Teaching

To enable successful teaching and learning this semester, Ohio State has implemented a broad range of health and safety measures to support instructors.

Campuses have far fewer people present at any one time because courses are being offered with a broader mix of in-person, online (distance learning) and blended (hybrid and distance-enhanced) teaching, and many employees continue to telework.

Ohio State has also made physical changes to create physical distancing in classrooms, add signs directing people where to enter, exit and move through buildings and enhance cleaning protocolsThe university is also focused on the shared commitment needed among all students, faculty and staff to protect one another, using online education, the Together As Buckeyes Pledge and guidelines on facemasks, hand-washing and physical distancing.

Guidance on excused absences is available to help instructors refine their policies to accommodate absences this autumn, particularly given the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Office of Undergraduate Education developed the guidelines in collaboration with the University Senate and Undergraduate Student Government.

This page addresses some of the other common questions posed about teaching this autumn.

Frequently asked questions

Below are frequently asked questions related to teaching at the university. Additional updates and FAQs that apply broadly to employees are listed on the Faculty and Staff page.

If you have other questions, please contact your college or department. Suggestions for FAQs to this page may be sent to facultyaffairs@osu.edu.

Classroom Safety Measures

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How will classroom spaces be cleaned?

Classrooms are cleaned and disinfected nightly. In addition, custodians clean bathrooms and disinfect high touch point areas at least twice a day, including door handles, faucets, handrails and other commonly touched surfaces in high traffic areas.

Students and faculty should wipe down their personal area (e.g. seat, desk or podium, keyboard, mouse) on their arrival in the classroom before use. Individuals may use the wipes that are part of the university's welcome kit, and the university has distributed cleaning supplies in classroom buildings.

Students and faculty should also plan to engage in regular hand hygiene throughout the day (e.g., prior to coming to class, immediately after leaving class).

What physical precautions are being taken to protect faculty and students?

Directional flow of people into and out of buildings and classrooms is indicated to help maintain physical distancing. Wherever possible, buildings and classrooms have clearly marked, one-way entry and exit doors.

All building and classroom ventilation systems have been checked for appropriate air filtration. Classroom pool air filters have been replaced prior to autumn semester and additional air filter replacements scheduled in the coming weeks in all other locations. More information is available through Facilities, Operations and Development.

In classrooms that have desks secured to the floor, seats that can be occupied are indicated with appropriate signs. In classrooms with furniture that can be moved, signs have been placed on the floor indicating where the furniture is to be placed.

Where will personal protective equipment be available? 

Hand sanitizing stations are available in every building. In addition, free face masks are available in most university libraries for students, faculty and staff who arrive to campus without one. These should be reserved for those in need. Masks can be picked up during business hours at circulation desks in the university libraries listed below. Hours can be found on the University Libraries website.

 

    Support for Teaching

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    What support resources are available to instructors?

    Tools, strategies, workshops and other resources are available for instructors through these websites:

    Will microphones be provided in all classrooms?

    Podium microphones, which are flat mics that are mounted on the podium, are in most rooms to improve sound quality for remote and recorded viewing. These do not amplify someone’s voice in the space itself, so these are primarily provided in smaller rooms.

    For larger rooms, both wired and wireless audio solutions have been installed. These both amplify the speaker’s voice in the room and aid in recorded and remote viewing. The wired and wireless microphones that connect to these systems are available for faculty to borrow for the term at the ODEE Learning Environments’ office suite (030 Enarson). Instructors just need to relay in which room(s) they are teaching and they will be providethe appropriate mic solution. Faculty using mics for their classroom are to bring them to each class session.

    Class Management

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    Are there limitations on asking students to engage in group work outside of class time?

    No. As always, faculty can ask students to engage in group work outside of class time. However, faculty should be aware of the challenges that will be faced by some students. For example, if groups will work remotely, some students may not have access to secure and consistent internet connections. Students may also have increased obligations outside of school, such as caring for children who are not attending school or supporting other family members who are vulnerable to COVID-19.

    Faculty teaching in a hybrid format are encouraged to take advantage of the flexibility provided in teaching a course in this format, for example, using class time (either in person or online) for students to work on group projects. The Drake Institute and the Keep Teaching website have numerous tips for faculty teaching in a hybrid format.

    No. As always, faculty can ask students to engage in group work outside of class time. However, faculty should be aware of the challenges that will be faced by some students. For example, if groups will work remotely, some students may not have access to secure and consistent internet connections. Students may also have increased obligations outside of school, such as caring for children who are not attending school or supporting other family members who are vulnerable to COVID-19.

    Faculty teaching in a hybrid format are encouraged to take advantage of the flexibility provided in teaching a course in this format, for example, using class time (either in person or online) for students to work on group projects. The Drake Institute and the Keep Teaching website have numerous tips for faculty teaching in a hybrid format.

    Can students be required to submit their work in hard copy?

    Faculty are encouraged to have students submit their work electronically, as this will allow students who do not have their own printer the opportunity to submit work without having to find and print at a public computer.

    Faculty are encouraged to have students submit their work electronically, as this will allow students who do not have their own printer the opportunity to submit work without having to find and print at a public computer.

