Teaching Tools for Surviving a Flu Outbreak

With the anticipated threat of the H1N1 flu virus, the University strongly urges all instructors to be flexible with requirements for classroom attendance, assignment deadlines, and exams.  Advanced Learning Technologies will be available to assist you in creating a contingency plan using technology to provide uninterrupted instruction to students. We have developed a range of strategies that instructors may use in preparation for and/or during any disruption on our campuses.

In the event that the Miami community is affected by H1N1, any number of scenarios may impact your courses, including:

  • Several students may be absent due to their own illness or the need for them to care for ill dependents. These students may require individual accommodation so they can continue their course work.

  • You may fall ill and require alternative means of communicating with your students or of administering class activities.

  • Finally, in a severe outbreak, it may be necessary for Miami to cancel one or more class sessions. This may require you to switch from teaching face-to-face to teaching entirely online with little notice.

This website will help you use technology to provide uninterrupted instruction to your students.  Please feel free to contact Advanced Learning Technologies with any questions alt@muohio.edu or by phone at 513.529.6068.

Download H1N1 PDF guide
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  • Create a course site in Blackboard. Blackboard can be your main communication tool in the event of an outbreak.

  • Update and upload your current syllabus to your Blackboard site.

  • Tell your students now (while everyone is healthy) your plan to continue classes in the event of an outbreak. Include how you will communicate with students and how they should communicate with each other and you.

  • Become familiar with basic Blackboard tools such as:

Advanced Learning Technologies offers group and one-on-one training classes to learn these basics. Sign up for one here.


Communicating with Your Students

  • Use Announcements (your course site home page) to keep everyone on track.

  • E-mail the entire class using the Send E-mail tool in Blackboard.

  • Use the Discussion Board to enable students to communicate with one another and with you.

  • Set up an “Ask the Instructor” discussion forum in the Discussion Board and encourage your students to ask course-related question there that may be a concern for everyone.

  • Use the Assignment tool to enable students and you to send/receive personalized documents such as assignment files.


Posting Documents

  • Post notes and informational documents using the Add Item function in Blackboard.


Assessing Your Students

  • Use the Assignments function in Blackboard to receive assignment files from your students directly through the Grade Center.

  • Use online testing that can either be automatically graded (such as multiple choice or multiple answer) or manually grades test (such as short answer and essay)


Receiving Assistance in the Case of an Outbreak

IT Services will make every attempt to provide timely assistance. We ask for your patience in the event that more than 50% of the Blackboard Support staff is out due to the outbreak. 

We ask that you make every attempt to solve the issue through the online resources provided at:

If you are unable to locate the answer, please call or email the IT Services Support Desk at 513.529.7900 or supportdesk@muohio.edu. Your call will be recorded, and you will receive emails concerning the progress of your case.