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With discussion of the COVID19 virus now dominating the news, it’s natural that faculty are considering how they might teach courses if face-to-face classroom interaction must stop. Many instructors have been cultivating online teaching methods for decades, now, so we have powerful methods, tools, and resources already available.

The important thing is to get started as soon as possible. Examine resources like our Academic Preparedness Guide, and consider how you can use methods listed there to approximate your existing course activities, at least for a few weeks. Then start experimenting.

Start communicating with students now. Let them know that, if the campus is closed, they can expect an amended course plan from you within a few days (so they shouldn’t bother emailing you, first!) You might even let them in on what you are planning, or what steps they should expect taking right away in the event the campus is closed.

For example, should they expect that reading or frequent writing assignments won’t change? Then even if the campus is shut down, they at least know what to do until they hear from you. If you plan to use asynchronous discussions in the event of a campus shutdown, try one out this week in your class.

Similarly, try other things that you may need to rely on in the event that your classroom isn’t available. For example, try recording and posting a lecture via Powerpoint, Google Drive, and D2L. Experiment with Canva, Google Drawings, or Google Sites so you can assign students a project to create an infographic, digital poster, or website.

The earlier you prepare, the easier class management can be in the event that your classroom becomes unavailable.