FAQs for Face-to-Face Instruction

1. When lecturing in a classroom, assuming the students are socially distanced apart, do I need to wear a facial covering when I am lecturing?

Yes. In accordance with the guidelines for returning to work, all instructors and students must wear facial coverings when in the classroom. For more guidance see Best Practices for Reopening Campus during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

2. If I need to wear a facial covering, may I take it off if I am able to maintain a certain distance (say, 10 feet) from all students?

You may not. You should wear a face covering regardless of your distance from students in the classroom. Face coverings and social distancing work together to reduce the risk of disease transmission on campus.

3. Should students follow a certain procedure when leaving and returning to a classroom (to go the bathroom, etc.)?

It is recommended that the doors of your classroom be propped open, so that students do not have to touch the handles when going in and out of the room. Facilities Management will furnish a door stop for each classroom to allow for this. Where possible, students should try to enter and leave the classroom maintaining 6 feet apart. Instructors may also want to dismiss students in the classroom in small groups at a time, in keeping with social distancing guidelines.

In classrooms with fixed seating, instructors should encourage students to fill the available seating in a way that prevents students from having to pass by other students in each row.

4. If I use a microphone or lapel mic in my class, is there any particular cleaning procedure we should follow? Would it be better to give faculty their own microphone for the semester?

Instructors should clean microphones before and after each use. Cleaning materials will be available in each classroom. “How to Clean Your Mic Guides” will also be provided in each room.

Additionally, Information Technology is purchasing a number of microphones that can be checked out for individual use. The Provost’s Office is working with department chairs to determine how many faculty will need a microphone for check out. Check-out procedures for microphones will be linked here once they are ready.

Centrally purchased cleaning supplies will be available from school, college, and department offices for use in personal spaces and for use by faculty for teaching stations and equipment.

5. If students are taking an exam in my class on paper, what is the best procedure for collecting the exam papers?

The students can submit their exams by dropping them off at a table or desk near the exits, maintaining 6 foot social distance while they wait their turn to do so.

6. If I tend to walk around the classroom a lot when I lecture, should I basically try to stop that entirely?

Please do your best to stay at least 6 feet away from the nearest student. If this is not possible then you should not move around as much.

7. Some of my students bring a lot of things to class (electronic devices, books, backpacks, skateboards, etc.). Is there a best practice for storing these things or keeping them germ free during a pandemic while in a classroom?

The latest available evidence suggests that transmission from surfaces is rare. However, only individual students should handle their own belongings.

8. Do you think it would be easier to have assigned seating for the duration of the semester to ensure social distancing?

Classrooms will be set up in such a way that social distancing should be clear. Instructors and students are asked to not change the configuration of the classrooms. More information can be found in the Social Distancing in Campus Spaces section of the Best Practices for Reopening Campus during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Assigned seating could help, but it cannot change the classroom configuration set up by physical facilities.

Depending on the size and configuration of the classroom, instructors may find assigned seating to help class ingress and egress. In some classrooms (e.g., those with fixed seating) students may be asked to fill rows as they arrive, so that students are not passing each other as they find their seats. The students should be asked to leave by row, to prevent congestion in the rows as they depart the classroom.

9. If I teach a course where I want to pass around an artifact that students can hold and feel, should I require that they wear gloves to do this; or should I just pass around a box of wipes; or should I simply forego that experience altogether?

Without specific training, most people are not able to remove gloves without contaminating their hands. In general, it is better to wash hands after touching high-touch surfaces.

To reduce the likelihood of inadvertently spreading any type of germs, it would be best not to pass the artifact around. Consider using the document camera as an alternative. Show all aspects of the artifact on the screen and talk about texture, solidity, etc.

10. How do I handle a student who refuses to wear a mask in class and/or refuses to follow social distancing guidelines?

This would be a student conduct issue and should be handled through the Office of Student Conduct in the campuses normal process. More information about the student conduct process can be found here. If you need to report a student conduct incident, the form to do so is found here.

11. How often will classrooms be cleaned?

Campus cleaning protocols can be found in the Best Practices for Reopening Campus during the COVID-19 Pandemic cleaning protocols section

Classrooms, including teaching stations, are cleaned daily, Monday - Friday evenings. Centrally purchased cleaning supplies may be requested from schools, colleges, and departments.