This serves as the A&S-specific FAQ page.
These are the available answers to the A&S-specific FAQs. More answers to key questions will be added here soon. Please check back for updates.
For the broader UVA-wide FAQ for RTG Fall 2020 Planning, visit here.
For a detailed instructional FAQ (in addition to the Academic Instruction information listed below), please visit the Learning Design & Technology website.
Equipment and Technology
How do I request a mobile hotspot?
I am creating video content for my online course. What resources are provided for this?
A&S Learning Design & Technology is developing resources for creating content for your online course, which will be available soon on our website. You can also access information about A&S media studios and sign up for a time to use one of them if you are interested.
I plan to teach online this fall and I need a webcam/document camera/tablet. What’s the best way to get one?
A&S Learning Design & Technology has a limited supply of hardware that they can loan for the purpose of facilitating online teaching.
If I want to teach in person, will that take place in the classroom I am currently assigned to?
No. While it is our intention to keep the current schedule (days and times) intact, all in-person courses will be assigned to new classrooms based on their new capacities incorporating social distancing measures.
Can I teach outdoors instead of in a classroom?
All courses must have an officially designated classroom. If a class is in person only and everyone in the class is willing to go outside, please ensure that the outdoor space can accommodate 6’ distancing and facial coverings must still be worn. The social distancing requirements apply to those in the class and others that might also be in the same outdoor space. The use of an outdoor space should be a spontaneous event, not an regular practice.
How will the academic calendar change for fall 2020?
Per Dean Baucom's email to all faculty on July 8, please see details for the Fall 2020 semester academic calendar below.
- Undergraduate courses will begin on schedule on Tuesday, August 25, 2020.
- There will be no Fall Reading Days.
- For all students in Arts & Sciences (undergraduate and graduate), the last day of classes will be Tuesday, November 24, 2020 (the Tuesday before Thanksgiving).
- Exam Reading Days will be Monday, November 30 and Tuesday, December 1, 2020.
- Exams will begin on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 and end on Friday, December 11, 2020.
- After Thanksgiving, there will be no in-person activities—all exams and other final assessment activities need to be held online.
- The Associate Deans and I expect to hear more information soon about the revised examination schedule from Laura Hawthorne, Associate Vice Provost and University Registrar, and we will share timely updates.
What resources are available to me as I prepare for fall teaching?
The Dean has approved two initiatives to provide support directly to departments. The first is a digital pedagogy internship, which is providing summer employment to May 2020 Ph.D. graduates. The interns are completing a two-week boot camp, after which they will be given assignments to work with departments to assist faculty with their preparation for fall teaching.
The second is the appointment of department liaisons who will work with Judy Giering, her LDT team, and the digital pedagogy interns to help ensure that faculty and departments are supported in their instructional planning for the upcoming year. The ADs are working with department chairs to identify and appoint the people who will serve as liaisons.
The LDT team continues to offer an array of workshops and consultations on topics including transitioning your course to online delivery, teaching remote students in an in-person classroom, tools for student engagement, and the advanced features of Collab. You can sign up for a workshop or consultation by visiting the LDT website.
In addition, as you consider how to adapt your courses to this new educational environment, please be sure to include graduate student teaching assistants in your planning process, not only to maximize their pedagogical training and benefit from their insight and experience working with undergraduates, but because they will have the same freedom as faculty to request that they not teach in person. Please also be sensitive to the fact that the effort expected of graduate teaching assistants is not to expand beyond the typical parameters of their half-time or full-time appointments. As noted in University policy regarding assistantships, graduate students are, first and foremost, students. Teaching assistants contribute greatly to the excellence of our undergraduate curriculum, they are also responsible for making significant academic progress towards their own degrees.
Will I be required to teach in person?
No. As President Ryan’s message indicated, in addition to our standard process for ADA accommodations, all faculty will be able to request that they not teach in person. It is my intention that we will grant all such requests. I also wish to be clear that a request not to teach in person will have no impact on any evaluation, renewal, or promotion decision. We will share more information about the in-person teaching exemption request process within the next two weeks.
