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Rapid Response

The students, faculty and staff of Christian Brothers University are the heartbeat of this Lasallian place of learning and community. We value your health, your safety, and the integrity of a CBU education. The Center for Digital Instruction Rapid Response site provides clear instructions for courses to continue, even if our traditional classrooms are temporarily closed due to inclement weather, a serious security issue or a health crisis, like COVID-19.

We have produced this web resource to assist faculty in quickly moving classrooms to synchronous or asynchronous online learning, lecture and live discussion with students and/or interactive webinars via WebEx.

When we work together, our online classrooms can become a place of continuity and connection in times of uncertainty.


The CDI is here to assist students, faculty and staff navigate full scale or partial emergency shifts to fully online learning. We are here to assist you via email: or phone: (901) 321-4004. If you call and do not get an immediate response, please leave a message. A member of our staff will get back to you as quickly as possible.


CBU Email, Canvas, WebEx, and OneDrive  
If you're having trouble logging into Canvas, call ITS Help at (901) 321-4438 or email


Your first and most vital action is to obtain the CBU email addresses of each class via your Canvas classroom. To learn how to do this, click here for concise instructions. Create a group email in Outlook for each class. This is a best practice to start every semester, regardless of the situation.

If traditional classroom attendance is suspended, immediately email each class to open up your main line of communication. Even if you have not moved your class online yet, email students to let them know you are available and in the process. Communicate via email with your entire class regularly (2-3 times per week) to update progress.

As graded assignments are coming up, use the “One Week/One Day/One Hour Rule” — email the entire class one week, one day, and one hour before each quiz/exam begins or each paper, discussion, or project is due. If you know how, include a link to the assignment in every email.

Do this even if you were already teaching an entire asynchronous course online before traditional classes were suspended. During emergency circumstances, students need more support. Your regular emails will reassure students and provide clear direction.


This Quick Start Guide will move you offline to online in a few easy steps.


Use your webcam and interact with your class. Learn how to use WebEx here or email us at for an appointment.


Show PPT, give an audio lecture and interact with students in a chat-based, live webinar. Learn how to use WebEx here or email us at for an appointment.


The CDI Academic Resiliency Site is a continually updated Canvas resource that serves as an online teaching touchpoint for faculty and adjuncts.


Share this Online Student Quick Start Guide with your class, so they can test computers for readiness and learn more about navigating Canvas. 


Your colleagues can be one of your best sources of information during times of uncertainty. We’ve created this Online Teaching Forum for CBU faculty and adjuncts to ask questions and share ideas.

Remember — all CBU students, faculty and staff have access to Canvas and WebEx via their regular CBU email address and password.

Go to Canvas


  • Be patient with yourself. Do what you can to connect with students. Even if you start with sending assignments via email and have students turn them in via reply or attachment -- it’s ok. Learning is happening.
  • Be compassionate. Some of your students or their loved ones could be impacted by the very emergency that has forced suspension of traditional classes. Your role during times of uncertainty is not just to teach, it is also serve as support. Sometimes, the best lesson you can provide that day is to check in to see how students are feeling.
  • Every student will have different access to technology. Depending on the situation, some students will have computers and Wi-Fi access, others will only have a phone with Wi-Fi or unlimited data and some may have a phone but no Wi-Fi access and limited data plans. Some students may have to turn in handwritten assignments submitted via a photo.
  • Be creative, flexible and meet students where they are. Make exceptions. Find ways for your class to work for you and your students, even if the solution would be unacceptable to you in a typical situation.
  • The U.S. Department of Education has temporarily lifted accreditation standards for higher education due to the COVID-19 situation. You can read the full document here.
  • This is temporary. Whether the suspension of traditional classes lasts a few days or the rest of the term, this situation is temporary. Normally, your online course must be of the same or greater quality than a traditional course. During an emergency, your class may look different or require fewer assignments. The goal is to allow students to finish the semester and continue learning. You may have to alter your standards during this time.
  • Be clear. If you are unsure, run student activity directions by a colleague or family member before communicating them to students. Make sure what you are asking students to do is possible and easy to understand. If an assignment or activity is too complex, consider dividing it into smaller chunks.
  • Keep it simple. You may not be able to include all the assignments, activities and lectures you had planned for the semester. Think about what is economical and concise to achieve your learning outcomes. What you are doing may not be perfect, but it can still be good.
  • Learn from your colleagues at CBU and elsewhere. Set up a Facebook group, email or group text. Find out what is working for others.
  • Learn from other institutions. Follow the hashtag #InstructionalContinuity on Twitter and follow the CDI LinkedIn page for information and announcements.
  • Look for moments of connection and opportunity. There will be endless frustrations and concerns in a time of crisis. It's in these moments that you will learn things about your students and yourself that can move your teaching and their learning to a new level. Try to acknowledge and celebrate the small wins by your students and yourself.


CBU does not endorse any of these offers or businesses but is sharing them in order to provide information for students who may need assistance during this unprecedented time

  • Xfinity is offering free Wifi hotspot access to EVERYONE and upgrading all plans to unlimited data for 60 days. See details here.
  • Internet Essentials (by Comcast) will increase speeds from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps for all customers in response to emergency measures associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19). This speed increase will happen automatically. In addition, new student customers might quality for two free months. See details here.
  • Yelp has a list of free Wifi in Memphis. Remember, many of these businesses and employees are experiencing slowdowns because of COVID-19. When you use a businesses's wifi, try to buy their product, even if it's small. And leave a tip: Yelp’s “Best Free Wifi in Memphis”
“Inspire and lead others by encouraging them.” — St. John Baptist de La Salle