By SUSAN JONES
In response to recommendations from the Senate Faculty Affairs committee, the Office of the Provost and the Center for Teaching and Learning have issued some clarifications and guidance on teaching during the spring 2022 term, including that all classes should be taught in person, unless previously approved for hybrid or online, and faculty are not required to record their classes.
Faculty Assembly on Dec. 1 approved a letter to the provost that recommended that the University allow faculty to make decisions on whether to record classes, how to assess students and the manner in which other pedagogical procedures are chosen.
The message this week from Provost Ann Cudd and the Teaching Center said the guidance provided at the start of the fall term remains in place, but a few points of clarification have been added to help faculty prepare for spring classes.
Lorraine Denman, co-chair of the Faculty Affairs committee and faculty member in French and Italian in the Dietrich School, said: “I think the new guidelines address all of our concerns, and the Faculty Affairs subcommittee members were glad to see the support and confidence from the provost's office.”
The subcommittee had questioned the provost’s message earlier this semester asking faculty to not drop the lowest grades for quizzes and assignments and instead provide make-up assessments for all absent students.
Denman said the updated guidelines, which say faculty can evaluate students as they deem pedagogically appropriate, make the issue of dropping the lowest grade a moot point.
Irene Frieze, the other co-chair of the Faculty Affairs committee and emeritus professor of psychology, the guidelines show that, “Clearly, the provost disagreed with the request that faculty make the decision about whether or not the class would be done on Zoom or in-person or hybrid.”
Guidance for teaching spring 2022 classes
All classes should meet in person unless they have been previously designated and approved as a hybrid or online course.
Instructors should teach in person, unless they have previously been approved by their dean to teach a hybrid or online course.
Instructors are not expected to provide synchronous remote access (using Zoom) to their in-person classes.
Instructors will be notified if Disability Resources and Services (DRS) has approved accommodations for students. Instructors should work with students to provide any DRS-approved accommodations.
Instructors should assist students who are in quarantine, isolation, or absent because of COVID or suspected, but as yet unverified, cases of COVID. Instructors should also review the strategies to support students in these situations, and take care to provide affected students with reasonable accommodations and opportunities for make-ups.
Policies regarding other illnesses, absences, class attendance, participation, assessments and make-ups are subject to established practices of the department, school or campus. Where established practice may be at odds with other aspects of this guidance, instructors should reach out to their dean's office, the Teaching Center, DRS, or the Office of the Provost, as appropriate, for clarity.
Instructors are not required to record their class sessions. Decisions to record classes are at the professional judgment of the instructor and are subject to established practices of the department, school, or campus. Information on options for recording your classes, how-to information, and how to get assistance is available on the Teaching Center website.
Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-244-4042.
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