How will courses be delivered?
First, all courses larger than 40 students will be taught online, due to reduced classroom capacity with social distancing. These courses may be synchronous or asynchronous, as best fits the needs of the instructor and the course objectives.
A number of courses with enrollment numbers at or below 40 may be offered in person by faculty who prefer to teach this way (with few exceptions, these courses should also allow remote participation by students who cannot be on Grounds or in the classroom). My colleagues in the Dean’s Office are working closely with the Provost and her team, with Facilities Management, and with the University Registrar (UREG) to determine the capacity each classroom will hold with social distancing measures in place. We expect these numbers to be fairly low.
The following examples illustrate this situation:
The Chemistry Auditorium (402) can normally hold 495 students; with proper social distancing, it will hold approximately 40 students.
Nau 101 normally has a capacity of 245 students; with proper social distancing, it will hold approximately 25 students.
Last week, Judy Giering from our A&S Learning Design and Technology (LDT) team sent a course delivery plan to all Chairs/Directors and DUPs asking for input on the best approaches for teaching A&S courses.
This information will significantly help us model potential classroom assignments. Once we have received these preliminary course delivery plans and requests from faculty for an exemption from in-person teaching, we will work with UREG to determine the difference between classroom demand and classroom availability. As soon as that is determined, we will ask Departments to re-visit their course-delivery plans, considering both faculty willingness to teach on Grounds and the constraints we identify from our modelling process. Given our potential space constraints, we encourage those of you who wish to teach in person to consider creative alternatives: e.g. perhaps having 10 of 20 students in the classroom one week while the other 10 join the course remotely, and then switching those groups the following week.
Ultimately, if more faculty wish to teach in person than available classroom space permits, we may need to ask departments for rationales on proposed in-person courses in order to make final decisions about course delivery. We will continue to keep you informed on this process and provide ample opportunity for questions to be addressed.
How will discussion sections be taught?
All discussion sections will be taught online and courses which have indicated online delivery on the departments’ course delivery plans will be online.
When will I know how my course is being taught?
The University has committed to letting students know how their courses are being delivered by early August. In order to do so, we will need to provide UREG with course delivery decisions by mid-July. We do have some information now; all discussion sections will be taught online and courses which have indicated online delivery on the departments’ course delivery plans will be online.
Through the end of July, we will work with UREG to evaluate courses which have been requested for in-person delivery with a focus on accommodating as many of them as possible, given limited classroom capacity. If you have requested that your course be taught in person, you can expect to know for certain around August 1st. Please note that with the exception of a very short list of lab and studio courses, all in person courses will need to include an option for students to participate remotely via Zoom.
My preference is to teach my course online, but I would occasionally like to be able to meet with small groups of students. What are my options?
Once social distancing measures are put into place, many of our classrooms will be too small to use for regular classes. We are developing a process to allow instructors to reserve these rooms (as you would a conference room) for occasional meetings with students, office hours, independent studies, and other similar activities.
Will additional time be added between classes to allow students to walk between classes?
At this time, there no plans to change class times. However, the volume of classes delivered online will reduce foot traffic during class transitions.
How will I know which of my students are attending classes remotely in Fall 2020?
UREG is developing a tool in SIS that will require students to tell us whether or not they plan to return to Grounds for Fall 2020. UREG is working with the ITS teams to ensure we can share this information with instructors easily, most likely through course websites in UVA Collab or Canvas.
How will students know how I am delivering my class(es) in Fall 2020?
UREG is collecting this information from schools now. If instructors wish to confirm or change instruction mode, please contact Judy Giering. UREG will publish updated information for each of your classes in SIS by August 1, 2020.
Where should I direct a student who needs financial support?
There are several resources available through Student Financial Services for current undergraduate, graduate and professional students needing support for travel, technology, food, medication, and other living expenses.
- For information on CARES Act Student Emergency Funding, Bridge Scholarships, and Emergency Loans, please direct students to: https://vpsa.virginia.edu/funding/emergency
- Students may also be eligible for Honor loans. Please direct them to https://odos.virginia.edu/honor-loan-application.
