Responding to Crises


During national crises, such as the current events in Charlottesville, students and faculty can become emotionally charged, feel mentally drained, and be uncertain about how to respond to opposing viewpoints with humility. The links below provide strategies to help faculty create teachable moments in times of crises and develop respectful rapport despite varied perspectives.


Addressing controversial issues, Flinders University:

Start Talking: A Handbook for Engaging Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education, Kay Landis, editor, University of Alaska, Anchorage & Alaska Pacific University:

Mastering online discussion board facilitation: Resource Guide, Edutopia:

Sample rubrics:




Arend, B. (2009). Encouraging critical thinking in online threaded discussions, Journal of Educators Online, 6(1).

Baker, D.L. (2011). Designing and orchestrating online discussions. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 7(3), 401-411.

Ezzedeen, S. (2008). Facilitating class discussions around current and controversial issues. College Teaching, Winter 2008, 230. Retrieved from:

Muller, J., & Irby, D. M. (2005). Practical teaching How to lead effective group discussions. The Clinical Teacher, 2(1), 10–15.

Macknight, C. (2000). Teaching critical thinking through online discussions, Educause Quarterly, No . 4, 2000.

Page last modified July 3, 2018