For Administrators Developing Continuity Plans

In light of the current situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), OLC has received numerous requests from institutions in the US and abroad on how they might create emergency preparedness plans in the event of a temporary campus shutdown. As a means of assisting our community with the task of preparing for a quick shift to online, we’ve been compiling a list of helpful tools and resources to consider. This is not an all-encompassing collection but is meant to help organizations and institutions start this critical planning phase.

The following list focuses on resources for administrators tasked with continuity planning and emergency preparedness as institutions are forced to rapidly shift to online instruction.

We also invite you to review our other resource collections for faculty and general resources. 


Getting Started

Making the Shift to Online Learning: Emergency Preparedness & Instructional Continuity OLC Recorded Webinar, March 6, 2020, Q & A Follow Up Document

Joint Response Regarding COVID-19 and Advice on Transitioning Face-to-Face Courses Online A collection of resources and initiatives to support your efforts in moving courses to an online format when emergency situations arise.

TopCast Episode 61: Beyond the Coronavirus: Continuity of Operations and Online Learning In this episode, Tom and Kelvin consider the valuable role online education professionals can play in helping their institutions maintain or resume operations when faced with crises.

Education in the Time of the Virus or, Flying the Plane while Building It — From the Educause blog, Malcolm Brown summarizes the results of an EDUCAUSE QuickPoll which asked respondents to share their challenges in shifting to remote teaching and learning and how they are trying to address these issues.

OLC Ideate — Over the course of two weeks (April 21 – May 1), the OLC held a series of open salons (a casual and inclusive space with discussions organized and facilitated by a salon leader) that offered educators of all levels the opportunity to listen to emerging ideas and effective practices from their peers.  These casual discussions were designed to specifically encourage reflection, co-creation, and synthesis, with connections to future OLC events for further collaboration.

How I’m Spending My Pandemic Summer Vacation Teaching Online Resources (The Chronicle of Higher Education)  A professor creates a syllabus to guide herself and other faculty members in preparing for more remote teaching this fall, amid Covid-19.

Topical Resources

Emergency Preparedness Planning

Making the Shift to Online Learning: Emergency Preparedness & Instructional Continuity OLC Recorded Webinar, March 6, 2020

George Washington University Campus Advisories This website provides an overview of resources on instructional continuity that includes preparation checklists, information about digital tools, and just-in-time training for their community.

“Preparing to scale online teaching and learning during Coronavirus” webinar on Tuesday, March 10 During this 90-minute webinar recording, Blackboard provides suggested practices and shares experiences from other institutions who have transitioned to online during times of crisis.

Pat James, a consultant and a Facilitator with @ONE Course (a service of the California Community Colleges Office of the Chancellor) who has vast experience dealing with continued instruction during natural disasters and emergencies. Pat and Megan Raymond talk about California’s experience with disasters, moving courses online, financial implications, and compliance concerns (WCET) 

Gerrit T. Bakker, Senior Director, Public Health Preparedness, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials Gerrit and Megan Raymond discuss general preparedness, current progression and warnings across the United States, and strategies for messaging students, staff, and faculty. (WCET)

Accreditation, Continuity of Operations, and COVID-19 — An article from WCET that summarizes accreditors response to COVID-19 as well as a summary of the Department of Education’s guidance regarding federal financial aid compliance.

EDUCAUSE COVID-19 QuickPoll Results: Help for Students  During the COVID-19 pandemic, students are facing a variety of challenges in their transition to fully remote access, not only for learning but also for institutional services such as health services, emergency aid, housing and food, and financial services.

Making Remote Teaching Happen — The Topcast Teaching Podcast (University of Central Florida) hosted by Tom Cavanagh and Kevin Thompson is the first in a mini-series of monthly “field reports” offering collegial advice in getting through the current era of “remote teaching” necessitated by COVID-19.

Remote Work

Transitioning to a Virtual Workforce This article describes strategies that can be implemented when managing a distributed team.

