Recent Updates

7 Point Plan for Remote Instruction (Updated 9.1.20)

Regular and substantive interaction with students is not only important for effective remote instruction, but this connectedness and continuity will provide students with much needed emotional and social support.  Of course, just as we always strive to convey to our students that we care about them and their academic challenges and success, doing so is even more important during this upheaval.

1. Communication

Clearly state how you will communicate with students and on what schedule. Please make it clear that they are expected to devote the same amount of time to classes being offered remotely. Ensure that you have a valid email address for the students in each of your classes, lab sections, or other courses, and that you have ready access to this information offsite.

2. Remote Plan

Explain your plan for replacing in-person classes. 

      • For lectures, you might use live broadcasts, record videos, or post narrated PPT files.
      • You might use the discussion forum feature of the LMS, or schedule open office hours on WebEx/Zoom.
      • Labs might focus on identifying specific learning goals and developing alternate virtual examinations of data sets, or a faculty may want to perform a lab session over WebEx/Zoom, provide data, and require students to do the analysis.
      • For independent studies, honors theses, and other capstone projects, faculty should develop alternate methods of remote completion.
      • Discuss attendance and that it will be monitored (if applicable). 

The Learning Center has created an asynchronous self-paced learning module that teaches students about some fundamental skills and expectations of remote learning. This maybe very useful for first year students. If you use Canvas, you can import that module as an assignment into your Canvas site. 

3. Availability

Instructors should devote (at least) the same amount of time as you would for regular class meetings. Simply uploading materials does not constitute regular, substantive interaction. 

You should offer (at a minimum) one hour per week of office hours via Zoom or Webex. You should be open to meet with students at different times, if they are not available at the scheduled time or in a different time zone.

4. Grades

Special care should be taken to ensure that students’ grades do not suffer from these disruptions. Clearly indicate on the syllabus exactly how grades will be calculated, including providing a rubric for how participation will be evaluated.

Return graded exams and other assignments, as they should be a learning opportunity (consider incorporating “exam wrappers”). It is the instructor’s responsibility to maintain standards of Academic Integrity by not reusing exams. Indeed, reviewing past exams should promote student learning.

Be transparent about grade cut-offs. It is strongly recommended that students know from the beginning of the semester how numerical grades will translate to final letter grades.

5. Accessibility

Confirm that all students have a reliable way to access the internet.  High-speed internet access and large cell-phone data plans are not distributed evenly among our students. We need to be especially thoughtful about this and try to employ the lowest tech options available. Of course, this will not always be possible.

6. Flexibility

Respect University policy on excused absences for religious observances. Please also be flexible with absences, remembering that we are in the midst of a global pandemic and the most severe economic dislocation since the Great Depression (students have to take the jobs they can get even if they have erratic schedules). 

Students with disabilities may be impacted differently when switching from in-person to online instruction. Be prepared to provide and/or revise student accommodations. For more information about accommodations, please visit

7. Academic Integrity

The Office of the Provost has created an Academic Integrity Resources page for both faculty and students. Please include this link in your syllabus, so students know what is expected of them.