Faculty Teaching & Support COVID-19 FAQs
The University will not require testing of all returning students, faculty, and staff (as per CDC recommendations) but will make voluntary on-site fee-based testing available by appointment in the Alumni House, or designated alternate location, on specific dates. To ensure the utmost safety and health of our community, all students, faculty, and staff will be required to complete Daily Symptom Monitoring before gaining access to campus each day.
In planning for face-to-face versus online modalities, Adelphi is seeking to prioritize experiences within academic programs that have particularly high value through an in-person format.
This might include:
- Coursework with a primary goal of building community within a program, such as an orientation seminar or other introductory course designed to onboard students into a program
- Coursework that is experiential or highly collaborative in nature. This includes areas such as performance, labs, etc.
- Coursework that relies on practice as an integral part of the educational experience.
- Coursework that is a signature or other high profile aspect of a program. This might include a course like a research methods course that every student takes before progressing into upper level coursework. Similarly, capstone courses within a program might stand out.
- As one example, the First Year Seminar program is looking for ways to include on-campus activity responsibly as an integral element of the fall semester and first-year students’ first semester at Adelphi.
Once academic programs have submitted recommendations for course modalities, the Registrar’s Office will use an updated classroom inventory to align classroom capacities with social distancing guidance and course needs.
If we are unable to room a course in an appropriate space, we will discuss with the academic program and seek alternatives, such as larger non-traditional classroom spaces, cohorting, or holding sessions outdoors.
This will be an iterative process as we settle rooming.
There are several reasons why course caps may be reviewed, including:
- Capacity constraints in lab and other experiential sections that dictate the enrollment that can be served in a single section
- Transition to an online modality from a traditional modality where the student enrollment is higher than 25.
We are looking at a number of ways to address the support for instruction in these sections. In some programs, the programs may assign Graduate Assistantships to serve as TAs within the course and to facilitate, at the direction of the faculty member, genuine content engagement. This may allow a higher course cap with the increased support and also provide for a positive educational experience for the GAs who have the opportunity to engage at a high level and potentially deepen their own understanding of foundational material within their disciplines.
In other cases, we will review and anticipate making adjustments to a cap of 25 for online sections.
At present, academic directors and chairs should document and forward such requests to their Deans’ Office. We are trying to create a comprehensive list of potential changes rather than address each section individually. We also anticipate that there may be some changes in course section enrollments following the announcement of updated modalities and adjustments by students.
As courses are roomed in physical spaces, capacities are being set to align with the space and prevent over-enrollment. All online sections with enrollments under 25 are also being updated to have caps of 25 as we announce modality changes.
There are a number of updates to our classroom spaces and academic buildings that you will notice:
- Classroom instruction will occur in rooms that can accommodate 6-foot social distancing amongst members of the class.
- Adelphi will require that students wear masks in the classroom. Students will affirm possession of and intention to wear masks during regular health screenings. In addition, there will be campus communications and prolific signage highlighting this requirement and the associated positive benefits of being mindful of the health and safety of oneself and one’s community members.
- Adelphi is increasing the presence of hand sanitizer dispensers and is establishing classroom cleaning protocols in accordance with CDC guidelines.
- Adelphi is securing mobile plexiglass barriers that faculty may position in the classroom.
- We are also taking measures to improve HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) in all buildings.
We are retrofitting and equipping our classrooms with improved microphones to allow for high quality audio recording of classes. Classrooms will have video capabilities. By taking these steps, we establish a baseline to be able to provide course content to a student who may be ill or who may otherwise be unable to attend a face-to-face session to protect the health of others.
Employees from the Office of Information Technology have tested the equipment while wearing masks and face shields and moving about a space at varying distances from the microphones, and have found audio quality to be good. We look forward to receiving additional feedback in this area from colleagues who are offering face-to-face instruction in Summer Session II.
Adelphi University is committed to meeting the instructional needs of every student. We are also very cognizant of the importance of not putting students in a position of choosing between their educational progression and undertaking their academic coursework.
Recording and uploading a face-to-face session for students who are unable to attend in person is a baseline method we can use to deliver content to students who are undergoing quarantine or otherwise should not be attending in-person. Recording is not, however, required in the event that the faculty member has alternative means, such as asynchronous content delivery, to continue students’ education in such circumstances.
The evaluation of teaching for courses offered in the traditional, on-campus format will not change. For online courses, the Office of the Provost, AAUP, and Faculty Senate are engaged in discussion of quality assurance rubrics (one of which is currently used by the FCPE in the online course design process and in the Online Academy) that the University may wish to consider implementing for the evaluation of online courses beginning in the fall semester. In addition to the selection of a rubric, the group is considering professional development for faculty engaged in the evaluation of online teaching via peer review. As peer review of teaching is the purview of the faculty, the AAUP, appropriate Senate Committees, and the FCRTP would have a role in developing and adopting peer review guidelines for online teaching.
A group of Adelphi faculty, administrators and staff from a variety of academic disciplines and operational areas have reviewed and updated all existing resources to orient students to online learning. On-demand resources have been provided to students through various communications.
A Classroom Technology Assistant program launched this academic year, introducing positions available for undergraduate work study students to be trained to support classroom technology needs. They are able to make sure that any video and audio equipment is functioning properly and help support faculty in setting up a room for instruction, as needed. They also have access to extra disposable masks if someone finds themself without one.
In addition, for faculty who are offering instruction simultaneously in a face-to-face format and in a synchronous streaming format, there are opportunities to have a dedicated Assistant to the classroom to facilitate zoom sessions, moderate chats, and otherwise enable the faculty member to focus on instruction and engagement without the added overhead of coordinating multiple modalities without support.
There should be little need for physical presence if you are teaching your courses online. Campus meetings and student advising responsibilities should all be through virtual communication tools, such as Zoom. Faculty on Unit Peer Review and similar committees should also establish virtual workflows that maintain the integrity of faculty review processes.
The ability and freedom to teach, learn and develop depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, in the residence hall, elsewhere on campus, and in the greater academic community. According to Section 2 of the Code of Conduct, faculty members have the primary responsibility for managing the classroom environment. Behavior that violates University policy, or causes a disruption to the classroom environment, including behaviors related to COVID-19 protocols, will be governed by Section 2 of the Code of Conduct.
In particular, Adelphi is requiring that all community members wear masks when in the presence of others. Should students not comply with this requirement in the classroom, you have the authority to ask that they do so. Should they not, you may dismiss them from the classroom if necessary. This is a requirement intended to protect all members of our community, and you will have the full support of Adelphi University should this prove necessary. In the event that a student does not comply with a request to leave the classroom, we are not asking that faculty throw students out during the class session. After the course concludes, they can refer the student’s name to Student Conduct for followup.
In the event a student is referred to Student Conduct, the approach to enforcing community standards and safety protocols will be educational with a restorative justice approach. However, students’ failure to adhere to health and safety expectations may lead to disciplinary procedures set forth in the Code of Conduct, including removal from the residence halls and Adelphi University until compliance is achieved.
Through education, communication, and clear signage and other information, we plan to clearly communicate this requirement to students to obviate the need for this kind of action. Mask wearing is a shared responsibility, and if students learn that the rule is not uniformly applied, compliance over time may weaken.