Alternative Assignments for Snow Days
“Don’t let a snow day catch you off guard!”
“I’ve had to revise my syllabus twice, changing the schedule, and as a result, changing the weight of the first two exams…it’s an unfortunate start…not something that cannot be overcome.” – Professor Brian Pilecki
Technology-based assignment alternatives:
- Lecture / Discussion
- Record a lecture (easy solution – you can use Microsoft PPT with voiceover or Panopto)
- Use a discussion board for students to discuss the topic and respond to each other
- Hold class synchronously – Blackboard Collaborate (Google Hangouts/Skype/Zoom)
- E-learning days on Blackboard
- Use Ted talks or other similar resources to prompt learning and discussion.
- Taping video or audio lectures ahead of time on subjects that can be placed anywhere in the semester, but need to be addressed
- Remind101 – text messaging from teacher to student where numbers are anonymous
What if students lose electricity?
Have students form groups at the beginning of the semester, share contact information that way if phones or computers die there is likely a possibility that someone still has a charge. Even if campus is closed, students on campus can get together to work on groups using technology or physical assignments.
Offline assignment alternatives:
- The dreaded paper
- Pre-written prompts broad enough to relate to anything taught up to the current period of the semester
- Creative use of snow
- Health: get out in the snow and have students take baseline stats and then record their exercise and retake stats
- Science: “kitchen test” with snow
- Math: Calculate speeds of sleds etc.
- English: creative writing pieces
- Arts: create art using snow or through observation of snow
- Education: students plan own alternative lesson for a hypothetical snow day
For more information on this or anything relating to course content or pedagogy, please contact Stephen LeBeau at ext. 3456.