Technologies for Flexible Teaching

Wesleyan University is a residential campus requiring a variety of support services, regardless of inclement weather conditions or emergency situations. On occasion, you may need to unexpectedly reschedule a class meeting due to severe weather, illness, or various other reasons.  In order to provide for instructional continuity, faculty may want to consider developing a plan for connecting with your students asynchronously via the methods described below. Similarly, you may wish to take advantage of synchronous technologies when you have a guest lecturer who is unable to participate in-person but could interact from a distance during a scheduled session.

The Center for Pedagogical Innovation and/or the ITS Academic Technologists (AT) can help you choose the strategy and tools that make the most sense given your course requirements, instructional goals, and comfort with technology. Faculty can schedule a video recording with Instructional Media Services (IMS). There may be a fee associated with these recordings, so please contact IMS in advance at x4959 or by submitting a service ticket.

  • Web Conferencing Tools:  Wesleyan has partnered with GoToMeeting to provide web conferencing. GoToMeeting is a simple to use web conferencing tool that includes video and screen sharing.

More about GoToMeeting can be found at http://www.wesleyan.edu/its/services/web/web_conferencing.html
Please contact Bonnie Solivan, Academic Technologist, to find out more about this option.

  • Use Lecture Capture:  Echo360 is the University’s solution for lecture capture and streaming. Class sessions can be pre-recorded in the event of a scheduled instructor absence. We offer two basic options for creating and capturing lecture content with Echo360:
    • Classroom capture - Certain classrooms on campus (EC150 and EC84) are equipped with Echo360 hardware including cameras and built in microphones that enable instructors to capture their classroom lectures.
    • Personal capture - Personal Capture allows instructors to capture the events taking place on their own laptops.

Please contact Bonnie Solivan, Academic Technologist, to find out more about this option.

  • Use Moodle:  Set up a Moodle site at the beginning of the semester and use it regularly to share materials with students. Should a class session be modified, the Moodle discussion tool is an excellent way to get students discussing a topic in writing. You can create a rubric for this activity with a link directly to your course’s gradebook. Additionally, provide resources in Moodle with needed information for students to draw from as they discuss the assignment with their classmates. Please contact Bonnie Solivan, Academic Technologist, to find out more about this option. More info on Moodle tools can be found here.

  • Include Contingency Plans in Your Syllabus:  
    • Articulate mode of communication to use in the event of a cancellation (Email, Moodle, etc)
    • State in your syllabus how instructional continuity will be maintained in the event that a session is rescheduled.
    • Provide well-written, measurable, student-centered learning objectives that will allow you to be more intentional and directed as you choose an alternative learning activity in the event of a schedule change.
    • When appropriate, provide students with an updated syllabus showing any changes in schedule particularly as these changes pertain to upcomming assessments.

      For more assistance with syllabus design please contact the Center for Pedagogical Innovation's Instructional Design Unit.

Perhaps you’re not ready to try one of the strategies above.  You may stil want to plan ahead, and specify in your syllabus and discuss in class what students should do in the event of a course schedule modification, planned or unplanned.

Regardless of the technology (Moodle, Echo360, etc) that you are using, we strongly suggest that you test your activity on the computer that you will be using and in the location you will teach from. 

Center for Pedagogical Innovation

Jeffrey Goetz, Asst. Director of Instructional Design
x3303  jgoetz@wesleyan.edu

Paula Blue, Instructional Technologist
x2398  pblue@wesleyan.edu

Academic Technologists

Steve Bertolino, Academic Technologist
x2608  sbertolino@wesleyan.edu

Bonnie Solivan, Academic Technologist
x2812  bsolivan@wesleyan.edu