Instructional Continuity Planning: Preparing a backup plan for teaching
Instructional Continuity may be an unfamiliar term, but it really just means keeping your class on schedule during disruptive times. Extended closures and course cancellations can occur for a variety of reasons: inclement weather, widespread illness, family emergencies, unexpected events, and even business travel. If meeting face-to-face with students is not possible, it’s important that faculty are prepared to adapt instruction as necessary to address the challenges of continuing course work. It is important to have a plan 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.
Having a clear communication plan for your students is essential to maintaining continuity for your class, and can be shared in the course syllabus. How will you contact students? How should they contact you? Where should students go to find out information about changes to your class? What will be expected of them in the event of a prolonged university closure?
Plan now, as you are preparing your course anyway, and adopt tools that will allow you to teach remotely to reduce stress if such a need arises. This website includes resources that will help you prepare by:
- Having electronic copies of handouts or course reading readily available
- Setting up additional instructional materials in Camino (SCU's branded instance of Canvas)
- Creating at least one piece of online course content and uploading it to Camino
- Having alternate media assignments at the ready
As the instructor, you have several options to continue instruction in the event of a campus closure. These can include live or synchronous class sessions, self-directed study options through asynchronous activities like readings, recorded lectures, threaded discussions, or other possibilities.
While it is impossible to predict particular circumstances that might affect normal class schedules — whether related to illness, weather, or other factors — there are a number of steps, ranging from extremely simple to more complex, that faculty can take to prepare themselves and their students for possible interruptions.
You may have a number of questions as we make the shift to online instruction. We'll be regularly updating this page to address questions and concerns as they arise.