Faculty: Guidance for the classroom

UCLA will be offering a substantial on-campus learning experience in the fall, and it is expected that nearly all instructors — faculty members, lecturers and teaching assistants — will be teaching in person as their primary mode of instruction. The return to in-person teaching brings with it a sense of hope and excitement but also a host of new concerns and questions. The following resources are aimed at easing the transition and providing practical guidance for instructors in the classroom:

FAQ: Classroom management and instruction

UCLA’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force has produced a detailed FAQ for faculty members teaching in the fall that addresses questions that are likely to surface as in-person teaching resumes, including:

  • Will I know if students in my class have been vaccinated?
  • Class dashboard: Can I tell which students are cleared to be in class?
  • What if I don’t feel comfortable teaching in person?
  • What if a student refuses to wear a mask or comply with other protocols?
  • What if I have difficulty communicating because of my face mask?
  • What happens if a student in my class tests positive for COVID-19?
  • How can I best support students who might be isolating or quarantining?
  • Is there a possibility we’ll return to remote instruction?

Accommodating students who can’t attend class

With the return to primarily in-person instruction, there is likely to be an uptick in students missing class due to isolation and quarantine protocols or because they haven’t been cleared by the daily symptom monitoring system. It is important that these students have the opportunity to participate in remote learning and continue to have access to academic support services. Instructors are encouraged to adopt one or more of the following approaches to accommodate those who are unable to attend class:

  • Class recordings
    Video or audio recordings of course lectures can be made available to students not in attendance (or to the entire class via CCLE or Canvas). Instructors may also decide to stream lectures by Zoom (making sure to turn on real-time automatic captioning). Check to see what audio-video recording capabilities your classroom has, or reach out to the Center for Advancement of Teaching about alternative options.
  • Attendance
    Absences resulting from isolation, quarantine or a symptom monitoring system instruction to remain off campus should not count against a student’s final grade. If class participation is a factor in grading, instructors should provide ways for students who have been absent to make up for lost opportunities and should outline these alternatives in their course syllabuses.
  • Assessments
    Students to who miss an assessment (midterm, final, presentation, etc.) because of isolation, quarantine or a symptom monitoring system instruction to remain off campus should be given the opportunity to make up the assessment once they are cleared to return to class. It is recommended that instructors design class assessments that can easily be completed by students who were absent and that can be transferred to a remote environment if remote instruction becomes necessary.

Further instructional guidance and details on accommodating students who cannot be in class can be found in the Academic Senate’s Aug. 30 message to instructors.

Instructional modalities: Resources and recommendations

UCLA’s Cross-Campus Teaching Innovation Group has assembled a Teaching Resources and Recommendations guide that covers a variety of different instructional scenarios and incorporates lessons learned from teaching during the pandemic to help instructors advance effective learning and equity in their courses.    

It is important to remember that the existence of COVID-19 cases among the campus community will not automatically mean a shift to remote education, either in specific classes or across the university, and instructors may not unilaterally change the modality of their course. Any general change in instructional delivery would be based on advice provided by the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force to senior campus leadership.

Recommended COVID-19 resources

Covid Team

For journalists

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