Academic Update for Instructors - 7/16

July 16, 2020

We’re looking forward to having a vibrant and active academic experience for our students this fall, with an enhanced focus on health and safety for our campus community. Make sure to check the Fall 2020 Experience for Instructors/Researchers webpage regularly for the latest updates about the upcoming semester and academic year.

Included in this email:

  • July CTT Workshops – new
  • Planning for the First Week of Remote Classes – new
  • Face Covering Syllabus Statement – new
  • Classroom Guidelines – new
  • Course Assessment – new
  • COVID-19 Accommodations – reminder

July CTT Workshops

The Center for Transformative Teaching is hosting new workshops through July 31 to help instructors prepare for their fall courses. The sessions address important topics in the context of online and hybrid teaching including creating a sense of community online, understanding and supporting student needs, teaching with Zoom, maintaining student motivation and interest, and leading effective discussions. Sessions range from one to two hours and are led by instructional designers, faculty, and directors of various campus units. Registration is required. Workshop archives, which typically include recordings of sessions for those who cannot attend, will be available on the CTT website. (outdated link removed)

Planning for the First Week of Remote Classes

Members of the academic planning task force, along with the CTT instructional design team, have compiled recommendations and resources for beginning the fall 2020 semester with a remote first week. Topics include pre-course announcements, syllabus introduction, student connections, and tips for using VidGrid, Canvas, and Yellowdig. Student Involvement has shared tips for teambuilding activities and icebreakers for the virtual environment.

Face Covering Syllabus Statement

The university has implemented a face covering policy to protect the health and well-being of the campus, which includes classrooms. Faculty Senate has approved a face covering syllabus statement for use by instructors. Employees who have health or medical reasons for not wearing face coverings should work with Faculty/Staff Disability Services to establish accommodations.

Classroom Guidelines

Campus custodians are following enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols across campus, but instructors should also wipe down shared classroom surfaces and equipment before and after use. Disinfection supplies will be available in each instructional space and hand sanitizer stations are positioned within building entryways.

Seating maps that follow the six-foot distancing guideline will be posted in each instruction space and furniture should not be repositioned. Assigned seats are not required, but may be beneficial in large spaces to minimize students having to search for an available seat.

Course Assessment

The Digital Learning Commons will follow physical distancing guidelines, which reduces overall capacity of users at any one time. Instructors should plan accordingly and are encouraged to consider alternative assessment practices.

COVID-19 Accommodations

The university is offering alternative work arrangements to all employees. The principles and guidelines for these arrangements include options if employees are at high risk, live with someone who is, or have additional concerns about contracting COVID-19. In addition, students with health concerns can seek an accommodation or help with arrangements to allow for remote participation in courses.