Guidance for Faculty
Please continue to check your email regularly for important updates from the Provost’s office and other university offices. It is also your responsibility to review and understand the Academic Affairs Continuity of Operation Plan and to be on alert for any emails that indicate a revised version has been published.
All policies noted in this guide including those about cleaning and mask-wearing protocols apply to faculty. See the Health and Safety section for more guidance.
General Instruction Best Practices:
- Under no circumstances should you teach while experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Depending on the severity of illness, you may continue instruction through online delivery or a backup instructor can be assigned. Please work with your chair and dean as needed.
- If you need to teach online for the duration of the pandemic as a precautionary risk-reduction measure, the university will accommodate all reasonable requests. Please consult with Human Resources about this accommodation.
- HyFlex and on-ground classes will need to follow social distancing protocols that are facilitated through, for example, reduction in the percentage of the class meeting at one time or assignment to a larger more open space. After you are assigned a classroom, you must abide by the adjusted COVID room capacity requirements and university classroom pool capacities and set ups. You may review your assignment in the Faculty Schedule/Syllabus upload section of LORAFAC.
- Just as not showing up to class for the year would be a violation of your faculty responsibilities and cause for termination under Chapter Nine of the Faculty Handbook, failure to engage in regular and substantive interaction in the online environment in the event of a suspension of campus operations is a violation of basic job responsibilities. Annual review of faculty performance in teaching must make reference to quality of online instruction. Peer review guidelines and tools for evaluation will be provided to chairs and deans by the Center for Faculty Innovation.
You may review your assignment in the Faculty Schedule/Syllabus upload section of LORAFAC.
Best Practices for Online Learning:
- Courses that are formally part of the online program are reviewed by the Online Learning Team. The Online Learning Team and the Center for Faculty Innovation are happy to provide courtesy consultation and review to ensure your course meets appropriate design and student success standards.
- Online courses will be taught in the Canvas, in conjunction with the Zoom platform for video meetings. All assignments and deadlines for online courses must be tracked in Canvas.
- Synchronous meetings must be recorded for students who are ill or for students who have other accommodations.
- Unless students have been given fair warning at the time of registration, they may not have access to webcams or computers with specifications sufficient for online proctoring. Please work with your associate dean or the Center for Faculty Innovation to ensure courses using Respondus, Examity, Examsoft (Law), or similar solutions are indicated as such on LORA and in the syllabus.
- Campus computer labs will be available, with appropriate social distancing protocols. Please help us identify students enrolled in HyFlex classes that will be completing them completely online. Students were asked to complete this form to let Student Records know about their plans to work virtually. You may share this link with students who may have missed it for some reason.
- Don’t forget to check your syllabi for language referencing Blackboard instead of Canvas. The syllabus templates (graphic) or (standard) have been updated to include Canvas information and you are free to copy-paste information into your own syllabi.
- Use of the course templates is very strongly encouraged, but not required. The templates are meant to provide you with a best-practice method of setting up an online course; however, if you have taught online in the past and what you were doing worked for you and your students, by all means you should keep doing that! For examples of what you can do with a course homepage, visit this Canvas community page.
Your attendance policies and delivery modality should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate students who are ill or need to self-isolate after exposure. Attendance policies that encourage coming to class while sick put the entire campus at risk. Online synchronous courses should be sensitive to equity issues that make students uncomfortable showing their home environment on screen and to time zone considerations that might make live attendance problematic.
Changes to the Academic Calendars:
The Academic Calendars have been adjusted to minimize the additional risks to our community.
- The Center for Faculty Innovation will facilitate multiple opportunities for faculty development in preparation for additional outbreak-related disruptions and increased use of online learning approaches. The CFI hosted a five-day online teaching conference from June 8-12. View the recordings and slide decks for those sessions.
- Media Services will provide updates and training related to enhanced campus classroom technology. If you have questions about classroom technology, please consult Susan Brower in Media Services via email at email@example.com. Law faculty should consult Johanna Kalb via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Browse these pages for additional resources to support learning outcomes for the Fall 2020 semester:
- Services through the Student Success Center remain available and are flexible enough to meet student demand regardless of on-campus/online status.
- The university library and law library continue to provide a host of digital resources for students.
View the Student Academics page for more student-facing resources and information.
- University-sponsored travel is prohibited until further notice.
- Access to campus laboratories will be made available contingent on being in compliance with all city and university related ordinances.
- Access to campus offices will similarly follow city and university guidelines, though faculty are encouraged to work remotely as much as possible.
- The university libraries continue to provide support in accessing materials.
- All university, college, and departmental committee meetings should continue to take place remotely via teleconference or videoconference tools such as Zoom.