Instructor FAQ

Logistics – On Campus

Facilities Management will be posting signage regarding where students should and should not wait prior to classes. Individuals with disability-related concerns should contact the Disability Resource Center

Only close contacts of someone who tests positive (within 6 feet for greater than 15 minutes, per CDC guidance) will be contacted to let them know to take extra precautions. That is, it will depend on the particulars of the class, and the class meeting schedule, as to whether a specific instructor will be contacted. The identity of any test-positive students will not be shared, however, since health information is to be treated as strictly confidential at all times.

Not necessarily. Only close contacts of someone who tests positive (with 6 feet for greater than 15 minutes, per CDC guidance) will be contacted to let them know to take extra precautions. That is, it will depend on the particulars of the class, and the class meeting schedule, as to whether specific students or instructors will be contacted. The identity of any test-positive students will not be shared, however, since health information is to be treated as strictly confidential at all times, per HIPAA guidelines.

Logistics – In the Classroom

Facilities Management and the custodial staff will disinfect classrooms each day. In addition, hand sanitizer, spray disinfectant, and paper towels will be available for students and instructors to use to disinfect their own spaces if they choose to.

The current plan for collaborative learning spaces is to rearrange rooms so all tables face the same direction, and that only one student will be at each table.

The whiteboards will be removed from collaborative learning-space classrooms. Therefore, there will be no need for students to bring their own markers.

Room and Course Scheduling will work with instructors iteratively over the summer to accommodate room-change requests. Room changes will be made based on availability, and we can’t promise that every request will be accommodated. To request a room change, email rcshelp@arizona.edu or contact your department class scheduler. 

Yes, instructors can be heard with masks; the situation is no different from speaking to someone in public with a mask on. The microphones in classrooms have been tested with masks and found to work well in projecting from masked speakers. There is also a gain knob that you can turn up if students cannot hear you. As usual, instructors can call Classroom Technologies Services (520-621-3852) to request help in real time if students indicate you are not audible.

It will not be possible for students to pass microphones around in the classroom to amplify their questions/comments. We recommend that instructors work hard to repeat student questions and comments so that they go through the instructor microphone, ensuring that students in the classroom (as well as those who are attending remotely or accessing class recording) can hear the complete question and answer. See the technology section for more details.

Instructors are advised to keep a 6-foot distance from all other room occupants at all times, and to constrain their movements accordingly. If an instructor is using a webcam for audio and video, it will be necessary to stay in range of the camera and microphone.

We are finalizing compliance guidance for instructors and GTAs to follow if students in their classrooms and laboratories fail to follow the face covering directives. These procedures will be aligned with the usual Student Code of Conduct process for disruptive students. Should the Disability Resource Center determine an accommodation to the mask directive is reasonable, DRC will communicate this accommodation in writing to instructors prior to a class meeting.

As in all interactions, a polite request that explains the impact of a colleague’s behavior is often all that is required for a behavioral shift. 

The normal end-of-semester requirements of a final exam or final project will remain in place. There is no requirement for the exam to be comprehensive. 

The Office of Digital Learning is working on having online proctoring services available, but details have not yet been finalized. As an alternative, we recommend working with the Office of Instruction and Assessment to develop project-based final evaluations that could work in lieu of a final exam or using more frequent, lower-stakes assessments that reduce the weight of the grade associated with the final exam. 

Technology

For classrooms with an existing microphone system, there will be two types of microphones: 1) Lavaliere, which clips onto clothing and 2) Handhelds. Both of these can be easily cleaned with the cleaning materials supplied by Facilities Management.  There are cleaning instructions posted on the teaching station to spray the cleaning solution on a cloth to wipe down equipment and to not spray the cleaning solution on the microphone itself.

  • The remaining classrooms will have webcams to capture the instructor’s voice for the remote participants.
  • Classroom Technology Services will be removing the over-the-ear “Brittany Spears” and throwable CatchBox microphones from the classrooms.
  • CTS does not recommend instructors using their own microphones, as it may change settings in the system that would affect other instructors. 

To maintain contactless interactions, it is not recommended to pass around a handheld microphone. The throwable CatchBox microphones will be removed from the classrooms.

To enable remote students to hear questions, it is recommended that instructors repeat all questions whether from in-class or online students. Other options are for a TA to hold a handheld microphone for students, or having all students submit questions via Zoom (even for in-class students) for the instructor to respond.

For centrally-scheduled classrooms, yes. Instructors can control zoom IDs and can set them up as they work best (to learn more, see the Office of Instruction and Assessment’s Zoom support resource). For departmentally-controlled rooms, contact departmental IT personnel to learn about how Zoom is handled.

Classroom Technology Services professionals will be available before classes begin to help instructors and their teams learn about the equipment and software in the room. Schedule a meeting at 520-621-3852.

  • Instructors can contact the instructor who uses the classroom just prior, and coordinate “room-handover” procedures. Room and Course Scheduling has instructor information for centrally-scheduled classrooms, contact at rcshelp@arizona.edu.

  • Instructors who have teaching assistants or undergraduate learning assistants/preceptors should consider using team members to help with technology setup.  

