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This website is updated with new content regularly. Page last updated 8:18 a.m. 3/10/2020.

The University Center for Teaching and Learning advises faculty to consider activities that enable continuity of instruction in the event of high student/faculty absenteeism or changes to normal campus operations due to pandemic illness, natural disaster, unsafe conditions, or unforeseen emergencies. During such an event, it is prudent to minimize disruption to the essential processes of teaching and learning, while maintaining the health and safety of the campus community. The following resources will assist faculty in continuing instruction in the event of an extended disruption to standard University operations.

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Preparedness Checklists

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Basic Considerations for Teaching Online

These items identify the fundamental issues you will need to consider in order to deliver your course(s) from home or an off-campus location.

Access your CourseWeb (Blackboard) or Canvas course shell

Blackboard course shells can be accessed through MyPitt using your University email and password

Canvas course shells can be accessed at the Pitt Canvas site using your University email and password

Have you posted course content on your CourseWeb (Blackboard) or Canvas sites?

Setting up a new course in Blackboard

Setting up a new course in Canvas

Establish a mode of communication

University Phone

University Email

Blackboard Announcements

Canvas Announcements

Canvas Inbox

Decide how to deliver your course content in the online environment Synchronous/Asynchronous

Syncrhonous

Description: Learning that takes place when the instructor and students interact in real-time (at a scheduled time) using video conferencing, audio conference calling, or other web-based technologies.

Useful contexts: Courses that are smaller, use discussion-based formats, and have content that is more complex in nature

Relevant Tools: Telephone, Audio Conferences, Web-based video sessions, and chats

Asyncrhonous

Description: Learning takes place through instruction and activities that are delivered through the University’s LMS. Students interact with content and complete assignments independently, at a time and pace of their choosing.

Useful contexts: Courses that are larger, use lecture-based formats, and have content that is less complex in nature

Relevant Tools: Blackboard, Canvas, Email, Video lectures, Discussion boards, Voice-annotated PowerPoint, Social Networking, Podcasts

Communicate expectations to students regarding class requirements during an emergency Emergency Preparedness for the University of Pittsburgh
Learn how to make video content for your course

Guidelines for Creating Instructional Recordings

Recording Video and Audio in Canvas

Learn how to make digital copies of course materials and documents

How to Create a Portable Document Format File (PDF) in Windows

How to Create a Portable Document File (PDF) on Mac

Learn how to conduct an audio conference call

Skype for Business

Microsoft Teams

Learn how to conduct a web-based conference session

Using Web Conferencing in Blackboard

Using Web Conferencing in Canvas

Confirm technical capacity to deliver your course from home or a location outside the classroom

PittNet VPN (Pulse Secure Client)

Cloud Collaboration

Course Delivery Options

These items provide pointers to help you prepare course content and activities that align with the type of course you teach.

Consider how you will deliver content in a lecture-based course 1. Post documents, presentations, readings, and assignments the Learning Management System

2. Provide alternative activities such as additional readings or viewing online resources that cover relevant course content

3. Record and post class lectures for students to view

4. Use the Assignments tool in the Learning Management System to have students submit reports, papers or projects

Consider how you will deliver content in a discussion-based course 1. Use the Learning Management System’s discussions boards

2. Use web conferencing to hold online real-time meetings

3. Use the Assignments tool in the Learning Management System to have students submit reports, papers or projects

4. Use telephone audio conferencing

Consider how you will administer assessments and assignments

Using the Assignment Tool in Blackboard

Using Grade Center in Blackboard

Using Rubrics in Blackboard

Using the Assignment Tool in Canvas

Using the Gradebook in Canvas

Setting up Quizzes in Canvas

Adding and Managing Rubrics in Canvas

Using the SpeedGrader in Canvas

Consider how to conduct lab-based activities 1. Record and post class demonstrations for students to view

2. Consider alternate lab activities that can be performed at home

3. Locate virtual labs online for students to complete

4. Use the Assignments tool in the Learning Management System to have students submit reports, papers or projects

Consider how to hold virtual office hours

Using Collaborate in Blackboard

Creating a Conference in Canvas

Common Educational Technology Tools

These items guide you in selecting the appropriate tools to support instructional continuity through the use of educational technology.

Resources

Pitt Information Technology maintains a list of IT resources to support remote work.

Important information and updates relevant to the University community will be posted at the Office of Public Safety & Emergency Management.

For student health concerns: Pitt Student Health Service

For those traveling or abroad: Pitt Global Operations Support

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on COVID-19 and travel alerts

U.S. Department of State travel advisories

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