Updated Nov. 1, 2021


This document lists answers to questions commonly encountered by instructors. The answers are dated and we anticipate adding additional questions and their answers in the coming months. Instructors are also strongly encouraged to read through the Instruction FAQ for Students on the Office of the Registrar’s website, which also provides up-to-date information but focuses on the students’ perspective on instructional issues.

Helpful guides and strategies for remote teaching can be found on the Keep Teaching website, along with links to important updates and communications as they become available.

The online resources for Reading & Composition instructors includes a good deal of information of general interest.

For further general ongoing updates on the campus response to the COVID-19 pandemic, see this campus listing of resources and support.

In-person instruction and exceptions

In spring 2022 and beyond, the mode of instruction for each class will default to the mode approved by the Committee on Courses of Instruction (COCI) for that course. For most courses, that is in-person instruction. There is no capacity limit for in-person classes, and we anticipate that almost all classes will return to pre-pandemic instructional modes, class sizes, and classroom locations. 
We will continue to partner with the City of Berkeley Public Health Officer and consult our own public health committee for guidance on face covering requirements based on conditions at the time of their implementation.  We do not anticipate making any definitive decisions about face coverings or other mitigation measures until closer to the start of the semester.  
If face coverings are required for indoor instruction during spring 2022, we anticipate that instructors of select classes in which face coverings would prohibit curricular activities (e.g., introductory foreign language, linguistics, or select performing arts) may wish to request an exception to in-person instruction. Campus administration will continue to receive guidance from public health officials, and may grant a blanket exception for remote instruction for those classes that pedagogically require non-masked participation. For now, instructors of these courses should plan for in-person instruction with the expectation that public health requirements will not include face coverings in spring 2022. 

An instructor may request remote teaching as a workplace accommodation for a qualifying disability, following these guidelines: Leaves, temporary workload modifications, and accommodations.  Approvals are valid only for the dates they were originally granted; approvals granted only for the fall semester do not automatically carry over to the subsequent spring semester. Please make sure that requests for the spring semester of 2022 with appropriate supporting documentation are submitted in a timely fashion.

Faculty are expected to be in residence, even if their class mode of instruction is remote.

Please remember, also, that employment is contingent upon having valid U.S. work authorization prior to the start of an appointment.

Emeriti faculty teaching freshman/sophomore seminars may request remote teaching in the spring 2022 semester by contacting their department chairs; requests will be reviewed and approved on a case by case basis.

Emeriti faculty who wish to continue teaching online permanently must submit the change to the Committee on Courses of Instruction (COCI) for review.

Research, Teaching, and Learning (RTL) has continued to increase the number of course-capture enabled general assignment classrooms over the fall semester, and will continue to do so over winter break. Classroom technology and support will continue to be available. Review all support opportunities as well as available options in the general assignment classroom database.

Any past semester recordings which include student images or voices can only be shared with individuals not enrolled in that class if instructors provided notice of the intention to share lecture recordings in the syllabus, or obtained written consent when the lecture was recorded via a form or survey. Instructors who did not provide notice or obtain consent at the time the lecture was recorded may only use those recordings if student images or voices are redacted from the recording before they are shared with future students.  We ask instructors to take special care when considering any recordings that might contain personal or sensitive content.

More information about Zoom recording permissions, copyright, and privacy can be found here. The Berkeley Academic Senate has also provided additional opinion and guidance here.

Permanent changes to courses

Departments that wish to change the instruction mode for a course in time for the spring 2022 semester must submit a course revision through COCI. Details about changes to existing courses can be found in the COCI handbook, and departments bear in mind the following deadlines:

  • Departments should submit course modifications to COCI by Oct. 22, 2021 to ensure appropriate time for feedback as part of the approval process. The final date to submit a course modification to COCI for spring 2022 is Nov. 5, 2021.
  • For departments looking to create new courses for spring 2022, we recommend submitting proposals by Nov. 5. The final date to submit proposals for COCI review is Dec. 3. There is a preference to submit your proposal as early as possible.
  • Department chairs do not have the authority to approve a change to online instruction for pedagogical reasons. Instructors and Chairs should work through COCI for such approvals.

Some departments are attempting to meet increased student demand by adding capacity in discussion sections, beyond physical room capacity available. In these cases, it is necessary to have an approved online discussion section approved by COCI. Departments that have previously experienced capacity limitations that could be alleviated by adding online discussion sections are encouraged to submit documentation to COCI as soon as possible; the final date to submit any course modifications for spring 2022 is Nov. 5, 2021.

In general, changing the mode of instruction for a section with students enrolled is not recommended. If a change must be made to a section with students enrolled, it will require department schedulers/enrollment managers to take significant steps in Campus Solutions. Instructors and/or department schedulers should contact enrolled students as promptly as possible, with details on other available sections, if necessary.


Fall 2021

Archive of fall 2021 instructor guidance.