Teaching

Autumn 2022

The university looks forward to welcoming students back to our campuses for the start of classes. ​Our goal is to provide the highest quality education for students while taking steps to protect the health and well-being of our campus community.

All instructors should have a plan if adjustments are needed for circumstances such as:

  • If students need to miss class because they are sick, in isolation or quarantine.
  • If you or your graduate teaching associates are unable to teach or cannot teach in person because of isolation or quarantine.

 

How to Support Students Affected by COVID-19

Instructors should work with students to help them navigate class if they are impacted by COVID-19. Students, faculty and staff should stay home if they are feeling sick and take additional steps if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Some students, including those isolating or quarantining, will request formal and informal accommodations because of the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

Regarding accommodations:

  • Students who test positive should forward a statement of support for short-term academic flexibility to their instructors. If they test at a university testing facility, they will automatically receive this statement. Students who test positive at other testing facilities can work with Student Life Disability Services to acquire the statement of support.
  • Student Life Disability Services is the primary resource on campus for students and instructors when students are faced with significant COVID-19 impacts or approved disability accommodations. 
  • Faculty who need resources on how to obtain technology for virtual engagement should contact Classroom Services.

Other possible strategies to support students who are affected by COVID-19:

  • Provide the opportunity to make up missed exams and/or have exams conducted via Carmen
  • Have students volunteer to record classes for peers who are in quarantine or isolation, out sick, or taking a personal day from class 
  • Help students build a buddy system, where students zoom their buddy into class so they don't have to be absent 
  • Consider offering equivalent work that could be offered for missing class so students don't get penalized for missing class due to illness 

 

Other Classroom Guidance and Resources

Instructors cannot change the overall delivery mode of the course without the formal approval of the college’s academic leadership and the Office of Academic Affairs. Instructors should contact their dean if issues emerge with the course delivery mode.

If unable to be in class for a session, instructors may do one of the following as a temporary measure:

  • Teach online (returning to the listed mode of instruction as soon as possible)
  • Assign students asynchronous work to make up for the missed session
  • Identify a substitute

Instructors should advise graduate teaching associates or graduate students to keep the department course coordinator informed of their plan and let their advisor know to help arrange for course coverage outside of the normal 1–2 class sessions missed for a temporary absence.

Departments and schools must have a teaching plan in place in the event a teaching assistant is absent. This plan should not be the TA’s responsibility. In all cases, if faculty or TAs are unwell, they should stay home. TAs will be funded through the semester regardless.

Health protocols should follow university guidance, and instructors should not modify them. Masks are optional in most indoor spaces on The Ohio State University campuses, including residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms, offices and the Ohio Union.  The university continues to require masks in clinical health care settings (including at the Wexner Medical Center), COVID-19 testing locations and child care centers. 

Technology resources for instructors

  • Pool Room Technology: If teaching in one of the over 300 pool classrooms on the Columbus campus managed by the Office of Technology and Digital Innovation, use the technology available.
  • On-Site Assistance: Request a consultation or on-site assistance from the OTDI Classroom Services team. They can help with specific classroom technologies and strategize to accommodate students.
  • CarmenZoom Resources: The Teaching & Learning Resource Center offers guidance for using CarmenZoom to either simulcast class sessions to allow remote students to participate, or to record class sessions and share with remote students.

 

Vaccinations, Boosters and Illness

Boosters are strongly encouraged. The university’s vaccination requirement remains in place, and the university strongly encourages everyone to receive a COVID-19 booster as soon as they are eligible. Booster shots are available by appointment at Student Health Services and the Wexner Medical Center. For details and locations around the state, see the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes Get Vaccinated page.

Instructors may not ask students about their vaccination status. The decision to vaccinate is a personal health matter and protected under HIPAA.

Anyone who is feeling sick in any way should stay home and report illness through normal processes. COVID-19 tests are available at, among other locations, the Wexner Medical Center. Appointments are required. For hours and other information, see the Wexner Medical Center announcement.

Ohio State continues to respond to COVID-19 based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Department of Health and local health authorities.

This page addresses some of the common questions posed about teaching in autumn semester 2021. 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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Are masks required in classrooms?

Masks are optional in most indoor spaces on The Ohio State University campuses, including residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms, offices, the Ohio Union and on public transportation. The university continues to require masks in clinical health care settings (including at the Wexner Medical Center and in college-based clinics), COVID-19 testing locations and child care centers. The Wexner Medical Center and Student Health Services have enhanced their mask requirements to include all areas of clinical buildings. In settings where masks are optional, students, faculty, staff and visitors can decide on an individual basis whether or not they will continue to wear a mask.

Masks are optional in most indoor spaces on The Ohio State University campuses, including residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms, offices, the Ohio Union and on public transportation. The university continues to require masks in clinical health care settings (including at the Wexner Medical Center and in college-based clinics), COVID-19 testing locations and child care centers. The Wexner Medical Center and Student Health Services have enhanced their mask requirements to include all areas of clinical buildings. In settings where masks are optional, students, faculty, staff and visitors can decide on an individual basis whether or not they will continue to wear a mask.

Can I set health and safety requirements in my classes?

