Snow Proof Your Face-to-Face Class with Sakai

Sakai can help combat weather-related delays and cancellations so you don’t lose class time entirely!

One of the great things about online classes is that they keep going even when inclement weather dictates campus-wide cancellations. As long as power is available, an online course site is up and running! Face-to-face instructors can also take advantage of this online space during storms. When classes are cancelled, you can successfully use Sakai to communicate with your face-to-face students, post readings, assignments, activities, quizzes, hold synchronous class meetings, and/or have the students converse in a discussion forum. While your students might not necessarily accomplish all of what you had intended for the classroom, they will still engage with the material that was due to be covered that day, and if you keep your class outcomes in mind and post activities or assignments that work to achieve those outcomes, the pace of the semester can be salvaged!

Sakai tools that might be useful on a snow day:

  • Assignments (for posting an assignment or activity details) Consider posting an assignment or activity that allows your students to explore an important topic or engage with course material. Post the details in Assignments and ask them to submit their work prior to the end of class or later if it will take more time.
  • Resources (for uploading readings, podcasts, videos, etc.) Do you have a lecture or video or supplemental reading that helps cover the topic or problem set you had planned to address? Post it to Resources so students can listen, watch, or read. Combine with Assignments, Forums, or Tests and Quizzes to increase student engagement.
  • Forums (for discussion) Do you want your students to discuss an important topic or readings? Post discussion questions to the Forums so they can respond to your prompts, as well as respond to each other. You’ll be surprised by the conversations that ensue!
  • Tests and Quizzes (for posting a test or quiz) Was reading due? How about a short pop quiz to access understanding? Formative assessments in the form of a short quiz or question set are an excellent way to gauge student understanding and improve learning.
  • Meetings/Big Blue Button (for synchronous class meetings, small group meetings, or “office” hours) Want to still “meet” with your students to go over material? The Meetings tool (Big Blue Button) allows for entire classes to meet synchronously, or for you to hold one-on-one/small group meetings. The meetings can also be recorded for later viewing. Live chat options in Meetings are useful for class discussions that do not require audio or visual hook-ups.

For more information on any of the above tools, please visit ITS Sakai Training.

Also, don’t forget about your Google Suite! Students can work collaboratively in Google Drive, Sheets, Slides, or Sites, as well as have meetings in Hangouts.