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Reminders for Spring quarter instruction

Section 1

March 24, 2022

Dear Colleagues:

As we approach the Spring Quarter, COVID positivity rates at UCI continue to decrease, and through our campus contact tracing efforts, we have not seen evidence of transmission in classrooms.  Last week, the Provost announced that some COVID-19 protocols will be adjusted across the campus beginning this week. In light of these events, here are some reminders regarding instruction beginning next quarter. Generally speaking, teaching in Spring 2022 will be similar in most aspects to teaching prior to the pandemic.

Course policies and accommodations:

With the change to face coverings being recommended indoors, you may request that students wear a face covering in your classroom, but you cannot require them. In particular, it is not acceptable to exclude, retaliate against, or penalize students who choose not to wear a face covering. Should you have a disability or other need that requires additional protections, please reach out to Disability Management Services for support and/or accommodations as appropriate.

Students with a documented disability through the Disability Services Center may receive accommodations that include access to recorded lectures. If you are unfamiliar with the options for recording lectures in a classroom, please see the resources on TeachAnywhere or contact dtei@uci.edu.

As we move forward, instructors are strongly encouraged to have course policies that allow a level of flexibility for students as various life situations arise, including COVID-related events. However, the campus acknowledges that instructors can require students to attend in-person activities during the class times scheduled by the Registrar. Also, it is recognized that course policies cannot cover every situation. Although it is recommended to provide alternative access when possible, instructors are not required to provide individual exceptions to their policies except for cases of documented disabilities, as highlighted above. Information regarding course policies and the use of recorded lectures is available on TeachAnywhere.

If a student expresses any distress about attending your class in person, feel free to refer them to the relevant Undergraduate or Graduate Student Affairs office for their School.

Instructional Modes:

The "virtual remote" mode will no longer be available. Courses that have not already been approved by the Academic Senate for online delivery should be offered in person. The Academic Senate is deliberating on requirements for hybrid courses moving forward. For the Spring 2022 quarter, any part of a course that has been approved for online delivery can be offered either online or in person.  

The relaxed definition of in-person teaching in Fall 2021 and Winter 2022—i.e., at least one hour per week of in-person contact with the instructor—will no longer be valid beginning Spring 2022. Instructors and TAs of in-person courses will be expected to teach in the classroom during their scheduled sections. Faculty are still welcome to enhance the in-person experience by using the materials and skills learned in online and remote teaching.  The TeachAnywhere website has recommendations for flipped and hybrid approaches. 

Additional Questions:

If you have additional questions or concerns, a range of resources is available. These include the Student Affairs offices in your school, TeachAnywhere, and dtei@uci.edu. Once again, we thank you for all your hard work and flexibility during these difficult times.

Best,

Michael Dennin 

Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning
Dean, Division of Undergraduate Education