Shifting online quickly

When you realise you have to move your class online quickly, consider the following right away. You might also like to use our 'Get ready to do list' to check your level of preparedness.

1  Get details

Check your email for regular staff updates. There is also up to date information on the University of Waikato Covid-19 information page.

2  Check in with your Head of School and/or School Administrator

Your Head of School or School Administrator may offer additional guidelines about their expectations, as they may want to have the School's papers handled in a consistent way.

3  Communicate with your students right away

Even if you don't have a plan in place yet, communicate with your students as soon as possible, to let them know that changes are coming and what your expectations are for checking email or Moodle (UoW's learning management system).

4  Review your paper outline to determine priorities

Consider realistic goals for your teaching and identify your priorities during the disruption—providing lectures, structuring new opportunities for discussion or group work, collecting assignments, etc. Give yourself some flexibility in that schedule. It will be permissible to adjust assessment dates and expectations, although these must be clearly communicated with students.

  • Is it realistic for you and your students to maintain your original paper outline and schedule?
  • What activities are better rescheduled, and what can move online?
  • Do you need to add any additional activities or supports, for example online office hours?

5  Identify your new expectations for students

You will have to reconsider some of your expectations for students, including participation, communication, and deadlines. As you think through those changes, keep in mind the impact this situation may have on students' ability to meet those expectations, including illness, lacking power or internet connections, or whānau responsibilities. Be ready to handle requests for extensions or accommodations generously.

6  Pick tools and approaches familiar to you and your students

You may need to use some new tools, but where possible use familiar ones to avoid everyone having to get up a learning curve at a time which will be emotionally draining for many.

7  Create a more detailed communications plan

Once you have more details about changes to your teaching, communicate these to students, along with more information about how they can contact you (email, online office hours, etc.). A useful communication plan also lets students know how soon they can expect a reply from you. They could have many questions, so try to figure out how you want to manage that.

If you would like to talk over your plans with someone, drop in to one of CeTTL's Ask Me Anything sessions.

Step 2: Strategies

Step 3: Resources