Instructional Continuity Planning: Preparing a backup plan for teaching

Emergency closings and unforeseen course cancellations can occur for a variety of reasons: inclement weather, flu outbreak, and Shelter in Place orders. It’s important that in such instances, faculty are prepared to adapt instruction as necessary to ensure smooth communication with students about alternate plans, make up class dates, or the conversion of some activities in the course to online activities.

Create a plan.

Have a communication strategy in case classes are cancelled. Tell your students where to find course information and how they can contact you.

  • Steps to complete
    1. Post your syllabus in your myLesley course site. In your syllabus, include a clearly stated course policy regarding make-ups and absences that takes into account emergency closings. Leave some room in your schedule/syllabus for changes and modifications.
    2. Check with your program and with colleagues teaching the same and similar courses to see how others are handling emergency closings.
    3. Let your students know that class has been cancelled. Use the Send Email feature in myLesley or create and send a Course Announcement to let your students know that class has been cancelled and what is expected of them.

Communicate with your students.

Keep communications flowing even when you’re not in the classroom. Communicate in real time or whenever it’s convenient for each person. Please note that in the case of widespread power outages students may have limited Internet and/or phone access.

Move content online.

Uploading content to your myLesley course is not only useful for storm preparations, but also a convenient place to store your course content so that you and your students can easily access them throughout the term.

Flip your classroom.

The flipped classroom is a pedagogical model where faculty deliver instruction online, outside of class. This could take on many forms, including directing your students to existing tutorials, recording mini lectures from your webcam, and creating quick screencasts. A flipped classroom doesn’t need to be an all or nothing approach; you can use pieces of the flipped classroom idea to make up for lost class time.

  • Flipping Options
    • Easy: Use online tutorials and training to replace or enhance your lecture. Khan Academy offers instructional videos and practice exercises on a number of subjects while Hoonuit (formerly Atomic Learning) offers training and tutorials for a number of technology tools.
    • Medium: Use Kaltura Media to create a webcam recording to introduce a new topic, explain a concept from the readings, or provide additional information about an assignment.
    • Advanced: Use Kaltura CaptureSpace Lite to create your own online tutorial or demonstrate a process.

    Additional resources for flipping your classroom can be found here:

  • Help and Resources
    • Technology Support Resources: The IT/eLIS Support Site provides resources and tutorials for all Lesley-supported technology. Put in a support ticket.
    • Hoonuit: Hoonuit (formerly Atomic Learning) features hundreds of self-paced video tutorials for popular software, online tools, tech integration, college readiness, and more. Log in with your myLesley username and password.