Faculty Guidance: Teaching and Learning Guidelines for Spring 2022

Last updated January 2022

The goal this spring is to provide as much uninterrupted, high-quality, in-person, instruction as possible. To facilitate this goal, these guidelines have been collaboratively developed based on what we know as of the first week of January 2022 about the pandemic and relevant county/state guidance. This is a living document that will be updated as we learn more about campus immunization levels and CDC/county directives while focusing on the best interest of our students and faculty.

General

  • DHs should appoint a lead person that will serve as an expert who remains current on COVID issues and can address departmental questions and issues.
  • Classrooms will continue to operate at full occupancy with pre-COVID layouts.
  • To protect confidential health information (protected by FERPA) faculty are not permitted to ask students about their vaccination or booster status.
  • Faculty will share the expectation that students should proactively communicate needs or concerns in a timely manner.
  • If continuing to use technologies that worked in AY 20 – 21, such as laptops, webcams, special software (Zoom, Proctorio, etc.), inform students of requirements no later than the first day of class.
  • Provide students with regular and clearly posted office hours via Zoom and/or in-person. It is perfectly acceptable to hold in-person office hours with social distancing. Monitor the Mines Mask Policy for most recent mask wearing expectations indoors. DHs can reserve larger spaces for office hours to accommodate more students if needed. Faculty are expected to respond to email communications within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Ask your students to use the “Raise Your Hand” function to seek support, clarification, or guidance with any matter if they are stuck or unsure who can best assist. Raise Your Hand is available here.

Illustration of students taking online classStudent Absences

Faculty should expect a higher rate of student absences for extended durations. We therefore strongly encourage faculty to make adjustments in the way that makes the most sense for their courses.

  • Build opportunities for students to make up missed work. Share expectations in your syllabus.
  • Provide reasonable flexibility in the course such that students can miss up to two weeks of class or assignments, without a significant impact on their grade. Create a culture where students do not feel pressured to come to class when sick (putting others at risk) for fear of falling behind.
  • Design your course so that solitary work (e.g., readings, lectures, modeling, individual practice) can be done during out-of-class time while activities such as discussions and practice with feedback occur during class time.
  • Set up a “buddy system” so that students can catch other students up remotely; be clear about expectations. This could include Zooming quarantine/isolated (Q/I) students into lectures, labs, and group work.
  • Utilize live-capture technology currently available in classrooms to record and share current lectures. Here is a link to live lecture capabilities listed by rooms.
  • Create a “highlights” video or podcast that summarizes the main topics for each lecture for students and offers supplemental materials.
  • The biggest concern from students in Fall 2021 who were placed in Q/I was their inability to catch up. Consider requesting a JEDI for your course to provide extra help to students who are unable to come to class or need to catch up after an extended absence (see JEDI information below).
  • Utilize recorded lectures from AY 20 – 21 (if available) to make up missed lectures.
  • For labs, recitations, studios, discussion-based, and other hands-on sections, different types of contingency plans may apply. Faculty can work with their teaching assistants to schedule makeup sections in the evenings or weekends to compensate for lost time. Another solution is to use remote options that were designed during AY 20 – 21 to substitute for the hands-on experience.

