Emergency-proof Your Course

Available to: Faculty & Staff

Service Summary

This faculty academic preparedness guide has been designed to provide Mason faculty with strategies for dealing with instructional options that might be necessary in the event of an epidemic, long-term inclement weather crisis, or any type of disaster that would prevent students and faculty from attending class.

The process of “Emergency-proofing Your Course” will prepare faculty members to use technology in various ways to assist in student learning and engagement when Mason campuses are closed. Through the use of technology, the student learning process can be continued outside of traditional class sessions. This preparedness guide focuses on three key topics: 1) Top 5 Ways to Emergency-proof Your Course, 2) Getting Help with Technology, and 3) Just in Time Videos for Blackboard support.

This emergency toolkit will provide Mason faculty with alternative strategies for:
  • communicating with students

  • distributing documentation

  • delivering lectures and presentations

  • documenting what took place during class

  • collecting assignments and providing feedback

  • administering exams and make-up exams

  • distributing grades
There are many technologies faculty can use to accomplish these tasks. This preparedness guide documents Mason-supported technologies and free and open technologies on the market today.

How to Get this Service

In order to assist in emergency-proofing your course, we have identified 5 ways you can be proactive.

1. Build your technology and teaching expertise. 2. Identify coursework critical to the learning goals of the course; and map the assessments and activities to the technologies that provide students with alternative methods of completion.
Instructional Designers are available to assist you with incorporating technology into your course.

3. Identify the primary method of communication and documentation distribution for: 4. Pre-record mini-lectures of main course content. 5. Create an all-inclusive class syllabus and incorporate your unique class policies for academic preparedness.
    After considering the strategies listed above, include your unique class policies for academic preparedness in your class syllabus. For information on designing an all-inclusive syllabus, visit the Designing Your Syllabus.

There is no charge for this service.


This service is available 24/7, excluding planned outages, normal maintenance windows, and unavoidable events. Maintenance windows are Sundays from 7 to 11 a.m. but may be extended to 2 p.m., if needed. If maintenance is required outside of these hours, it will be announced on the Planned Outages web page.

Getting Help

ITS Support Center

The ITS Support Center, located on the Fairfax campus in Innovation Hall Room 233, serves as the central point of contact in cases of an epidemic, long-term inclement weather crisis or any type of disaster that would prevent students and faculty from attending class.

Please contact ITS Support at 703-993-8870 or e-mail your request to Walk-in assistance hours are Monday - Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and phone support hours are Monday - Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Collaborative Learning Hub (CLUB)

The Collaborative Learning Hub supports effective teaching and learning with technology to enhance learning experiences and the quality of work life at the University for current students, teaching faculty, instructional support staff, and academic units seeking to improve instruction. The CLUB is located on the Fairfax campus in the Johnson Center Room 311. Please contact the CLUB at 703-993-3141 or by e-mail at

Online Learning Resources (OLR)
Online Learning Resources helps advance instructional initiatives by providing support, administration, and training for the off-site hosted learning management system (LMS), Blackboard Learn 9.1, Organizations, and the university portal (myMason). The unit also provides strategies and best practices for fostering student engagement and interaction using the LMS and other instructional technologies including Blackboard Collaborate, PB Works, WordPress, Kaltura, iTunes U, and more. Questions and assistance with any of these technologies can be found at

Instructional Design Consultations
The instructional design team offers a variety of services and expertise to faculty teaching courses at George Mason University, The main instructional design offices are located on the Fairfax Campus in the Collaborative Learning Hub (CLUB), Johnson Center, Room 311. Instructional design consultations are also available in the training lab on the Prince William Campus in the training lab, Occoquan Building, Room 231. Suggestions, comments, testimonials, and case studies are strongly encouraged. Please e-mail the instructional design team at


Need some quick help getting started with Blackboard? Want to create a quick video lecture for your students? Click here to watch the short videos. Mason's Blackboard support staff is available for help during snow and other emergency days using the Contact Us form on our Courses Support site.

Last modified date: August 1, 2014