Frequently Asked Questions

This page provides answers to many of the questions you may have regarding support for a possible transition to teaching remotely. The following FAQs are continuously being updated as things continue to change and evolve. Note: Faculty members can get responses to many questions in the Keep Teaching Sakai Site forum areas, as well.

We invite you to visit the Information Technology Frequently Asked Questions for more FAQs about Working Remote.

[Updated 03/25/2020]

I’m a faculty member who is looking for guidance as I learn about taking my teaching online. Where would I learn more about adapting my practice, review any revised policies or institutional expectations, and/or collaborate with colleagues? 

A: All faculty members have been enrolled into a Sakai site that serves as a professional “hub” for questions, answers, and dialogue regarding readiness for a shift to remote teaching protocols. In addition, the Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) team, in collaboration with the Office of the Provost, will offer (1) webinars, (2) trainings, and (3) the “Keep Teaching” website for planning, strategies, tools, and support. Deans’ Offices and A-Deans will also be able to offer guidance. 

I teach in a professional program, and our students’ clinical experiences (or fieldwork opportunities) have been halted. What must we do to ensure our students’ experiences meet the requirements for their professional licensure? 

A: As you dialogue with your deans and assistant/associate deans, please inform them of any clinical experiences that have been interrupted, suspended, or have proven unfeasible to deliver within the remaining weeks of the semester. The Provost’s Office will liaise with NYSED and your Dean’s Office regarding permissible alternative learning experiences, such as simulations. If you are teaching coursework in a program that has professional accreditation, please first ask for guidance from your accrediting agency. 

I can't keep the same deadlines as I had in my original course syllabus, and I will need to adjust a few assignments so they can be completed remotely. How should I keep track of these changes? 

A: Most faculty will need to create a "modified course syllabus" that reflects the changes made after adjusting to a remote instructional protocol. (These could include changes to deadlines, assignment types, in-class learning experiences, and the like.). Please share this modified syllabus with your students in Sakai, retain a copy for yourself, and forward a copy to your department chair for retention. In the event we need to demonstrate how we addressed and assessed our course objectives, we would have these records documenting our instructional shifts. 

I am a faculty member who does not have enough of an internet connection at home to deliver my class remotely.  What options are available to me to be able to deliver my class remotely? 

A: There are a number of parking lots on campus that have parking spots that could allow faculty to park in them and get a decent Ithaca College WIFI signal while sitting in their cars.  We have updated the Ithaca College campus map to show these locations. You can also see whether your local library offers free outdoor WIFI. For those who prefer to explore in-home options, many internet providers and mobile phone companies are also offering special pricing or packages. You can visit the Students-Keep Learning webpage for a list of internet options and providers under “Options for Internet Access”.  Faculty who continue to experience difficulty with access to internet should contact your Dean’s Office for guidance and support.

NOTE: Remote education is an essential service that is exempt from the Governor’s 100% reduction of in-person workforce reduction.  However, even those performing essential services must continue to abide by social distancing of at least 6 feet for the health and welfare of all.

If faculty members or students do not have laptop technology to be able to genuinely teach and learn remotely, where should they go for loaner equipment?  

A: Faculty members should contact their Dean’s Office if they are in need of technology for their instruction. Students with technology needs should complete the Keep Learning Student Technology Request Form. Students will need to login using their Ithaca College Netpass to complete the form. Submissions will be reviewed confidentially by a team of school representatives and IT experts.

What are the best ways for faculty to communicate with their students about the transition to remote instructional protocols?

A: We recommend that you use the tools in Sakai to message your students or email them using their official ithaca.edu email addresses.  

A portion of the grade my students receive is related to class participation. How might I evaluate participation in an online environment? 

A: You can evaluate participation in many ways; it's really just another way to describe "engagement." You might be able to invite students to use the Sakai forum or the Sakai blogging tools to engage with one another regarding course content. You might have quick-writes early in the class session, or perhaps could use the "chat" feature in Zoom. You have many options. Ask for some ideas in the Keep Teaching Sakai site, and see what your colleagues have found helpful as strategies. 

I'm worried that the remote format will cause students to disengage. What if some of my students just stop treating our class seriously? 

A: While this is possible, it's also possible that students are experiencing (like many of us) the kinds of disequilibrium a significant, emergency disruption can prompt. Check in on them when you can. Send an I-Care Referral or an Academic Alert (both are linked here) if you are worried. Try to maintain as much communication as reasonably possible to prevent isolation. And take care of yourself, as well.  

