Getting Started

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Of course, it is ideal to plan in advance for emergencies and include contingencies in your syllabus. However, if you are required to teach remotely, it is important to consider the following details.

  • Stay up-to-date on the event. Campus closures or emergencies will be reported on Xavier's website. Try not to get distracted by rumors.
  • Consult your departmental policies. Each department may have unique policies and procedures for adapting your classes and teaching remotely.
  • Communicate with your students early and often. Let them know what changes you are making to the syllabus and how you plan to continue instruction. Be transparent with them, making your expectations clear. Also make it clear how you expect them to communicate with you. This can be easily managed using the email features in Brightspace.
  • Reassess your syllabus for the upcoming week. Will you need to temporarily change any of your policies? Due dates? Assignments? Assessments? Again, be very clear and specific with students about any changes you plan to make.
  • Be realistic about the goals you set. What can you really accomplish during this time period? How do you need to adjust your syllabus and schedule? How will you keep students engaged?
  • Stick to your priorities. When you review your syllabus, determine what must be done during the disruption. Do you have to provide lectures? What about virtual labs? Do you need online discussions? How will you collect student work? Be flexible.
  • Consider how you will provide feedback. This is especially true for high-stakes assessments such as exams or papers. Students deserve to know how they are being assessed and why they received their grades. Brightspace allows you to do this a number of ways including through Turnitin's Feedback Studio, the Assignments Annotation Tool, and Video Notes. However, if you are not already familiar with these options, consider making your assessments lower- or no-stake.
  • Use technology that is familiar to you. This isn’t the time to learn a ton of new technology unless it is absolutely necessary. Instead, try to rely on what you (and your students) are most familiar with. Brightspace is a good place to start.
  • Provide an on-going communications plan. Your students will have questions as they navigate the changes you have made. Tell students how they can contact you during the disruption (with email or through online office hours). Also let them know how soon they can expect a reply from you. They will have many questions, so try to figure out how you want to manage those.

Learn more about Getting Started on your plan. We have also complied a complete list of instructional continuity resources. For additional information and suggestions, contact CAT+FD.

Icon of a plus sign in a circle Getting Started
Teaching RemotelyCompassion and Self-CareDiscipline-Specific Resources
Additional ResourcesCAT Unleashed Workshops
Contact the CAT+FD Staff
CC BY-NC 4.0
The information on this page has been developed, in part, by adapting material, with permission, from the Indiana University [1] website. The “Keep Teaching” content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License by the Trustees of Indiana University.