Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology

Instructional Continuity: Home

Instructional Continuity

Any one of an array of events can disrupt faculty’s ability to teach courses via on-campus, in-class sessions. Cal Poly’s commitment to students includes making sure that we provide students an opportunity to complete courses despite disruptions, whenever possible. The steady advancement of communication and instructional technologies has greatly enhanced faculty’s opportunities to provide quality virtual learning experiences in these situations. With  planning, training on selected user-friendly technologies, and available mentoring on effective instruction, faculty can be better prepared to continue instruction through many forms of instructional disruptions.

The following pages provide instructors with detailed guidance for ways that they can contribute to Cal Poly's instructional continuity capacity by adapting their courses to virtual learning in the event of an instructional disruption. Some disruptions may require rapid adjustments, while others may come with at least some time for planning and preparation. The guidance below is primarily for converting conventional in-class instruction to virtual instruction using available low-tech and high-tech methods and tools.

Cal Poly’s capacity to continue instruction through disruptions will generate several significant benefits for students, faculty and the entire campus. For students, they are able to maintain their progress toward their degrees, which can avoid sometimes serious financial and personal costs. For faculty, they have the peace of mind that they can complete teaching assignments. For the campus, it demonstrates its commitment to student success in the face of disruptions.

In addition to the typical statements that faculty include in a syllabus, faculty may want to revisit their syllabi to point students to additional resources during this time. This page provides a list of recommended syllabus statements that faculty can use or adapt for use in their syllabi in spring quarter. 

Guide For Adapting Courses to Virtual Instruction

This is designed to guide faculty's analysis of the essential components of courses that were designed for in-class instruction and provides options for adapting them to virtual instruction leveraging the instructional technologies Cal Poly offers. Following this guide can enhance faculty's clarity about the skills, tools, and resources they will need as they prepare to teach virtual courses in Spring 2020.

Quick Start for Instructional Continuity

Campus authorities have determined that safety issues require alternatives to in-class instruction. This quick start guide provides guidance on how to prepare to provide appropriate alternative learning experiences.


Virtual Instruction, at its core, is grounded in the same principles of instruction as in-class teaching. These resources provide guidance on how to select instructional technologies and how to use them appropriately and effectively for teaching, class communication, and online office hours.

Faculty Colleague Support Network

The Faculty Support Network brings together faculty who have experience with tools and techniques for effective virtual instruction to establish a resource for their colleagues who are turning toward virtual instruction for Spring Quarter, 2020. Faculty in this network have significant experience, often including but not limited to participation in CTLT workshops that enhance virtual teaching skills. Listings are organized by college and most have noted their areas of particular experience.

Instructional Technologies

These resources provide guidance about the array of instructional technologies Cal Poly provides, or recommends, for various tasks when preparing an on-line alternative to your in-class course.

Students with Disabilities and Accessibility

Virtual Instruction can impact students with disabilities. These resources provide best practices for moving course materials to the online learning environment, as well as resources for ensuring that your course materials are accessible.

Strategies for Equity and Inclusion When Moving to Virtual Instruction

This guide is intended as a starting point for instructors to consider the ways in which they can intentionally build equity and inclusion in their virtual courses in spring 2020. The strategies presented here are not an exhaustive list but are intended to provide instructors with easy to implement, concrete suggestions for making equity and inclusion a priority in their courses, rather than an afterthought. 

Assessments for Virtual Instruction

Assessments in virtual instruction can introduce different challenges than those conducted in traditional in-class settings. These resources provide ideas for effective, informative assessments appropriate for various virtual instruction situations.

Assorted Related Resources

Going Online In A Hurry (Chronicle of Higher Ed; March 9, 2020)

So You Want to Temporarily Teach Online (Insider Higher Ed; March 11, 2020)

Shock, Fear, and Fatalism: As Coronavirus Causes Campuses to Close, Students Grapple with Anxiety (Chronicle of Higher Ed; March 12, 2020)

Coronavirus Hits Campus (Chronicle of Higher Ed; March 5, 2020)

Strategies for Structuring Teaching From Home (The Scholarly Teacher, March 19, 2020)

Cal Poly Coronavirus update page

UC System Coronavirus update page


Related Content

CTLT Newsletter

image of news papers

What is happening in the CTLT

Current & Archive



Cal Poly is moving to Canvas...

Learn More


Diversity & Inclusion in the Classroom.

More about inclusion


image of a person writing

​Writing across the curriculum.

Writing in the classroom