Maintaining Academic Continuity During IAP 2022

Maintaining Academic Continuity During IAP 2022

While MIT continues to plan for fully in-person instruction during the spring semester, the persistent spread of the Omicron variant is likely to result in relatively large numbers of students who will not be able to attend classes in person during IAP due to illness or isolation. During these challenging January weeks (ordinarily an extended break time or an opportunity for more refreshing work), when everyone is already carrying heavy workloads, we do not want to create additional and unnecessary burdens.

To be able to respond effectively to unexpected situations, however, you should begin now to thoughtfully develop a simple and flexible contingency plan for your for-credit IAP subject(s) to ensure academic continuity and achieve essential learning objectives:

  • You may choose to offer a fully in-person course with appropriate modifications at the ready for supporting (a large number of) students who might be unable to participate in person; or
  • If your subject’s format and learning goals permit, you may choose to teach your IAP subject(s) fully online synchronous, e.g. via Zoom.

You already know how to do this, and we have great resources to support you and your work. 

If you plan to make changes to your methods and/or modes of instruction. Please complete Faculty Governance’s Google Form. If your only anticipated change is a switch from in-person instruction to instruction via Zoom, your change will be automatically approved. Department Heads, School Deans, and faculty governance will be able to see all subjects on the Google form simultaneously, so there is no need to contact each individually.

(1) Whatever your plans, you should communicate them to your students in your course syllabus and/or on your Canvas site.

(2) The following additional pages contain detailed information for you to consider while designing your subject:

  • In-person instruction
    • Our post on Planning for COVID-related absences (updated from Fall 2021) contains detailed information in four main categories: Making class content more readily available (Recordings and/or Class notes), Making special accommodations for group work & assessments, Supporting students if you are unable to teach in-person, and Pivoting to fully remote teaching
  • Fully remote instruction
    • These TLL Canvas pages (from Spring and Fall 2020) contain useful resources to support effective remote teaching and learning and are organized in three main categories: Designing remote subjects, Educational technology, and Academic and emotional support for students. Note: you must first log into Canvas before you can access these pages.

(3) For up to date information about teaching policies and campus restrictions see  the MIT Now page for faculty and teaching staff.

  • What steps will you take if you are unable to teach in person?
    • Due to Covid-related isolation or quarantine requirements during IAP, it may be necessary for you to teach remotely from home or to enlist a colleague to teach in person during your absence. Create a plan for this contingency well in advance.
    • See our post on Faculty Contingency Planning for additional information and resources.