Guidance For Fall 2020 Instruction

At the start of the semester, instructors should outline for their students what they plan to do if students do not sufficiently uphold COVID protocols. Such a process should be clear and succinct, e.g., "I will first give a general verbal reminder to everyone, and if the situation continues the in-person meeting may be discontinued."You do have the right to discontinue class if you or your students are in an unsafe condition caused by student refusal to follow COVID protocols.

Address obvious violations of or refusal to follow COVID protocol in your classroom (e.g., failure or refusal to properly use masks or other PPE) as you would any serious behavioral situation with appropriate reporting escalations. Some violations of COVID protocols may be less obviously intentional than others, such as with social distancing. For example, students may inadvertently enter a classroom in the wrong direction, or mistakenly sit too close to others. In these cases, a refusal to remedy the action and further comply with COVID protocols is the more serious violation than a momentary "slip up."

Students have been made aware of potential consequences for failure to abide by university public health protocols (see Student Rights, Rules & Responsibilities rider). Here are some video links (President, Students, Manchester) showing additional messaging to students. At any time, in or out of class, you can use the anonymous online COVID-19 Incident Report tool to document and report violations of COVID protocols. All reports will be investigated and, if you choose, you can follow-up on the investigation through the assigned incident number. Use of the COVID-19 Incident Report tool allows a central collection place of reported violations across all venues, including off campus, and enables the COVID response team to manage potential behavioral issues as rapidly and fairly as possible.

Contract tracing will be critical to controlling the spread of COVID and will be especially complicated with young students who have numerous interactions with each other. Contract tracing is also under the jurisdiction of the state, and thus we must comply with their directives. We are asking for your cooperation in implementing a way to be able to help the contact tracers identify potential close contacts in your educational space (e.g., consistent groupings in labs, seating chart or picture of classroom). Some options are suggested in the syllabus text below.

As faculty, TAs, and course instructors, we need your help to promote our #unhtogether COVID response culture. We all have a responsibility during this COVID-19 pandemic to protect our own health and the health of friends and fellow community members. Violations of the COVID protocols by even a single individual can cause significant disruptions or discontinuation of in-person academic activities. Any student creating such disruptions undermines the opportunity for others to learn and engage with the UNH community, and as such, is in serious violation of the UNH Student Rights, Rules & Responsibilities.

In alignment with our #unhtogether commitment to the ongoing health and safety of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are several changes in classroom expectations.

All students are required to wear masks in class and campus buildings unless a medical exception is made through an accommodation process. It is your responsibility to obtain a mask before coming to class. For information on proper use of masks, acceptable mask types, and other PPE and social distancing guidelines visit https://www.unh.edu/coronavirus. Students wishing to request a medical accommodation should contact the Student Accessibility Services. Failure to comply with PPE and social distancing classroom protocols is a violation of the Student Rights, Rules & Responsibilities. If you refuse to comply, you will be asked to leave class immediately and you may also be reported to the Office of the Dean of Students and your associate dean.

1) Your instructor or TA may be wearing a face shield without a mask during instruction and only while maintaining at least a 6-foot distance from any student.

2) Prior to class, please wait outside the building, weather permitting, or in the hall or common area, observing social distancing and leaving plenty of room for the prior class to exit the room and building. Wipes are available near the room entrance. Obey entrance and egress signage and any additional faculty directions on entering or leaving the classroom.

3) Each classroom entrance is equipped with hand sanitizer and surface wipes.

  • Use hand sanitizer as you deem appropriate.
  • Wipe down your personal space prior to class and throw the used wipes away on the way out of class or take them with you.

4) Sit only in marked seats. Classes and laboratories were restructured to minimize or eliminate contact between individuals of less than 6 feet.

5) Contract tracing is mandated by the State of New Hampshire. The following practices will facilitate effective contact tracing implementation should the need arise:

  • Students should sit in the same seat for each class period to minimize potential contacts.
  • We ask students to know the names of each of the people sitting closest to them — their nearest neighbors.

OR

  • We will be filling out a seating chart as part of each class.

OR

  • A picture will be taken of where you are sitting for each class.  

6) UNH has developed "Wildcat Pass," a web and mobile app to help each of us keep track of the requirements for being in compliance with necessary testing, isolation and quarantine rules that will help to keep our community healthy.

  • Log into your Wildcat Pass each day.
  • Be prepared to show your mobile device or a computer printout of your daily Wildcat Pass if asked by a university representative.

All campus shifts in modality

The entire UNH community must prepare for changing instructional circumstances, including individual courses or the entire campus pivoting to remote-only instruction, which may require changes to course assignments and assessments. Monitor all course announcements, campus email, UNH Police Twitter, and other announcements to stay up to date. Encourage and guide students in doing the same.