The Best Advice for Remote Work Success from 10 Global Teams Trello has put together a free downloadable guide that includes best practices in communication, remote work culture, and software recommendations.

Powtoon’s Ultimate Guide to Remote Working This guide from Powtoon includes video templates and strategies for using Powtoon videos in a distributed work setting.

7 Best Practices for COVID-19 Online Necessitated Meetings Joshua Kim, (Inside Higher Ed & Dartmouth) describes online meeting best practices.

Communication Strategy

Academic Continuity Plan for Teaching & Learning Pepperdine University shares solutions for continuing coursework when face-to-face learning is disrupted. 

Campus Advisories: Academic Continuity George Washington University’s plan for instructional continuity, which includes a preparation checklist and tools for continuity.

Faculty Development

Brent Mundy of Blackboard shares guides and upcoming webinars to help with your planning. This blog will be updated as more resources become available.

Teaching Effectively During Times of Disruption, for SIS and PWR Jenae Cohn, Academic Technology Specialist for PWR, and Beth Seltzer, Academic Technology Specialist for Introductory Studies,


Accessible Remote Teaching This guide is intended to help faculty teach in accessible ways during remote teaching situations.

Remember Accessibility in the Rush to Online Instruction: 10 Tips for Educators The National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes provides recommendations on how to ensure that online content is accessible to everyone.

20 Tips for Teaching an Accessible Online Course An article by Sheryl Burgstahler (University of Washington, The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center) that outlines 20 easy tips to make your web-based course more accessible.

30 Web Accessibility Tips   Includes web accessibility tips that can be used by designers, developers, or content authors to guide them in creating or deploying web-based resources that are fully accessible to all users. This list is not intended to replace or map to formal standards such as the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

How to Survive Your Hurried Switch to Online Delivery Using UDL Converting your on-ground course to an online course can be a challenge under normal circumstances but converting to an online course in an emergency is a whole different matter. In this recorded webinar, you will learn how to survive this process and even improve the course by applying the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

Technology Assessment and Implementation

SECTIONS Model This framework encourages the consideration of questions in 8 areas of the SECTIONS model related to the integration of technology: Students, Ease of use, Costs, Teaching and learning, Interactivity, Organizational issues, Novelty, and Speed.

SAMR The SAMR Model is a framework created by Dr. Ruben Puentedura that categorizes four different degrees of classroom technology integration. The letters “SAMR” stand for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. The SAMR model was created to share a common language across disciplines as teachers strive to help students visualize complex concepts.

How Technology Can Support Student Success during COVID-19 — A blog from Educause that highlights the important role advising systems, degree progress tracking, and other technologies to support student success are in helping students complete courses and attain credentials.

Social Reading with Hypothesis  To support schools moving to remote learning, Hypothesis has waived all fees in 2020 to integrate collaborative annotation into learning management systems.

Commencement Planning

EDUCAUSE COVID-19 QuickPoll Results: 2020 Commencement Plans  Traditional commencement gatherings may not be possible in 2020, considering the social distancing practices that have been put into place around COVID-19. Campus leaders are exploring alternatives to these cherished convocation ceremonies.

Upcoming Events

None at this time.

Health Resources

Coronavirus Tech Handbook A crowdsourced list of resources with public Information, tools for the community including maps, apps, and ongoing projects related to COVID-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains a coronavirus resource page with links to their regular updates, as well as a self-paced informational course.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a coronavirus page providing general and industry-specific information, as well as regular updates. They have also created a page of interim guidance on preparing for mass gatherings and large community events.

Johns Hopkins has created a Global COVID-19 Dashboard to track global cases, recoveries, and deaths resulting from Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Need More Help?

Our rich history and dynamic connection to researchers and practitioners allow us to create customized and relevant solutions to meet the needs of our clients around the world. Academic continuity services we provide include:

  • Comprehensive program reviews
  • Instructional design support
  • Organizational change and transformation
  • Institutional effectiveness
  • Accreditation and assessment analytics
  • Infrastructure design and deployment
  • Enrollment management
  • Student experience
  • Course quality reviews