Teaching and Learning during COVID-19

Class flexibility and informal accommodations

Students who are immunocompromised or live with individuals who are immunocompromised and who choose not to attend in-person classes due to personal health risks can discuss potential informal accommodations with instructors on a course-by-course basis. In courses where attendance is required and has been approved by Senate, instructors are encouraged to be flexible and consider alternate means for students to meet requirements of attendance and/or participation.

Instructors are encouraged to work with students requesting informal accommodations to ensure they are able to progress through their courses. If accommodations cannot be provided because of specific learning outcomes, students can drop courses throughout the semester.

To enable informal accommodations, instructors can plan for instructional flexibility by:

  • adding Webex meetings to courses in Brightspace;
  • adapting remote teaching materials from the prior academic year for in-person teaching this winter schedule;
  • sharing class recordings if in a lecture-capture classroom;
  • sharing slide presentations in PDF format; and
  • audio recording lectures on a smartphone for posting and sharing in Brightspace.

There are a variety of solutions for scenarios where students cannot attend in-person classes. The Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning has created resources and supports to assist instructors in planning for such scenarios.

Further information is available on the CITL Instructional Continuity website. CITL staff are available to support instructors during this time and also to help instructors identify the right solutions to assist with accommodating students who may not be able to come to campus due to COVID-19. Academic staff are reminded of the following resources and hands-on supports:

  • Support Centre - Available during extended evening and weekend hours for inquiries related to teaching and learning, technical support for learning technologies and examinations for online courses. Also connects visitors to other CITL staff, services and resources.
  • Learning Technology Coaches - Coaches support instructors with the implementation of learning technologies for instruction, such as Brightspace and Webex.
  • Classroom Support - For instructors teaching on campus, Classroom Support offices will be open and will provide frontline support for instructors who need assistance with existing technology in classrooms and learning spaces on the St. John’s campus. For support with multimedia and audiovisual technologies in the classroom, email csupport@mun.ca. For classroom support at MI, email servicedesk@mi.mun.ca. At Grenfell Campus, please contact learningtechnologyspecialist@grenfell.mun.ca or it@grenfell.mun.ca.

If you would like information about addressing informal accommodation requests, please see the CITL website for additional resources.

Guidance for COVID-19 exposure

Students who must isolate due to COVID-19 requirements should contact their instructors directly regarding their absence and any required accommodations. This information should be treated as confidential. If a student is unable to reach an instructor, students should contact the department head who is responsible for the course. Memorial will make every effort to ensure that all students are able to progress successfully through their course work despite potential challenges associated with COVID-19.

Course assessments for the winter semester

Based on current Public Health guidelines, we expect that on-campus mid-term and final exams/assessments can be held in person provided:

  • They are held in groups of 99 or fewer, invigilators included (e.g., students split between two or more rooms); and
  • An alternative assessment is readily made available to students who cannot attend in person and may require accommodation (e.g., remote and attending classes in another location, isolation, immunocompromised, etc.).

All instructors are encouraged to review the below selection of resources that CITL has created to inform alternate ways to assess students.