What to do if you are sick

In the event that you get sick and are unable to lead your class for a period of time, Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) offers the following set of considerations on how to adapt your pedagogical approaches:


It is essential to communicate with students about what is happening. Update and communicate any changes to your course syllabus as soon as you can, using your preferred method. In your communications, you may want to address:

  • Changes to any due dates or timelines
  • Your ability (or inability) to respond to communications while you are away
  • Expectations for students about work to complete while you are away

Course materials and activities

There are a number of approaches you can take to adjust your course plan, including:


  • Removing or reducing content or assessments that are less vital to your learning outcomes
  • Shifting the course schedule – some course material and activities may be easier to manage while you are absent


  • Use recorded lectures from a previous offering of the course, if available
  • Record short lectures to cover essential material only
  • Enlist a colleague to do a guest lecture
  • Identify material from other sources (open courses, additional resources and readings) that can serve to cover the material
  • Shift lecture-based class sessions to asynchronous activities – like self-directed readings, student led-activities, or discussion forums

Alternate plans

  • Use the time for students to review course material – practice concepts and skills
  • Use the time for students to work on course assignments or to do group work
  • Enlist a colleague to host office hours for students to ask questions

TLS supports

As you make adjustments to your course plan, TLS is here to help. These and many other supports are available to you: