Flexible Teaching to Minimize Weather Interruptions

Familiarize yourself with University emergency closing policy



Prepare Early:
Inclement weather may lead to the cancellation of classes and the need to adjust how and when course content is delivered. CETL recommends all faculty follow a few simple steps at the beginning of the semester:

  • Articulate weather cancellation plans in your syllabus:
    • Clearly describe your policy for class cancellations as well as the communication strategy you will use during cancellations or disruptions. Clearly describe your planned method of supplementing or making up for the time missed in your cancellation. (See examples below)
  • Request and Use a HuskyCT Course Site:
    • Set up a HuskyCT site at the beginning of the semester and use it regularly to share materials with students (NOTE: Once a site is requested it can take up to 12 hours for the course to appear in HuskyCT.)
    • During the semester make regular use of the tools you will use in the event cancellations or disruptions. For example if students will use threaded discussions in place of missed class time, find pedagogically appropriate ways to use the discussion tool throughout the semester ensuring students are familiar with the tool in the event of a disruption.

Pre-plan and Respond: With a clear policy in place decide if you want to be responsive or proactive to disruptions to your course. Each method has benefits and drawbacks, but all options can be effective.

Be Responsive and use Synchronous Video Conferencing A variety of options are available through the University to host synchronous video conferencing. Contact CETL's ed tech staff for information.

Be Responsive and Distribute Learning Activities after the Disruption: This method allows you to continue your normal in class lessons and activities by simply teaching the lesson from the missed day in the next class and moving a some future class session into the online environment.

  • Cancel class as outlined in your syllabus explaining any responsibilities students have before the next class meeting
  • In the next class meeting, teach the content that you missed as a result of the cancellation
  • Take the time in the week(s) following the cancellation to review the remaining in person class sessions and chose one of these classes to move into the online environment.
  • Once you have chosen the lesson to move, use a combination of lecture capture, short video, streaming films, readings, assignments, journals, quizzes, and/or guided discussion in HuskyCT to create online activities that meet the learning outcomes associated with the class you are moving online. (NOTE: Placing Powerpoint slides into HuskyCT by themselves is a transfer of content but not activities. We recommend a more comprehensive engaging solution that includes not just student-to-content, but student-to-student and student-to-faculty contact as well).
  • Set up a timeline for students that allows them to complete these activities in a more flexible way and that still allows them to complete the activities prior to any associated assessments.

Be Proactive and Build Ahead of the Disruption: This method allows you to release a prepared lesson in HuskyCT to take the place of the hours of class missed.

  • Early in the semester, choose a topic or theme that relates to your overall course goals and objectives and create a lesson based on this theme in such a way that it can fit into the course at any time.
  • Use a combination of a short videos, streaming films, readings, assignments, journals, quizzes, and/or guided discussion in HuskyCT. Built out ahead of time in a HuskyCT module, the content can be made available immediately as needed.
  • Determine the timeline for delivery of this module. Decide whether students need to complete the activity the day of the missed class, before the next class, or within some other timeframe.

All of these methods require some preplanning and we recommend you contact Educational Technologies if you will need training and support on using the technology listed above.