Information for Faculty & StaffOverview
Employees experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should stay at home and get tested immediately by taking an antigen test or contacting your primary care physician. You can also find PCR testing facilities in your area by visiting state and local health department websites. If symptomatic, all employees - including faculty, staff and student workers - must complete the Daily Check health assessment and notify your immediate supervisor if you are ill and need time away from work.
Isolation and Quarantine
If I test positive for COVID-19 and need to self-isolate, can I just move my course online?
Instructors should work with their department chair to explore all options before switching temporarily to online instruction. Options that would maintain an in-person learning environment for students are preferred, and might include having a colleague or TA fill in, or team teaching with a TA who is in the classroom while the instructor connects remotely. In some cases, having the instructor teach remotely while in isolation (if they feel well enough to do so) may be identified as the best solution for students.
Will students who are placed in isolation or quarantine receive temporary accommodations through Student Disability Services (SDS), like they have in the past? Can faculty count on being notified by SDS?
When students are placed in isolation or quarantine, SDS will provide them with a temporary accommodation letter indicating that they will need flexibility in attendance, and may need alternative arrangements for assignments and/or exams. Students will, in turn, forward this letter to their instructors (Cornell Law students should forward the message only to the Law School Dean of Students, firstname.lastname@example.org). If students contact faculty saying they are in isolation, faculty should ask them to forward the email with the accommodation letter from SDS. For students who need to remain in isolation for a few more days beyond the initial five day period because their COVID symptoms are not improving (this should be very few), faculty will receive a follow-up message from the student that includes an isolation extension notice from SDS.
We ask that faculty use their discretion to determine the best way to support students based on the nature of their course. Faculty are not required to provide remote access to students who cannot attend class. In fact, in the majority of classrooms, remote access will not be an option because classrooms are not Zoom-enabled. Instead, lapel mic recorders will be available to capture audio recordings to accompany other course materials. College A/V teams should serve as the primary resource for faculty when electing to use technology-enabled solutions. The COVID-19 Response website has a range of other ideas for how to support students.
What are the expectations for supporting a student who is placed in isolation or mandatory quarantine?
We ask that faculty use their discretion to determine the best way to support students based on the nature of their course. There are low-tech ways for students to keep up with class until they are able to be present in person, just as they would have prior to the pandemic. Faculty are not required to provide remote access to students who cannot attend class. In the majority of classrooms, remote access will not be an option because classrooms are not Zoom enabled. Instead, lapel mic recorders will be available to capture audio recordings to accompany other course materials. College A/V teams and should serve as the primary resource for faculty when electing to use technology-enabled solutions. Options might include:
- Current class audio recording: The university has procured lapel mic recorders for making audio recording of class lectures to share with students. Please note, clip-on microphones issued last year will not work with these recorders. Instructors should contact the local AV technical support for the building in which they are teaching to borrow these mics and receive training on how to use them. Detailed instructions on how to use the lapel mic recorder and transfer recordings to you student(s) can be found here.
- For blackboard capture, faculty can utilize high-resolution USB cameras on tripods. These cameras were successfully used last semester and are very light weight and easy to deploy. The cameras are used in conjunction with the room's built-in PC or the instructor's laptop. Software such as Panopto or Zoom can record and share the recordings with your student(s). Detailed instructions are available on CIT’s website. Please note that if you are recording blackboard work, you may also choose to record with the lapel mic recorder. This will produce two files for the student(s) but allows for audio of the entire lecture to be captured, not just the work at the blackboard. The local AV support can consult on which approach is best depending on the particulars of the room and course pedagogy.
- If available, lecture audio or visual recordings from previous semesters may be shared with students via Video on Demand, in conjunction with current slides.
- Zoom: Please note that even if your classroom is equipped with a computer, it may lack the other pieces of technology required to enable a proper zoom connection for students. If that is the case, instructors who are interested in using zoom to support students can use their own laptop (or a loaner) to connect to zoom, either to provide a live synchronous connection or an asynchronous class recording. Instructions on how to record in Zoom are available on CIT’s website. If a room is not setup for Zoom a USB speakerphone can be used to improve the quality of audio captured. Please note that using a USB speakerphone has limitations and may not work well if you move away from the teaching station or turn to work at the blackboard.
In addition, faculty can support students by facilitating collaborative notetaking:
- Ask that students use a Google doc to compile (crowd source) lecture notes to share. OneNote allows students to write, draw or sketch course notes and collaborative in a shared folder.
- The use of Hypothesis, accessible through Canvas, enables instructors and students to annotate handouts, create notes, and start conversations in the margins of text (readings, new, blogs, books, etc.). It also allows students to authentically connect online to ask questions, share ideas, and collaborate.
Can faculty require students to wear a mask in the classroom?
No. Masks are strongly encouraged but are not required in classrooms. However, as classroom conditions and individuals’ vulnerabilities vary markedly, students are asked to respect requests from instructors to wear a mask.