Is there any discussion of whether Ithaca, like some other institutions, will allow a more liberal policy to allow students to take more of their classes S/D/F?

A: The College is instituting emergency practice exceptions to the current S/D/F policies, for Spring 2020.

  • We will eliminate the cap, for Spring 2020, on how many courses an undergraduate student may elect to take S/D/F in a single semester.
  • We will eliminate from the calculation of total courses taken S/D/F over a student’s academic career at IC any courses that were taken S/D/F in Spring 2020.
  • Some courses in the major may be allowed to be taken S/D/F (undergraduate) or S/U (graduate), contingent upon permission of the major department.
  • We will extend the deadline by which a student may request that a course be taken S/D/F or S/U until May 11th.
  • Students attending affiliated and exchange study abroad programs who have concerns about their grades and credits after the official transcript from their study abroad program is received and posted may submit an appeal to have these courses recorded as S/D/F as outlined in the academic catalog.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Students should recognize that their choice to take courses S/D/F (undergraduate) or S/U (graduate) may not be appropriate for all courses and should carefully consider with their advisors or deans’ offices the possible implications of the S/D/F option on progression in a professionally accredited program, on future or pending applications to graduate programs, on scholarships or financial aid, and, for undergraduate students, any planned changes of major that might be pending.

Am I required to meet with my classes at the normally scheduled times?

A: If you hold synchronous class meetings, in which you expect your students to participate in real-time, those meetings should follow the times published for your meetings in the Spring 2020 course schedule.

However, since so many of our faculty and students are completing this coursework remotely in environments that challenge synchronous class meetings (e.g., in various time zones, in homes where they and we may have child-care responsibilities, in spaces where the technology is shared among many members of the household), we are all encouraged to think about how to move as much of our instruction as possible into formats that are asynchronous so that students may be better able to engage with it and access these learning opportunities. Creative ideas are being posted to the Keep Teaching Sakai site and are being discussed in the professional development experiences delivered in collaboration between the Teaching and Learning with Technology Team and the Center for Faculty Excellence. You can also find many ideas to enrich your asynchronous teaching capacities here in this website.

When are midterm grades due? They were originally scheduled for March 18th, during the extended spring break. Are we still submitting them?  

A: Midterm grades are due one week later than originally scheduled due to the extended spring break. All midterm grades should be posted by 10 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25th. You can find the revised calendar in the Knowledge Base Article "Updated Ithaca College Spring 2020 Academic Calendar." 

What should I know about final exams?

A: All final examinations (or the equivalent cumulative experiences) will be offered remotely. We recommend considering open-book, project-based, and other alternative, non-timed, asynchronous formats for your examinations.

Will the timing of course  registration  change as a result of the extended spring break?  

A: Registration will begin one week later than published in the initial academic calendar. Time tickets will be posted in HomerConnect as usual. Students are encouraged to seek their advising via email and/or Zoom conferencing, but no student will need a registration access code (RAC) to register.  

I heard that some schools don’t have enough Zoom licenses to support their online instruction. Can we handle the number of courses that might be taught using Zoom?

A: Yes, we have enough Zoom licenses for the campus to sustain remote teaching with this platform. However, some of our students may be in environments with limited availability for strong wifi connections. Recording any class meetings conducted with Zoom is suggested.

I’m a faculty member concerned about copyright.  My course and my materials are my creation, and therefore, I believe that I should own copyright for them. If I publish my course materials online, does Ithaca College then become owner or part owner of my intellectual property?

A: No. You will remain the sole owner of the copyright for your course materials. Section 2.20.4 of the Ithaca College Policy Manual addresses matters of copyright and provides that the default ownership lies with the creator of the “work”, which, in this case, is the online course material. This section of the policy manual outlines a few situations that are exceptions to the default provision, but none of those exceptions apply in the circumstances described. 

I have students with accommodations in my IC courses. What is the campus doing, during remote instruction, for students who have SAS accommodations?

A: The Student Accessibility Services (SAS) office will continue to be open and staffed to assist students with remote learning and to support faculty with creating inclusive, accessible classes. In addition, the SAS office has posted guidance for students who are seeking information about how the remote instructional protocols might affect their most appropriate accommodations Students should review the related Intercom article for more information, or reach out directly to SAS at tests@ithaca.edu