicate your updated plans.
    • Consider hosting your syllabus/daily schedule on Google Drive so students can see changes as you make them. (Here’s an example.) (Be sure to include a link to these kinds of items on Blackboard for accessibility.)
    • Consider using this form to guide your thinking and planning for the course.
    • You may need to consider Open Educational Resources for students who left their textbooks in their dorms. Redshelf and VitalSource are offering free ebooks, and OER Commons is a great site for open educational resources.
 
  • Communicate with students as soon as possible. Once you have a plan in place for any immediate changes—such as an extended deadline or announcement about how a class will be made up—clearly announce your expectations to students.
    • Highlight important changes to the syllabus, including deadline changes—and be sure your syllabus is posted on Blackboard. Using Blackboard as a central meeting point is key. Make sure all information is available there, including your Zoom Meeting ID.
    • The Blackboard Announcements function is particularly helpful for updating students. See the support page for details on how to post announcements, collect assignments, and more.
    • Let students know how soon they should expect a reply from you.
  • Keep it Simple. This is a quick transition, and it is more important to establish community and communicate with students than it is to try and learn 5 new technologies right now.

*Many of the above tips were drawn generously from resources listed on Daniel Stanford’s “Remote Teaching Resources for Business Continuity” Google Doc.

  • Communicating with Students
    • Manage your time by collecting frequently asked questions and posting them to the Blackboard Announcements page so all students can see your response.
    • Consider holding Zoom open office hours, especially at the beginning of the transition, to make sure students feel supported.
  • Engaging Students
    • Did you recently cancel a guest speaker? Consider sending them a Zoom link to participate in class instead.
  • Establishing (or Re-Establishing) Community
    • It is important for students to interact with one another and to also regularly feel your presence in your online course. There are a variety of approaches to try out:
  • Assessing Student Work
    • You will first want to consider if you need to change any scheduled assessments to make them more online-friendly. You can turn a paper test into an online test. You can use blogs, journals, and wikis to assess students’ learning and progress. See these videos for help.
    • Try your best to offer frequent and timely feedback, keeping in mind that feedback is a tool to help students learn.
        • Kaltura is excellent and easy for creating a screen capture as you give a student feedback on his or her work.