Assignments and Exams

  • Mines recommends that faculty consider developing assessments that assess the learning outcomes of the course, but that do not require high-level proctoring, like high-stakes exams. We encourage you to use authentic assessments. These would be more in line with what students will experience in a work-place setting.See the assessment resources on the Trefny Center website for assessment ideas and considerations for the Spring 2022 semester.
  • If faculty are using Canvas, Proctorio or other similar software to monitor exams pre-COVID, they may continue to do so. However, please note the limited license availability for Proctorio. Some reasons to avoid using proctoring software as can be found here. Additional information about Proctorio as it pertains to Mines can be found here (please make sure you are logged in to Canvas). Faculty can point students to this FAQ site to address their concerns.
  • Since we anticipate continuing teaching face to face in Spring 2022, we encourage faculty to rely on in-person testing. The Mines Testing Center (MTC) will continue to administer in-person exams to students who are registered with the Disability Support Services (DSS) office and have approved testing accommodations.
  • The MTC will prioritize faculty requested times for exams administered through the Testing Center. We ask that faculty understand requested exams times are not always possible due to student schedule conflicts and MTC operations (e.g., occupancy or availability of private testing rooms).
    • In such instances, the Testing Center is authorized to schedule the accommodated exam as soon as possible within three business days of the regularly scheduled exam.
  • We ask that faculty schedule exam dates as early as possible. This helps students submit requests through the MTC prior to the sign-up deadlines of 5 days before Semester Exams and 10 days before Final Exams.
  • The MTC uses AIM to receive and return exams. Faculty should upload exams electronically to AIM at least two business days prior to the exam date.
  • Apart from those who observe Ramadan (see below), the Mines Testing Center (MTC) is currently unable to provide alternative test proctoring for students who are not registered with DSS. The following guidelines pertain to Ramadan Testing Accommodations.
    • Ramadan begins Saturday, April 2nd, 2022, and ends Monday, May 2nd, 2022.
    • During this time, Mines will provide alternative test arrangements for those who observe Ramadan and properly request testing accommodations.
    • Students with exams scheduled between 12:00 pm and 9:00 pm will have the option of:
      • 1) Consuming food/drink during an evening exam (i.e., 7 pm exam).
      • 2) Requesting an alternative time after sundown or in the AM hours on the following day(s) (student schedule permitting)
    • Regularly scheduled in the AM hours will not be accommodated.
    • Details and directions to request alternate test arrangements for both faculty and students will be sent soon via a communication from the Dean of Students Office
  • If students report they are unable to take an exam because they are sick, we ask that faculty not require a doctor’s note and arrange for them to take a makeup exam. This is to discourage students from being on campus if sick.
  • Exams and instructional materials (print-outs, materials, supplies, etc.) will not be hand-delivered to those in quarantine or isolation.
  • Similar to AY 20 – 21, make-up exams should be designed to be consistent with the regularly scheduled exam. They should be designed to assess similar outcomes and require a similar amount of time and effort to complete. Boundary conditions, resources allowed, etc., should be the same across the actual exam and the make-up.
  • In case an alternative plan needs to be developed for students who may be in Q/I, expectations should be similar to students who are taking the exam in person. The activities should assess the same outcomes, be of similar difficulty, and need the same amount of time, and effort to complete. All assessments should directly align with the learning outcomes and should focus on assessing student mastery of each outcome.
  • Common hour exams will have an 8PM start time (8 – 9:30PM) for multi-section coordinated courses with high enrollment. If students report a conflict during a common exam time with an exam in another class or another scheduled class, please refer to the policy here.

Mask Policy Compliance

  1. Faculty have the responsibility to make sure students are following policies.
  2. Faculty have the authority to require students to wear a mask in classrooms and labs.
  3. Faculty have the authority to ask a student to leave the class/lab if they are not following policy. They shouldn’t force a student to leave, but it should be addressed with the student in a timely fashion.
  4. If a student is not wearing a mask and will not leave the academic space, the faculty member should let the student know that he/she will be filing a report with the Dean of Students for follow up. Avoid adversely impacting an entire class for one person’s poor behavior. Cancelling class should be avoided and practiced only as a last resort.
  5. As soon as possible following class, the faculty member should notify the Dean of Students of anyone that is refusing to follow policy and not wear a mask in the classroom/lab. The easiest way to do so is to complete the reporting form.
  6. The student will be contacted for an Administrative Conduct Meeting with the Dean of Students and the incident will be documented in the student’s record. The student will be notified that their enrollment in the class and the institution is in jeopardy should the behavior/policy violation continue. Additional educational sanctions may be imposed as well.
  7. The Dean of Students Office and Public Safety will not be able to respond immediately to incidents like this. It should simply be documented with my office for follow up. However, if the student is combative, violent toward others, or making threats of violence, a call to Public Safety is appropriate.
  8. Faculty can hand out masks to students who do not have one on hand. Department managers can order spare masks from the Mines COVID safety supply store.

