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Academic Continuity FAQs

The information provided here to maintain Academic Continuity is based on best practices from other universities as well as Sacramento State’s own past experiences dealing with disruptions of normal operation. Beyond the resources provided on this site, departments, colleges, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Office of the Provost can help guide you to keep teaching!

For up-to-date information related to teaching during a specific Academic Continuity situation, Sacramento State will curate and maintain a dynamic list of Frequently Asked Questions addressing the emergency circumstances. The FAQs below offer general guidance for any disruption of academic services.

Updated: Monday, January 3, 2022.

How do I hold office hours during a disruption?

Office hours should match the modality of the course as it is normally taught: face-to-face classes can have “face-to-face” office hours held online using video technologies, and classes using remote instruction need to offer virtual office hours. There are ways for you to hold virtual office hours and schedule instructor conferences using resources such as Zoom or Teams, so you need to “be there” for your students during some form of office hours unless you are ill.

Can I “teach ahead” so I’m ready if I get sick?

Of course. You’re encouraged to prepare as much as you can. The resources on this site point you to options for recording lectures that you can “bank” until you’re ready to post them.

I teach classes that are not traditional lecture/discussion, now what?

There are many experiential courses such as dance, music, theatre, studio arts, student teaching practicums, science labs and so on that pose special challenges for maintaining academic continuity. If you are teaching a course like this and you aren’t sure how to teach it remotely, the best thing you can do is talk with colleagues (including your department chair) about how to handle such circumstances, and/or get in touch with the Center for Teaching and Learning.

If instruction shifts online, can I change what I expect from students?

Yes. However, you can’t change the time you expect your students to engage with the class. Synchronous live and interactive virtual class meetings need to take place during the normally scheduled class time if one is listed in the class schedule, so that your students don't have more than one real-time class to attend at once. Please bear in mind that not all students have equal access to remote learning resources, and the quality of those resources might vary, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

What if a student doesn't have the equipment needed to succeed?

IRT allows students to check out electronic devices. In addition, you can check to see if the AIRC or other computer labs will remain open so students can access resources. Parking Structure 5 supplies free wifi, and parking permits are not required in the facility during periods of campus disruption as long as a student is in the vehicle. The IRT service desk is available either in-person or remotely for technical and equipment support.

In a virtual class, does anything change for students with disabilities?

No. Students with disabilities documented by the Office of Services to Students with Disabilities (SSWD) still require the accommodations specified in their letter from SSWD. If you have any questions, please contact that office, and generally do everything you can to ensure that virtual course materials meet accessibility standards. Information for how do to so can be found at the Accessible Technology Initiative and Center for Teaching and Learning websites.

I teach a Service Learning class. What do I tell my students?

The health and safety of your students is of paramount importance, so if the disruption interferes with their ability to engage in service learning, see if there is a way for that component of the course to be done online. You can consult with the Community Engagement Center for advice on alternative learning experiences, and for further information on Service Learning and Academic Internships.

What about internships, field work, and clinical placements?

Depending on the nature of the disruption, students may not be able to complete these learning experiences in person. Much depends on the conditions at the placement site. For internships in particular, it’s a good idea to explore whether an on-site internship can be converted to a virtual one, at least during the campus disruption period. For field and clinical placements, check in at the department and/or college level for specific guidance.

How do students find out about safety protocols for in-person classes?

Faculty teaching face-to-face courses will need to follow campus health and safety requirements, and inform students in their courses about the adjustments that will be made. In addition, if there are specific safety protocols needed for a particular course (e.g., a lab class), faculty will train students during class how to follow them.