    How are faculty being supported in conducting courses in which students are expected to perform physically in a studio?

    Colleges are working with FOD to plan for studio spaces. Faculty who teach in studio spaces are encouraged to communicate directly with their colleges about these spaces.

    Colleges are working with FOD to plan for studio spaces. Faculty who teach in studio spaces are encouraged to communicate directly with their colleges about these spaces.

    How can faculty support students who report poor connectivity?

    The Keep Learning website includes resources for students related to internet access.

    In addition, many colleges are designating workspaces that students can use to access university wireless. Some space will also be available in University Libraries, but capacity will be limited to allow for appropriate physical distancing.

    The Keep Learning website includes resources for students related to internet access.

    In addition, many colleges are designating workspaces that students can use to access university wireless. Some space will also be available in University Libraries, but capacity will be limited to allow for appropriate physical distancing.

    How does the process work for students who need accommodations?

    Students may request accommodations through Student Life Disability Services. If an accommodation is required, the ADA coordinator’s office will facilitate an interactive process that includes Student Life Disability Services, the instructor and the department/college.

    Students may request accommodations through Student Life Disability Services. If an accommodation is required, the ADA coordinator’s office will facilitate an interactive process that includes Student Life Disability Services, the instructor and the department/college.

    How might faculty provide access to course content for students who are unable to attend a class session?

    Faculty are encouraged to video record their class sessions and post these to Carmen. The Keep Teaching website has content for planning in-personhybrid and online delivery with best practices for recording. Faculty should provide clear assignment guidelines, so students who are unable to attend a class session can still complete the assignment. As alwaysvirtual or in-person office hours should be available to all students enrolled in a course.

    Additional ideas are available through the Keep Teaching website. Faculty teaching in person may consider attending the Return to Campus: Preparing for the Classroom Experience workshop.

    Faculty are encouraged to video record their class sessions and post these to Carmen. The Keep Teaching website has content for planning in-personhybrid and online delivery with best practices for recording. Faculty should provide clear assignment guidelines, so students who are unable to attend a class session can still complete the assignment. As alwaysvirtual or in-person office hours should be available to all students enrolled in a course.

    Additional ideas are available through the Keep Teaching website. Faculty teaching in person may consider attending the Return to Campus: Preparing for the Classroom Experience workshop.

    How should office hours be handled?

    As in all other semesters, faculty are expected to hold office hours. Due to COVID-19, faculty are encouraged to utilize Zoom or other online tools for these appointments. If faculty prefer to hold some in-person office hours, health and safety precautions must be taken  all parties should be wearing masks and perform appropriate physical distancing.

    As in all other semesters, faculty are expected to hold office hours. Due to COVID-19, faculty are encouraged to utilize Zoom or other online tools for these appointments. If faculty prefer to hold some in-person office hours, health and safety precautions must be taken  all parties should be wearing masks and perform appropriate physical distancing.

    If attending conferences are part of class requirements, should students be expected to attend conferences in person?

    No. If a conference is being held virtually, the students should plan to participate virtually.

    No. If a conference is being held virtually, the students should plan to participate virtually.

    Is assigned seating required for in-person sections?

    To support contact tracing, faculty should document where students are sitting in the classroom during each class session.

    For larger classes, the faculty member could send around a class diagram and have students mark their seat with their name.

    To support contact tracing, faculty should document where students are sitting in the classroom during each class session.

    For larger classes, the faculty member could send around a class diagram and have students mark their seat with their name.

    Is there a policy related to inviting guests to campus?

    All guest speakers are strongly encouraged to participate virtually. If a visitor must attend a class session in person, they are to follow the health and safety policies outlined in the Together As Buckeyes Pledge.

    All guest speakers are strongly encouraged to participate virtually. If a visitor must attend a class session in person, they are to follow the health and safety policies outlined in the Together As Buckeyes Pledge.

    What materials should be placed on Carmen?

    All faculty are to place the course syllabus, assignments, and grades on Carmen. They should also stay up to date with their grading to reduce student anxiety and in case a faculty member becomes ill and must have a substitute step in for them.

    Additional guidance is listed on keepteaching.osu.edu.

    All faculty are to place the course syllabus, assignments, and grades on Carmen. They should also stay up to date with their grading to reduce student anxiety and in case a faculty member becomes ill and must have a substitute step in for them.

    Additional guidance is listed on keepteaching.osu.edu.

    What preparations should be in place in case a faculty member is sick?

    Each unit should have a succession plan for each course instructor. The plan should include who will step into a course if a faculty member is unable to continue teaching and how this information will be communicated to students.

    Each unit should have a succession plan for each course instructor. The plan should include who will step into a course if a faculty member is unable to continue teaching and how this information will be communicated to students.

    What should instructors do if a student is not following correct health and safety measures?

