Using Instructional Technologies for Traditional Classroom Contingency Planning

Lone Star College System (LSCS) must be prepared to cope with possible localized and/or wide-spread campus closures in the event of potential communicable disease outbreaks, or other emergency. The following are suggestions for alternatives to lectures, homework and exams, class discussions, office hours, and grading to prepare faculty for the possibility of disruptions in courses. Links to HELP and PDF documents are provided for additional assistance. In the event of an emergency, please go directly to the STEPS FOR MAINTAINING INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINUITY.

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  • Address instructional and assessment-related matters.
    For example, instructors should plan how to:
    1. Provide information and resources to students,
    2. Communicate or conference with students,
    3. Collect students' work,
    4. Administer exams, and
    5. Modify grading in light of changed course requirements (sequence of course topics, assignment deadlines, number of assignments, etc.).
  • Become familiar with alternative technology available at LSCS.
    Instructors should take time early on to learn the LSC Online Desire2Learn [D2L] system and become certified - before use is urgent.

    • Watch video tutorials and step-by-step quick reference guides: LSC-Online Resources for Faculty
    • Go to MyWorkshops through MyLonestar for more information about ongoing training sessions.
    • Determine if guidance to students regarding the use of alternative technologies is needed: D2L Resources for Students
  • Consider the following announcement in your syllabus:
    “In the event of the disruption of normal classroom activities due to an extended college closure, the format for this course may be modified to enable completion of the course. In that event, I will provide an addendum to the syllabus that will supersede the original syllabus”.


Using LSCS Email

Email is not a robust way to facilitate your class, but it should be considered when there is an extended closure.  !IMPORTANT! To avoid violating FERPA instructors should ONLY send protected information (i.e. grades) to students' official Lone Star College email address (

JOB AID: View and Print Class Roster in Faculty Center LSC
JOB AID: Sending Email Attachments in Faculty Center LSC
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More iStar Job Aids are available on the Faculty tab under Faculty Quicklinks.

Using D2L

  • Upload and publish content in D2L.  Use the Content page to make course files such as your syllabus or course notes available to students.    PDF icon
  • Place announcements on your course home page using the News widget. Keep students informed of important messages such as changes to deadlines, alternate methods of submissions due to illnesses or class cancellations.    PDF icon
  • Email Students. Instructors can email students via LSCS email or D2L email.   HTML Page Icon


  • Create electronic copies of lecture materials.  Store materials online for easy retrieval or email directly to students.  PDF icon
  • Record lectures using D2L Capture.  Instructors can use a headset and computer to easily record audio lectures on top of their Power Point slides and store them in the D2L Learning Object Repository.   [...Coming Soon]
  • Create video recordings of lectures.  Though video recordings usually take more time and effort, and require either a webcam or digital video camera, programs like D2L Capture can greatly reduce the effort necessary to produce a video lecture.   HTML Page Icon
  • Hold discussions using D2L chat. The chat function allows for real-time, synchronous discussion and is one way of determining students’ understanding of course materials using a question and answer format.   HTML Page Icon   
  • Assign additional readings. Use News announcements HTML Page Icon and/or a document in D2L.  HTML Page Icon
    • If students do not have sufficient access to materials from their course materials, instructors can take advantage of e-Reserves at LSCS Libraries.   HTML Page Icon


  • Submit assignments using the D2L Dropbox. Students can submit their work for instructor review. Although students can’t view each other’s work using this method, instructors can pull submitted assignments from the Dropbox area and publish them in the course for all students to view if desired.   HTML Page Icon
  • Submit assignments via e-mail. To help manage assignments and incoming e-mail, have students use specific e-mail subject lines and filenames. For example, in the subject line, put the course or assignment name/number. In the filename, put the student’s name, assignment name and/or date.
  • Create an online assessment in D2L. With the exception of essay questions, online assignments are automatically graded in D2L. If a student misses an assignment, exceptions can be made for them.   HTML Page Icon   PDF icon   video icon
  • Give take-home exams. Instructors can distribute a take-home exam via their D2L course or through email. 


  • Hold asynchronous discussions via the Discussions. Share class notes and/or allow students to share notes with others who may be unable to attend class. Instructors can post questions and have students post responses and analyses. Word counts and other requirements should be specified.   HTML Page Icon
  • Hold synchronous discussions using D2L chat. The chat function allows for real-time, synchronous discussion and is one way of determining students’ understanding of course materials using a question and answer format.   HTML Page Icon  The same can be done with Online Rooms using WebEx.  PDF icon


  • Adjust grade sheets or rubrics. This may be necessary to capture the same learning as the face-to-face class.
  • Extend assignment deadlines. Assignment due dates may need to be rescheduled for live performances, speeches, group work, research, laboratory work, fieldwork, and field trips.
  • Create alternative assignments. These could include attending web-based, virtual field-trips, accessing various multimedia, or visiting particular sites.
  • Build your gradebook in D2L. Begin by setting up the gradebook. HTML Page Icon  Then create a Grade item for each activity.   PDF icon

With grateful acknowledgment to K-State University, University of Maine and the CDC

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