How to best prepare for the lost class time due to weather-related class interruptions, it is in your best interest to consider a few very simple, proactive steps to take in your lesson planning, which will ease your mind and reassure your students when you need to change your original teaching plan and make alternative arrangements to deliver your course content.
1. First, and most importantly, make sure that your students and you know the university’s policy on weather-related class cancellations.
2. You and your students should know where to find information on weather events, and take action to keep safe. Consider taking proactive steps to prepare for any scheduled disruption.
3. Remind your students that we live in New England, and we do have unpredictable weather from time to time.
4. Let them know how you plan to address any changes in your syllabus, both what your expectations are of the students, and what steps you have taken to ensure the missed content is covered in a timely fashion.
5. The syllabus should serve as a contract between you and your students, of their responsibilities, and of your responsibilities.
Faculty utilizes the variety of options to ensure that the missed content gets covered. Although faculty should utilize the approach that works best for their course, a few options include utilizing the Saturday makeup days scheduled on the university’s academic calendar, recording the missed lectures, or utilize flexible teaching strategies that provide an alternative to the lecture.
Utilizing a flexible teaching strategy approach allows you to release a lesson in Husky CT to take the place of missed classes. Early in the semester, choose a topic or a theme that relates to your learning objectives and overall course goals. Create an activity or a lesson based on this topic that will be appropriate for many different times during the semester, regardless of when the missed class occurs.
Be sure to let the students know in the syllabus when they are expected to have the activity completed if the class is canceled. There are countless ways to integrate alternative content into an online environment.
- Have the students view a Ted Talk, provide them with questions to aid in comprehension, analysis, and synthesis of the material.
- Answers to questions could be posted in Husky CT, or taken up when the class meets next.
- Supplemental readings assign additional readings or pose discussion questions related to reading assignments that you would have otherwise asked during class.
- Case studies, offer your students guiding questions to further their analysis, prompts for your future discussion, and supplemental readings to support the case being studied.