Letter to Faculty

March 13, 2020

Dear Faculty,

As you are aware, beginning Monday, March 16th, all face to face and hybrid class meetings at all locations will be moved to the online environment.

We are able to implement such a change with confidence as faculty are already prepared for this scenario having completed either HOT or the Basic and Advanced Canvas along with Cyber Day training! As those of you teaching face-to-face courses prepare for work with your students in an online environment, please review the following useful tips.

Things to Do

  • Review Cyber Day Preparedness for Faculty.

  • Access your Canvas course template.

    You will have access to the online course template that corresponds to your face-to-face course. (Example, if you teach MAT 308 face-to-face, you have access to the online course template for MAT 308 – TEMPLATE.MAT308.DIS.)

    To view this content:

    1. Log into myWilmU
    2. Click on the “Canvas” icon in the toolbar.
    3. You’ll see the online template listed with your other Canvas courses. If your course is MAT 308, the template course title will look like this: TEMPLATE.MAT308.DIS

    Should you have any questions or need support accessing this content, or would like the entire DIS template added to your F2F section, please feel free to contact Online Learning at onlinemanager@wilmu.edu.

    Further, if you happen to teach online the same course you are currently teaching face to face, you can request access to this course or a course copy.

  • Hold class at the scheduled days and times, and take attendance.

    If your class is scheduled to meet for example, at 10:00 a.m. on Thursdays, continue to do so via Zoom. Also, please record attendance as this information is required for student financial aid.

  • Be prepared for students questions and concerns and reset your expectations for students.

    Remember that some students do not have easy access to a computer, so this will be an especially unnerving and challenging time for them! For some students, this will be their first time to engage in an online course.  So, reconsider some of your expectations for students, including participation, communication, and deadlines.

    As you think through those changes, keep in mind the impact this situation may have on students' ability to meet those expectations, including illness, lacking power or Internet connections, or needing to care for family members. Please respond to their questions and concerns in a timely manner and offer to engage them via the telephone.  Also, be prepared to handle requests for extensions.

  • Create a detailed communications plan.

    Once you have details about changes in the class, communicate them to students, along with how and when they can contact you (email, online office hours, etc.).

Things Not To Do

  • Hold synchronous class meetings at a time and day the class is not scheduled to meet.
  • Adding a class session after the course is scheduled to end.
  • Increasing the amount of work students are expected to do.
  • Outside of Canvas and Zoom, using additional technologies or tools you normally do not use in the course, which may impair your students due to inaccessibility or additional costs.

Please know that we are here to support you and appreciate your dedication and flexibility. We are leaning on one another as we work through this unexpected challenge. Together, we will make this a great experience for our students!


Dr. Jim D. Wilson
Vice President for Academic Affairs