We strongly urge instructors to use the technology tools that are centrally supported through UITS, Classroom Technology Services and the Office of Instruction and Assessment. Students have been surveyed recently, and they report that it is difficult to learn all the different tools that instructors ask them to learn; they do not like tools that have a cost associated with them; and they are wary of “free” third-party tools that may collect personal data. If you are using a third-party tool, consult with the Disability Resource Center to see if the tool(s) is/are accessible.

It is important to communicate with students prior to the beginning of the semester about the requirements for the course, including hardware, software, connectivity, times for required synchronous meetings, and how issues will be handled if students cannot connect. This is especially important since we will be delivering instruction online after Thanksgiving.

If students would like to request technology (e.g., webcam, laptop, etc.) from the university, they should get in touch with the library. Availability is not guaranteed, but there are limited items available for checkout. Faculty can direct students to Tech Resources for Online Learning for more information.

Since most instructors are not skilled IT professionals, it is important to give students direction on where they can find IT support – usually the 24/7 help desk. It is important to communicate the process by which students should notify the instructor when they are having trouble. This information should reside in the course syllabus as well as in a “Helpful resources” section in the D2L course site. Since live courses will post asynchronous materials, students should have the opportunity to catch up on material they miss due to technology issues.

All classrooms will have a minimum functionality of recording and transmitting the instructor’s presentation, voice, and a live drawing element. Centrally scheduled classrooms have a document camera for the live drawing element. The Office of Instruction and Assessment is developing tutorials on how to effectively utilize these tools to enhance student engagement. OIA materials can be found at the Teaching Models website.

Communication with Students

Only close contacts of someone who tests positive (within 6 feet for greater than 15 minutes, per CDC guidance) will be contacted to let them know to take extra precautions. That is, it will depend on the particulars of the class, and the class meeting schedule, as to whether a specific instructor will be contacted. The identity of any test-positive students will not be shared, however, since health information is to be treated as strictly confidential at all times.

Please encourage the student to work with Campus Health if they have any ongoing health concerns and/or don’t have another provider to work with, and also ask the student to follow this Campus Health Guidance.

No. The instructor MUST keep all student health information strictly in confidence. Our Contact Tracing team will reach out to close contacts of the test-positive individual.

Incomplete grades are only able to be granted at the end of a term when all but a minor portion of the course work has been satisfactorily completed. The incomplete policy is available online. Students should connect with their academic advisors to discuss their enrollment options. 

We recommend that you make decisions now and put the details into your syllabus so that students are clear. Remember that not all students will have access to the tools they will have before Thanksgiving; instructors should consider staying as low-tech as possible while still keeping students engaged. In addition, we suggest that you discuss with students how to talk to their families about boundaries that protect their learning if they will remain at home after Thanksgiving.

Course Modalities

Instructors will have control over how to place students into attendance groups, and D2L has the ability to automatically distribute students into a set number of groups. We recommend that instructors teaching flex in-person classes conduct the entire first day online for everyone. This would be a time to build community, meet each other, and to communicate who comes to class on which days.

The Office of Instruction and Assessment’s Teaching Models website contains resources to help plan fall courses in any modality. The site contains a planning guide that provides step-by-step information to help instructors plan their fall courses. OIA is also conducting webinars this summer to help instructors develop their skills and strategies; you can find their webinar schedule here. Several Faculty Learning Communities meeting this summer will allow instructors to explore strategies to plan classes and engage students in any modality. See the Faculty Learning Community web page or contact Sarah Grace at sgrace@arizona.edu.

No, instructors do NOT need to create a fully-online section for students not coming back in person, unless they are teaching through Arizona Online. If you are teaching synchronously in any form, best practice is to record your class meetings using Panopto or Zoom and post those to D2L in a clearly-labeled location. Students who have to engage asynchronously because of flex or personal circumstances can stay current on the classroom portion of the class. Instructors can also post notes, Powerpoint decks, or other materials so students can make progress asynchronously.

Yes. However, synchronous class meetings must align with the official meeting schedule for the course and operate on Tucson time. For example, if a class is scheduled Tu/Th from 12:30 to 1:45, that should be the only time frame within which synchronous meetings are held. This is necessary to avoid conflicts between class meetings.

No, instructors should not require students to turn on their video cameras for both privacy and equity reasons. 

They would not; the class would need to be reclassified as Live Online, or a co-instructor could be assigned to facilitate the in-person portion of the class.

For In-Person and Flex In-Person courses, students should only attend classes in which they are officially enrolled. If a student is on the waitlist, they should wait until receiving official clearance before attending class in-person. 

Departments should communicate to students on waitlists that they must make arrangements electronically with the instructor before attending class physically. Showing up at the classroom on the first meeting day and hoping for a seat is unacceptable from a safety point of view. 

Many of the “housekeeping” items regarding fall semester will be communicated ahead of time to students through videos and websites from the University.

It is important to be flexible in approaching teaching in the upcoming semester. Significant, consistent reductions in class time will need to be compensated for with more out-of-class work to ensure the students have opportunities to meet course learning outcomes.

Instructors are not required to stop a lecture to read the chat. A useful strategy is to have a teaching assistant, undergraduate learning assistant/preceptor, or a student in the class serve as a chat monitor who can periodically share questions and comments. Each instructor should set norms for communication in their class, whether students are in class or online, and should share these norms with students.