Important information for the fall semester

Sept. 1, 2020

Dear Faculty,

With classes starting tomorrow, September 2, I'm writing to share some important updates about:

  • Course enrollment
  • In-person classes
  • Fall 2020 instruction guidelines and resources

Course enrollment

  • Thanks to extensive help from many of you and your department and college staff, I'm happy to report that, overall, this fall's process for course registration went reasonably well considering its complexity. We hit some bumps along the way, but we continue to sort through details to get all students enrolled in their classes. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding. We did notice that some students enrolled in an instruction mode that isn't possible for them (for example, they registered for an in-person mode but won't be in the Ithaca area for the fall 2020 semester). College registrars will contact affected individuals about switching course sections.
  • Students who have not completed arrival testing cannot attend classes. Access restrictions that students may face include being blocked from Daily Check and Canvas and having a registration hold on their accounts (which would prevent them from being able to add/drop courses). If this applies to a student in your course, you will be notified via email.
  • In the past, students interested in visiting a course during the "shopping" or add period could physically sit in on a class. Due to public health and safety concerns, they are unable to do so this year. Instead, students can "shop" by attending a class session via Zoom, where permitted by the course instructor. We are collecting information from departments about the preferred method for students to request a Zoom link for courses of interest (e.g., contact instructor, department, download syllabus, etc.) and will post a reference document on the University Registrar's website this week.
  • This year, students will be able to use an electronic add/drop form to add courses that require instructor permission. This too will be available sometime during the first week of classes through the college registrar websites, the University Registrar's website and Student Essentials.

In person classes

  • Assigning seats. Before classes start, you will need to assign a seat to all students in your in-person and hybrid courses. Please use the assigned seat numbers in the room layout for your classroom. For hybrid courses with rotational attendance models, you will also need to let each student know which days they should attend class in person versus online. Email the seat assignments and attendance schedules to your students directly through Canvas.
  • If students are unable to attend in person. Some of your students may be unable to attend class in person at the start of the semester because their arrival has been delayed by travel restrictions or they have been placed in quarantine or isolation. These students have been encouraged to contact you to get a Zoom link to participate remotely, should their health permit. Once classes begin, you will automatically be notified when Ithaca-based students enrolled in your courses have been placed in quarantine or isolation.
  • Classroom computers and AV support. Not all classrooms are equipped with computers for instructors. If you are not planning to use your own laptop in the classroom, make sure your local IT team is aware for planning purposes. To get help with the AV equipment in a classroom, please see this overview of equipment and this list of classroom tech support contacts.

Important guidelines and resources

With all best wishes for an excellent start to your semester,

Lisa Nishii
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education