Winter Woes

Well, it seems like winter is here. And while we are all hoping for a better winter than last year, it’s safe to assume there are some storm days in our future.

snow day

We love a day at home in our pyjamas as much as the next person, but it really can cramp your (teaching) style. So how, exactly, can you use the resources on campus to minimize the impact of a winter storm closure? Here are our top three ways to avoid snow day stress!

Design a floating class.
Probably the most popular approach on campus, choose a course topic that can be delivered at any point in the semester. If you find your class cancelled, drop your floating class in that week and move the rest of the content back. If you don’t have to use your floating class (lucky you!), deliver it at the end of the semester.

Move your assessments online.
Have you had a midterm cancelled due to weather? Create an online midterm instead. This way you can open your online midterm up and continue with your next face to face class as scheduled.

Try an online synchronous class.
Assuming your students have electricity and the internet, you may be able to hold a virtual synchronous (real time) class. UPEI has a license to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, a virtual classroom that allows you to meet up, online, from the comfort of your home. In this virtual classroom, you and your students can share your webcams and microphones for real-time voice and text conversation.

Regardless of how you deal with snow days, the most important thing is that you are prepared for them and have set clear expectations with your students. We would love to help you figure out what you would like to do!

If you are interested in meeting with one of our instructional designers to work on your snow day plan, please get in touch with our office at!

Happy shovelling!