Health protocols should follow university guidance. Masks remain optional in classrooms. Additional protections may be required in clinical health-care settings or in alignment with general safety practices for a particular circumstance, such as a lab. For information about workplace accommodations related to COVID-19 or any other issues, please contact the Office of Human Resources

Do I have to have my office hours in a face-to-face format?

No. Instructors may choose if they would like to offer in person or virtual office hours. If a student requests an in-person meeting, faculty should make efforts to accommodate this request.  If an in-person meeting is held, the individuals must adhere to the indoor mask requirement.

Does the university require COVID-19 vaccines?

To enhance the health and safety of the university community, Ohio State is requiring every student, faculty and staff member to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Booster shots are strongly encouraged for everyone who is eligible. Additional information is available on the COVID-19 requirement page.

I teach an in-person class and a student informed me they tested positive. What do I do next?

No action is required on your part. Faculty and staff who are made aware of a student’s positive test should never share private medical information with others.

The Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team conducts contact tracing for all students who test positive for COVID-19. After speaking with the positive case, anyone identified as a close contact (including exposed classmates) will be notified and advised on next steps. The CICTT cannot discuss individual test results with instructors, but if you have general questions, please call 614-688-2273.

No action is required on your part. Faculty and staff who are made aware of a student’s positive test should never share private medical information with others.

The Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team conducts contact tracing for all students who test positive for COVID-19. After speaking with the positive case, anyone identified as a close contact (including exposed classmates) will be notified and advised on next steps. The CICTT cannot discuss individual test results with instructors, but if you have general questions, please call 614-688-2273.

If I am uncomfortable with the university’s health policies, can I change the mode of instruction in my class?

Instructors cannot change the overall delivery mode of the course without the formal approval of the college’s academic leadership and the Office of Academic Affairs. Instructors should contact their dean if issues emerge with the course delivery mode.

The mode of instruction for each class is determined by the university and is subject to change at the discretion of the university in reliance on the guidance received from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Department of Health and local health authorities. 

May I ask people whether they have received the COVID-19 vaccine?

Instructors may not ask students about their vaccination status. The decision to vaccinate is a personal health matter and protected under HIPAA.

Where will masks or 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. 

Free face masks are available for students, faculty and staff at a variety of campus locations including: all recreation facilities, most university libraries and the Ohio Union information desk. Masks can be picked up during business hours.

For details about locations, see the Personal Safety Practices page.

    Support for Teaching

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    How will I be notified if a student needs an accommodation?

    Students who test positive forward a statement of support for short-term academic flexibility to their instructors. If they test at a university testing facility, they will automatically receive this statement. Students who test positive at other testing facilities can work with Student Life Disability Services to acquire the statement of support.

    Student Life Disability Services (SLDS) will reach out directly to instructors if a student with a disability requires an accommodation. Significant immuno-suppressed, cardiac and cancer-related conditions comprise most of the high-risk factors identified by the Center for Disease Control.  Students with these types of conditions may be approved for remote participation. Failure to return to Ohio State’s campuses due to travel restrictions or anxiety about travel and exposure are not qualifying conditions.

    Students who test positive forward a statement of support for short-term academic flexibility to their instructors. If they test at a university testing facility, they will automatically receive this statement. Students who test positive at other testing facilities can work with Student Life Disability Services to acquire the statement of support.

    Student Life Disability Services (SLDS) will reach out directly to instructors if a student with a disability requires an accommodation. Significant immuno-suppressed, cardiac and cancer-related conditions comprise most of the high-risk factors identified by the Center for Disease Control.  Students with these types of conditions may be approved for remote participation. Failure to return to Ohio State’s campuses due to travel restrictions or anxiety about travel and exposure are not qualifying conditions.

    I have been notified that a student’s accommodation request has been approved. How do I accommodate them?

    If a student with a disability requires an accommodation, Student Life Disability Services (SLDS) will reach out directly to instructors to determine feasibility of report participation for each specific course. Instructors are not expected to present sections in multiple teaching modes. However, they may be asked to utilize technology, such as Zoom, to provide the student with virtual access to a course if the student is ordered to quarantine, isolate, or are otherwise approved for remote participation as an accommodation due to their conditions. The request to accommodate a student with Zoom or other digital access for a class does not mean that the class is reorganized around a virtual presentation. It may allow a student to access the class, but the student may need to utilize additional means to ensure full participation (note-taking by a classmate, office hours, e-mail. etc.)

    If a student with a disability requires an accommodation, Student Life Disability Services (SLDS) will reach out directly to instructors to determine feasibility of report participation for each specific course. Instructors are not expected to present sections in multiple teaching modes. However, they may be asked to utilize technology, such as Zoom, to provide the student with virtual access to a course if the student is ordered to quarantine, isolate, or are otherwise approved for remote participation as an accommodation due to their conditions. The request to accommodate a student with Zoom or other digital access for a class does not mean that the class is reorganized around a virtual presentation. It may allow a student to access the class, but the student may need to utilize additional means to ensure full participation (note-taking by a classmate, office hours, e-mail. etc.)

    What support resources are available to instructors?

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


    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.