    As detailed in the Expectations and Accountability Measures that have been shared with the university community, all Ohio State students, faculty and staff are expected to follow the Safe Campus Requirements. What instructors should do to help students follow these guidelines:

    • Set clear expectations early (i.e., before the start of the term) with your students and reinforce them often.
    • If a student is not following the health and safety guidelinesremind them that all members of the university community are expected to follow university guidelines and give them guidance about how to comply in this specific circumstance (e.g., tell them where they can get a mask if they have forgotten theirs).
    • If the student does not comply following a reminder, ask the student to leave, indicating that they are welcome to return when they follow the guidelines, and send a referral to the Office of Student Conduct.
    • If the student continues to refuse, the faculty member should dismiss class for the day and refer the student to the Office of Student Conduct.
    • If a student begins to experience distress or causing a disruption, this guide provides additional information.

    As detailed in the Expectations and Accountability Measures that have been shared with the university community, all Ohio State students, faculty and staff are expected to follow the Safe Campus Requirements. What instructors should do to help students follow these guidelines:

    • Set clear expectations early (i.e., before the start of the term) with your students and reinforce them often.
    • If a student is not following the health and safety guidelinesremind them that all members of the university community are expected to follow university guidelines and give them guidance about how to comply in this specific circumstance (e.g., tell them where they can get a mask if they have forgotten theirs).
    • If the student does not comply following a reminder, ask the student to leave, indicating that they are welcome to return when they follow the guidelines, and send a referral to the Office of Student Conduct.
    • If the student continues to refuse, the faculty member should dismiss class for the day and refer the student to the Office of Student Conduct.
    • If a student begins to experience distress or causing a disruption, this guide provides additional information.

    As detailed in the Expectations and Accountability Measures that have been shared with the university community, all Ohio State students, faculty and staff are expected to follow the Safe Campus Requirements. What instructors should do to help students follow these guidelines:

    • Set clear expectations early (i.e., before the start of the term) with your students and reinforce them often.
    • If a student is not following the health and safety guidelinesremind them that all members of the university community are expected to follow university guidelines and give them guidance about how to comply in this specific circumstance (e.g., tell them where they can get a mask if they have forgotten theirs).
    • If the student does not comply following a reminder, ask the student to leave, indicating that they are welcome to return when they follow the guidelines, and send a referral to the Office of Student Conduct.
    • If the student continues to refuse, the faculty member should dismiss class for the day and refer the student to the Office of Student Conduct.
    • If a student begins to experience distress or causing a disruption, this guide provides additional information.

    What statement should faculty include in their course syllabus and post on their Carmen course site?

    The following syllabus statement should be included in all course syllabi for the autumn 2020 semester. We strongly recommend that faculty also post this statement to their Carmen course sites and communicate early and often with their students about the health and safety expectations.

    “Health and safety requirements: All students, faculty and staff are required to comply with and stay up to date on all university safety and health guidance (https://safeandhealthy.osu.edu), which includes following university mask policies and maintaining a safe physical distance at all times. Non-compliance will be warned first and disciplinary actions will be taken for repeated offenses.(Updated: Aug. 14, 2020)

    Additionally, Student Life Disability Services has updated its recommended syllabus statement to include the process for requesting accommodations related to COVID-19.

    The following syllabus statement should be included in all course syllabi for the autumn 2020 semester. We strongly recommend that faculty also post this statement to their Carmen course sites and communicate early and often with their students about the health and safety expectations.

    “Health and safety requirements: All students, faculty and staff are required to comply with and stay up to date on all university safety and health guidance (https://safeandhealthy.osu.edu), which includes following university mask policies and maintaining a safe physical distance at all times. Non-compliance will be warned first and disciplinary actions will be taken for repeated offenses.(Updated: Aug. 14, 2020)

    Additionally, Student Life Disability Services has updated its recommended syllabus statement to include the process for requesting accommodations related to COVID-19.

    What will happen if someone in my class gets COVID-19?

    The risk of exposure will be minimized if individuals follow the university’s health and safety requirements, including wearing face masks and remaining at least 6 feet apart.

    Contact tracers would reach out to students and faculty in the class only if they have had close contact with the infected person — by spending at least 15 minutes together, at a distance of less than 6 feet.

    To protect medical privacy, the university would not broadly notify the class of an illness — COVID-19 or otherwise — unless the contact tracing process determined that it was required to protect public health.

    The risk of exposure will be minimized if individuals follow the university’s health and safety requirements, including wearing face masks and remaining at least 6 feet apart.

    Contact tracers would reach out to students and faculty in the class only if they have had close contact with the infected person — by spending at least 15 minutes together, at a distance of less than 6 feet.

    To protect medical privacy, the university would not broadly notify the class of an illness — COVID-19 or otherwise — unless the contact tracing process determined that it was required to protect public health.

    The risk of exposure will be minimized if individuals follow the university’s health and safety requirements, including wearing face masks and remaining at least 6 feet apart.

    Contact tracers would reach out to students and faculty in the class only if they have had close contact with the infected person — by spending at least 15 minutes together, at a distance of less than 6 feet.

    To protect medical privacy, the university would not broadly notify the class of an illness — COVID-19 or otherwise — unless the contact tracing process determined that it was required to protect public health.


    Please reference this website for the most up-to-date guidelines. The university’s COVID-19 Transition Task Force’s Safe Campus and Scientific Advisory Subgroup will continue monitoring changing conditions and consult with local and state health authorities. Recommendations and requirements will be refined as needed.