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This content was published: February 11, 2019. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.

Teaching during snowpocalypse

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PCC Sylvania campus, snow day, Feb 2019, photo credit to Celina Baguiano

PCC Sylvania campus, snow day, Feb 2019 (photo credit to Celina Baguiano)

Sitting in my living room while looking at the gorgeous snow outside this weekend, it all seems so peaceful. I can’t imagine the chaos there might be on Monday. The first day of school and work for everyone. Do you also worry whether your campus class will be delayed Monday morning? Don’t worry! I’m going to help you prepare some things that will help you so you can still teach your class regardless of the situation.

PCC values providing a predictable educational experience for their students. That must also be balanced with a safe physical environment for students, staff and the public while on campus or traveling to campus. Please see the PCC Closure Policy for more information.

Last year I wrote the blog post Using D2L Brightspace to shovel out your class. I showed you how tools in Brightspace can help you continue teaching class in the event of a campus closure or poor road conditions prevent you from getting to campus safely. In this post, I’d like to add a few more things that you can do.

Ready, set…

1-Quickly post a note for my class

You can use activity feed in Brightspace. My colleague, Casey and I did a post on it back in September, showing how you can use it to increase engagement. You certainly can use this in lieu of Announcement tool if you just want to post something quickly and don’t need to retain the information for future use.D2L Brightspace Activity Feed

2-Meet your students virtually from home

You can use Google Hangouts to meet your class. We have Google Hangouts available in our tool bucket. You can quickly create a meeting session where you can still meet your students during your class time from home. You can easily share your screen and invite anyone to the session.

Interface of Google Hangouts video conference session

3-Record a lecture for class

lecture captureYou can use CaptureSpace from inside Brightspace to record your lecture and post it in the Content area. Remember to add the tags with keywords so that you can reference  the video later (e.g. cas121, week 6 lecture, feb 2019, typing efficiently, keyboard shortcut, captionasr.) Also, your recording file may not be available right away for posting as it takes time to process, especially if your lecture is longer than 15 minutes.


4-Grade and annotate Brightspace assignments

D2L assignment grader app icon

You can easily use Assignment grader apps (App no longer supported as of 9/20). which allows you to mark your submissions using your iPad or Android device offline and synchronize your graded assignments when you are online.


Go to your Brightspace class and try them out!

I believe you’re now ready to teach your class during a snow day or during any emergency situation you might encounter in the future that may otherwise cancel your class.

Still have questions?

Don’t worry, if you still have any questions or need more guidance, contact the Online Faculty Helpdesk (email dlhelp@pcc.edu), 971-722-8227 or contact the Instructional Technology Specialist will be there to help you every step of the way. Good luck!

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x (Comment #34024) by Paul Montone 3 years ago (Comment #34024)

Thanks for sharing the great tools and ideas, Melany! As an online instructor, I’m often relieved to be teaching online during inclement weather, as I’m often able to preserve the continuity of my courses despite campus closures.

One thing to add is that I’ve also learned to be considerate of those students who may have their internet services disrupted as a result of severe weather (last year I had a student whose house was damaged due to a tree falling on it during the big winter storms!). I’ve also learned to be aware of those students who may not be able to access the spaces where they dedicate time to online studies (such as on campus). Whether online or on campus, flexibility is another great tool we can use to support student learning during these seasonal disruptions.