February 28, 2020


SUBJECT:    Maintaining Educational Continuity in the Context of COVID-19

Dear Colleagues:

Given the rapid spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), UC San Diego needs to be prepared should some students, staff, and faculty on our campus be ill or under quarantine in the coming weeks and months. Our UC San Diego community must collectively ensure that we can still provide our students the outstanding education they deserve.

We are writing to let you know that we expect all faculty and academic administrators to take the actions outlined below, for the educational benefit of our UC San Diego students.

Faculty are expected to take the following steps. If you encounter challenges, please alert your department chair or other unit leader.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, the instructor of record for each course taught at UC San Diego MUST

1. Establish a complete and regularly updated gradebook in the Canvas learning management system []; if your course is already in Triton Ed, you may use that platform instead. This will ensure that if the instructor or other course staff become ill or are under quarantine, an accurate record of all assignment scores will be accessible, so that students can receive their course grades in a timely manner.

2. Ensure that final exam papers can be reliably collected and graded, and the course grades computed and submitted, even if the instructor or other course staff become ill or are quarantined.

3. Plan how to adjust course policies related to class attendance so as not to penalize students who become ill or are placed under quarantine.

STARTING IN SPRING QUARTER 2020, the instructor of record for each course taught at UC San Diego MUST take the three steps listed above, and also:

4. Place all key course documents (e.g., syllabi, assignments, reading lists) on Canvas, so that students can access them remotely even if unable to come to campus due to illness or quarantine. If the course has a separate website, provide a link to it from Canvas. You are highly encouraged to take this step for your Winter 2020 courses.

STARTING IN SPRING QUARTER 2020, all faculty are ENCOURAGED to do the following to make it feasible for students to keep up with a course even if illness, quarantine, or travel restrictions prevent them from coming to campus:

5. If feasible, arrange for lecture capture/podcasting of your course. Use the Kaltura tool to create/distribute the videos/podcasts via Canvas. This ensures that the material is stored safely and is available with sufficient internet bandwidth.

6. Make those videos or podcasts available to your department, as part of an inventory other instructors can draw upon if necessary.

7. Ask your department whether previous instructors have captured lectures for your course, so you can draw upon those as necessary and appropriate.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, academic administrators (deans, chairs, directors, and provosts) are REQUIRED to take the following steps.

• Work with all faculty in your unit to ensure they take the steps outlined above.
• Make contingency plans for how your unit will keep courses running if instructors or course staff become ill or are quarantined.
• Plan ahead to meet the ADA needs of quarantined instructors or students who had arranged accommodation with respect to in-person.
• Plan to increase summer course offerings for summer 2020 to support the academic advancement of students from abroad who cannot go home during summer 2020. This should include current students and inbound transfers from CA community colleges.
• Inventory courses for which lecture capture exists already. Make faculty aware of the inventory and make the material available as needed to support current courses.
• Arrange for key courses to undergo lecture capture in Spring 2020, Summer 2020, and beyond, so as to provide the greatest coverage in future times of need.

For assistance with the items involving educational technology, please contact Educational Technology Services Services [] or the Teaching + Learning Commons [].

Thank you for taking these steps to ensure the educational resilience of our campus and to support our students’ academic success, in the face of the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Pradeep K. Khosla

Elizabeth H. Simmons
Executive Vice Chancellor

Maripat Corr
Academic Senate, San Diego Division

Steven Constable
Vice Chair
Academic Senate, San Diego Division