UNH will signal its operational status via a color-code system which everyone should monitor at https://www.unh.edu/coronavirus/operation. Syllabi should spell out the meaning of operational-status changes for physical attendance requirements, course policies (e.g., submitting work), and for a course’s assessment format and assigned work. For maximum flexibility in changing circumstances, syllabi and/or faculty should:

  • Give students information on how to access the course both in-person and remotely;
  • Give students information on how the UNH operational status affects the attendance policy (and schedules for rotating in-person attendance, if applicable;
  • Prepare to quickly pivot their course(s) to a remote delivery format, if needed;
  • Schedule essential in-person course activities as early in the semester as possible, mitigating possible impacts of early curtailment of in-person campus operations (which cease on Nov. 20, 2020, regardless of operational status).

Changes to an individual student’s ability to continue participation in a course

At some point there may be students in your class that fall ill or become exposed to COVID and must adhere to mandatory isolation or quarantine. As in any semester, you will be notified through the Office of the Dean of Students if a student cannot continue to participate in face-to-face course activities because of illness. Because of the effort put into COVID response, this system will now operate via email and will be prompt. As always, you will not be informed of the specific health concern, nor should you ask about the specific health concern.

Changes to campus mode of operation and instructional modality

1) This class is beginning the semester operating in a [Green/Yellow/Orange/Red] mode of operation (see https://www.unh.edu/coronavirus/operation). This means [add specifics for your class, such as "we are meeting in person for x, y and z activities"]. If your health and safety requires shifting to an Orange or Red mode of university operation, the modality and schedule of this course may change.

2) All in-person class meetings will end on Friday, Nov. 20, during the Fall 2020 semester and will move to a remote modality starting Monday, Nov. 23. The type of remote learning we will use in this course is [add specifics for your class, e.g., Zoom synchronous at regular time; asynchronous activities available on Canvas; a combination of modes; etc.]

3) Your classroom is equipped with technology that will provide remote access to class instruction. Because of the need to accommodate potential isolation and quarantine due to the COVID pandemic, lectures or other class meetings for this course may be recorded by the university using UNH media platforms. Such recordings may be available for educational use by students enrolled in the class (including both for instruction and as a review tool), the course instructor(s), and other university officials who support course instruction. Your voice or image may be captured on the recordings, and by enrolling in this course you are consenting to such recording for these purposes. The university and Zoom have FERPA-compliant agreements in place to protect the security and privacy of UNH Zoom accounts. You may not share recordings outside of this course. Doing so may results in disciplinary action.

4) Students must learn how to access this course in all possible formats.

  • Ensure that you have all necessary technology to participate in this course remotely.
  • Consult with the instructor and/or with UNH IT for Students with questions.

Attendance (including rotational) for in-person modalities

5) Students are expected to adhere to the attendance policies specific to this course as outlined in the syllabus, as usual. Do not attend class if you have any symptoms of illness or if your daily Wildcat Pass does not show that you are cleared to participate in classes and other campus activities. Inform the instructor or TA, in advance if possible, that you will be absent from a scheduled in-person class. It is ultimately your responsibility to keep up with all course expectations. When appropriate, accommodations will be made.

[State clearly the course policy on rotational attendance if your course will be delivered in this modality. Include the following language if helpful:] If this class either begins with, or is forced by conditions to adopt, a rotational attendance component, you must only attend in-person on your assigned day(s) and may not switch days with other students or make other modifications to faculty instructions for in-person attendance.

Exam Scheduling and Remote Proctoring

6) This class will use [insert technology here] to administer and proctor exams. Within the first weeks [please make sure this test is at least 2 weeks prior to any actual required use of the software] of the semester, we will run a sample test using the required software. You will be asked to agree to the use of [insert applicable technologies such as lockdown browser, webcam, recording of video, audio, etc.] during the sample test. This software will be used for the remainder of the semester for quizzes/tests. If you have any problems with the use of [insert technology here], contact your professor to discuss reasonable alternatives. It is my goal to create a learning experience that is as accessible as possible. If you anticipate any issues related to the testing requirements of this course or need accommodations, please either discuss them directly with me or in conjunction with the Student Accessibility Services Office within the first week of classes to explore alternative options.

All final exams for the Fall 2020 semester will be administered remotely. Scheduling of those exams will follow normal practice.

Non-COVID-Related Guidance

Please be aware of the Faculty Senate approved academic calendar. University policy prohibits the administration of examinations (i.e. no quizzes, tests or exams) during the last week of classes (Dec. 7-11). Outside of classes, only formal lab practicals may be scheduled during this week. Homework, labs and written reports can be due during the last week of classes. Classes are held on Election Day. However, no examinations may be scheduled, and faculty are asked to provide opportunities to make up any scheduled activities on that day as appropriate. Many colleagues suggest that it is wise to be sensitive about student religious obligations: The Day of Ashura begins at sundown Aug. 28 and ends at sundown Aug. 29. Rosh Hashana begins at sundown Sept. 18 and ends the evening of Sept. 20. Yom Kippur begins at sundown Sept. 27 and ends the evening of Sept. 28. Milad un Nabi is Oct. 30. Milad un Nabi (Shia) is Nov. 3. Hanukkah begins at sundown Dec. 10.

