Communicate to Students (7 Point Plan)
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. 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. 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.
- 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, 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).
3. 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.
4. Explain how you will alter assignments, exams, and other graded work. Consider converting exams and assignments that require proctoring to an open-book/take-home format. Provide students with information on how to submit course assignments via the course website. If this is not feasible, make sure your students have a valid email address for you so that they can submit assignments to you that way.
5. If you need to reweight any elements of the grade to reflect the adjustments above, clearly explain that to students. Explain whether they will still receive a letter grade or a Pass/Fail for the semester. Special care should be taken to ensure that students’ grades do not suffer from these disruptions.
6. 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.
7. 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 https://ods.rutgers.edu/.