Lengthy weather-related closures and power outages in 2008 and 2009 have left many students and faculty of online courses concerned about how to respond. The Delphi Center provides the following guidelines as a resource for setting student expectations regarding online coursework when the university is closed or delayed.
These guidelines were written under the premise that students in online courses may lose Internet access or the ability to reach their primary Internet access point when they experience inclement weather at their place of residence. These are guidelines only, not policies. You are encouraged to incorporate them into your syllabus and change them as you see fit for your course(s).
"If the University of Louisville is closed due to a holiday, weather-related conditions or other unusual circumstances, planned real-time activities in online classes will not be held and no form of coursework will be due. Real-time activities include scheduled class chats, virtual classroom meetings, or any other activity that requires students to access the course management system (i.e., Blackboard) at a scheduled time."
"If the University of Louisville is on a delayed schedule, on-campus classes are canceled up until a certain time, and classes that begin at or after the delayed time meet at their regular time and include the full instruction period. However, a delayed schedule will not affect online classes in any way. Coursework is due as planned and any scheduled real-time activities will be held."
Internet Outage or Inaccessibility
"A student will occasionally lose his or her Internet access due to an outage where both the cause and solution are outside of his or her control. Examples include an extended power or cable outage causing a loss in Internet access. It is at the discretion of the course instructor whether to require documentation and to determine a reasonable course of action."