Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE)

Flexible Teaching for Emergencies

Basics of Flexible Teaching

  1. Provide a strong asynchronous framework for your course even if it's a fully face to face course.  This will give you the strongest foundation for pivoting the course if needed, and/or responding to individual students' needs for flexibility. Make sure the following items are available on Canvas:
    1. Required:
      1. Syllabus and course schedule
      2. Communication via announcements and the Canvas In-box
      3. Updated grades
    2. Recommended:
      1. Instructional materials
      2. Lecture recordings from synchronous meetings, pre-recorded lectures, or materials provided in face to face settings (e.g. powerpoints)
      3. Assignment submission opportunities
      4. Engagement opportunities such as discussion boards
  2. "Flexible" does not mean "identical."  Carefully planned face to face activities are special; the experience is not the same as other formats.  Having a flexible course provides different, acceptable, well-crafted, productive paths for students to succeed in meeting learning outcomes -- it doesn't provide every student with the exact same experience.
  3. "Flexible" does not mean "everything for everyone."  Create course policies that allow for flexibility in due dates, participation strategies, make-up work, etc., but do not place such a burden on you that you're unable to meet other students' needs because you are constantly responding to individual situations.

Top Flexible Course Resources