The Instructional Planning Committee, led by Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost Paul Alivisatos, has developed guidelines (Google Doc)
for fall instruction and other academic activities and is now working with deans and academic units to gather proposals for in-person instructional activities. Given the uncertainty regarding public health guidance months from now, we do not know for certain whether these fall plans will be implemented, but preparing them now will help us adapt our instruction approach to the prevailing public health conditions.
The Report from the Fall 2020 Instructional Planning and Policy Task Force is now available. This report includes guidance and recommendations which may be useful for instructors as they prepare for and engage in remote and hybrid instruction this fall semester.
Faculty, instructors, and GSIs are strongly encouraged to read the report, which includes guidance on aspects of instruction unique to remote, online, and hybrid formats, including academic honesty and integrity, a/synchronous access to lectures and other instruction, guidance on accommodations for remote instruction, and guidance on non-lecture based courses.
The report was produced by the Fall 2020 Instructional Planning and Policy Task Force which was convened by the Provost in late April to develop guidelines and recommendations for potential instructional scenarios for Fall 2020 and beyond in the COVID-19 environment. Their work builds upon the recommendations of the Task Force on Instructional Resilience, and the guidance and tools available on the Keep Teaching website.
Fall Planning Guidance (overview)
- Large courses. By default, instruction in large courses at all levels will be offered by remote delivery. For present purposes, courses are deemed to be ‘large’ if their enrollment is greater than 25 students plus one instructor (total of 26 participants).
- Smaller courses. Those courses and discussion sections for groups of 26 or fewer may be held in person for certain courses, if approved following the review process.
- Semester in the Cloud. For undergraduate instruction, about 30 gateway, critical pathway, and other required courses will be offered remotely this fall. These courses will be prioritized for resources since the focus is on the most frequently taken courses.
- Meeting student needs. Programs should have a plan to address, in an equitable manner, the academic needs of students who cannot attend a particular in-person instructional activity.
- Thanksgiving holiday. The campus will pivot to an all-remote instruction model following the Thanksgiving holiday for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester, in order to minimize exposure to COVID-19 due to travel. Each academic unit should be considering a plan for pivoting to all remote instruction and remote final examinations.
- Back-up plans. Each academic unit should have a backup instruction plan with backup instructors for each course and activity should any instructor become unable to offer their instructional activities as planned.
Proposals for In-person activities
Deans have been asked to work with their department chairs to submit their comprehensive list of proposed in-person, hybrid, and/or dual-mode courses for the fall for review and approval by the Instruction Planning Review Committee. The committee will work with the Office of the Registrar, and the recovery management operations team to assess space availability and other infrastructural needs. The committee will make recommendations to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost who will make decisions about which in-person, hybrid, and/or dual-mode instructional activities should proceed based on space and operational constraints. The campus will seek to support these plans, provided that public health requirements can be satisfied, and that it is possible to find an appropriate classroom or space. All decisions are driven by our guiding principles that include protecting the health of the campus community; sustaining the continuity of instruction and research; preserving as many jobs as possible; and minimizing disparate impacts to members of the campus community.
The committee is focusing on further development and enhancement of campus capabilities for remote instruction. “Semester in the Cloud” is the working title of the focus on the courses most frequently taken, the gateway and required courses. The committee is also close to finalizing guidance for the campus regarding in-person and remote instruction. The committee is exploring such ideas as remote instruction for large courses and in-person instruction for certain smaller courses that meet various criteria including public health guidance. Ensuring a sense of community for students during remote operations is also a concern. Discussions are underway regarding how to build community via remote academic and social activities for students in certain courses. The deans have been charged with developing and submitting school- or college-specific plans for returning to in-person instruction. Academic units are to submit proposals for smaller courses to be held in person.