Course Guidelines

In order to offer a high-quality set of courses across all modalities, DU has adopted the following guidelines for fall 2020 courses: 

1. All courses shall be designed in a manner that allows them to be shifted, if needed, entirely to online. We will establish clear protocols/expectations about what will happen if a course needs to switch to an online modality, including how much time the instructor has to make this shift, how students will be supported, etc. 

2. All courses must have a Canvas shell. Every course, in each category, shall have a Canvas shell (or, where appropriate, a 2U container) that at minimum includes the course syllabus, a means for submitting all assignments online, and a mechanism for any remote testing the course might require. Students shall access course content through that shell, as appropriate. 

3. All student work will be submitted digitally—with limited exceptions. Regardless of class modality, student work shall be turned in digitally, with exceptions for such fields as the studio arts where physical artifacts are essential. Instructors requesting exceptions should clearly explain the need for students to submit physical work and provide the means to do so safely and conveniently. Instructors teaching in-person or hybrid courses should not distribute or receive paper materials. 

4. In-person classrooms will have robust technology. Over the summer, Information Technology (IT) will continue to equip classrooms, focusing on hyflex course needs, with cameras, sound systems, and microphones to facilitate remote broadcast/interactions, as well as to promote sound/visual quality. IT staff will arrange to meet instructors in their assigned classrooms to help them learn to use this technology. 

5. All courses will have a continuity plan. The instructor for every course shall record a continuity plan, meeting certain minimum criteria, this is filed with the chair and dean in the event it becomes necessary for someone else to assume their teaching responsibilities. 

6. Office hours will take place online. All office hours will be conducted virtually unless it can be certified that social distancing and other safety measures can be met (i.e., in a classroom, if time allows, or in a distance-permitting public space). Even when instructors can provide in-person office hours with the specified safety measures, those instructors will additionally provide virtual office hours. 

7. Courses will follow campus protocols to increase safety. The relevant sections of this plan offer detailed explanations about how to increase safety while teaching, including campus and classroom protocols. Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence will develop specific, strong educational protocols for how to address violations that will be managed through the Honor Code

8. Every syllabus should include a statement to students about the learning expectations, including contingencies, they can expect in light of circumstances related to COVID-19 safety concerns. A template for instructors to modify for use is forthcoming. 

9. Instructors will adapt teaching practices for in-person teaching. Instructors will need to modify traditional in-person pedagogies to work in socially distanced classes. Examples include small group work, breakout sessions, group projects, and so on. DU will provide protocols for how to address any potential violations of distancing/safety guidelines. 

10. DU will provide support and resources for instructors to implement best practices. The relevant sections of this plan offer detailed explanations about OTL and other instructional support, including around the opportunities and challenges of various course modalities, along with the characteristics of good practices in each.

11. Instructors will retain control of their course materials. Every syllabus should include DU’s statement restricting audio or visual recording, reproduction, and distribution of content in courses, including lectures, discussions, posted materials, visual materials such as slides, etc.