Emerson IT Help Desk

Online Class Options for Snow Days

ITG recommends that you decide on a policy for snow days and other cancelled classes before the start of the semester and post that on your Syllabus so that students are prepared.

Please feel free to contact ITG with questions or to schedule a training regarding any of the tools mentioned below.

Asynchronous Options (Easiest)

Asynchronous options are the most reliable: you can create them ahead of time and they are less prone to technical issues.

Online Discussion in Canvas

Canvas Discussions are an easy way to shift class online, and they offer many possibilities. Here are just a few scenarios:

  • Have students respond to a reading. Require them to respond to the prompt and to at least two other classmates.
  • Post a reading, and then record a short video where you pose a question. Students can respond in writing or with their own short videos.
  • Break the class into two groups: one poses questions on the readings, the other responds. Then have groups switch the roles for another reading.

Make sure to give your students (and yourself) specific times to prepare and respond to discussions. For example, tell your students to add their responses between 10 AM and 2 PM, add your responses from 2 - 4 PM, and then send them an announcement to view your comments. This will keep expectations clear and help with ambiguity. Times can vary, of course, but be specific and hold you and your students to the schedule!

Screencasts and Video Lectures

If you were planning a lecture for your students, you may want to create a video lecture. Or, you can create a screencast with your presentation slides and accompanying audio. Options:

  • Record a quick video of you talking into your webcam directly in Canvas
  • Screencast-o-matic.com (free, 15 minute limit)
  • Presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple Keynote also have built in capabilities for recording audio with slides.

Synchronous Options

Web Conferencing Options

Web conferencing tools can be challenging to use since many factors can get in the way of a smooth session: internet connection (wired connections are ideal), plugin installations and updates, microphone and camera issues, etc.

If you’d like to use web conferencing, we recommend that you keep things simple and establish guidelines for participating. We would also recommend setting up a practice/training session with ITG ahead of time so that you are comfortable using the platform.

Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect is a web conferencing platform that consists of a virtual meeting room where you can present and communicate with others synchronously. Features include real-time video, text chat, document sharing, collaborative editing, polling, desktop sharing, and recording of sessions. Faculty should email adobe_connect@emerson.edu to request a Connect meeting room.

Google Hangouts

Hangouts is a set of video conferencing and group chat tools within G Suite for Education. You can hangout with up to 15 users in a video call via any device with a webcam, or up to 100 in a group chat.

For best results, use Chrome and follow these steps:

Go to G Suite for Education @ Emerson and sign-in.

Google Apps Sign-In

Click on the "Hangouts" icon in the lower right.

Hangouts Icon

Click on the "Start a Video Hangout" in the lower right of the window.

Start a Video Hangout

Allow your webcam and microphone to be used by Chrome.

Allow Microphone and Webcam

Add the individuals you'd like to chat with via their Emerson email addresses.

Invite People

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