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Flu-proof your course: Course continuity during a health crisis

Instructional and Media Technologies offers assistance to instructors seeking ways to minimize course disruption if students or instructors miss class due to flu. We can provide workshops, office visits and one-on-one consultations around these topics, as well as the information below. Please also see the Course Activity Plan: Teaching Tools page for specific tools solutions, steps, and links.

Planning ahead

  • Have a communication strategy; tell your students where to find course information.
  • Utilize electronic reserves for articles, handouts, or chapters of books. This option enables students to use the reserve items simultaneously, online. See the Briggs Library page, Working at Home With a Little Help From Briggs Library.
  • Plan how you will stay in touch with your TAs and other instructional staff.
  • Post your syllabus online and update it with course changes frequently.
  • Have a clearly-stated course policy regarding make-ups and absences.

Keeping the class going when you can't go

Lecture-based classes

  • Post documents and assignments online in place of lecture.
  • Record the class lecture for students to view later
  • Narrate a slide show from home for students to listen to

Seminar class/discussion

  • Substitute a WebVista or Moodle discussion board or UThink Blog for class sessions
  • Use web conferencing (UMConnect) to hold online real-time meetings

Lab class

  • Locate virtual labs online for students to complete
  • Arrange alternate activities in place of the lab

Distributing, collecting and grading assignments

  • Post assignment instructions and grades on the course website
  • Use the WebVista or Moodle Assignment feature to collect assignments electronically
  • Use online tools to comment, grade and return assignments
  • Use Wimba Voice tools or VoiceThread to comment orally on student work
  • Offer online quizzes, questionnaires or tests where appropriate

Managing student meetings and group work

  • Offer students online tools for group work, such as the WebVista or Moodle group tools, the UMWiki tool, Google Docs, and others
  • Use instant messenger or video chat to communicate one-on-one (AIM, GoogleTalk, iChat, Skype, etc.)
  • Hold online meetings, with shared visuals and audio, via UMConnect
  • Use the announcements page on WebVista or add announcements to your Moodle course site to tell students when you'll be available online, how to contact you, etc.

Please visit the Course Activity: Teaching Tools page for specific tools solutions, steps, and links.

Please contact Pam Gades (, x6376)
if you would like to discuss this information.

The above information was adapted from a Web page prepared by
Duke University's Center for Instructional Technology.