Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tip #32: Contingency Planning

Tip: You can create a contingency plan and develop back-up procedures for your Blackboard course.

Here’s how to do it:
Because of the volatile nature of technology, it is advisable that instructors who use Blackboard develop contingency plans and back-up procedures. Blackboard has several features that can assist instructors with this. We recommend that faculty consider the following procedures:
  • Archive your course periodically. Archiving a course allows you to save course content and user data to your computer or an external drive.
  • Use the Gradebook Export feature to save a copy of your Gradebook to your computer. We recommend that instructors export their Gradebooks at least once a week. For instructions on exporting your Gradebook, view the Blackboard Tip #18.
  • Develop and communicate to students a back-up plan in case Blackboard is not accessible.
Considerations for contingency plans:
When creating your contingency plan, consider the following questions:
  • What are TWU’s policies regarding contingency plans?
  • Does your department recommend or require any specific contingency procedures?
  • Do you have multiple methods by which you can communicate with students in case of an emergency (e.g., email + phone + emergency website)?
  • Will you be flexible with the course calendar and due dates if necessary?
  • What contingency recommendations will you make to students (e.g., print your course syllabus, keep back-ups of all files submitted to Blackboard)?
  • What back-up spaces could you use to continue your course if access to Blackboard or to the TWU campus was not possible?

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