When transitioning from a face-to-face to an online course, address these considerations right away.
Take care of yourself and remember this is temporary.
Remember that crisis is not normal. Although not perfect, online or remote teaching and learning is the only solution we have for this difficult time. Remind students that we will all get through this by working together. If you are ill, rest and take care of yourself. If your students are ill, encourage them to do the same.
Keep yourself informed about MSU's response to this rapidly evolving situation.Frequently check MSU's COVID-19 Website for up-to-date information and updates.
Check with your department.Your department may issue some particular guidelines about their expectations for classes, and request that the department's classes be handled in similar ways. Please check with department heads before you begin transitioning your courses for online teaching.
Maintain frequent, detailed communications with your students.
Students are going to feel isolated and confused. More than anything, they may be looking for contact from you as the leader of the class. Communicate with your students often, informing them of any updates or changes. Let them know what your expectations are for checking email or Brightspace (MSU’s learning management system), so you can maintain communication with them. Be prepared for more questions than usual from students. See the Best Practices for tips on creating a detailed communication plan.
Make sure you have access to the technology you’ll need.
University Information Technology has put together an excellent website, IT Anywhere, to help with technology concerns such as hardware and software needs, getting connected, file sharing and security: IT Anywhere website.
Make sure your students have access to the technology they’ll need and use technology tools students are already familiar with.
Wherever possible, use tools that you and your students are already using and are supported by MSU. At MSU, Brightspace is the primary online learning tool that students may be familiar with. Instructors and students can access support for the use of Brightspace on the Brightspace Support page. Please keep accessibility issues in mind. Do you have students who can’t learn the way the majority do or students with learning disabilities? Be prepared to coordinate with MSU Disability Services and Information so we can meet the needs of every student.
Review your goals and determine priorities.
Think about your planned instruction to make decisions about what may need to change. Be realistic about what you will be able to accomplish with a sudden migration to an online course. Given your course objectives, content and assignments -- what needs to be maintained? What could be removed or postponed depending on the duration of the emergency? You may need to shift due dates or think about alternative assessment strategies depending on the duration of the emergency. Be sure to communicate any and all changes to your students as described above.
Review your course schedule and syllabus and modify as needed.
Identify possible changes to your syllabus, such as policies, due dates or assignments, and communicate those changes to students as needed. Monitor MSU's COVID-19 Website and your email for updates from the Office of the President and Office of the Provost.
Consider what classroom attendance, participation and deadlines can look like under emergency circumstances.
There are many ways to evaluate student participation -- attendance is often a proxy for this. In an emergency, attendance policies may have to be relaxed or altered so that multiple ways of engaging can count. Consider using assignments (reflections, quizzes, etc.) or discussion board participation, with reasonable due dates, as an option to understand if students are active in the course. Keep in mind the impact the emergency may have on students' ability to meet those expectations, including illness, lacking power or internet connections, or needing to care for family members.