Read This – The Sequel

Posted in: Admin Notes | COVID-19 | Notices

Thank you to all who have displayed patience, concern, and empathy for our students and colleagues. Creativity and agility will be necessary so that faculty, staff, and students are successful. Extra efforts of kindness and compassion will be appreciated by all. 

Each hour brings new information and requests from a variety of sources. This will likely continue as we transition all of our courses to online environments on Monday. We continue to work with campus leaders and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as our context evolves. 

For those who have not taught in online environments, we want to ensure that you have the necessary resources. 

Online orientation canvas site for students: All Mizzou students are being loaded into an online orientation called MYCANVAS. This will help orient students who are new to online learning with the transition.

Please convey to your students that they need to inform you of issues they face (e.g., no internet access, time zone differences, access to a computer, participating in a public space such as a restaurant because there is no internet at their homes). We want to alleviate student anxiety and stress. 

Keep communicating with your students!  Use announcements in Canvas to let students know about changes in deadlines, policies, new online materials, etc. Ask them to be patient with you and each other during this transition.

Basic resources for transitioning online:

How will you handle attendance in E-Learning?

Some students are being required to participate in a synchronous delivery with the course attendance policy being strictly enforced as if it were still a face-to-face course. This may be problematic given that students have left campus, and are now in multiple time zones or have limited access to high-speed internet. Thus, please consider your attendance policies carefully. 

Synchronous versus Asynchronous E-Learning

You are encouraged to move towards Asynchronous e-learning (see definitions below). Why?

  • Many students have left campus, and are now in multiple time zones, it can be a hardship for them to all be on – say a zoom session – at the same time.  
  • Some students may have to travel long distances to have access to high quality internet access that is necessary for video conferences – again making synchronous learning difficult.

*Asynchronous e-learning is commonly facilitated by media such as e-mail and discussion boards, supports work relations among learners and with teachers, even when participants cannot be online at the same time. Asynchronous e-learning makes it possible for learners to log on to an e-learning environment at any time and download documents or send messages to teachers or peers. 

*Synchronous e-learningcommonly supported by media such as videoconferencing and chat, means that the learners and instructors are active together in a video conference (e.g. Zoom) or chat in real time. 


Assessments in E-Learning

Traditional closed book exams are not easy with e-learning. Information about online quizzes and exams can be found at: We encourage you to consider alternative forms of assessment such as:

  • project-based assessments:  assess what learners can do and produce via projects that align to your learning 
  • student created videos of short presentations – they can be posted to a discussion forum for asynchronous discussions
  • authentic writing tasks 

If you give exams, consider delivering them along with a copy of the MU Honor Pledge that students to sign and turn in with their exams.

Visit for some more ideas on authentic assessment ideas. More support on alternative assessments will be available the week of March 16.

This email will also be posted on The Scoop so that you can find it easily. 

Again, email for online transition support. Please share concerns and/or successes at This practice will support other faculty as we work together. 

Thank you for your service and professionalism. It is inspiring!