Instructor contingency planning

Instructor contingency planning

What to do when you are unable to teach in person

Due to Covid-related attestation, isolation, or quarantine policies for you and/or those in your care, it may be necessary for you to teach from home / away from campus for portions of the semester, to enlist a colleague to teach for you, or to reschedule/cancel class, perhaps on short notice.

Before you are faced with any potential disruptions, discuss options with your department head and your colleagues and craft contingency plans. As you develop your plans, keep in mind that if you have multiple children, or others in your care, you may be faced with prolonged periods when you are unable to come to campus as the symptoms may migrate among family members.

Below are some guidelines and resources for a variety of circumstances if you are unable to teach in-person.

What should I do if I am experiencing Covid symptoms and are scheduled to teach an upcoming class?

  • Attest to your symptoms
  • Stay home
  • Contact your healthcare provider
  • Get tested

Do you feel well enough to teach remotely?

YES

  • Teach via Zoom or another online platform. (You’ll probably want to rely on whatever methods and strategies you used during the 2020-2021 academic year.)
  • Support your students in asynchronous engagement with class materials.

NO

  • Ask a colleague to teach your class (you’ll want to make contingency plans well in advance, so you are not contacting them at the last minute).  
  • Enlist a TA to provide a help session or extra office hours (either remotely or in person).
  • Reschedule or cancel your class.

What if my child or someone else under my care is experiencing symptoms and I am the primary caregiver?

  • Contact your healthcare provider
  • Get them tested (see resources, below).
  • Stay at home. Do not bring them to your classroom.

Are you able to teach your class remotely?

YES

  • Teach via Zoom or another online platform. (If you taught remotely during the 2021-2021 academic year, you may want to rely on similar methods and strategies.)
  • Support your students in asynchronous engagement with class materials.

NO

  • Ask a colleague to teach your class. 
  • Enlist a TA to provide a help session or extra office hours (either remotely or in person).
  • Reschedule or cancel your class meeting.

At what point, due to the amount of time of having to teach remotely, the number of cancelled classes, etc. do I/my department head need to assess whether the learning objectives of a class are still able to be met? 

The answer to this question relies heavily on your specific circumstances. You’ll want to consider the following:

  • Can your course learning outcomes be honorably and logically tweaked (or reduced) so that remote instruction and/or a small number of cancelled classes are acceptable alternatives?
  • Can the learning outcomes, or acceptable variants thereof be achieved if the subject is taught remotely? 
  • Are you able to teach remotely?
  • Does the ability of students to work together, in-person this semester (outside of traditional class time) create opportunities for learning that were not available last year? 
  • If you are considering the possibility that you may not be able to continue to teach your class this semester, reach out to your department head to discuss possible courses of action.

Where can I find additional testing resources?