Learning Continuity

Engaging students, persisting to learn

When Meeting in the Classroom Isn’t Possible

The devastation following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina provided the catalyst for learning continuity planning in higher education in America. Since then, other disruptions such as H1N1 and the historic snowfall in New England during winter 2015 caused students to miss significant class time and challenged instructors to find innovative ways to keep their students on track.

Whether there’s a major event or something smaller that will disrupt classes, the three steps below will help you develop a plan that will work best for you and your students.

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Step 1: Develop a communication plan

  • Determine how you will connect with your students in an event of disruption. By email? Announcements in Blackboard?
  • Include this plan in your syllabus.

Check out our Preparation Checklist for more tips.


Step 2: Prepare an alternative activity or assignment

  • A just-in-case assignment is prepared ahead of time and fits anywhere in your course.
  • A just-in-time activity is prepared quickly during a disruption to cover timely material in your course.
  • Determine what technology you’ll use to help you distribute, collect and grade the assignment or activity.

Access the Just-in-Case Assignment Builder.

computer monitor with instructor and chalkboard on screen

Step 3: Practice the plan

Practice your plan with your students early in the semester.

For example, if you’ll use VoiceThread for your just-in-time assignment, have students practice the tool by creating a class introductions assignment in VoiceThread.

Resources at Your Fingertips

Need Some Help?

eLearning & Instructional Support team is here to help you develop your plan and show you how to use these tools. Get in touch! We look forward to hearing from you!