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When you realize you have to move your class to remote teaching quickly, consider the following right away. 

  • How will your students contact you? Your students are used to seeing you in the classroom. What will they do now? Email, phone, chat?
  • Communicate with your students: Even if you don't have a plan in place yet, communicate with your students as soon as possible, informing them that changes are coming and what your expectations are for checking email or Canvas, so you can get them more details soon.
  • Review your course schedule to determine priorities: Identify your priorities during the disruption—providing lectures, structuring new opportunities for discussion or group work, collecting assignments, etc. What activities are better rescheduled, and what can or must be done online? Give yourself a little flexibility in that schedule, just in case the situation takes longer to resolve than you think.
  • Review your syllabus for points that must changeWhat will have to temporarily change in your syllabus (policies, due dates, assignments, etc.)? Since students will also be thrown off by the changes, they will appreciate details whenever you can provide them.
  • Pick tools and approaches familiar to you and your students. Not ready to use Canvas yet? No problem. Use the tools you're comfortable with. 
  • Try to be flexible: You might think about meeting your class at the same time that your face-to-face class that was scheduled. However, some of your students my need to care for children who are no longer in school. How will you be flexible to accommodate their life circumstances, handle requests for extensions or accommodations equitably? As you think through those changes, you may need to reconsider some of your expectations for students, including participation, communication, and deadlines. Keep in mind the impact this situation may have on students' ability to meet those expectations, including illness, lacking power or internet connections, or needing to care for family members. 
  • Create a more detailed communications plan: Once you have more details about changes in the class, communicate them to students, along with more information about how they can contact you (email, online office hours, etc.). A useful communication plan also lets students know how soon they can expect a reply. 

Go to Step 2: Strategies