* Note: All in-person class meetings will end Friday, Nov. 20, during the Fall 2020 semester and will move to a remote modality starting Monday, Nov. 23.

 

Many colleagues are making note on their syllabi of the importance of the University Academic Honesty Policy. Given the vigilance of the university in rooting out dishonesty, we strongly encourage this practice, as well as one that clearly explains your standard penalty as allowed per the honesty policy. Many colleagues also include in their syllabi the link for the tutorial on plagiarism as well.

Should you require it, you will be notified via letter from the Dean of Students in cases where a student is experiencing an aggravated and compelling non-academic circumstance beyond their control and for which the Dean of Students has documentation. Please do not ask students for documentation yourself. Rather refer the student to the Dean of Students. Once you receive a dean’s letter, it is within your authority to determine what remedy or accommodation is appropriate (see the Student Rights, Rules & Responsibilities Academic Policies, 04-Attendence and Class Requirements).

Additional resources you may find helpful during the semester in dealing with students facing difficult challenges:

  • Center for Academic Resources (CFAR) provides services and resources to support undergraduate students in their pursuit of academic success.
  • Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP) provides free and confidential advocacy and direct services to survivors.
  • QPR is a training program in mental health matters offered by PACS colleagues. Please contact Dr. Elisa Bolton should your department or program want a training session.
  • Behavior Intervention Team (BIT) provides assistance to the UNH community when a student's behavior suggests harm to self or others, makes referrals to appropriate resources and recommends appropriate actions to the Dean of Students when needed. More information can be provided by calling the Office of the Dean of Students at (603) 862-2053. The Office of the Dean of Students will provide you with guidance in the event that you have concerns about the health, safety, and well-being of a student. Dr. Joan Glutting, clinical associate professor of psychology and senior faculty fellow in the Dean of Students Office, is available to guide you in determining the proper referral in any given case. She is best reached via email at joan.glutting@unh.edu. Please do not include the student’s name in the email. Rather, provide her with the best way to contact you and she will do so. Please know that the associate dean of a student’s college is also a helpful resource. We work as close partners in troublesome student cases.

Netiquette Guidelines

Netiquette is the socially and professionally acceptable way to communicate on the internet. We are all expected to abide by these guidelines of "netiquette" when using online communication tools with your classmates and instructor. Guidelines can be found on the Student Resource Hub and the Faculty Resource Hub, and in this knowledge base netiquette guidelines article.

Affirming Credit Hour Compliance

This syllabus reflects the federal definition of a credit hour, which entails a minimum 3 hours of engaged time per week per credit over a 14-week semester. Examples of engaged time include class time, assignments, examinations, laboratories, participation in course-related experiences (attending a talk or performance, speakers and events, fieldwork, etc.), conferences, and office hours. For more information, please see: https://www.neche.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Affirmation-of-Compliance.pdf

Addressing Disabilities

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (as amended, 2008), each student with a disability has the right to request services from UNH to accommodate his/her disability. If you are a student with a documented disability or believe you may have a disability that requires accommodations, please contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 201 Smith Hall.

Accommodation letters are created by SAS with the student. Please follow-up with your instructor as soon as possible to ensure timely implementation of the identified accommodations in the letter. Faculty have an obligation to respond once they receive official notice of accommodations from SAS, but are under no obligation to provide retroactive accommodations.

We advise you not to provide accommodations to students who are not registered with SAS. For more information refer to Student Accessibility Services or contact SAS at (603) 862-2607, 711 (Relay NH) or sas.office@unh.edu.

Addressing Emotional or Mental Health Distress

Your academic success and overall mental health are very important. If, during the semester, you find you are experiencing emotional or mental health issues, please contact UNH Psychological & Counseling Services (PACS), 3rd floor, Smith Hall, (603) 862-2090/711 TTY, which provides counseling appointments and other mental health services. If urgent, students may call PACS Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and schedule an Urgent Same-Day Appointment.

Addressing the Needs of Students of all Faiths
In the event that a student needs accommodation for a religious or cultural holiday/observance, that student is encouraged to make that request as early in the semester as possible.

Title IX Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting
The University of New Hampshire and its faculty are committed to assuring a safe and productive educational environment for all students and for the university as a whole. To this end, the university requires faculty members to report to the university’s Title IX Coordinator (Donna Marie Sorrentino, (603) 862-2930/1527 TTY) any incidents of sexual violence and harassment shared by students. If you wish to speak to a confidential support service provider who does not have this reporting responsibility because their discussions with clients are subject to legal privilege, you can find a list of resources here. For more information about what happens when you report, how the university considers your requests for confidentiality once a report is made to the Title IX Coordinator, your rights and report options at UNH, including anonymous report options, please visit the student reporting optionspage.