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AY 2020-21 Course Guidance

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Most courses will be taught remotely for Winter Quarter 2020-21. This site provides policy guidance on teaching remote and in-person courses.

Teaching Commons includes a variety of pedagogical guidance for instructors. For pedagogical questions, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) offers consultations on course development and remote course delivery.

Syllabus guidance

Students have shared that clearly organizing and presenting course requirements, attendance expectations, participation expectations, and coursework deadlines is helpful. In addition to an Online Syllabus Template and Advice, CTL has course planning guidance for instructors of remote courses.

Course Administration

While most Winter quarter courses will be offered remotely, there will be some in-person courses offered. 

The Registrar’s Office has information on In-person instructional activities at the CardinalRecovery site.

CTL has guidance for courses with students in multiple time zones.

  • Guidance on Recording Courses
    • The Office of Accessible Education (OAE) encourages all instructors to record their class sessions. OAE may need to access those recordings for the purpose of captioning, creating transcripts, or production of alternate format. Additionally, some students may be approved for an accommodation to record the session.

      However, there may be classes where there are pedagogical reasons not to record a session or part of a session because of the sensitive nature of the topic. Instructors should alert students in the class to this at the start of the course, and, if pausing recording during a session in order to move into a sensitive discussion topic, remind students to pause their individual note-taking or lecture capturing methods.

      Due to statutory and regulatory compliance issues associated with public posting of recorded lectures (e.g., student privacy, copyright), instructors should not post video content on any site other than their Stanford Canvas course site.

  • Guidance on remote course presentations or performances
    • Instructors should be mindful of the copyright and privacy considerations that arise when course presentations or performances (either streamed or recorded) are made available to audiences beyond Stanford students and course staff. In general, use of third-party content is more restrictive and usually requires copyright clearance. If the presentations or performances include students, students' work, or students' personally identifiable information, opt-in consent from those students is required.

      For more information, please see Stanford University Libraries Copyright Reminder.

  • Office Hours
    • Office hours are considered instruction. Instructors and TAs may meet with students outdoors if all parties agree to meet outdoors and adhere to all current health and safety requirements. 

      Office hours currently are not allowable in indoor spaces, including offices and conference rooms.

      Instructors and TAs may hold office hours remotely. CTL has identified 10 Strategies for Making Virtual Office Hours More Effective.

  • Guidance on exams, projects, or papers
  • Undergraduate course-based fieldwork and research AY 2020-21
    • All university-sponsored travel will remain suspended until at least January 4, 2021. Any changes to this policy will be posted to HealthAlerts. While exceptions for research-related travel by faculty, staff, graduate students, or postdocs are rarely granted, no exceptions will be made to permit undergraduate students to engage in university-sponsored travel (Travel Policy). This includes travel for research or fieldwork in a course, and extends to local travel near a student’s current location.

      Undergraduate students may engage in research and fieldwork that is remote (e.g., teleconferencing, telephone calls, attending virtual events). Instructors seeking guidance on how to adapt a course’s fieldwork or research project may schedule a consultation with CTL.

      Information about undergraduate participation in on-campus research is available on Research Recovery. In some cases, this on-campus research may be associated with course enrollment for Honors work.

  • Guidance for instructors & students for possible COVID-19 infections
    • It is possible that a student or member of the instruction team (instructor or TA) may test positive for COVID-19, or suspect that they may have COVID-19, pending confirmation of test results. This document includes guidance for instructors and students on what to do in these circumstances.

Course Planning

Given current uncertainties, instructors are strongly encouraged to identify plans for situations such as:

  • The need to transition in-person courses to remote instruction
  • An instructor’s or TA’s extended illness or absence
  • A student’s extended illness or absence
  • Technological difficulties that prevent a student from engaging in a remote course
  • Multiple requests from students for a new assignment deadline or exam date