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Updated Guide! Dealing with the Unexpected: Teaching When You or Your Students Can’t Make it to Class

Posted by on Friday, October 29, 2021 in News.

In 2017, the CFT first published a guide called Dealing with the Unexpected: Teaching When You or Your Students Can’t Make it to Class in response to concerns about how unpredictable events like travel delays or illness like the flu might affect student and faculty ability to attend class meetings. That guide has gone through several updates as the circumstances have changed, including this most recent update which takes into consideration the ways teaching at Vanderbilt have evolved since our 2020/2021 shift to remote and hybrid teaching.

Even though we are back on campus and classes are primarily in a face-to-face format, instructors still face the perennial challenge of how to balance rigor, grace, and clear expectations in attendance policies. With our face-to-face classes more technology-enhanced than ever (thanks to the lessons learned during remote teaching), we also have more opportunities than ever to help students keep up with class content even if they can’t make it to class. And when it is the faculty member who cannot make it to the classroom, these same solutions can help ensure continuity for students.

If you find yourself considering the question of how to deal with attendance and participation in the face of the unexpected this year, this guide may provide some food for thought. If you have additional suggestions for how to ensure access even when you or your students can’t make it to class, we’d love to hear from you! Send your questions and ideas to CFT Assistant Director Stacey M. Johnson using this contact form.

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