Academic Continuity Planning

Academic Continuity Preparation

While we understand that not all courses are conducive to remote and virtual learning modalities (e.g., nursing labs; lab sciences including chemistry and biology; and performing arts, among others), an academic continuity plan is essential to providing SDSU students an uninterrupted academic experience. Additionally, planning ahead of time in anticipation of inclement weather or other events that result in campus closure is key to staying on schedule.

An Academic Continuity Plan requires setting up your virtual classroom first. All classes at SDSU are provided with a course site in Canvas and all faculty have access to educational technology tools that can assist you with remote instruction including Zoom, Mediasite, Camtasia, and more.

Steps to Create an Academic Continuity Plan

By following the steps below, you will be prepared to transition smoothly from face-to-face learning in the classroom to your virtual classroom should the university need to close during an emergency.

Step 1: Prepare your class before an emergency event

  • Familiarize yourself with virtual technologies at SDSU including Canvas, Zoom, and Mediasite
  • Download and install any required plugins, programs, and prerequisites prior to your class
  • Consult with an Instructional Designer at ITS for training and support
  • Post the course syllabus and schedule in Canvas
  • Setup the Canvas Gradebook
  • Create and save one backup assignment
  • Upload course materials and readings
  • Post any relevant announcements in Canvas
  • Have at least two pre-recorded lectures prepared and ready to deploy
  • Select alternative virtual activities for students, including video clips, discussions, or journals

Step 2: Respond to an emergency event after it has happened

  • Make your pre-recorded backup lecture(s) and activities available
  • Use the Announcements and Email features to communicate with your students
  • Use the Discussion Board for class discussions and interpersonal communication
  • Schedule a web conferencing session using Zoom during your regular class time
  • Record all progress and grades in the Grade Center

Step 3: Assess the situation and consider future instructional needs 

  • Are you and/or your students displaced as a result of the emergency?
  • How long will your SDSU campus location be closed?
  • Will you need to adjust availability dates and due dates for graded items in your course?
  • Will you have students who need to utilize proctored testing services?
  • Will your in-person course need to be converted to a distance learning format quickly?

Once SDSU’s main campus has reopened, Instructional Technology Services will be available to assist you. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any concerns or questions you have – we are here to help get your course sailing smoothly as soon as possible after an emergency!