Academic Continuity for Faculty and Staff

What is Academic Continuity?

Academic Continuity refers to the continuation of academic services and support at PVCC through instructional technology tools and online teaching/learning strategies during an emergency event or extended college closure. Help your students succeed by being proactive and knowing what to do during an emergency and how to do it. The main goal is to be flexible enough to keep your students learning and help them complete your course so that their educational progress is not interrupted.

Communicate with Your Students

  • Be consistent with the digital tool selected for online communications, and be sure to post this information in a prominent location, such as the Syllabus page in Canvas.
  • Set expectations for how students should engage in the communication, including how they should contact the instructor.
  • Set expectations with students for how quickly the instructor will respond to online communication.

Use Instructional Time Effectively

There are many ways in which instructors can continue interacting with their students, either synchronously or asynchronously with tools provided by the VCCS. For a virtual, synchronous meeting, Zoom web conferencing is a great solution. In a Zoom meeting, both instructors and students can share audio, video, and screen presentations. Instructors can record the meeting, which can then be saved to the cloud and automatically posted in Canvas after the session ends.

  • Use headphones or earbuds with a microphone to minimize surrounding noise and amplify your voice.
  • Mute participants upon entry into the meeting. (As the host of the meeting, instructors can mute and unmute participants at any point.)
  • Enable the Breakout Rooms feature in Zoom settings for group discussions. In a Breakout Room, instructors can split a large class meeting into separate rooms for small groups of students to work collaboratively.

For asynchronous instruction or lectures, Canvas Studio will allow you to upload your own videos or use YouTube videos, to which students can then add comments or questions.

Consider Strategies to Move Instruction Online

  • Communicate with your students early and often. Demonstrate that you are present with the students in a meaningful way.
  • Focus on learning outcomes even if you need to adjust specific activities that contribute to those outcomes. Keep students moving forward.
  • Prioritize course activities and focus on delivering the ones with the most significant impact on learning outcomes.
  • Maintain normal course scheduling as much as possible. Try to hold synchronous activities during the normally scheduled campus class time, to avoid putting students in the difficult position of having to choose between simultaneous activities for different classes.
  • Flip your class by posting asynchronous lectures in Canvas and using synchronous Zoom activities for class interaction and discussion.
  • Convert synchronous activities into asynchronous activities to ease scheduling challenges, provided the new asynchronous activity promotes the same learning outcomes.
  • Rearrange course activities if needed to delay specific activities where face-to-face interaction is crucial.
  • Replace physical resources with digital resources or OERs where possible. Remember that some students who are not on campus may not have access to all of their course resources.
  • Use PVCC-supported tools and commonly used resources that are readily available and familiar to you and your students, including Canvas, Zoom, Google Apps, and Microsoft Office.