In addition to Webcampus, your Continuation of Instruction Plan should explain how you will deliver your classes using one or more additional methods. The FDU Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan will help ensure that all campus systems are available to you during an emergency. However, emergencies are unpredictable. Internet service may be unavailable in some areas, phone service may be disrupted, the U.S. Postal Service may be affected, and so forth. The more delivery methods you can use, the more likely it will be that you can continue instruction in a variety of emergency situations. Ideally, you should become familiar with all of these delivery modes. The delivery modes discussed in this section are:
  • Wikis
  • Blogs
  • Google or Yahoo Groups
  • Pagetoaster or other HTML web pages
  • E-mail
  • U.S. Postal Service
  • Teleconferencing

Each sub-step will provide detailed steps to take now that will help you prepare.

You may find that the best solution for your class will be a combination of two or more of these delivery modes. For example in an emergency some students may have adequate access to the internet, while others will not. Do your best to prepare to reach all of your students.

If you have additional ideas for emergency course delivery, by all means use them. Also please share your ideas by editing this page of the Guide. Become an editor by clicking the "Join this Space" button at the top of the left-hand navigation area.

4.1: Wikis


Wikis are group-edited documents. However, you can easily set up a "protected" wiki that only you can edit. Like the other tools discussed here, editing a wiki requires no special knowledge of HTML or other advanced technology skills. Several free services are available that allow you to set up a wiki within minutes.

The resource you are reading was created using the Wikispaces service and existing written material, and was put together in several hours on a single day. Some content has been added since then, but the majority of this site was put up very quickly.
  • Wikis allow you to create a web resource on which you can post course information.
  • In an emergency, you can use a wiki to post course content (e.g. readings, web links).
  • The "comments" area for each wiki page allows your students to engage in conversation. While this discussion format is somewhat more limited than the one available in Webcampus, it has the advantage of being attached to the content document. Wiki discussion areas are generally more robust than blog discussion areas.
  • You should require students to sign in to the wiki software so that you will be able to identify them.
  • Because free wikis are open to the general public, you must be careful about maintaining student privacy. You can create private wikis, however you generally have to pay for them.
  • The "look and feel" of a wiki can be very plain. While you can do some custom formatting, this feature is limited in most wikis.
  • Free wiki services are usually ad-supported, and the content of the advertisements will be out of your control.

Wiki steps to Take Now:
  • Apply for an account with one of the free wiki services.
    • We highly recommend wikispaces because its advanced feature set is particularly suitable to education and it is easy to use. Sign up by visitng the wikispaces site at http://www.wikispaces.com/ or by clicking the wikispaces button at the top right of this page.
    • Another free, easy to use source wiki hosting service can be found at http://pbwiki.com/.
  • Set up a wiki for every course that you teach.
  • Put your syllabus on the wiki.
  • Have your students visit the wiki page and sign up for an account. Ask them to leave a comment on the "comments" area for your syllabus page.

4.2: Blogs


Blogs are a means of communicating with your students online, and require no special knowledge of HTML or other advanced technology skills. Several free services are available that allow you to set up a blog within minutes.
  • Blogs allow you to create a web resource on which you can post course information.
  • In an emergency, you can use a blog to post course content (e.g. readings, web links).
  • The "comments" area for each blog post allows your students to engage in conversation. While this discussion format is somewhat more limited than the one available in Webcampus, it has the advantage of being attached to the content document (i.e. the blog post).
  • You should require students to sign in to the blog software so that you will be able to identify them.
  • Because blogs are open to the general public, you must be careful about maintaining student privacy.
  • If you use a free blog service, you will have some limited ability to customize the "look and feel" of your blog.
  • Free blog services may sometimes be ad-supported, and the content of the advertisements will be out of your control.

Blog steps to Take Now:
  • Apply for an account with one of the free blog services.
    • We recommend Wordpress because its advanced feature set is particularly suitable to education. For example, you can create "pages" as well as posts. Pages contain static information that doesn't change or changes infrequently, while blog posts are added as needed. Sign up by visitng the Wordpress site at http://wordpress.com/
    • Another free, easy to use source blog hosting service is the one run by Google at https://www.blogger.com/start.
  • Set up a blog for every course that you teach.
  • Put your syllabus up on the blog.
  • Have your students visit the blog, sign up for an account, and leave a comment on the blog.

4.3: Facebook


Facebook is an online social community used by many of our students. Some features of facebook make it an ideal method for continuing instruction during an emergency.
  • Your students are almost all already using it.
  • You can create a group just for your class to share material and engage in discussions.You can restrict access to this group to just your students.
  • Facebook includes an event / calendar feature.
  • You may need a little time to get used to Facebook's very rich feature set.
  • Your students may not feel comfortable sharing their facebook profiles with you.

