The great majority of courses — roughly 80% — are being taught in person, and nearly all faculty members are expected to teach on campus. There are currently no caps on the number of students allowed in a classroom beyond normal room capacities, although some larger lecture courses are being conducted remotely (with their discussion sections being held primarily in person).
Regardless of the size or location of their on-campus class, instructors should remember to check the COVID-19 Clearance Portal daily to make sure that students attending their class have completed the mandatory Symptom Monitoring Survey and are cleared to be on campus. They should also remind students to wear a well-fitting mask indoors at all times.
Accommodating students who can’t attend class
While in-person learning will be the norm, instructors should aim to create course structures that are flexible enough to accommodate student absences due to COVID-19. You will not be expected to teach in two different modalities, but we encourage you to adopt some strategies that have already been successfully used by instructors and appreciated by students.
Recording and livestreaming lectures
Whenever possible, make asynchronous video or audio recordings of course lectures available to students (see: Recording an empty Zoom meeting). You may also decide to livestream 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 UCLA Center for Advancement of Teaching for information on alternative options.
Grading and attendance
In light of COVID, instructors should reconsider grading schemes based on attendance or in-class participation. Alternative, asynchronous activities may offer more effective — and less logistically challenging — ways to engage students. At a minimum, instructors will need to offer students who miss class due to illness ways to make up participation and attendance points.
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.
Resources on how to use technology effectively for teaching, learning and assessment:
- UCLA: Supporting teaching and learning during the pandemic and beyond
- UCLA Academic Senate’s updates for spring quarter
If you are ill or test positive for COVID
It is likely that during the course of the term, some instructors will develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 and will be required to isolate or quarantine, per UCLA guidelines — or they may be required to travel for work or another reason.
In these cases, you may teach up to two classes in a row remotely without prior authorization. Any shift to remote instruction that extends beyond two classes and lasts up to two weeks requires the approval of the department chair and/or dean; a change lasting longer than two weeks requires final approval from UCLA COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force’s Education Working Group.
Rather than shifting briefly to remote instruction, you may want to ask a fellow faculty member, co-instructor or teaching assistant to lead one or more or your classes if you will be unavailable.
(Please keep in mind that if, as an instructor, you test positive for COVID-19 through the UCLA campus surveillance testing program or are identified as a close contact of an infected person, you will be contacted by campus health officials with information on isolation and quarantine and when it is safe to return to work. If you are experiencing COVID-19–related symptoms, have tested positive outside of UCLA or believe you have been in contact with an infected person, either on or off campus, contact the UCLA COVID Call Center at 310-267-3300 or email@example.com.)
Accessibility for students with disabilities
UCLA is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in the rich academic experience UCLA offers. The UCLA Center for Accessible Education will work closely with these students and their instructors to determine appropriate accommodations and develop a plan tailored to the needs of students in each their courses.
The UCLA Office of Information Technology’s Disabilities and Computing Program also helps to ensure that faculty and students are aware of accessible best practices and that academic content is available and understandable to all.
Dealing with violations of campus COVID protocols
There may be times when a student, after being reminded, continues to ignore campus health and safety protocols, including masking, symptom monitoring and other requirements.
Instructors are encouraged to report repeat violations to the Office of Student Conduct at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-825-387. In addition, reports of violations may be made anonymously through UCLA’s whistleblower hotline at 800-403-4744. Reports of violations will generally be processed within one business day, and a determination will be made whether the violation was willful or not.
Students with willful violations, repeated violations or violations believed to have resulted in COVID-19 infections will face disciplinary measures up to and including exclusion from campus.
In general, instructors should do what they can to de-escalate situations of noncompliance, but it may be necessary to ask a noncompliant student to leave the classroom. If a student refuses to leave, instructors can consider ending the class or shifting to remote instruction for the day, although they are reminded to consider whether the risk posed by a noncompliant student justifies the learning disruption. All such instances should be reported, as above, to the Office of Student Conduct.
If faculty members or TAs demonstrate repeated noncompliance with health and safety protocols, a complaint can be made to the instructor’s department chair, divisional dean, academic personnel officer or the dean of students.
For full details of UCLA’s protocol on compliance and violations, see Compliance With Safety Measures (PDF).