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Continuation of Course Instruction in the Event of Class Cancellation

This site offers suggestions, guidelines, and resources to assist faculty to continue instruction with minimal disruption in the event of prolonged cancellation of face-to-face classes. Please utilize these guidelines and resources in line with your learning goals and the nature of your courses.

(a) Course Syllabus
Indicate in your syllabus your expectations and policies in case of prolonged cancellation of classes or student absences. Follow the UD Faculty Handbook-Instructional Program Policies or Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog, University Attendance Policies.
Upload the most current version of your syllabus to Sakai.

  • Student Attendance
Communicate clearly that in case of class cancellation, prolonged absence will not impact students’ grades. Such a statement may be of particular importance when student participation contributes significantly to the overall course grade.

  • Communication
Outline how you expect students to communicate with you and how you will communicate with them. For example, instruct students to check your Sakai course site for timely announcements and updates; use the UD POBox to send e-mail alerts to your entire class.

  • Make-Up Policy of Missed Work
Students should be provided with reasonable opportunities to make up examinations and other work missed because of class cancellation. State a feasible make-up policy and consider online submission of student work (e.g., e-mail, UD DropBox, Sakai Discussion Forum).

  • Continuation of Instruction
Include a personal statement in your syllabus to assure the students that you’ve carefully considered how to support their learning in case of disruption. Describe how you will continue to teach the class from a distance and outline the students’ respective responsibilities.

  • Course Calendar (list of topics, assignments, readings, exams, due dates)
Given your student learning goals and sequencing of course material, think about what learning activities, and assignments may be conducted in alternate form. Allow adjustments and stress that the calendar is subject to changes to better meet the needs of the class. Remind the students that they are responsible for the material during such an adjustment. For example, This is a tentative schedule. I will give you advance notice concerning any adjustments. You are responsible for the material presented as part of the adjustment.

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant (TA) Support
Discuss with your TA(s) how he/she can most effectively and efficiently assist you and your students in the event of class cancellation. Make sure your TA has access to the Sakai course site – adding a TA to your site. Within the context of their current teaching roles, assign specific instructional responsibilities and determine means of communication, e..g., facilitate Sakai Discussion Forum, respond to student e-mail, upload lecture materials, use Sakai Chat Room to hold office hours online, provide feedback on student work.

(b) Role of Technology in the Course
Alternate Methods for Continuing Class - provides online instructional alternatives for course continuation, organized by face-to-face instructional approach.
 
Utilize viable instructional technology options that help you meet your goals for student learning. Technology increases our ability to access information, communicate and work with each other, and extends class instruction. Learning technology may already be an integral part of your course delivery. In case of suspended classes or your inability to attend classes due to conditions, learning technology provides a reliable contingency and offers a viable alternate mode of instruction – Academic Technology Services (ATS) Technology Options.

UD’s learning management system, Sakai, provides a viable platform for faculty to ensure course continuity; it offers an online meeting place for your courses. You can easily create a course site, upload your current syllabus and teaching materials and select tools that facilitate online communication between you and the students as well as among the students, e.g., e-mail, Calendar, Forum, Chat. Select Sakai tools that align with your course goals, disciplinary context, and technological level of comfort. 

As Sakai is a secure system only those students enrolled in your course will have access to the site, all your course materials and instructional activities are contained in one place, and a permanent record of all instructional activities is maintained. In the event of class cancellation, Sakai affords the central opportunity to provide students access to lecture material, class activities, readings, and resources, communicate, discuss, and provide feedback, and hold office hours.