Prepare for when classes can't meet

EMU Information Systems has compiled the following toolkit of technology recommendation to help instructors prepare for a possible disruption to campus operations. This toolkit will help you to:

  • Prepare in advance for a disruption

  • Conduct classes during a large-scale disruption to campus operations

  • Organize your course materials and communicate with students during normal operations

This toolkit is not a definitive list of technology resources, nor is it designed to address non-technical issues, such as attendance policies or pedagogical best practices.

Important: Some of the tools mentioned in this document are not explicitly aligned with FERPA or HIPPA. 

Working & Teaching Remotely

Readiness quiz

Answer Yes or No to the statements below

Are you prepared to...?

  1. Put your course materials online?

    1. I have a Moodle course for each of my courses that contains the most current course information.

    2. I have a way to distribute assignments to my students online such as a Moodle course site.

    3. I use audio or video materials in class and I know how to share these with my students.

    4. I use Moodle to make materials available to my students.

      If you answered "no" to one or more of the statements above, learn more in the Use Moodle to put materials online section below.

  2. Establish channels of communication with your students and colleagues

    1. My students know how to contact me remotely if they have a question.

    2. I have a way to facilitate discussion with groups of students remotely.

    3. Students have a way to contact each other and collaborate online.

      If you answered "no" to one or more of the statements above, learn more in the How to communicate online section below.

  3. Establish ways to conduct your class at a distance

    1. My students can read, listen to, and/or watch my lectures online.

    2. My students can turn in homework and take exams online.

    3. I have a way to respond to student work and securely publish scores online.

      If you answered "no to one or more of the statements above learn more in the How to conduct your class online section below.

Use Moodle to put materials online

Having course materials online helps you to be prepared and ensures that students always have access to the content they need. The following list contains a number of ways you can share various types of course materials with your students online. Using Moodle, the official learning management system of EMU,  is a simple way for your students and you to stay connected. Course sites are automatically created in Moodle each semester and allow instructors:

  • Post the course syllabus

  • Post class lectures

  • Provide course materials, including assignments, readings and audio/visual materials

  • Collect completed assignments

  • Manage quizzes

  • Record grades

  • Post urgent messages

  • Hold conferences (e.g., online office hours) and broadcast lectures live

  • Set up and manage online asynchronous discussions

  • Set up and manage group work

View Moodle FAQs

How to communicate online

Useful for both emergency situations and general course activity, this list provides suggestions on establishing lines of communication with and between your students and colleagues.

1. Make sure that you can access your EMU email from your phone or on the web

Email on your phone

Modern smartphones and cell-connected devices provide the best way to access email during emergencies. Cell networks are often buffered from the disruptions in power and are less susceptible to wind damage than cable, phone and fiber networks. When the worst does happen cellular services are some of the first systems to be restored.

Using the Gmail app is the preferred way to access your EMU email on your phone.

Gmail App for Android

Gmail App for iOS

Email on the web

If you have access to a web browser but you don’t have access to your own computer, you can still use EMU Gmail. It is web-based and accessible via the Internet.

Remember computer security best practices. If you are using someone else’s computer or a public computer:

  • Make sure the computer is running antivirus. Accessing your EMU email from an unprotected computer violates EMU policy and puts your personal information at risk.

  • Don’t cache your password.

  • Sign out of your email when you are done and close all browser windows.

  • Delete any downloaded file that contains FERPA or sensitive data.

2. Use chat, voice, video or all three

  • EMU Zoom: Use EMU Zoom to participate in group video chat during online class sessions, host virtual office hours, collaborate remotely on research, share screens and host real-time video conversations. Learn more about Zoom. HIPPA compliant Zoom accounts are available upon request.

  • EMU Google Hangouts: You can chat or conference with up to 25 people at once in a EMU Google Hangout. EMU Google Hangouts are FERPA–aligned, but do not have the BAA required by HIPAA. Hangouts is a feature of EMU G Suite. Learn more about Google Hangouts. (Note that FERPA alignment applies only to EMU Google Hangouts.)

3. Create a telephone hotline

  • Voicemail: Turn your voicemail box into a telephone hotline. Update your greeting with timely information about the status of your course(s) or campus operations.

How to conduct your class online

Facilitate classroom and other campus-based activities, such as lectures, student questions, discussion, homework turn-in and exams, with these technology tool options.

1. Use Zoom

  • EMU Zoom. Zoom unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, group messaging, and a software-defined conference room solution into one easy-to-use platform. Learn more about EMU Zoom.

2. Record and share lectures with Panopto

Panopto lets instructors record and publish lectures and other class activities online. Students can then view (and review) the published materials using a Web browser or mobile device.

You can use Panopto to:

  1. Pre-record and then post video lectures

  2. Broadcast a live lecture (with a three-second delay).

The first mode allows you to upload supplemental video content and to add notes to your course materials. Learn more about Panopto

3. Offer Moodle Student Groups for group work

Moodle Forums are like a smaller version of your course and are used as a collaborative tool where students can work together on group projects and assignments. Learn more about Moodle Forums.

4. Use EMU G Suite for collaboration and productivity  

EMU G Suite provides access to your documents from anywhere (via the internet and/or your phone), and allow you to collaborate in real time using rich co-authoring functions and give feedback on the activities your students are working on. Both provide commonly used document, spreadsheet, and presentation features. 

Remember computer security best practices. If you are using someone else’s computer or a public computer:

  • Make sure the system is running antivirus.  Accessing EMU G Suite from an unprotected computer violates EMU policy and puts your personal information at risk. 

  • Don’t cache your password.

  • Sign out of your account.

  • Delete any downloaded file that contains FERPA or otherwise sensitive data.

5. Assess student learning online with Moodle 

Every Moodle course includes the ability to create and review quizzes. Learn more about creating and managing quizzes in Moodle.

6. Track student grades with Moodle Gradebook and submit grades to the registrar online with myEMU

  • Moodle Gradebook: You can easily record student scores online, track student progress and calculate final grades in Moodle Gradebook. Grades for each assignment can be calculated as points, percentages, complete or incomplete, pass or fail, GPA scale, and letter grades. Publish scores for students to view securely online. Learn more about Moodle Gradebook.

  • myEMU: You can submit grades through myEMU. 

How to access course materials from home

Methods are available for accessing on campus materials from your personal laptop or home computer. First check with your departmental support staff; your department may already have a system in place for accessing files from home.

Access your EMU files from home

VPN. VPN allows you to access your EMU network files (G:, H:, P:, Z:) with a connection to the Internet. 

Store materials online.

  • Store course materials in Moodle.

  • Use the online file storage provided by EMU G Suite.

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