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Absence Preparedness

Faculty can keep teaching and learning moving forward during the absence of a student, multiple students, and/or the instructor.

Absences include campus emergencies, injuries or illness, off-campus athletic events, out-of-town conferences, and family emergencies among other events.


  • Have a strategy in place for course activities. Review current course information and provide students with directions if they or the instructor are absent for an extended period of time. Contact FITS at for assistance in thinking through strategies for classes.

  • Plan ahead. Trying to learn new software during an emergency or illness may further complicate the situation. Choose and learn the necessary software for a class activity beforehand, and make sure students are comfortable with it.

  • Rethink familiar technologies while planning ahead. Attempting to learn a completely new technology in a short amount of time may not be the best strategy.

  • Consult the Recommended Technologies page.

  • Consider staff members might be absent. If there is a campus emergency, FITS members may also be absent or may be on campus with limited staffing. Planning ahead is key.

  • Consult policies on class attendance and absences, and incomplete grades as well as the the Student Handbook to determine if an incomplete is in the best interest of the student rather than having the student try to catch up from an absence.

Additional Resources

DePauw Emergency Management

Faculty Absence

Faculty or Family Illness - FLMA

CDC Flu Map

Google Flu Trends