In-person instruction is the primary model for Elon courses, with classrooms configured to support physical distancing. Elon has adopted standards for wearing face coverings and sanitizing surfaces such as desks, computers or other classroom equipment. Elon class sizes are small, so many classrooms are adequately sized. Some classes are being held in bigger spaces on campus, including some non-academic facilities that have been adapted for instruction.
When students or faculty are not able to attend class in person due to illness or isolation orders, they can access courses and access course content remotely. Many faculty are teaching classes using creative pedagogies, adopting blended instruction and student engagement models to decrease the number of students physically present at any one time in the classroom, lab, studio or other space. These models typically require flexible approaches to the use of both class meeting times and instructional technology.
Students with documented disabilities, health-related accommodations or other unique circumstances have been approved to take courses through remote-only instruction. These requests were initiated by the student through the Office of Disabilities Resources.
Cloth face coverings must be worn by all faculty and students in classrooms, labs and studios.
Classrooms have been configured to promote physical distancing. Room-specific plans have been developed for every classroom and instructional space, including labs, studios and rehearsal spaces. Poster-sized fixture and furniture configurations are displayed at the front of each space so the proper layout can be understood and maintained by everyone. Each classroom has been equipped with a sanitation station, providing supplies so students and faculty can clean surfaces and shared computers and equipment when they enter and leave the space. Specific class guidelines are communicated by faculty at the beginning of courses and included in course syllabi.
With the incorporation of hybrid, blended and flipped classes, Elon faculty may choose to post written and/or recorded materials online that they typically would not post. It is important for all members of our community be familiar with Elon’s Intellectual Property Policy. Elon also has a policy on “Recording Video and Audio, Streaming Video and Audio, or Photography in Classes” that is explicitly addressed in syllabi and also in class discussion at the start of the semester. Faculty make clear when and how recording, streaming and photographing are permitted in the course. Additionally, as the existing policy states: “No matter what the course policy, recorded classes may not be used in any way that denigrates and/or decontextualizes the instructor or any student whose class remarks are recorded. Any information contained in the recorded class may not be posted, published or quoted without the express consent of the instructor or speaker, and if permission is granted, must be properly cited. All recordings of class lectures or discussions are to be erased at the end of the semester.”
Elon has modified the normal calendar for fall semester 2020. The goal is to reduce travel to and from campus and avoid bringing large crowds for major events, lowering the chance of exposing the campus community to outside sources of viral infection.
The campus class schedule has been adjusted to provide an additional five minutes time between class periods to reduce congestion.
Monday / Wednesday / Friday Class Schedule
|2019-20 class schedule||Fall 2020 class schedule|
|8:00 – 9:10||8:00 – 9:10|
|9:25 – 10:35||9:30 – 10:40|
|10:50 – 12||11 – 12:10|
|12:15 – 1:25||12:30 – 1:40|
|1:40 – 2:50||2:00 – 3:10|
|1:40 – 3:20||2:00 – 3:40|
|3:35 – 5:15||4:00 – 5:40|
|5:30 – 7:10||6:00 – 7:40|
Tuesday / Thursday Class Schedule
|2019-20 class schedule||Fall 2020 class schedule|
|8:00 – 9:40||8:00 – 9:40|
|10:30 – 12:10||10:30 – 12:10|
|12:25 – 2:05||12:30 – 2:10|
|2:20 – 4:00||2:30 – 4:10|
|5:30 – 7:10||5:30 – 7:10|
Relationship-rich experiences are the foundation of an Elon education, as they are at residential colleges and universities across the country. Interacting with faculty, staff and peers in an active and challenging community of learners – in and out of the classroom – is at the very heart of teaching and learning at Elon. Those relational experiences are what draw our students – and us – to be here.
The COVID-19 pandemic challenges faculty and staff to re-imagine where and how teaching and learning take place, but it does not shake our shared devotion to engaged, inclusive, rigorous and interactive education. Building on Elon’s model of “student- and learning-centered relationships” (Boldly Elon, Theme 1), all fall courses include regular, educationally purposeful faculty-student and student-student interactions, which may include creative uses of hybrid, blended, flipped and other pedagogies.
All courses are designed and taught in ways that allow students who must be quarantined or who must shift to fully remote learning to continue to complete the course. Faculty communicate with students throughout the quarantine or remote learning period to ensure students understand the expectations of and resources available to the students.
Faculty can access resources for developing research-based approaches to blended instruction and engagement on Elon’s Flexible & Resilient Teaching site, or through faculty development programming and resources offered by the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL), Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) or Writing Across the University (WAU) in the Center for Writing Excellence (CWE).
Faculty Handbook Proviso on Class Absences During COVID-19
During the fall semester, not only will faculty members be faced with addressing typical pre-COVID-19 class absences, they will also most certainly face special challenges in addressing absences related to COVID-19. The absences associated with COVID-19 likely range from exposure-related quarantine to infection-related physical illness to stress-produced mental health issues to health-related disability accommodations. While fully recognizing that departments and individual faculty members have responsibility for class attendance policy*, Academic Council has approved the following proviso to Elon’s Faculty Handbook policy on class absences (X34H) and strongly recommends that the following guidelines and information be used as departmental policies and faculty syllabi are updated.
*Stipulated by Elon’s Faculty Handbook (X34H) and supported in the Report of the Task Force on Fall Semester 2020.
Guidelines for Absences During COVID-19
- Expect to receive official university notification of students’ longer-term health-related absences (e.g., COVID illness or quarantine). Note that due to privacy laws details of the specific health issues cannot be provided.
- Health Services requests that faculty not ask students with short-term precautionary absences (e.g., missed one class due to fever) to provide documentation. This will prevent the health center from being overwhelmed and discourage potentially infected students from going to the health center without calling first. Encourage students to follow the recommendations of the daily health screening app.
- There will be situations where a student may be approved to take courses through remote-only instruction due to documented disabilities, health-related accommodations, international travel restrictions or other COVID-related concerns. These requests should be initiated by the student through the Office of Disability Resources.
- For all health-related absences, provide students with penalty-free excused absences.
- For students who are under quarantine and not experiencing health-related illness, provide them with the opportunity to: remotely engage in class time activities if possible, access to class notes, complete class assignments outside of class and submit their work electronically. Note: Students are expected to complete all coursework included in the course syllabus.
- For students who are not able to engage the course due to health-related physical illness, mental health issues or disability accommodations, provide them with access to class notes and the opportunity to make up missed assignments and exams when they are able to engage again. Note: Students are expected to complete all coursework included in the course syllabus.
- For situations in which a student is not able to complete the course due to health-related issues, strongly consider assigning a grade of incomplete (I) if appropriate using the Faculty Handbook policy (X33E) as a guide.
- In determining if an incomplete is appropriate, the following statement from Elon’s Dean of Students may be helpful: A grade of “Incomplete” normally is not given when a student misses more than 30 percent of the class work or 20 percent of class sessions. In these cases, students may need to consider a medical withdrawal.
- In cases in which an incomplete is not appropriate, advise students of their option to seek a course withdrawal or medical withdrawal.
- Take daily attendance as a means to not only help with course assessment but also to assist in community health efforts such as contact tracing.
- If a student misses two consecutive classes and you have not already been contacted through official university channels, report the student’s absences to Student Care and Outreach.
- Reinforce the message that the Elon Honor Code calls each of us to make a solemn, personal commitment to act every day to protect our own health and the health of others.