Recommendations for Teaching

Our goal is to help Yale faculty, teaching fellows, and students maintain academic continuity. In coordination with several campus partners, the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning will support Yale faculty members during any situation that requires academic continuity, with the aim of preserving an effective learning experience for Yale students.

Developing your continuity plans

To inform your teaching plans for academic continuity, we encourage you to start by considering your learning goals for students. For a given class, assignment, or assessment, how do you intend for your students to be different after engaging in the task or experience? Specifically: 
  • What knowledge will students attain? 
  • What skills will students learn? 
  • What viewpoints will students develop?
As you consider alternative means of conducting your course (such as web conferencing, videos, discussion boards, or written assignments), prioritize the approach that will help your students achieve the learning you intend. For instance, could a class debate that is typically conducted in person be facilitated via Zoom?  Could a step-by-step video of a lab technique substitute for an in-person demonstration? We encourage you to be creative and flexible as you consider the best ways to help your students meet the learning goals of your course. 

Organize your course site

Canvas is Yale’s learning management system (LMS). This platform allows instructors to organize a course online. Canvas includes several features to facilitate online communication between instructors and students, in the event of a situation that prevents you from holding your class in person. Instructors can also use Canvas to upload assignments, quiz students, grade completed work, place readings electronically on Course Reserves, and much more. Learn more about Canvas.

Connect with your students

Zoom allows you to set up a virtual classroom where you and your students can see and speak with each other in real time. Additional collaboration tools, including video breakout rooms, screen-sharing, polling, and group chats help create a dynamic online learning environment. Instructors can record and post Zoom sessions so students can review the content at their own pace. Learn more about Zoom.

Provide accessible course materials

Yale is committed to ensuring all learners have access to educational content in the event of an unexpected campus closure. Ally is a tool integrated into Canvas that offers feedback on the accessibility of your digital course materials and provides multiple ways to remediate, or fix, detected accessibility issues. Learn more about using Ally to improve the accessibility of your digital course materials.

Instructors should also review the information provided on the Student Accessiblity Services website. ADA regulations apply to all courses, whether residential, online, or online temporarily in the case of a disruption to normal campus operations.

Avoid non-Yale supported technology

The Poorvu Center is dedicated to working with all Yale faculty as they adapt their courses. Contact the Poorvu Center if you need help identifying and implementing solutions to continue teaching and sharing course materials/activities. To avoid compromising the integrity of Yale’s secure networks, systems and institutional data, you should not implement new platforms or resources (free or paid) for Yale teaching without consulting with an educational technology or ITS staff member.