Academic Continuity

Academic Continuity Guidelines

When face-to-face classes at Red River College are disrupted, this guide will assist you in planning your transition to online delivery.

Planning to teach online?

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Moving your class online

Training and consultation

Resources

Support

What are your students’ needs?

Communication 

Students are more likely to be worried about completion of their program, classes, and labs during periods of disruptionCommunication is key.

  • Be patient and supportive. Try to relieve their anxieties 
  • Provide them with the reason for transitioning your course to online learning 
  • Reassure them that contingency plans are in place to support the completion of their courses 
  • Create a class communication plan so students know method and timeline for response

Contact your students

Provide a way for your students to contact you:

  • Use your RRC college email, phone, or:
  • Provide a response timeline. Within 24 hours is recommended. 
  • Offer scheduled virtual office hours using WebEx or telephone for when students can contact you directly 

Provide Instructions

Provide students with clear and concise instructions on how your course will transition to online delivery which could include: 

  • How and when students can contact you 
  • How they can access course content, discussions, assessments, and grades on LEARN 
  • When WebEx video streaming of your class will occur and how students can join 

Moving Your Course to Online Learning 

New to online learning?

If you’re new to online learning and moving your course online, remember… 

  • You are quickly moving portions of your class online so your students can complete their term 
  • Choose to move what is achievable  
  • You are going to learn as you do it 
  • It doesn’t have to be perfect. You are NOT designing and building an ideal online class. You aren’t likely to have the time or resources to do that in a short period

Use LEARN

Provide students access to your course materials using LEARN 

  • Repurpose your existing content where possible. Upload your course readings, notes, presentations, videos, etc. 
  • Move your assessments (quizzes, tests, exams) and grades online

Provide a way for students to submit assignments and receive feedback, such as: 

  • LEARN Dropbox tool, is designed to for assignment submission and assessments 
  • LEARN 
  • College academic email 

Improvise and Be Creative 

Focus on creative ways of engaging with students rather than uploading all of your course content. Creating a sense of community online is key to student engagement. 

  • Point to existing online content rather than building or converting content, such as LinkedIn Learning or other online, videos, podcasts, and interactive web apps 
  • Ask if your textbook publisher has online content that you can use, such as the Pearson hub 
  • Use WebEx video streaming to engage with your students with live video streaming 
  • Record your live WebEx discussions for students to access later 
  • Encourage your students to meet and collaborate using WebEx and build collaborative documents using Office365 and OneDrive 

Think about your activities and assessments

  • Review online course delivery strategies in collaboration with your departmental leadership
  • Review departmental communication plan regarding academic continuity
  • Review your course learning outcomes before transitioning your course to online delivery to ensure they are being met 
  • If your original activities and assessment methods are no longer practical, use alternate methods such as video submission or discussion forums to fulfill the course learning outcomes

Do you have access to your courses in LEARN?  

What are some common LEARN tasks for instructors?

Tips for teaching remotely

  • Be proactive. Implement a gradual transition plan with your class if time permits, e.g. provide an overview of LEARN with your students and inform them of your communication strategy
  • Is it really important that students be present for a live online lesson at a specific time (synchronous learning)? Students may need extra flexibility for study and other demands during periods of disruption.
  • Possible solutions:
    • Consider recording lectures they can listen to or view on their own time
    • Set up periodic live virtual classroom sessions using WebEx
    • Include existing online audiovisual content such as LinkedIn Learning videos or podcasts
    • Utilize interactive learning tools such as WebEx screen sharing
    • Allow flexibility for how assignments are completed and when they are due
  • Keep students up to date with weekly summaries and guidance for the week ahead
  • Integrate ways for students to connect with each other for social learning supports
  • Seek out additional interactive web tools to enhance instruction such as polling apps
  • Access online training opportunities to hone your skills

What are departmental considerations?

Designate Lead Instructors
Faculty members teaching sections of the same course can meet and prepare course content modules to provide students with continuous learning opportunities and lessen faculty loads during a disruption to face-to-face delivery. A team of faculty can create a master course shell in LEARN with assignments and common readings broken into content modules. Classes can then immediately switch to the master course shell on the LEARN site.

Preparation
Faculty members be encouraged to become familiar with the current learning platform (LEARN) through formal training in order to provide students with the necessary teaching/learning materials (outlines and other course documents) for meeting the needs of students during a disruptive event. This requires direct leadership support.

Team Teaching
It is also suggested that team-teaching be investigated and staged in order to alleviate faculty overload and prepare for the possibility of faculty illness or other absence such childcare throughout the duration of an event.  This would require support from the Schools and faculty participation.