Options for When You Can't Make Class

Decorative: Several rows of empty student desks


"Dealing with the Unexpected: Teaching When You or Your Students Can't Make It to Class" (webpage) outlines several options for "[l]everaging Brightspace [D2L] and other web-based tools ... [to] help you continue instruction if you are not able to teach, as well as communicate with students who are not able to attend class" (each suggestion is elaborated in the text).

1. "Promote communication with and among students." 

  • "Take advantage of online discussion forums to 1) help keep open the lines communication between you and students, and 2) give students opportunities to exchange ideas with each other." 
  • "Consider using the announcements tool in your Brightspace [D2L] course as a consistent source of official course communications."

2. "Create sites of interaction."

  • "Blogs and discussion forums ... can aid student interaction by allowing students to keep a learning journal, comment on posts from other students, and give students an environment in which they post reflections on course content or assignments."
  • "Additionally, a wiki or Google doc allows student groups to work collaboratively at a distance by giving the ability to share and edit content over the Web."
  • "Web-based document sharing applications like Google Docs can also prove useful to students as they complete group projects and assignments."

3. "Conduct a virtual class meeting."

  • "Brightspace [D2L] has a Virtual Classroom space that allows instructors and students to meet online to conduct class through video conferencing."
  • "Instructors can set up a virtual meeting by going to any module on the Content page, clicking the 'Existing Activities' button, and choosing 'Virtual Classroom.'"
  • "[I]nstructors may also consider using a tool like Google Hangouts or Skype for Business to conduct a face-to-face meeting virtually and in real time."
  • "These tools both allow all participants in a course to contribute to a class meeting allowing for group activities, class discussion, and follow-up questions in addition to instructor-led activities." 

4. Other Options

  • "Posting audio or video recordings of class assignments or lectures can make content available to students from home and asynchronously."  
  • "Assignments and tests can also be conducted through Brightspace [D2L], as can a number of additional class activities." 
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