Teaching

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?

As of Aug. 2, all students, faculty and staff are required to wear masks in classrooms and other shared indoor spaces. These include common areas, conference rooms, shared office spaces, hallways, buses and shared vehicles on all Ohio State campuses.

As of Aug. 2, all students, faculty and staff are required to wear masks in classrooms and other shared indoor spaces. These include common areas, conference rooms, shared office spaces, hallways, buses and shared vehicles on all Ohio State campuses.

Can I hold meetings in person?

Yes. In-person meetings are permitted. There may still be instances where virtual meetings are preferred or more efficient. Meeting organizers are encouraged to determine what mode — in person, virtual or hybrid — will achieve the desired outcome of the meeting. Masks are required in indoor spaces.

Can I set health and safety requirements in my classes?

Health protocols should follow university guidance. As of Aug. 2, masks are required in classrooms and other indoor spaces.

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.

The deadline for all Ohio State students, faculty and staff to have at least a first dose is Friday, October 15, 2021. For people receiving a two-dose vaccine, the second dose must be received by November 15, 2021. For details and timeline for the Wexner Medical Center’s employee requirement, visit the Wexner Medical Center site.

The university is taking this step because vaccines are the safest and most effective form of protection against COVID-19. Scientists have learned a significant amount about the Delta variant, and this research underscores why being vaccinated is critical to combating COVID-19. This variant is particularly effective in attaching to our cells – which means it is that much more effective at gaining entry into our bodies and making us sick. 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 a student is uncomfortable with attending classes in-person, do I need to provide them with virtual instruction?

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. In addition, academic programs have determined their course offerings by taking into account various factors.

Unless altered by the university, all classes must be taught in the listed mode of instruction.

Instructors are not expected to present sections in multiple teaching modes. Students who are uncomfortable taking courses in-person should consult with their advisor about distance learning options.

Student Life Disability Services can provide guidance and assistance to students with disabilities who require accommodations. Failure to return to Ohio State’s campuses due to travel restrictions or anxiety about travel and exposure are not qualifying conditions. Significant immuno-suppressed, cardiac and cancer related conditions comprise most of the high-risk factors identified by the CDC. 

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

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. In addition, academic programs have determined their course offerings by taking into account various factors. Neither students nor instructors may alter the mode of instruction for any class without the university’s prior approval.

Integrated Disability within the Office of Human Resources can provide assistance to faculty and staff with disabilities who require accommodations because of the interaction of COVID-19 and their medical condition.  Visit the OHR resource page or contact Human Resources at 614-292-3439 or hr-integrateddisability@osu.edu.  Accommodations are based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance on at risk conditions and accommodations. Anxiety about exposure and difficulty, travel restrictions or risks are not qualifying conditions. Significant immuno-suppressed, cardiac and cancer-related conditions comprise most of the high-risk factors identified by the CDC. 

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

As with other personal health information, people should not ask others if they are vaccinated.

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. Compliance with this requirement will be managed by the university and Wexner Medical Center. Individual managers or instructors will be contacted only when appropriate in cases of non-compliance.

The deadline for all Ohio State students, faculty and staff to have at least a first dose is Friday, October 15, 2021. For people receiving a two-dose vaccine, the second dose must be received by November 15, 2021.

For details and timeline for the Wexner Medical Center’s employee requirement, visit the Wexner Medical Center site.

May people eat or drink during class?

Individuals should not eat in classrooms. Individuals can take an occasional drink, but should take masks off only as necessary.

Individuals should not eat in classrooms. Individuals can take an occasional drink, but should take masks off only as necessary.

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

    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.

    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.