Instructional Continuity Planning - Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prepare?

  1. Read this document.
  2. Poll your students to determine what technology resources are available to them in the event that the University is closed.
  3. Review contingency planning materials offered by The Office of E-Learning.
  4. Determine which strategies will work best in each class that you teach each term.
  5. Arrange for any additional training you may need in order to carry out your plan.
  6. Prepare your students.
  7. Prepare your content. Have materials for upcoming lessons that you or a substitute instructor can use in case of an emergency.
  8. Test your plan ahead of time. Make adjustments, as needed.

What should I do when an emergency situation arises?

Communicate with your students. Send basic instructions using multiple methods to reach students, allowing for individual situations and communication resources.

  • Record a greeting message on your Stockton voice mail with basic instructions (where to get more information, what homework to do, when class will next meet) that students can listen to if they call your office phone.
  • Send email with basic instructions using an email distribution list, Blackboard messaging options, or online class list available in Banner

Implement your existing plan or quickly create the best plan you can using the advice in this document to guide you.

Given my technology skills, what will I be able to do?

I like technology and use it all the time.

If this describes you, then you may only need to skim the technical section for the suggestions. Think about pedagogical or process changes that may be necessary in time of crisis—your own illness, lack of access to normally available resources, and/or higher than normal levels of student absenteeism -- and plan for these changes.

I use some technology but am not ready to go fully online with my classes.

If this describes you, then the suggestions that follow can provide some guidance on the available tools that match your comfort level.

I feel comfortable with chalk boards and the telephone.

See the Guidelines for Implementing Resources section for details on telephone-based communications.

My class is already online. How does this apply to me? 

Think about how your students may be impacted by a regional disaster like a hurricane or forest fire. Do your students still have computers, Internet access, course materials, and textbooks? Are you or your students dependent on campus resources that might be inaccessible? How will you handle deadlines? How will reduced student participation impact your online learning activities?

What strategies can I use to adapt a lecture-based course?

Asynchronous Lectures

Tools: Files can be shared via Blackboard, a personal webpage, or a blog.
Note: Materials posted on a web page or blog will be accessible to the world. If you wish to protect your intellectual property and your students’ rights under FERPA, choose an option that requires your students to login with username and password.

Techniques: Post presentations, images, web links, documents, videos or sound files. Those comfortable with technology may wish to use an audio recording program such as Audacity or Garage Band. Record lectures or other audio material and upload it to a file sharing location. Create a screencast using a tool like Camtasiavoice-over PowerPoint, or Blackboard Collaborate archive.

Synchronous Lectures

Tools:Blackboard Collaborate

Techniques: Using a laptop/desktop web browser, Collaborate may be accessed through the Blackboard system. Using the Blackboard Mobile Learn app and the Blackboard Collaborate app, Collaborate may be accessed using smart mobile devices. [The apps are available from the Apple iTunes App store and the Google Play Store at no charge for Stockton community members.] Students can communicate with the presenter by voice (Internet connection or telephone), chat, and polls. This tool is also helpful in situations where some students may be present on campus, but others are not able to reach campus.  Your computer screen may be shared so that students see live what you see and what you are doing. Remote students can also share their desktops. Blackboard Collaborate sessions may be archived for future use.

This tool enables students to interact in real time. Online chats/conversations do require some management. Be sure to establish ground rules and etiquette prior to an online chat. A Blackboard Collaborate chat may be archived for future reference.

What strategies can I use to adapt a discussion-based course?

Technology enables you to have a synchronous (same time) discussion or an asynchronous (anytime) discussion.

Asynchronous Discussion  

Tools: Blackboard, blog

Techniques: For larger classes (i.e., thirty-five or more students) break the students into smaller groups (5 to 10 students each) to assure that all students can easily participate and their individual voices are heard. If you are using Blackboard, the group manager can be used to organize students into small groups. Blackboard Discussion topics can be configured as either threaded or blog style discussion. Don’t be afraid to be creative with your discussions. With a little bit of planning you can use online discussions for debates, role playing, and simulations.

Synchronous Discussion

Tools:Blackboard Collaborate

Techniques:  Using a laptop/desktop web browser Collaborate may be accessed through the Blackboard system. Using the Blackboard Mobile Learn app and the Blackboard Collaborate app, Collaborate may be accessed using smart mobile devices. [The apps are available from the Apple iTunes App store and the Google Play Store at no charge for Stockton community members.] Students can communicate with the presenter by voice (Internet connection or telephone), chat, and polls. This tool is also helpful in situations where some students may be present on campus, but others are not able to reach campus.  Your computer screen may be shared so that students see live what you see and what you are doing. Remote students can also share their desktops. Blackboard Collaborate sessions may be archived for future use.

This tool enables students to interact in real time. Online chats/conversations do require some management. Be sure to establish ground rules and etiquette prior to an online chat. A Blackboard Collaborate chat may be archived for future reference.

How can I collect student assignments?

Papers  

Tools: Blackboard, email

Techniques: The Blackboard Assignment tool can be used to distribute and collect homework individual student projects. Alternatively, students may send files as email attachments. Please be aware that the maximum attachment size is 10MB.

Quizzes, Exams, and Other Assessments

Tools: Blackboard

Techniques: The Blackboard Test and Survey tool provides support for administering anonymous surveys and graded quizzes. Many different question formats are available (e.g., multiple choice, short answer, essay, matching). The Test and Survey tool provides a number of useful options to help minimize this risk of student cheating. A pre-specified number of questions may be chosen at random from a larger question set. Answers on individual multiple choice questions may be presented in a random order.

How can I comment on student work?

Tools: Acrobat, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Blackboard Assignment tool

Techniques: For assignments where significant instructor feedback is to be provided, Blackboard Inline Grading provides comment and annotation functionality for files in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or PDF format.

If desired, assignment files may also be downloaded via the Blackboard Grade Center for review and comment on a personal computer.

If you collect assignments via email attachment or download the assignment files, Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat Professional provide mechanisms for commenting and marking up documents. In Word you can use “Insert Comment” or “Track Changes”. In Excel, you can use "Insert Comment" or "Track Changes". In PowerPoint, you can use "New Comment". In Adobe Acrobat, use the Comments tool.

How can I facilitate a lab/performance/activity based class?

Determine in advance activities that you can assign to your students to be completed virtually or with readily available materials. Examples include:

  • Virtual science lab activities that may be available through your textbook publisher’s website.
  • If designed with safety in mind, students may be able to conduct an experiment in their own home or dorm room.
  • Students in a performance class could watch/listen to and critique broadcast or recorded performances.
     

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[Click here to access the full faculty instructional plan in PDF format]
[Click here to access recommendations for students in PDF format]