Generally, we recommend planning for two potential scenarios:
- Brief disruptions (one or several days) during which student, GSI, and faculty access to campus and/or to the internet may not be universal.
Examples: partial or complete campus power outage, wildfire safety blackout, air quality risk
- Longer disruptions (weeks long) during which students, GSIs, and faculty will have access to the internet - perhaps after a brief period of adjustment.
Examples: public health emergency, earthquake
Before the Semester Starts
In all disruption scenarios, we recommend preparing at the beginning of the semester by taking these important steps to ensure you have up-to-date information and the tools needed to continue your course.
- Sign up for UCB WarnMe and keep an eye out for CALMessages with important updates
- Create a bCourse site for your class
- Download, install, and sign into Zoom
- If you already have Zoom installed, make sure that it is updated to the latest version
- Check that Kaltura’s Media Gallery and My Media appear in the left navigation of your bCourses site
- If you don’t see the Media Gallery or My Media, you can enable them in your bCourses site
- Record a welcome video using Zoom and share it with your class
- Use DLS’ guides and workshops to familiarize yourself with bCourses, Kaltura, and Zoom
- Familiarize yourself with your general assignment classroom, and its Course Capture (projector + audio) or Classroom Capture (classroom camera + projector + audio) options
- Identify an off-campus location to stream or record that is free of visual distractions and provides good audio quality
- Exchange cell phone numbers with the members of your teaching team
Clear communication at all levels is critical during a disruption. This includes communicating your plans and expectations at the beginning of the semester before a disruption occurs and during the disruption itself. We recommend the following:
- Let students know how they’ll be updated in case of disruption (e.g. bCourse Announcements) in your syllabus
- Let students know how class meetings will occur (e.g. via Zoom, viewing asynchronous materials, etc.) in the case of a short-term disruption
- Create your Zoom meetings within bCourses as recurring meetings
- These will show up in your students’ bCourse calendar
- Include the Zoom call-in information in your syllabus (the number and password for a recurring meeting will not change)
- Encourage students and instructors to keep a copy of the call-in information that they can access if they are without internet access
- Administer a beginning of course survey to identify challenges specific students may face in the case of a disruption
Whenever possible, pre-planning alternatives to lectures and assignments, and pre-assigning roles among your teaching team, will be useful.
These are recommended pedagogical approaches that will also allow you to continue with your course if you need to switch to emergency remote instruction for a short- or long-term disruption.
- Use the DLS Core Template to create an organized course structure and provide a place where students can easily access recordings, readings, materials, assignments, and assessments
- Develop an assessment plan that includes regular formative assessments administered via bCourses
- Develop high-stakes assessments that can be confidently administered via bCourses
- Incorporate asynchronous components into your course such as online discussions and recorded lectures
- Consider hosting a mix of in-person and online office hour options via Zoom throughout the semester
In-person courses may shift to emergency remote instruction due to a variety of potential disruptions. In some cases, you may be able to hold your regular class session via Zoom, but in other cases you or your students may not have access to a reliable internet connection. Further, even if your class is scheduled in a course capture or classroom capture classroom, that room may not be available to you, depending on the nature of the disruption. To account for how the variety of types of disruptions could impact your course, we recommend the following:
- Pre-record a week’s worth of lectures that can be called upon to replace a disrupted lecture, and publish them via Kaltura in bCourses
- Record and post lectures delivered via Zoom so that students who cannot participate synchronously can catch up
- Students can be instructed to engage with accessible asynchronous content (e.g. modules or course readings) in lieu of course meetings during the disruption
- Identify content that can be made optional for the course, if necessary, without invalidating any learning objectives
It’s possible that disruptions will occur at times of the semester when assessments are scheduled, and this will disrupt your original assessment plan. Anticipating this possibility, the Academic Senate has published a variety of best practices for remote examination. Along with these recommendations, we suggest the following:
- Have students routinely turn in assignments via bCourses (or another remote-friendly method)
- Have students complete a “dry-run” no- or low-stakes quiz early in the semester using the same bCourses settings as you would use for any remote high-stakes exams
- Familiarize yourself with how to implement DSP accommodations in bCourses for exams and assignments
- Emphasize the importance of academic integrity by communicating the university’s honor code and your own expectations for academic honesty
- Pre-plan for cancelled or postponed exams, either through an alternative assessment scheme (e.g. smaller, more frequent exams), a postponement plan, an online exam, or a redistribution of course points around a missing exam
Different types of disruptions will have distinct impacts on class meetings that are regularly in-person, or online.
Any course with in-person attendance or participation grades should consider alternative ways students can earn these points, to avoid creating incentives for students to physically attend class when potentially ill. In-person activities may need to shift to online teaching for short or long periods of time, depending on the type and extent of the emergency. Using bCourses when possible for administrative aspects of the course (e.g. publishing and turning in assignments online) will reduce your workload during a disruption. Examination policies should be clearly described.
Labs, studios, and courses which use other non-classroom spaces will be especially impacted. The CTL maintains an (evolving) set of best practices for these courses.
Online meetings will be most affected by disruptions that impact internet access (e.g. power outages) for instructors and students. A disruption may affect some but not all of your class. Due dates for assignments may need pushing back, and exams may require rescheduling or cancellation.