COVID-19 First Week Online Lesson Plan

Much of academia is currently transitioning to online learning in the wake of COVID-19 social distancing recommendations and directives. Below is the template version of my “First Week Online” lesson plan. It is inspired by this fantastic advice from Pat Gehrke and Christa Teston’s great work collecting actionable information on student concerns. Critical takeaways are:

  • It is highly inadvisable to attempt to launch a state-of-the-art online learning experience in 2-10 days.
  • Students and instructors alike need time to adapt to changes in learning modalities.
  • It is unclear the extent to which IT infrastructures will effectively support a sudden influx of synchronous traffic.

Note: This is a work in progress. I will be updating it from time to time. However, I know many need to go online soon. I hope that this may help serve a valuable pedagogical need (on-boarding) while allowing for additional development time for course content.   

First Week Online Lesson Plan Template

As you know, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, most UT classes are transitioning to an online format. In order to help support you during that transition, our first week back will be devoted to exploring and testing our new online learning infrastructure.
In this class:

  • The majority of course activities will be asynchronous (not happening at the same time). All activity and assignment deadlines will be at 11:59 PM on regularly scheduled class days (Tuesdays and Thursdays). As long as you meet deadlines, you are free to set your own schedule, and you are welcome (but not expected) to complete activities in advance. Given the uncertain nature of the evolving situation, assignment extensions will be handed out liberally. Please email me to request an extension.
  • I will be holding digital office hours during our originally scheduled class times. General office hours will be held using Canvas Chat so that all students may benefit from questions addressed. For more detailed questions or to address issues of a private nature, we will use Zoom (basically like Skype or Facetime, but in Canvas).
  • A revised syllabus and explanation of course activities is available in Canvas.

Online Learning Resources
Your only assigned readings for this week are 1) the revised syllabus, 2) the new description of course activities, and 3) the following tutorials.

  • 24/7 Canvas Help: [URL]
  • Canvas Chat Tutorial: [URL]
  • Zoom Tutorial: [URL]

Please read the guidance, view the helpful videos, and test the applications.

Online Learning Test Sessions
The following test sessions have been scheduled for this week.
Zoom Test Sessions

  • Tuesday 9:30-10:50 (During Normal Class Time)
  • Thursday 9:30-10:50 (During Normal Class Time)

Chat Test Sessions

  • Tuesday 9:30-10:50 (During Normal Class Time)
  • Tuesday 12:00-2:00 (Normal Office Hours Time)
  • Thursday 9:30-10:50 (During Normal Class Time)
  • Thursday 12:00-2:00 (Normal Office Hours Time)

You are strongly encouraged to participate in at least one Zoom and one Chat Test session. The primary goal of these sessions is to test the technology, but I also expect to answer questions relating to:

  • UT COVID-19 Policies.
  • Changes in course assignments and grading.
  • Where to find resources for online learning technologies that will be used in other UT courses.

If you are unavailable for any/all of these sessions, please email. I will be happy to schedule additional sessions.

GENERAL UT COVID-19 UPDATES and the FREE Nurse Advice Line

  • UT COVID-19 Updates:
  • Free UT University Health Services Nurse Advice Line at [Phone Number]