- Lastly, please encourage students to check https://college.as.virginia.edu/COVID19help for key academic support resources.
What can I do to address test integrity and cheating in online exams?
There are some excellent suggestions and a useful webinar recording on the Teaching Continuity website’s Assessment page.
What if a student needs special accommodations?
Student Disability Access Center (SDAC) handles all student accommodations, including captioning, and will reach out to the instructor directly. If it is requested by a student, ask them to reach out to SDAC.
I require workplace accommodations in order to teach my course(s); how do I request them?
Faculty should submit requests for workplace accommodations via the Office of Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights. More information is also available on the UVA HR Return to Grounds website, under “Remote Work and Leave Considerations”.
Working on Grounds
Do I have complete training before working on grounds? What if I am still telecommuting?
All those returning to Grounds, including all students and employees, will complete a training module that provides key information about what is necessary to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. At the conclusion of this training, all students and employees will be required to acknowledge the risks presented by the virus and agree to abide by these important safety protocols.
The link to the training for faculty and staff is below and can be completed via WorkDay.
When will we be able to return to our offices?
updated on August 3
While we continue to recommend telecommuting when possible, faculty and staff are permitted to return to their offices. Arts and Sciences departments have been asked to submit operations, space, and personnel plans. This information will help us best prepare workspaces for health and safety. When on-Grounds, please follow CDC personal hygiene guidelines by wearing a mask and practicing 6-foot social distancing. The Arts & Sciences Return to Grounds Team site is source of helpful information, including policy documents and reference materials.
PPE & Sanitation
What cleaning supplies will be provided?
The COVID-19 Supplies Purchasing Guide (posted on the Procurement site) provides an overview of the cleaning items that will be purchased by the university and items to be purchased by schools or departments
As a reminder, the university will purchase and install hand sanitizer stanchions.
Within Arts & Sciences, we recommend the following. Please check back in for updates to this information.
Hand Sanitizer Wipes and Paper Towels: Please follow the guidance in the COVID-19 Supplies Purchasing Guide and purchase wipes via UVA Marketplace or another vendor.
Gloves: We discourage the purchase of gloves outside of laboratory use.
Storage: Due to the flammability of sanitizer and disinfectant, large quantities must be stored properly. If you have questions about quantity and storage, please consult with Anna Towns.
The following items will be purchased centrally for distribution across A&S. Additional information will be shared as planning continues.
- Hand Sanitizer Bottles, Liquid, and Gel
- Spray Disinfectant for use on the high touch surfaces in offices, meeting rooms, kitchens, copy/mail rooms, common spaces and etc.
For additional information on cleaning protocols, please consult with the Facilities Management FAQ on custodial and environmental hygiene and the Enhanced Cleaning Protocols and Standard Operating Procedures.
How will the cloth face coverings be distributed?
Revised July 6, 2020
Cloth face coverings will be distributed in mid/late July. Department Managers will determine how to best distribute cloth face coverings to faculty and staff.
Testing and Screening
I've just learned that someone in my department has COVID, what do I do?
The university is building a notification process for faculty and staff that will include Employee Health, Human Resources, the Office of Emergency Management, and managers/supervisors. The protection of personal information is paramount. It will not be appropriate to send mass emails or messages communicating positive results to departments. Contact tracing processes are being developed with the Virginia Department of Health. Guidance on isolation and quarantine will be provided following any positive results.
Do I need to do a daily health check?
Revised August 10
The HOOS Health Check app is now available in the Apple and Google Play stores. This easy-to-use tool will help members of the UVA community remain aware of their health and identify any possible COVID symptoms before they come to Grounds. HOOS Health Check will replace daily health attestations that UVA Health team members, researchers, and some other groups on Grounds have used this summer.
Students, faculty, staff, and UVA Health team members are required to complete a daily health check each day that they are coming to Grounds or to work at a UVA Health clinic through the free HOOS Health Check app or the HOOS Health Check website. Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should stay home and immediately contact Student Health (for students) or Employee Health (for faculty, staff, and UVA Health team members), as directed by HOOS Health Check.