Instructor FAQ

Testing Requirements

  • Weekly COVID-19 testing is no longer mandatory for any students or employees. However, we will continue to offer voluntary, free, and convenient COVID-19 testing on main campus. Please visit the COVID-19 testing page for more information. 
  • In the event of a significant COVID-19 outbreak in a shared student housing setting, the University may require students and/or employees to comply with mandatory COVID-19 testing. Prior to implementing this requirement, the University will receive approval from the Arizona Department of Health Services.  
  • In need of a COVID-19 test? Visit the COVID-19 testing page.

The University of Arizona rescinded its Administrative Directive on Wildcat WellCheck in light of changing public health conditions in Southern Arizona and updated guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Pima County.

As of June 8, 2021, employees, students and designated campus colleagues are no longer required to perform a daily wellness check via the Wildcat WellCheck program each day before they are on a University of Arizona campus or begin campus-based activities.

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.

Communication with Students

No. Information about testing and vaccination is considered protected health information, and it could be a HIPAA violation for an instructor to ask a student about testing and vaccination. Please remember that we are not asking students about their vaccination status. Vaccination status does not serve as a basis to limit student involvement in any academic activity.

The Instructor Reporting Form (IRF) provides a mechanism for instructors who are teaching IN-PERSON to report knowledge of COVID-19 cases in your classes. Students are not required to tell faculty when they have a positive test, but often they choose to do so. In order to track potential clusters of cases, public health investigates when there are 2 or more cases in a 2-week time period in the same location. This form allows instructors to report cases to SAFER, a group working directly with Pima County Health Department, and get information from trained epidemiologists on campus.

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.

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. 

Course Modalities

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 of in-person courses do NOT need to create a fully-online section for students not coming back in person. 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.

The Office of the Provost put together guidelines and process to conduct credit-bearing instructional field trips and off-campus activities during the Covid-19 pandemic. This guidance applies to all instruction-related activities that take place off-campus, in settings that involve co-location or in-person interactions, and/or that require travel. This could include, but is not limited to, field trips, instructional activity in community settings, and creative productions in off-campus arts or related venues.

Logistics

Facilities Management Custodial Services adopted a “Healthy High Performance Cleaning Process” of our buildings and classrooms and provides a safe and clean environment in support of the University’s goal to provide a quality education.  These cleaning standards and frequency have been implemented during the Corona Virus (COVID-19) for the Academic Campus and Medical Areas.

Yes, the collaborative classrooms will be returned to their pre-pandemic arrangements for fall.

Room and Course Scheduling will work with department class scheduler 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. 

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.
  • 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.

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.

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.