Teaching – Flexible Options in Mode of Delivery

For a variety of reasons, we wish to be as flexible as possible for faculty in Spring 2021, incorporating faculty input and student preference as extensively as possible.

  • For the Spring 2021 semester, face-to-face classes will resume. However, not all classes may be offered in a face to face setting. This will depend on the course type.
    • Some courses must be taught in-person such as clinical, studio, or advanced lab courses.
    • Some courses may be ideally offered in-person, but can be delivered remotely in whole or in part. Consideration will be given to minimizing contact.
    • Larger courses may be better suited for online or hybrid delivery. Alternative forms of delivery will help minimize contact.
  • Consideration will be given to the “digital divide,” including student access to technology and student/faculty access to reliable Internet.
  • Other considerations will include (i) faculty and student preferences, (ii) physical facilities (e.g., physical arrangement of the rooms, size of the rooms, mode of instruction, egress to the spaces, etc.), (iii) course priorities, (iv) student learning outcomes, and (v) demand in determining the courses to be offered in various formats. For example, the university may choose to prioritize first-year courses (a focus on student success), courses for which remote learning is more challenging (e.g., some labs, performance courses), or other criteria central to the institution’s mission (e.g., capstone courses, applied learning courses, etc.).
  • Canvas. Regardless of class delivery mode, all courses will have aspects available on the Canvas LMS in case there is a need to pivot to online course delivery during the semester, and in order to ensure uniform delivery of course content to students across courses and departments.
    • All courses where all or a portion of the course is offered face to face must be designed to shift to a remote instructional environment if necessary given local, state, or national directives regarding COVID-19.
    • MWSU will ensure that best practices in this area are shared through the Office of Academic Affairs and Center for Teaching and Learning.

Class Recordings and Attendance Policies 

  • Streaming/recordingFaculty will be asked to record and/or stream face to face course content, or to otherwise provide content in a way that enables students to attend from remote locations in case of illness, quarantine or other needs to physically distance.
  • Attendance policies. Students who are sick should stay at home. If showing symptoms of COVID-19, they should stay at home, even if they are feeling well enough to come to class. To discourage sick students from attending classes and potentially spreading the virus, faculty are encouraged to relax or eliminate physical attendance policies so students do not feel pressure to attend class when they are ill. Use of online content and other strategies may be offered to students unable to physically attend class, on an as needed basis. (In line with this, students displaying symptoms may be asked to leave class and may be accommodated remotely in such cases.) 

Courses: Other Safety Measures

  • Face coverings are required in all indoor public spaces. 
  • Seating charts. For in-person classes, faculty should seriously consider utilizing seating charts (with students regularly sitting in the same places in the classroom on the days they attend), so that in case of a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 in the class, prolonged direct exposure will be as limited as possible and faculty will be able to assist those working on contact tracing information.
  • Physical separation. Students should be encouraged to find isolated study areas or leave the building between classes when possible to avoid congregating in hallways and lobbies. 
  • Passing periods. Faculty are encouraged to adhere to class start and end times to allow for the full passing period and avoid additional congestion in doorways and hallways.
  • Cleaning. Teaching spaces will be disinfected daily to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 spread.  However, faculty and students are encouraged to wipe down and/or clean their own spaces before and after use as desired.  The University will provide easily accessible disinfectant wipes or other cleaning materials for this purpose.

Specific Program Needs and Protocols

  • Particular departments, programs, and courses may develop more specific protocols according to their particular needs. Laboratory research, clinical skills, and performance based courses, for example, may require individualized protocols for students and faculty to follow.  
    • These protocols should be reviewed as far in advance as possible by department chairs and approved by the relevant dean. 
    • Once approved, any special protocols relevant to an individual course must be included in the course syllabus and included on Canvas as students will be required to follow them. 
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Needs: To the extent that there are special departmental needs for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (labs, performance courses, etc.) for situations in which physical distancing is difficult, departments should make these ongoing needs known to deans and/or the Office of Academic Affairs, again, as far in advance as possible.

Computer Labs, Testing Center, Hearnes

  • Face coverings are required in these spaces as well as adjacent hallways. Whether used for classes or for individual work or study, computers should be used in a physically distanced manner.  
  • Machines in drop-in labs are being reduced to assist with physical distancing.
  • Monitors and peripherals will be cleaned regularly, but students and faculty should also take opportunities to use disinfecting supplies provided for self-serve cleaning before using computer equipment.  Please follow instructions provided by IT staff.
  • Students can remote into campus lab computers and software from their home Windows, Mac and Chromebook devices by going to griff.vn/remotelab. Machines that are available for remote access will show up on the list to select. Instructions for this can be found at griff.vn/remoteguide

Office Hours and Other Availability

  • Faculty may make themselves available for in-person meetings, but are also encouraged to make office hours and other availability online in order to allow for students who need to or wish to remain physically distant. 
  • If a faculty member is more comfortable conducting office hours or meeting with students electronically, that is fine. We would ask that faculty take into consideration the availability of technology to students. Phone calls, flexibility as to time, and other options may assist.    

Department and Other Faculty Meetings, Committees, Etc.

  • As with other employee meetings, the default mode for these meetings should be online to encourage physical distancing.


Employees should limit business travel to mission critical functions to assure the continued safety of the campus community. Employees engaged in business-related and personal travel who suspect they have been exposed to COVID-19 while away from the university must notify their supervisor and place themselves in self-quarantine for an appropriate period of time in accordance with current CDC guidance and/or other local, state, or federal protocols pertaining at the time.