Preparing for Online Instruction – March 12, 2020

To ensure continuity of instruction, all faculty will prepare courses for online instruction for Wednesday, March 18, through at least Sunday, March 29. Faculty should also prepare for the possibility that online instruction will extend beyond that date, as we continue to monitor and respond to the worldwide spread of the COVID-19.

As part of this preparation, all faculty must complete the following no later than the end of the day Tuesday, March 17:

● Attend or watch a video of a training or workshop offered by Educational Technology Services (ETS) on online teaching and learning, if they have not already done so.
● Move all key course materials to Canvas (including syllabus, readings, assignments, discussion posts, slides, videos and notes).
● Publish your Canvas course for students.
● Establish and communicate a communication and instruction plan with students.
● Set up your Canvas gradebook.
● Prepare for online instruction for this period of time, either through live synchronous class sessions via Zoom, recorded lectures or other direct faculty instruction methods.
● Communicate with students on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 to confirm that they have necessary access and tools to continue instruction remotely.

The move to online instruction is new for all of us. Here are some clarifications about next week:
● Physical in-person classes are cancelled next Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17. Existing online courses and Law school courses will continue online. Instructors who are able to move online quickly and want to commence online courses on Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17 should contact their associate dean or dean.
● The university is open and faculty will be preparing for classes, attending or watching a video of training or workshop offered by ETS, and checking in with their students electronically on Monday March 16 and Tuesday March 17. Faculty may complete these tasks on campus or remotely.
● Faculty who have attended or watched a video of training or workshop offered by ETS may conduct online teaching remotely from Wednesday March 18 to Sunday March 29. We want to ensure that faculty have the capacity and training to deliver remote instruction. Faculty who have not attended or watched a training video by the end of the day on Tuesday, March 17 should come to campus during their regularly scheduled class time and conduct online instruction from campus; please work with the Dean’s Office to receive on-site assistance.

It is important that faculty assure their students that instruction will continue, despite the cancellation of in-person classes.

Instructional Continuity Training and Support Opportunities
The Continuity of Instruction Team has partnered with Educational Technology Services to provide a variety of training and support opportunities for faculty in the coming weeks. Opportunities are listed below and also outlined on our new USF Instructional Continuity website.

Online Resources – ETS has developed a rich suite of instructional continuity online resources, which are available on the Teaching through Emergencies page on their teaching and learning resource website – USF TEAch.

Online Workshops – ETS is offering twice daily online workshops via Zoom this week and next which cover the basics of online synchronous teaching, lecture recording, online office hours, setting up your gradebook and more. All faculty are required to attend one of these workshops, review the video, or participate in the self-paced training described below. Register here.

Self-Paced Training – ETS is in the process of developing a self-paced training course which will mirror the online workshop and provide additional resources related to research-based best practices for online learning. Look out for an update on this self-paced course in future communications and on the Teaching through Emergencies page on USF TEAch.

Individual or Small Group Consultations – Individual or small groups of faculty can request time to meet 1:1 with an ETS instructional designer or instructional technologist to get individual support in planning and preparing for online teaching or using Zoom and Canvas. Request a consultation here.

Instructional Continuity Faculty Working Group – The Tracy Seeley Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and ETS Instructional Design team have partnered to offer a weekly Instructional Continuity faculty working group, beginning next Tuesday, March 17, 2:00-3:00PM. This group will meet weekly to share strategies and discuss research related to instructional continuity and online learning and teaching. If there is enough interest, we will break up into smaller groups that address particular disciplinary and/or pedagogical needs. Sign up here.

Experienced Faculty Colleagues – We are reaching out to faculty colleagues across the school with experience in online education to ask them to be a resource to us. If you have experience in online education and are willing to help, please email us directly and copy Susan Zolezzi –

Student Resources – ETS has developed a one-page resource guide for students to begin to prepare for online instruction, which we highly encourage all faculty to send to their students.

Technical Support – If you are having trouble accessing Canvas, Zoom, or other educational technologies, please contact the ITS Help Desk at or call (415) 422-6668.

Please contact Senior Associate Dean, Eileen Fung, and Assistant Dean, Josh Gamson, if you have any questions.