Preparing for Academic Disruptions in the Wake of Hurricane Florence

Georgetown'd Healey Hall darkened in a silhouette against a blue-gray sky dotted with blue-gray clouds.

With forecasters predicting potential impacts from Hurricane Florence later this week and early into next week, are you prepared to enact your academic continuity plan in your course? Below, we’re sharing some tips, strategies, and resources to help minimize the disruptive effects of Florence’s wet and windy impact. Be sure to visit the instructional continuity website for more information to help you prepare, communicate, plan assignments, access tools and training, and view examples of how other faculty continued coursework despite disruptions.

  • One straightforward alternative to holding class in person—assuming there aren’t widespread power outages—is to hold a virtual class via Zoom web conferencing. If not all students can join, you can record the session so it can be viewed later.
  • When disaster strikes, you may not need to recreate exactly what you would have done in your face-to-face class. For example, perhaps a 10-minute lecture capture could cover key points or challenging material, and other content can be addressed in a future class or in another way (perhaps through a Canvas discussion board, etc.). Check out Panopto, a new Canvas-integrated tool that allows you to record lectures—short or long— inside or outside of the classroom, and let’s your students create discussions around video content.
  • Remember that students might not have power and/or internet access and not everyone may be able to participate in a synchronous session. Think about how you can include everyone (at the time or after the fact), perhaps by using an asynchronous tool like Voicethread.
  • Whatever your approach, try to let students know your academic continuity plan ahead of time, including how they can expect you’ll communicate with them.
  • If you’re looking for inspiration from other faculty on what they did when weather kept them from meeting with their students face-to-face, you can find some faculty stories on the Instructional Continuity site. Here’s one professor’s approach to instructional continuity through the use of a course blog when Hurricane Sandy hit a few years ago.
  • The CNDLS tools and services page is an excellent resource if you are looking for additional technology tools to help you keep the learning going in the event of a class disruption.

As usual, please reach out to us with any questions. Stay safe and dry!