Plan For Success

Our recommendation is that asynchronous means should be used whenever possible to both reduce load on systems and lessen strain for students who may have other family obligations or have inconsistent access to internet.

From an Educause Student Readiness article: "consider using asynchronous and flexible approaches to teaching and deadlines to accommodate students with constraints or emergencies that would prevent them from attending synchronous events or who lack reliable Wi-Fi or broadband access."

As Western instructors consider strategies for moving course work--including final assessments--online, many instructors are considering a variety tools, such as Zoom, Qualtrics and others.

Considerations while you are in your planning stages

Does your assessment require students to have continuous access to the internet?

  • We are currently experiencing unprecedented a global strain on internet resources
  • Many of us have experienced slowness or disconnection of our home internet connections. If students need to be connected throughout an assessment, they may experience difficulties
  • Consider how the assessment tool deals with short network interruptions or slowness
  • Ask the vendor or support if the student will be able to log back in and continue if they get disconnected

Make contingency plans for what to do if students experience an issue during an assessment or course activity

  • To whom and how do students report issues
  • Who will be available to address any issues (if some arise)
  • What is the back-up plan if a system fails during an assessment

How will students become accustomed to new software or technologies

  • Are there help documents, tutorials or primers available for students to prepare in advance?

Are you worried about load on the systems?

  • All eLearning tools (including OWL and other third party applications) are experiencing unprecedented volume, so consider how you will proceed if the tools begins failing
  • If the student will be able to log back in and continue if they get disconnected

Make a plan for how to handle situations when students cannot access the internet at all