Instructors: What Do You Do When There’s a Technology Snafu?

We’ve all experienced technical difficulties. No matter how well-prepared you are, sometimes technology temporarily fails. Sometimes Amazon Web Services is down and sites all over the internet are unavailable. You occasionally experience an inconsistent wireless connection, especially in remote areas. You likely know at least one person who has had a device stolen and they had to survive in a disconnected world until they acquired a new one. This fall, one of your students may show up in your class having just dropped and broken their phone—and you have an in-class Carmen exam planned for the day.

What do you do? Do you have policies in place or a plan in mind for dealing with these types of situations? You’ve likely thought about what you will do if a student is sick and can’t take an exam on a given day, or if they get a flat tire on their way to class. If you haven’t factored technology into those policies, now’s the time!

Starting October 11, students and instructors alike will be required to use BuckeyePass, powered by Duo, to access Carmen. We know this is a big change for everyone, given the frequency of Carmen logins as well as the major role Carmen plays in every student’s education. During the second term of this fall semester, it’s likely you will run into a forgetful student, or one who has lost or broken their device. But what should you and the student do about it?

On the student side, there are many ways to be responsible and prepare for the expanding use of BuckeyePass multi-factor authentication at Ohio State:

  1. Carrying a registered mobile device
  2. Downloading the Duo app for push authentication (the fastest method) and the ability to generate one-time codes (works without cell, data or Wi-Fi!)
  3. Bringing a phone charger to class or stopping in at a Digital Union for a charging break
  4. Carrying a second registered mobile device (if applicable)
  5. Printing passcodes ahead of time to have on hand
  6. Calling the IT Service Desk to get on-the-spot access right before an in-class exam (and instructors can help verify the student’s identity)
  7. Contacting the IT Service Desk or visiting BuckeyeBar ahead of time to work out alternative options

Even with all of these preparation options, some things are just out of the student’s control—you should think about how you deal with these types of situations. What if a student’s bag is stolen, and that bag contained their primary and secondary device (their iPhone and iPad)? What if their phone died earlier in the day and they’ve used up all 10 passcodes during their hectic class schedule?

We highly recommend that, if you don’t already, you should have a technology snafu policy that emphasizes student responsibility but allows for reality.

“Within the syllabus an instructor should specify what they expect students to have, know and be able to do,” said Tara Koger, Digital Flagship Educator Programs Manager. “They should provide links or direct them to resources that might help them meet those expectations.”

Feel free to use the links listed below in your syllabus and in your Carmen course.

For more assistance with Duo or any of our learning technologies, don’t hesitate to reach out to ODEE. Support is available in the Resource Center where you’ll find articles and upcoming workshops. The OCIO Knowledge Base contains technical help on other tools like email, Wi-Fi and BuckeyePass. You can also contact to chat with the experts about anything related to the LMS—from the new Canvas Gradebook to using Proctorio or Turnitin to boost academic integrity. You can even request a custom workshop and the Carmen team can visit your department for explanations and hands-on training.

Looking for iPad app tutorials or inspiration for incorporating iPads into your teaching? Visit the Digital Flagship website for more information on the initiative.

When in doubt, you can call 614-247-4357 (HELP) for assistance with technology in your classroom or contact the IT Service Desk 24/7 at 614-688-4357 (HELP) or online via Self Service.