Planning for Unexpected Campus Closures

We have the opportunity to work and educate in a such a beautiful city and campus but at the same time have to sometimes deal with all that Mother Nature brings to the Lowcountry.  From ice storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, to other potential disasters, we never know when the campus may be closed.  Faculty at the College have access to a number of academic technology applications that allow for communication with students and the dissemination of course materials while the campus may be closed.  This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch, but this page details some applications that you should find easy to use.

Communicating with Your Students


Faculty and staff on Outlook 365 and students using Gmail, makes email the best method of communicating with your students.  These services are off-campus and will therefore be available

You (Instructors) can access your CofC email at
Students can access their Cmail at

OAKS News Item

Course announcements are created using the News tool on the Course Homepage. Not only is News the first thing a student sees when they enter your class, they can also sign up to receive email and text messages when a new announcement is posted.  In case of a natural disaster in Charleston, please be aware that OAKS may not be available.

Tutorial on how to create a News item:

OAKS Notifications

OAKS has a Notifications area that allows you, and your students, to receive emails and/or text messages when announcements are posted in a class. This tool also allows for notifications of other course activity such as due dates and discussion posts.  Encourage your students to enter their mobile phone number and set up SMS alerts.  In case of a natural disaster in Charleston, please be aware that OAKS may not be available.

Tutorial on how to set notifications:

Allows you to text all of your students at one time without them seeing your phone number.  For more information visit at

Tutorial for

Storing and Sharing Documents

Google Drive

As a CofC employee you have access to Google Apps for Education, as do your students, to which you can upload and share documents, PowerPoint presentations and other files.  Please do not put any FERPA protected or confidential information on Google Drive.

If you don’t have Google Apps for Education you can activate your account in My Charleston

Tutorial for Getting Started with and using Google Drive:

Tutorial to upload files and folders to Google Drive:


Similar to Google Drive, Office 365 provides you with storage via OneDrive.  Please be aware that students do not have have access to Office 365.  Because of OneDrive’s encryption features you can store FERPA protected information here during an emergency. Learn more about accessing OneDrive in the IT Emergency Preparedness Guide:

Creating and Delivering Content


OAKS is the College’s learning management system.  It can be used to share content and communicate with students.  If you’ve never used OAKS before you should focus on the News and Content tools.  In case of a natural disaster in Charleston, please be aware that OAKS may not be available.

Access OAKS at
Tutorial on using the News Tool:
Tutorial on using the Content tool:


VoiceThread is a web-based content delivery application that allows users to assemble and narrate media-rich presentations that can be shared with others. What sets VoiceThread apart from other online content delivery tools is it permits viewers to comment (via text, audio, or video) on the content being shared – perfect for confirming understanding and encouraging discussion.  Note: if OAKS is unavailable you can still use VoiceThread, however, when accessing VT directly from their site you will need to click on the Reset Password in order to create a password and allow you to login.

Access VoiceThread at
VoiceThread Tutorial:


OAKS has a YouTube integration that allows you to easily search for and add videos into multiple OAKS tools.

Access YouTube at
Tutorial to add a YouTube video to OAKS:

Google Meet

Google Meet (a.k.a. Hangouts Meet)  is a synchronous content delivery application that allows you to broadcast and share content with up to 30 students at a time.  They can join by phone or computer and you can share your desktop or just chat via audio/video.

Access Google Meet at
Google Meet Tutorial:


Additional Resources

IT Hurricane Preparedness Guide:

CofC Emergency: