Technical Pandemic & Disaster Planning for Faculty

Communication - Canvas & myGate

Once a disaster strikes it will be too late to gather the materials needed for on-going communication with students when face-to-face meetings may not be possible. Canvas and myGate can both offer opportunities to send email to an entire class enrollment at once to update them on changing events.

A Canvas course should be set up prior to an emergency event so that all information and tools can be available to the instructor. All courses are created automatically in the Canvas system.   To learn more about adding content and publishing your Canvas course for student use, see the Instructor Guide.

myGate can also be a source of student email addresses for maintaining communication. For instructions on how to copy email addresses from myGate for use in RacerMail or Outlook, click here.

Coursework - YuJa & Canvas

In the event of a long-term disruption, tools like YuJa and Canvas can be valuable for continuing instruction.

Setting up a Canvas course that contains your course syllabus is a quick and easy way to get prepared. Learning about additional features like sending messages and meeting online in YujJa would only add to a faculty member’s alternatives. 

YuJa is a web-conferencing tool that instructors can use from within Canvas to meet synchronously with a group of students. Since YuJa is available on the web, students can participate from anywhere.

Instructors can communicate with students using live audio or text chat. PowerPoint slides can be uploaded with other documents as part of the online lecture. To schedule a training session or get YuJa support, contact the Faculty Development Center at 270-809-5000. Additional support is available from YuJa by phone at 1-888-257-2278 or by email at

Secure Backups

All office computer files should be backed-up regularly to a Network drive share. Simply printing hard copies of important documents or saving them to CD is not enough. Files saved to Network shares provided through MSU’s Networking department are backed-up to secure off-campus locations. Should MSU fall victim to physical damage such as fire, tornado or earthquake, this will be the only secure form of back-up. For more information about back-up procedures, contact the Service Desk at 270-809-2346.

Off-Campus Access with VPN

What is VPN? It allows you to use your computer at home, or anywhere you can find a high-speed internet connection, to access your computer at work. By using a VPN connection, you create a secure connection to your office computer.

Once connected, you can access files, log into sensitive systems, connect to network drives, check email and use software programs just as if you were sitting in your office. Before you can use VPN an access form must be filled out and faxed in. Once you have VPN access, a program must be installed on your home or portable computer. The form and further instructions can be found on the VPN Access Service Request page..


Article ID: 22965
Thu 1/12/17 4:09 PM
Tue 11/19/19 9:45 AM