Getting Started


Interruptions can happen at any time for any duration, requiring faculty to rapidly adapt their courses to challenging and unfamiliar platforms.

It’s crucial not to panic. While the process will no doubt feel unfamiliar and at times possibly frustrating, try as much as possible to be patient. Be willing to switch tactics if something isn’t working. Above all, stay focused on making sure the students are comfortable, and keep a close eye on the course learning goals.

While you might not be able to teach something exactly the way you imagined, as long as you’re still meeting the learning goals of the course, you’re doing fine.


1) Collect as Much Information as Possible

  • Regularly check https://semo.edu/sealerts/covid-19.html for updates, information, alerts, and closures.
  • Follow up at http://cstl.semo.edu/cstl/ with any questions, both immediate and long-term.
  • Assess your access and comfort with tools and technologies. Where do you have best access to a computer and internet? Do you have a web camera or device with a camera and a microphone (such as a tablet or smart phone)? Do your students have access to devices and internet? The answers to these questions will determine the best way to deliver your course.

2) Communicate

  • As you form a plan, keep in contact with students. They can be emailed using Outlook (which requires listing all email addresses into the recipients line) or by using the Announcements Forum in Moodle.
  • All courses have a Moodle page. Make it visible (Link) and post to the Announcements Forum to send a message to every students’ Southeast email.
  • Share your expectations for checking email or Moodle for information.
  • Set up and share office hours when you will be available by phone, by Zoom Link HERE or by Skype https://www.skype.com/en/ .
  • Students will have a lot of questions; manage expectations for how quickly they can expect a response from you.

3) Focus on the Essentials

  • Consider the most essential learnings in your course. There are many ways to provide inclusive, highly engaging learning in the context of an online or remote course and we are here to help.
  • Read our recommended Strategies for advice on how to determine the core aspects of your course.
  • Reach out to the Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning by emailing cstlsupport@semo.edu or instructional designers Mary Harriet Talbut mhtalbut@semo.edu or Kris Baranovic kbaranovic@semo.edu.
  • Review any accommodation notifications received at the beginning of the semester. If you have any concerns regarding the inclusivity of the online version of your course, contact the CSTL https://cstl.semo.edu or reach out to the Disability Services Office https://semo.edu/ds/

4) Use Tools Familiar to You and Students

  • Any emergency event creates stress. Be patient and flexible with yourself and your students.
  • Introducing too many new tools and approaches may leave even less energy for learning.
  • It’s okay to select low-tech solutions to accomplish course outcomes. Many online teaching tools and resources take time, preparation, and effort to create. The investment of creating those resources may not be worth it in a two-week shutdown.
  • If there is no way around a particular teaching need and you absolutely must use something new - reach out for help. You have peers and colleagues who teach online who are glad to assist in times of great need, and the CSTL https://cstl.semo.edu has a raft of available tools and resources as well.