Emergency Readiness

Nearly all classes will be face-to-face, so there may be situations that lead to remote learning.

  1. If >20% of a class has been placed in Q/I, the course can be shifted to remote delivery for a period of 2 weeks (10 business days) to provide uninterrupted instruction to all students.
  2. If an instructor needs to Q/I, the instructor can teach their courses remotely for a maximum period of 2 weeks (10 business days). If the instructor’s health prohibits them from teaching, contact your DH who will make every effort to avoid cancellation of more than one class period by identifying an alternative instructor to deliver the course.
  3. If a classroom or lab needs to be closed for cleaning and disinfection (closure may last up to 2 days) . Faculty will need to pivot to remote delivery during the cleaning period.

Faculty may request a JEDI for their courses. We envision two avenues for faculty to get additional support through the JEDI program.

  1. Faculty planning to provide students with access to virtual live lectures or recorded lectures. This could happen if a course needs to temporarily switch to remote delivery or if students placed in Q/I would like to tune in to a live lecture over Zoom. We recommend that DHs recruit a few graduate and/or undergraduate students at the start of the semester who can be on standby. These students can then go through a training with ITS to help with such technology and A/V needs.
  2. Faculty who would like to provide students in Q/I with extra subject matter support can request a JEDI with content expertise. These students would need to be identified by faculty. We understand these requests will need to be made as and if the need arises during the semester. We will monitor these requests on a regular basis.

In either case, please fill out the JEDI request form. The undergrad dean will approve these requests in consultation with the college deans and DHs.

Possible duties for JEDIs include:

  •  Assist students in Q/I during live lecture if they need to attend class remotely for an extended period of time.
  • If remote instruction is not a viable option, or if the student needs to step away from academic work due to illness, JEDIs can help those in Q/I to keep up with course material/assignments, provide remote one-on-one or group help, hold extra remote office hours, etc. These students will need to be familiar with the course material and topics covered in class.
  • Proctor exams for students who are in Q/I and need to take the exam remotely.
  • Graduate students can deliver courses in-person if the instructor needs to be on leave due to illness or other extenuating circumstances. Do not ask UG students to take on this role.
  • Assist with recording of live lectures using technology in the classroom.

JEDIs should be used on a temporary basis only when a class needs to switch delivery modes or to help students catch up (stay caught up) when unable to attend class for extended periods of time. It is imperative that faculty and students understand that remote and hybrid options are no longer available as long-term permanent solutions. JEDIs will not provide grading support and are not to be treated as course TAs. They are only to be used to assist with unexpected cases of illness for extended periods of time. Requests to receive JEDI assistance, should go through the DHs.

Appendix A

Current Mines COIVID-19 Policies can be viewed here: https://www.mines.edu/coronavirus/

Appendix B

Definitions:

Quarantine (Q): keeps someone who was in close contact with a COVID-19 positive case away from others. Duration of quarantine can range from 7 to 14 days, but could be as long as 24 days for caregivers of COVID-19 cases.

Isolation (I): keeps someone who is sick or has tested positive for COVID-19 without symptoms away from others. Duration of isolation is a minimum of 10 days from symptom onset/positive test date. Cases must be fever free for 24 hours and symptoms must have improved before ending isolation.

Persons who are sick with cold or flu symptoms or persons who have had known exposure to COVID19 should report their situation to Mines COVID Response Initiator Team.

Student Extended Absences Due to Quarantine/Isolation (Q/I)

Student Life will continue to send emails regarding excused absences to faculty on behalf of students. Please note: Student Life is unable to verify documentation in cases of reported illness for students who have mild symptoms that do not necessitate a doctor’s care/attention and subside within a few days.

Students who need to quarantine or isolate will miss more than a handful of classes. Students in quarantine may be able to keep up with classwork remotely but students in isolation may be ill and be excused from class activities/engagement. Faculty should treat these cases as they would other excused absences and provide opportunities for students to make up missed classwork, assignments, exams, and other deadlines.