We are writing to provide you updated guidance and web links to assist you in preparing to engage in remote testing and teaching during the university’s response to the spread of COVID-19. Please use this e-mail and links as your resource.

The health and safety of all Oregon State University community members remains the university’s highest priority during the COVID-19 global outbreak. Following the university’s directive to use social distancing measures for winter term final exams and to move to remote delivery of instruction in spring term, we are writing with guidance in both of these areas. See also the Keep Teaching website, which offers more detailed resources on how to best do exactly that … keep teaching. Additionally, you may benefit from reviewing the Keep Learning website developed for students.

Winter Term Final Examinations

We are asking all faculty to work with their deans, school directors, and department heads to determine ways to deliver winter term finals week exams and activities remotely, where possible. Exceptions to this remote delivery policy must be granted by your dean.

Because we are asking that final exams be delivered using alternative methods such as Canvas, take home examinations, or alternate activities, we expect that there will be fewer exams held on campus. For those exams where there is no reasonable alternative to a traditional format, social distancing models should be used as much as practicable. Therefore, the university and colleges are working to provide spaces where capacity allows for adequate social distancing.

If you intend to use an alternative method for examinations such as Canvas, a take home examination, or another alternate activity, please use Winter Finals 2020 to inform us no later than Sunday March 15 so that the room assigned to you can be released and used for other purposes. Additional guidance on the remote delivery of winter 2020 finals may be found at Registrar's Office.

Remote Teaching

Remote teaching delivery involves a faculty member or graduate teaching assistant facilitating face-to-face course instruction from an off-campus location using either their personal computer or one issued by OSU with tools such as Canvas and Zoom, which are already supported by the university.

Please find and publish all of your spring term courses within Canvas. You can use Canvas for most course functions. Canvas will be OSU’s required tool for course announcements, collecting assignments, and providing grades and feedback during this disruption to in-person teaching. We are confident that everyone’s consistent use of Canvas will ease adjustment to this public health challenge. If you have taught online courses at OSU previously, you are free to use any of your existing online resources to aid in the delivery of a campus course that you will be teaching remotely. Follow directions for copying content from one section to another (PDF). Remember that you can selectively import materials if needed.

Note that we are not moving campus students to Ecampus online course delivery. We do suggest that you may use any of your already developed online materials to assist you in the remote delivery of your course(s).

The following guidelines are for all OSU faculty and graduate teaching assistants who have teaching responsibilities at any OSU site-based location.

  • Exceptions to remote teaching must be granted by your dean. Deans may grant an exception due to the infeasibility of delivering some material remotely (e.g., a theater class or a laboratory). In cases where a course consists of lecture, lab, and/or recitation, the feasible components of the course must still be taught with the goal of meeting all course outcomes.
  • We ask that all instructional faculty, including graduate teaching assistants, provide maximum leniency and flexibility in course participation during OSU’s response to COVID-19. During this period, incomplete grades should only be used in the usual ways. Every effort should be made to enable students to complete their course work.
  • If a student cannot complete a course or earn an incomplete because of circumstances related to COVID-19, please refer them to OSU policies and resources for extended absences. In such cases, two situations exist:
    • When a student is physically able to address their particular situation, they should reach out to their course faculty member or instructor of record. If a late change to their status in a course is necessary, students should use the Academic Requirements Committee form.
    • When a student is physically unable reach out to their faculty member or instructor of record, a family member should contact the Student Care Team for assistance.
  • OSU Disability Access Services (DAS) will continue to provide support to faculty, graduate teaching assistants and students registered with DAS. It is possible that not all accommodations students have been granted will be able to be similarly provided in a remote environment. DAS is mindful of these challenges and will work with faculty, graduate assistants, students and departments to quickly determine reasonable options.
  • To ensure adherence to federal and state privacy laws, it is imperative that all work with student data be performed using OSU-licensed tools, even if you are using personal computer devices to connect to OSU servers and services. In addition, any email communication you have with students or about students must be conducted using OSU email.

We know this is a challenging time, given the highly uncertain and evolving conditions we are all operating under. We will continue to develop and distribute guidance to faculty to ease as much as possible the adjustment to our coronavirus response. Together, we thank you for your patience and your continued commitment to the university’s teaching, research and engagement missions.

March 12, 2020