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How should I communicate these changes to my students?

The following provides you language that you can use. In terms of the opening paragraph, you should of course feel free to adapt as you wish. For the questions, however, please stick to the language provided so that we have consistency across classes. (In some cases, you will need to choose between options. These have been highlighted below with the word OR.)

Dear Student,

As you know, the seminary is going from on-campus to online instruction after spring break. I know this is a loss for many, who came to St. Louis so that they could have an in-class experience. I know that it will also cause varying levels of frustration as we adapt to a new situation. We feel this loss and these frustrations too. The school sincerely hopes, however, that making this decision is an important step in loving our neighbor well and doing all we can to help stop the spread of Covid-19. Let us be praying for the Lord’s mercy on our own community and for his wisdom in doing what we can to love others well and to show the world the confidence in the midst of uncertainty and fear that comes to those who know and are known by a loving and sovereign God.

As for our class in particular, I wanted to try and answer a few immediate questions that might have already come to your mind.


How and when will we meet?

Because this class is being recorded for future use in an online format, I will be loading links to Canvas that will enable you to watch the relevant class in advance of our Zoom meeting. These links will be available on the Modules tab within Canvas.

We will then meet via Zoom (a video conferencing service), during a regularly scheduled class time. You will be able to meet using a computer or phone though using a computer will be easiest for most. It will be important to have a good internet connection during the meeting. We will meet for no more than one hour and will always meet [insert class time here: for once a week classes, the meeting will be during the first hour of class time; for twice a week classes, the meeting will be during the first hour of the second day of the week the class usually meets] 

If I’m watching the videos ahead of time AND going to a Zoom meeting, doesn’t this mean I’m now doing more work?

We hope not! Due to editing, the videos usually use less time than a live class takes. Also, most students will save some time due to not having to travel to class. We are hoping that by keeping the Zoom sessions to one hour or less per week, workload will not be greatly impacted and yet learning can continue.

How do I virtually “attend”?

A link will be posted on the Modules page in Canvas.

Can I ask questions during the Zoom session?

Yes! I will be pausing at various points throughout the Zoom session to see what questions you might have. You may find it helpful to virtually “raise your hand;” this can be done by clicking on Participants, and clicking the button at the bottom that says “Raise Hand.” You can also lower your hand in the same manner if your question is answered.

After I have attended, what next?  

After you have viewed the lecture, go the Discussion Forum on Canvas and write 2-3 key takeaways you had or questions you were left with. It is best to write these immediately after viewing the lecture though they may be written anytime before the Zoom session. After you have participated in the Zoom session, mark that you did so in the online attendance roster (details coming soon about how to do this).

What if I cannot attend?

The Zoom sessions will take place during our regularly scheduled class time and attendance during that time is normally required. We do realize, however, that Covid-19 has led to the disruption of some student schedules (due to changes in work hours, the need to care for children at home, etc.). If this is true for you, then you have permission to watch the session at your earliest convenience after the class has taken place, but please try to watch the class before the next scheduled class meeting. (A link to the recording of the Zoom session will be posted in the announcements section on Canvas.) Once you have watched the class, follow the above instructions for marking your attendance in the online class roster and for writing down 2-3 takeaways/questions in the Discussion Forum.

How do I turn assignments in?

I will enable assignments to be turned in via Canvas.

Are you still having office hours?

Absolutely! I will be meeting with students via Zoom. You may sign up using this Calendly link: __INSERT LINK__. I will then send you a Zoom link for our meeting time.

Can I meet in groups with other students?

You may meet in groups with other students via Zoom only. You can sign up for a free account with Zoom at A free Zoom account allows you to meet with several other folks, but it has a time limit of 40 minutes. This is a great way to meet with other students “outside of class,” as it were.

How do my lectures get uploaded to Canvas?

For the pre-recorded lectures you’re recording with Panopto, these will automatically be recorded to either the class folder or your personal Panopto folder (it’s your choice which folder you record to; it is highly recommended that you set your recording to go into the folder for your class). Once you’ve finished a Panopto recording, you will need to link the recorded video to Canvas Modules.

Link your recording in Modules

  1. In Canvas, go to Modules and find the appropriate week.
  2. Click the gray +, choose External Tool, choose Panopto Video, and find your video [please note it will be a bit harder to find if you record to your own personal folder].
  3. Follow the prompts, and then publish that video in Modules);

If you encounter issues... 

Email Alissa to let her know that your video is finished, and she can link it in Modules for you.

How do I use Panopto?

Some general resources can be found on Canvas at this link: (if you cannot access this page, please let Alissa know, and she can add you to this Canvas site that contains Panopto resources).

How do I use Zoom?

Using Zoom

How do I use Calendly?

Using Calendly

How do I use Canvas?

Using Canvas

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