Education Guidance

 
 

The University is pleased to welcome our community to campus for the 2022–23 academic year.

 

 Frequently Asked Questions  

1. Are there remote resources for instructors?

Instructors may consult the following information about Canvas and Zoom, along with links to training and resources for the University’s remote and hybrid teaching tools.

Canvas
Canvas is the University’s learning management system. Before the quarter begins, instructors are encouraged to create a course Canvas site at courses.uchicago.edu. Click the “Create Course Site Now” button and follow the prompts to begin.

Visit the New Academic Quarter Instructor Checklist for an overview of how to set up a course in Canvas and Zoom class meetings.

Training
IT Services, the Chicago Center for Teaching and Learning, and the University Library have designed a series of workshops to help instructors prepare to teach in remote or hybrid modalities. For instructors new to teaching remotely and even for those with experience, a curated learning path of workshops is available for viewing now or registering to attend a live session. All instructors are encouraged to explore the different synchronous and asynchronous offerings to learn about tools and methods for teaching in remote and hybrid modalities, as well as pedagogical guidance to assist with restructuring course content by visiting training page on the Teaching Remotely website.

Zoom Security Checklist
Please review the Zoom settings on each meeting to ensure a safe and productive educational experience.

  • The University’s Web Conferencing website provides a brief tutorial explaining how to configure Zoom for secure meetings: “Zoom Security Settings for Meetings Scheduled in Canvas.”
  • Please note: selecting “Only authenticated users can join” is the most effective step for preventing meeting disruptions. When creating Zoom meetings for classes, office hours, and TA sections, the meeting should be restricted to authenticated users for added security, if the meeting does not have external participants. Students should be reminded to log into Zoom using their University account.
  • The “Security” icon located at the bottom of the meeting window allows a host to quickly halt all activity by selecting “Suspend Participant Activities.” Please review our step-by-step tutorial for instructors for how to Manage Participants During a Zoom Meeting and what to do if a disruption occurs.
  • It is important to never share Zoom meeting links on public websites, social media, or other public forums.

For questions about Zoom security or to report a disruption, please contact Information Security at security@uchicago.edu or 773.702.2378.

Additional Resources
For additional information and resources on remote teaching, please visit Teaching Remotely for workshops, syllabus guidance, and to view our Instructor Guide for Remote and Hybrid Instruction.

2. In what situations is remote teaching permitted?

All instruction is intended to be in person. If an instructor cannot teach in person (due to a COVID-related quarantine or isolation period, other illness or symptoms, or short-term caregiving duties), short-term remote teaching is allowed. Instructors who shift to remote teaching for a week or less under these conditions should simply notify their Department Chair, Course Director, Core Chair, or Dean, as appropriate. If remote teaching is needed for more than a week, the instructor should secure approval from their Department Chair, Course Director, Core Chair, or Dean, as appropriate.

The Zoom to Canvas integration remains available for each course in Canvas. Once the instructor (or Teaching Assistant) schedules Zoom meetings for the course through Canvas, all registered students can access the Zoom meeting links via Canvas. The instructor should then inform students that class will be held remotely for the relevant period of time. In this case, students may attend class remotely, either from the usual classroom on campus or from another location. Instructors can ask students to attend class in person if components such as labs, group work, or TA-facilitated activities require physical presence.

As with any illness, if the instructor does not feel well enough to teach at any time, they should inform their Department or Program Chair, or Dean, as appropriate, and follow their policies for missed instruction.

3. Are there any additional accommodations for faculty and other academic appointees?

Instructors may complete and submit an Accommodation Request Form for academics to Equal Opportunity Programs. A summary of the reasonable accommodation process is available from Equal Opportunity Programs.

 

4. What is the guidance for students who have to miss class due to illness or other related issues?

Instructors should do their best to enable students to make academic progress while following the University’s guidance regarding their health. Instructors should be flexible, within pedagogical and practical limits, with students who are required to miss class because they are in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, as well as those experiencing symptoms who have not yet been tested.

  • If a student cannot attend class due to these reasons, they should contact their instructors directly to make alternative arrangements to attend the class remotely, request a recording of the class, or make other arrangements for covering the material.
    • Instructors should be the first point of contact for students; students can also contact their program administrator or area dean of students to consult with the instructor if the instructor could benefit from additional support to make appropriate adjustments.
    • While instructors should not ask to see students’ COVID-19 test results, a program or department may designate someone to verify positive test results to ensure the integrity of the request.
  • A student who is unable to attend class for more than two weeks will need to use their Dean of Students’ regular process to make arrangements.
 

5. Will I be informed if one of my students tests positive for COVID-19?

The University contact tracing protocols have been designed to protect the privacy of individuals while protecting the safety of the University community. A student who tests positive for COVID-19 should immediately inform the University contact tracing team at C19HealthReport@uchicago.edu. The contact tracing team will then determine whether individuals in the course will be contacted. If they determine that the instructor was a close contact and should be advised of that, the instructor will be contacted; if they determine that the instructor was not a close contact, the instructor will not be contacted.

6. Can instructors record lectures?

Yes. If a course session is recorded, it falls under the University’s recording policy. Instructors are free to pre-record lectures for use in a flipped class model, either using Panopto or other software, but these are materials for the course, not a substitute for in-person class meetings. Instructors may also record themselves giving in-person lectures, provided the recordings follow the University’s recording policy. (If instructors set up to livestream their lecture through Zoom, they may choose to record the Zoom session, and the recording will be automatically available to students through Canvas.)