FAQ

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Who will make the decision on whether classes are cancelled or that the mode of instruction should change (e.g., from on-campus face-to-face classes to online modality)?

Instructors should not alter their course modality without direction from the university. The decision to close all or part of the campus, or to advise people on campus whether or not to cancel ongoing activities, is a matter for the appropriate administrative authorities assigned to business continuity operations.

What are the University guidelines for recording lectures with Zoom?

The University published guidelines about recording lectures that all instructors using Zoom should read.

In addition, here’s a set of frequently asked questions based on the information found in the guidelines

What will be the plan for laboratory and/or studio courses for which in-person attendance is essential?

Instructors of courses for which in-person attendance is necessary should prepare alternative assignments or mechanisms for completing course requirements to the extent possible. In laboratory courses, for example, students may be expected to watch videos of experiments or be given data for analysis in lieu of attending lab and acquiring the data themselves.

Will instructors be required to teach online if the university suspends all face-to-face classroom instruction?

Instructors will continue to be responsible for their conduct of their courses. If the university determines that in-person instruction is suspended, it will not be permissible to conduct any in-person instruction, including classes, office hours, review sessions, presentations, field trips, and projects that require that students work together in-person.

What should an instructor do if a student decides to self-isolate?

If a student chooses to self-isolate, instructors are asked to accommodate them while they are away as they would any student experiencing a health issue that keeps them from attending class. No doctor’s note is needed. Instructors should clearly communicate opportunities and expectations around alternative assignments or makeup work to all of their students.

If an instructor or TA cannot continue to teach or self-isolates, who should be informed?

Teaching assistants should be in close communication with the course instructor and let them know if their activities are impaired. Any instructor who faces illness or needs to care for someone who is ill should contact their relevant academic supervisor (e.g., program director, department chair, or vice dean) to discuss what modifications to the course can be made and/or whether additional instructional or TA resources should be procured as per divisional business continuity plans.

How should grades be determined if the University has to close for an extended period?

Johns Hopkins is committed to ensuring students can complete their educational experience; instructors will be responsible for finding the most appropriate solution for each course. To the extent possible, existing assessments and graded activities should continue even if altered in a digital format.

Do I need to adhere to the scheduled day and time of class meetings if I initiate synchronous lectures?

Yes. You should maintain the scheduled time and day that your class meets. Please do not reschedule your virtual classes for times and days that your class does not normally meet, nor extend class time beyond scheduled hours. This ensures that class meetings do not conflict with each other and students who attend your class do not need to adjust their schedules to participate.

How can I build or maintain course community in an online environment?

Like in-person courses, the success of your course will depend on building an online learning community in which you and your students communicate frequently. As the instructor, you can create and model, through your own interactions, a trusting and supportive learning environment that communicates an atmosphere of collaborative, exploratory learning:

  • You should convey an ongoing sense of commitment to, and sustained involvement in, the course through regular communication.
  • Provide guidance, feedback, motivational support, and direction so that students remain focused on the learning objectives of the course and are able to monitor their progress.
  • Create activities that foster reflective and experiential engagement at both an individual and group level.
  • Adopt teaching strategies that will promote sustained, engaged learning throughout the course.

What if instructors do not have capabilities to teach remotely?

Instructors should consult with the individuals charged with divisional business continuity if assistance is needed.

Can an instructor cancel remaining graded coursework?

Yes. Instructors may alter coursework if it is not suited to remote delivery.

Should instructors do anything differently for students who have academic accommodations that are approved by Student Disability Services?

The Student Disability Services team created a page with common questions answered. Instructors should continue to comply with academic accommodations authorized by the SDS. If a student has new or updated accommodations for any reason, information will be transmitted to the instructors. You can also contact the office directly at studentdisabilityservices@jhu.edu.

Are instructors allowed to give an in-class exam?

In-class exams will no longer be possible. For Homewood schools with reading and exam periods, additional guidance will be provided but faculty can review the assessing students remotely helpguide for strategies on how to change assessments when teaching remotely.

May an instructor substitute an alternative assessment for an examination?

Yes, an instructor can alter the form of assessment administered in the course. Instructors should consult their program/department/division to determine if there will be a common approach.

Can instructors decide to give all students enrolled in the course a grade of Incomplete?

No. It is never appropriate to give an entire class grades of Incomplete. An Incomplete grade is an appropriate grade only when requested by a student and is restricted to cases in which the student has satisfactorily completed a substantial part of the coursework. Grades of Incomplete should be used sparingly. Incomplete grades do not award any credit and can drop students below the minimum required unit load. This could negatively impact academic progress, graduation, NCAA and Veteran’s certifications, and financial aid.