University of Southern California

Learning Design & Technology

Advancing USC's strategic vision for teaching with technology

Emergency Preparedness

Information Technology Services (ITS) is committed to providing support and services to help faculty maintain their classes during an emergency. The following are guidelines and available services at USC:

Maintaining Your Classes in an Emergency

Provost Elizabeth Garrett’s Thursday Football Game – November 13, 2014 Memorandum outlines seven key points to help faculty members fulfill their duties to students in the event of an extended emergency situation, such as that caused by a flu pandemic, earthquake, or other crisis.


Faculty members should activate all their courses in USC’s Blackboard Learning Management System with an instructor of record and a syllabus. Blackboard is available at

Faculty unfamiliar with Blackboard should visit its help page. This searchable page contains hundreds of how-to-guides and videos.

Several hours of additional Blackboard training movies are available at Log in to USC’s account and search for “Blackboard 9 Essential Training.”

To schedule a customized Blackboard training workshop for your academic unit (available for groups of five or more), contact

For 24/7 Blackboard support, contact the ITS Customer Service Center at 213-740-5555 and choose option 3, or send an email to

Plan B Assignment

Instructors should be prepared to give students a “Plan B assignment” if courses are canceled for one to three weeks during an emergency. If you would like help designing such an assignment—for instance, one that engages students in active learning, has a service learning component, or employs collaboration, communication, social networking, or multimedia technologies—please email us at

USC Emergency Preparedness

For more information about campus safety, see Emergency Preparedness at USC.