Teaching Strategies During Academic Disruptions


This article describes which technologies are available to use in order to continue teaching during an academic disruption. 


Academic disruptions may occur for a wide variety of reasons such as severe weather events, unsafe conditions on campus, public health emergencies, and other circumstances.  When classroom instruction is interrupted, faculty may need to use alternative methods and tools to continue class activities at a distance. 

We understand that not all courses are fully appropriate for distance learning modalities.  Due to this, faculty may need to construct alternative ways to achieve the learning objectives of the course.

Some core class activities will need to continue during a disruption:

  • Communicating with students.  Communicate your plan with your students through myCourses. The easiest way to email the whole class is to create and send email through myCourses. You can either email the whole class or email individual student.

  • Delivering course content

  • Encouraging student participation: answering questions, discussion, group work, etc.

  • Administering assignments, tests and grades

Technologies for Teaching at a Distance

UNH IT and Academic Technology support many different technologies which can be utilized in order to continue teaching for the duration of any academic disruption.  The keys to success are preparing and remaining flexible.  



myUNH Portal

Always start with my.unh.edu.  Every supported technology is available from this portal.  While there be sure to view news, important announcements and alerts.  


This is the Learning Management System for all the UNH campuses. Every course has a course shell created automatically despite the type of the course you are teaching (online, face-to-face or hybrid). You should use myCourses as the predominant vehicle for teaching your course during any disruption.

Zoom Web Conferencing

Zoom Is a web conferencing tool that allows you to have a live classroom session with students when teaching online, and offers 24/7 support and online live training courses.  You can learn more about teaching with Zoom at:  https://td.unh.edu/TDClient/KB/ArticleDet?ID=2176

  • If you are not familiar with Zoom, take the Live Training Webninars. It is free! 

  • Before using Zoom, make sure you meet the System Requirements for PC, Mac, and Linux

  • Remember, do not schedule class meetings during days and times the class was not originally scheduled to meet, and do not extend the meeting time. Students may be expected in another zoom meeting, just as they would be in another classroom.

  • UNH has a campus-wide license for Zoom which means every faculty, staff and student may use it to host meetings and collaborate!

Kaltura Capture

Use Kaltura Capture to record asynchronous lectures (using audio and/or video, screen capture, or PowerPoint slides) and make those recordings available to your students. 

  • Kaltura Capture: Kaltura Capture simplifies the process of recording lectures at home or in your office using your laptop. You can choose to record presentations or your screen for software demonstrations, with an optional video recording of you. You can learn more about getting started at https://td.unh.edu/TDClient/KB/ArticleDet?ID=1437

  • Kaltura - My Media and Course Gallery: You can also use Kaltura to upload videos from other sources, share your videos with colleagues, and collect videos from your students. To learn more, visit the Kaltura Overview. https://td.unh.edu/TDClient/KB/ArticleDet?ID=1213

Exchange Email

With Exchange email, you can access your UNH faculty/staff email through the web or an email client such as Microsoft Outlook. 

Box @ UNH

Box @ UNH is a service which enables you to store, collaborate and share information.  Box is a great way to backup your instructional materials so they are available when not in your office.

Box is where you can upload content, organize files, share links to files and manage file and folder permission. Box allows document collaboration. 

  • If you never used Box before, try to log into Box with the Getting started help. 

  • You can use Box to upload large files so you can avoid uploading them directly into myCourses, which has a storage limit/quota of 500MB. myCourses and Box: Best Practice can help you understand how to do this. 

Microsoft Office 365

Office 365 gives you and your students access to current versions of various Office applications, such as Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel,and Teams.

Prepare for a Disruption

  • Familiarize yourself with the available technology tools and how they may be used during a disruption.
  • Access and install these technologies at home:  UNH email, myCourses, Zoom, and Kaltura Capture.  
  • Have a backup of your teaching materials that you can access from home.  This includes your syllabus, lecture files, class plans and notes, assignments with instructions, exams and quizzes, and grades.  Box is a great way of backing up your files!
  • Attend an Teaching & Learning Technology training course for technologies you are unfamiliar with.
  • Consider how your class would change if you had to teach at a distance: 
    • How will you communicate with students?
    • Will you hold a Zoom web conference during regular class time or record an asynchronous lecture with Kaltura Capture?
    • Which in-class activities may need to change? 
    • What alternatives exist to those assignments that may be impossible to complete such as laboratory assignments?  
  • Keep a copy of important contacts (names, emails, and phone numbers) in your department and across the University.

During a Disruption

  • Use clear & routine communication to students about your expectations & what you will do during the disruption.  Include specific actions, timelines, and instructions to access online course material until normal operating procedures resume.
  • Be prepared to adjust your syllabus.  If needed, be prepared to construct alternative instructional activities to achieve course learning objectives.  Can course material be condensed and prioritized in the event that teaching time is lost?
  • Be aware of students with disabilities and those who have English as a non-native language.  These students may need extra assistance.
  • Don't assume all your students will have Internet access.  There may be power or service outages.  Have alternate options for students who may have technology or other issues.

Need Additional Help?

We are here to support you!  The quickest and best way to receive assistance is by filling out this webform and requesting using our Help Ticket system:
Or contact the ET&S Help Desk team on your local campus.


Article ID: 2170
Thu 3/5/20 11:26 AM
Wed 3/3/21 11:47 AM
Applicable Institution(s):
Granite State College (GSC)
Keene State College (KSC)
Plymouth State University (PSU)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)