Facebook steps to take now:
  • Apply for a Facebook account if you do not already have one at http://facebook.com
  • Set up a group for every course that you teach.
  • Invite your students to the group. You will need their facebook screen names to do this.
  • Put your syllabus up in the group content area.
  • Have your students visit the group and join a discussion.

4.4: Google or Yahoo Groups


Google Groups and Yahoo Groups are services that allow you to quickly create a community of interest. Like the other services mentioned here, these services require no knowledge of HTML or any advanced technology knowledge. To use Google Groups, you must have an account with Google. To use Yahoo Groups, you must have a Yahoo account.
  • Both Google Groups and Yahoo Groups includes an area for posting files and other information, which could be used for posting course content (e.g. readings, web links).
  • There is a robust discussion group feature in both services.
  • You can restrict access to just your students.
  • The feature set in the two services is otherwise very different and if you intend to use one of them you should become familiar with the options available to you.
  • There is very limited ability to customize the look and feel of your group area.

Google/Yahoo Groups steps to take now:
  • Apply for a Google account if you do not already have one at http://groups.google.com/, or a Yahoo account if you do not already have one at http://groups.yahoo.com/
  • Set up a group for every course that you teach.
  • Invite your students to the group. You will need their e-mail addresses to do this.
  • Put your syllabus up in the group content area.
  • Have your students visit the group and join a discussion.

4.5: FDU Pagetoaster


FDU Pagetoaster allows you to create a webpage without knowing how to use any programming languages or web editors. It provides a simple template that allows you to insert information about you and your courses. FDU Pagetoaster is operated by the University Webmaster.
  • FDU Pagetoaster will allow you to create a webpage on which you can post course information.
  • In an emergency, you can use Pagetoaster to post course content (e.g. readings, web links).
  • Pagetoaster does not provide a mechanism for students to contact you, or for you to provide feedback to individual students.
  • It would be difficult to manage a course using Pagetoaster alone. You would need to supplement it with e-mail, phone, or U.S. Postal Service contact.
  • There is also a FDU Pagetoaster 2 for more advanced users.
  • Remember, FDU Pagetoaster is hosted and operated by FDU and if our systems go down, it will be unavailable.

Pagetoaster Steps to Take Now:
  • Apply for an FDU Pagetoaster account (login information will be emailed to you).
  • Set up your FDU Pagetoaster page now by entering your contact information and a course syllabus for each class you teach.

4.6: E-Mail


If Webcampus is not available you may choose to use email as the main method for teaching your course.
  • Webcampus is hosted off-campus, but relies on the FDU Webmail system. Both systems must be available for Webcampus to work.
  • If Webmail is unavailable, it is very likely that Webcampus will also be unavailable. However, the reverse is not true. If Webcampus is unavailable, Webmail might still be available.
  • Even if Webcampus is available, you will find Webmail very convenient to contact your students (individually, in groups, or with the entire class).
  • Systems and Security creates a mailing list (listserv) for every class, every semester. All students who are enrolled in your course in Datatel and who have Webmail addresses will automatically be added to the listserv.
  • If both Webcampus and Webmail are unavailable, you should rely on your students' non-FDU e-mail accounts for communication.
  • To access Webmail, and to view comprehensive Webmail instructions, click on the following link: https://webmail.fdu.edu/.

4.7: U.S. Postal Service


The U.S. Postal Service is another option for continuing instruction during an emergency. While an emergency may disrupt mail service, surface mail may be a more stable option than computer technologies in some emergencies. Mail may also be the only way to reach some of your students. However this option requires extra preparation, and availability of some physical supplies.

USPS Steps to Take Now
  • You should already have your students surface mail addresses (obtained in Step 1). However, call your students to check their addresses before you mail anything to them.
  • You will need the following supplies:
    • Printer and/or photocopier to print out multiple copies of your course content.
    • Extra printer toners or cartridges
    • Extra paper
    • Scale
    • Postage Stamps
    • If internet service is available, postage can also be purchased online by visiting www.stamps.com. or www.usps.com.

4.8: Teleconferencing


Teleconferencing may be a viable option for some instructors. Your students will use their phones to dial into a central teleconferencing "room." You can deliver an audio lecture and engage in discussion with your students.

Note that this approach requires all students to be available at the same time. You will therefore have to schedule this phone call with your students in advance. Keep in mind that your students may be in different time zones, so be careful when setting call times.

Phone discussions will not work well with large groups. If you would like discussion and your class is large, consider setting up multiple calls with small groups.

Teleconferencing Steps to Take Now
  • You must have access to a telephone conferencing service. Check with your phone provider.
  • You must be able to contact students to inform them of the call. Check Step 1 of this Guide to make sure that you have all available student contact information.

Step 5 - Understand Help Resources


You should also understand all of the help resources that are available to you. Proceed to Step 5 - Understand Help Resources for more information.