07 May 2009

Realists Adopting Academic Continuity Plans

With heightened awareness about the potential effects of a flu pandemic, campus administrators and faculty groups are considering response strategies suitable to their programs. Continuity of learning can mean different things to different stakeholders and a single campus may have a variety of responses. This list reflects some of the common preparations by both onground and online academic programs:

— Require that onground instructors include at least one online learning activity per course in order to familiarize students with the campus learning management system (LMS such as Blackboard) in case a campus closure requires that courses meet online.

— Require that online instructors includes at least one activity in a Web 2.0 tool (such as a wiki or blog) through which a course could "meet" in case the regular delivery method is disrupted.

— Collect student contact information at the start of every course through an online survey tool, storing the data outside of the regular LMS.

— Assist faculty or program staff in establishing an alternative means of contact such as a web page to check for announcements, a telephone tree, or other contact with an agreed-upon timeline (e.g., for use after a disruption of 24 hours).

— Outline an expected procedure so that faculty and students may assume that adjustments will be made and so that they do not feel compelled to email queries (e.g., "The Dean or Chair will begin notifications after 48 hours; students will not have to phone or email professors. Announcements will be posted or emailed and you should assume that adjustments will be made in your courses.)

— Request that students keep their contact information up to date in campus computer systems.

— Ask instructors to consider alternate assignments that address student learning outcomes in case the planned assignments or exams cannot be delivered.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

No comments: