L&S: Strategies for proactively planning for disruption to your in-person or remote teaching

Disruptions during the semester may require a temporary or permanent change, including a possible shift from in-person to remote instruction. Planning now will help you adapt quickly if disruptions happen.

  1. Prepare a basic remote teaching plan.
    This will help continuity in the event of a disruption, including a pivot to remote instruction or temporary colleague coverage in the event of illness or quarantine. The L&S Remote Teaching Toolkit offers several planning worksheets that enable a structured and thorough consideration of remote teaching opportunities. Please notify students that the course modality may change if health conditions change.

  2. Use Canvas.
    To the extent possible, make foundational course materials available online in Canvas. Use the Canvas grade book to ensure there is an accessible record of student grades.  Consider whether in-person meetings can focus on learning opportunities that are additive/supplemental, not as the sole source of foundational information.

  3. Be transparent.
    Develop a syllabus that is especially detailed and explicit. Develop materials clear and organized so the course is easy to navigate so students know where, when, and how to participate. Consider using our Canvas templates and our guide on organizing content in Canvas.

  4. Be flexible and empathetic.
    Design courses with flexibility and empathy, knowing students will likely face a range of emotional and physical hardships that impact their ability to participate. The L&S Remote Teaching Toolkit offers suggestions for supporting students during this extraordinary time.

See L&S Contingency & Scenario Planning for steps instructors can take now that could help with responding to a disruption later in the semester (such as changing from in-person to remote instruction).


Short disruptions to in-person instruction:  
If circumstances create a short (1-2 weeks) disruption (e.g.  the instructor is quarantined), instructors should contact their chair (and immediate supervisor, if a TA) and determine the best plan for continuing instruction. This could include colleague coverage or a short-term shift to remote instruction.

Longer or permanent changes to remote instructors:
Instructors must consult with their chair and receive permission for changes to remote instruction that are 2 weeks or longer.

Contacts for more information:
For questions about course design planning, your department batch lead may be a good resource. For questions about short or longer term changes from in-person to remote instruction, instructors should contact their chair.