COVID-19 - Recommendations for Faculty

Thank you for your dedication to close out CEL courses online, allowing students to see their work through and fulfill the commitment to our community partners. We want to share our initial reflections from the transition to online CEL course delivery. We will continue to research these items and share our findings with you.

Prioritize Project-based CEL Courses

Many CEL courses are project-based (i.e., final deliverable completed outside of the organization).  If your course includes placement-based service, consider ways in which students might engage in other types of CEL opportunities.  Examples include:

  • Creating an educational deliverable defined by the community partner, such as:
    • Research, assessment, or evaluation requested by the community partner
    • Creating information sharing products such as digital media, social media content, and/or print materials
    • Creating virtual educational materials such as webinars or streaming a presentation or performance
    • Other educational deliverables may include: policy briefs, literature reviews, position/response papers, grant writing, data analysis, annotated bibliographies, campaign outreach materials, films, etc.
  • Explore ways in which placement-based service could be offered virtually, such as offering services via video conferencing platforms (e.g., community member interviews, fundraising, mentorship and tutoring)
  • Engaging in virtual service opportunities (virtual volunteering opportunities in London and area are available through Pillar Nonprofit Network volunteer board)
  • Consider opportunities to reflect on COVID-19, examples include:
    • global health
    • impact of pandemics on communities
    • civic responsibilities in a public health crisis
    • physical distancing as an act of solidarity
    • ways community members can support one another during a pandemic and while physically distancing

Utilize Institutionally Supported Tools for Online Teaching and Learning

Institutionally supported tools—Office 365, Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom, and/or VoiceThread—are useful tools to consider for engaging online and continuing CEL courses/projects (i.e., meetings, presentations, collaborations, lessons, acknowledging partners, etc.).


If you decide to move final presentations online, please consider asking students to create a shareable link (the above tools have this capability) to share with community partners. Synchronous sessions are recommended for small classes only. Consider a practice session with the technology and crafting a schedule to share with community partners.

Community partner acknowledgement

Online group cards are a popular option (e.g., for each student in a team to share a short message with the partner. Another option is a collective class message using an online platform either in video or picture that is sent to all the partners in the course. Scheduling a time in Microsoft Teams or Zoom is a simple way for students to tune in and record a message.

Additional Campus Resources

The Centre for Teaching and Learning and Western Technology Services have curated resources that focus on institutionally supported online tools, as well as other key considerations, techniques, and approaches for online teaching and learning: 

Western Technology Services has developed a series of best practices to ensure online engagements are secure: 

Student Accessibility Services is available for consultation regarding Universal Design in online learning environments: 


If you would like to discuss how we could approach the CEL projects/placements specific to your course, please feel free to contact us.