Keep on Teaching
Academic Continuity Plan for Prolonged University or Building Closures
We all have felt the combination of joy and dread that a snow day can bring. Joy for the kid inside us that is just a little excited about skipping school to make a snowman. Dread because now we need to figure out how to make up that one lost class day.
When unforeseen circumstances require prolonged closures of the campus or campus buildings, class cancellation is just not an option. We need a plan to keep teaching using the tools available to us to reach our students from our homes to their homes. If meeting with students face-to-face is not possible, the tools and strategies described here can minimize the effects of campus closures and allow students and faculty to sustain their learning communities remotely.
Please note that even before a formal closure becomes necessary, disruptions within the community may require you to adopt more flexible attendance expectations and to provide more options and opportunities for accessing instructional resources. Making a plan in advance can alleviate the stress of adapting to such unforeseen circumstances.
What's in Your Academic Emergency Supply Kit?
Like a flashlight and bottled water in a power outage, you need basic supplies to keep your classes running if you cannot come to campus. Read more about preparing your Academic Emergency Supply Kit.
Establishing Your Communication Plan
Like you, your students need regular updates, a clear path to finding information, and an open line to your ongoing feedback and support. Share your communication plan with students in advance and know how you will keep two-way conversation going in the event of a university closure. Read more about establishing an instructional communication plan.
Remote Teaching Options
Have you taught online before and are comfortable creating video lectures and narrated instructional resources? Or have you never done more than upload your syllabus into Blackboard? Follow the decision tree to find the best strategy for remote teaching in your class. Learn more about the remote teaching options that are best for you.
Academic ResiliencE for You and Your Students
Academic Resilience refers to our ability to make the effort to succeed academically despite adverse circumstances. Our ability to be resilient depends on several factors:
- having a support system (just one person is enough to count as a support system).
- having the opportunity to achieve success. Even if that success comes in a small step toward a much larger goal, knowing that we succeeded in one of the skills, stages, or knowledge areas we need to achieve can help us understand what we need to do to succeed overall.
- having detailed feedback that reinforces what we are doing well and what we need to do to improve.
For your students, you are the main source of feedback and dialogue about progress toward your goals. For you, identify a mentor, a colleague, a teaching partner, a department chair, or a support staff member who can help you succeed in facing the academic challenge of teaching remotely.
- Contact the Center for Academic Innovation and Faculty Support (firstname.lastname@example.org) for help setting up your Blackboard courses to be ready for the possibility of disruption.
- Contact the IT Help Desk (email@example.com or 864-503-5257) to test out your home technology access and/or check out the necessary technology to maintain academic continuity in case of university closure.
- Contact your Department or Division Chair for support in finding student information and establishing your communication strategies in the case of prolonged closure.