Moving Online with more Intentionality

Summer Workshops

The CFC is facilitating numerous workshops this summer!  More details and registration links












~With thanks to the and Indiana University’s Keep Teaching resource – This version was modified by the Coulter Faculty Commons for Faculty and Instructional Staff at Western Carolina University

Use this checklist to maintain academic continuity in the event of an unexpected disruption due to emergency school closure.

Additionally we are posting tips and tutorials daily on our blog – Check it out! –



  • Gather information about the closure or event. Remember that you are only responsible for your classes and the students should visit for up to date university and virus response information.
  • Contact your department if they haven’t communicated with you. They may have more details and instructions.
  • The IT Help Desk is your first point of contact for Blackboard support at WCU. Call 828-227-7487 or email for quick assistance.
  • Email your students immediately (see below).
  • Create an alternative course plan.
  • All instructors of record at WCU have been enrolled in the Blackboard Learn Instructor Training
  • Create a course map.
  • Identify teaching resources and tools.
  • Schedule or find training – log into Blackboard from the Quick Links on the website or through MyWCU quick links.  Each course has a Blackboard course shell created with all students enrolled.  If you have never used Blackboard before, you will find a course “Blackboard Learn Instructor Training” on your dashboard which will help you get started. 


  • Communicate with your students immediately.  You may want to send out a ‘practice’ email immediately to make sure all students receive the communication.  A suggested message might be “Hi students, to ensure that all students will be able to receive and send messages in case of a campus closer, I’m sending this practice message.  Please confirm that you received this message by replying to it.  In the event that we experience a campus closure, be sure to check your student portal and your WCU email for details and further instructions.”
  • Outline your plan for moving the course online.
  • Explain any changes that you needed to make and why you made them.
  • Identify the hardware and software they will need to participate in the course.
  • Urge students to use the help resources on Blackboard.
  • Explain the back-up plan and/or alternative in case something does not go as planned. 
  • Each Blackboard course has all of your students enrolled, so you can easily contact all of them by sending the email from within Blackboard.
  • Send an email to them anytime you post new content, assignments, or feedback.

During an emergency, students may not prioritize learning and work.

Be realistic with expectations for what can be achieved online, especially if students are not experienced online learners.

We are here to help!


Review available online support resources and bookmark them

  • All instructors of record at WCU have been enrolled in the Blackboard Course Blackboard Learn Instructor Training.
  • Log into Blackboard and It appears as a course in the Courses Where You Are a Student section on your dashboard.
  • The Coulter Faculty Commons has assembled a significant number of resources at
  • also has a number of helpful resources.
  • Request training if it is not currently available

The Coulter Faculty Commons Staff and the IT Help Desk have arranged to be available even if the campus is closed.

Call 828-227-7487 or email for quick assistance.