FAQs for Faculty on Remote Learning

Updated May 27, 2020

For additional official Provost communication, visit From the Office of the Provost.

Who is required to provide instructional continuity?

Instructional continuity is the responsibility of all instructors of record, including full-time faculty, adjuncts and teaching associates who are currently teaching a class.

What are the options for Instructional Continuity?

The university has extensive and updated resources to support faculty and instructional continuity at https://instructionalcontinuity.georgetown.edu/ (Main and Med Center) and https://www.law.georgetown.edu/instructionalcontinuity (Law Center). Faculty will find resources and ideas for the range of activities needed to sustain and complete a course, including:

  • Providing instruction (through synchronous class time, live and recorded lectures)
  • Setting up online office hours (which may be especially important in this situation)
  • Setting up discussion groups, group work, and online writing and reflection
  • Arranging for how students will submit work online and receive feedback and grades
  • Arranging for examinations or exam options

What are faculty obligations for instructional continuity?

During “instructional continuity” 1) academic and instructional progress should continue; and 2) regular class schedule remains in place, and 3) office hours must be held remotely. Faculty are advised to focus on tools that most closely approximate their in-person classes. This will likely entail the use of some combination of synchronous tools (live, in-time) and interactive asynchronous tools. 

Faculty should hold office hours online, via Canvas, Zoom, or similar software, just as they would have on campus. Students may also sign up for office hours online using Google Calendar (if their professors use that venue), Canvas or by sending an email to their professor with a request for an appointment via other means such as Skype. 

For any reason if you are unable to hold class or office hours, you must notify the relevant dean’s office as soon as possible.

Instructors on Main and Med Center campuses will find resources at the Instructional Continuity website: https://instructionalcontinuity.georgetown.edu/

Faculty at the Law Center will find resources at the Business and Instructional Continuity Website: https://www.law.georgetown.edu/instructionalcontinuity

How do I provide instructional continuity if I am ill and unable to teach?

You should inform your dean’s office and make sure students in your class are informed. You should find a way to make-up the class or arrange for coverage.

How do I provide instructional continuity at the regularly scheduled class time if my child’s school/daycare is closed?

All effort should be made to hold class at the regularly scheduled time. Other options include: record your lecture in advance and make it available during class time; give the students group work or other activity to be done during class time. If you have any questions, please contact Reena Aggarwal, Vice Provost for Faculty.

What if I teach a course that requires lab work, performances, or other experiential learning?

Faculty and instructors should consult the instructional continuity website at https://instructionalcontinuity.georgetown.edu/ (Main and Med Center) and https://www.law.georgetown.edu/instructionalcontinuity (Law Center) for options. 

Can I deliver my classes from campus or do I need to be off-campus?

You must deliver classes from off-campus unless granted an exception by the relevant EVP.  

Do I need to record my lectures?

Some students might not be able to attend class synchronously during the regular class time for various reasons, for example, they might be in a different time zone. Therefore, we are requiring faculty to record their lectures–or any portion of class sessions that might be valuable for students to review later–and make them available to students in their class. These are just intended to be resources between you and your students.  Our policy on recording is intended to support our students’ learning in these circumstances in every flexible way possible. If you use Canvas for conducting class, you can easily delete taped lectures at the end of the semester.

What are the options for administering final exams?

Options are discussed on the instructional continuity website at https://instructionalcontinuity.georgetown.edu/ (Main and Med Center) and https://www.law.georgetown.edu/instructionalcontinuity (Law Center).

Faculty may also contact CNDLS or IST staff to discuss how to ensure academic integrity. Each dean has reached out to faculty members about preparing for instructional and academic continuity. Faculty should hold office hours online, via Canvas, Zoom, or similar, just as they would have on campus. Students may also sign up for office hours online using Google Calendar (if their professors use that venue), Canvas or by sending an email to their professor with a request for an appointment via other means such as Skype. 

We want to ensure that students have equal access to final assessments. The guidelines below are for any faculty and courses, undergraduate and graduate, who intend to give a timed final examination during the finals period. These points are supported by guidance provided in the links. 

  • Wherever possible, faculty should strongly consider alternative assessments to final exams. We are hearing many concerns among students about their capacity to take synchronous final exams. 
  • All synchronous exams must be offered during the scheduled time to avoid conflicts. (Faculty may offer makeup exams or time zone conflicts at their discretion.)
  • All faculty intending to give a final exam must do a practice run in order to test the technology and process. 
  • Faculty should survey their classes to ensure that all time zone, technology and proctoring issues have been identified, before the last day of classes. Unreliable bandwidth or other technical issues that would impair a student’s ability to take a timed synchronous final exam in the scheduled time should be provided extra time or an alternative assessment.
  • Faculty should have identified the students in need of the typical exam accommodations (e.g., extended time) before the last day of classes. 

If your class includes an asynchronous final assessment, the assessment should be due during the exam period (May 1-9), even with the extended grading deadlines. Again, faculty may use their discretion in offering individual extensions to students, as long as they are able to meet the revised grading deadlines.

If I run into technology-related difficulties, whom should I contact?

Call the UIS HelpDesk at 202-687-4949.

Is the university infrastructure ready to handle all online learning and what is our capacity for Zoom and Canvas when used by such a large community?

Our UIS and CNDLS colleagues have assured us that because of the cloud-based nature of our interactions, there is adequate capacity in all infrastructure systems. Of course, we have never before experienced the needs for this scale of support; every available staff person from these departments will be focused on instructional continuity. 

How do we coordinate with graduate assistants who may also have to teach differently?

Each professor should coordinate with teaching and laboratory assistants by offering information about instruction on how to use Zoom or Canvas to fulfill their teaching obligations, including online office hours. 

How do we account for students with academic accommodations in an online environment?

In general, moving to an online environment makes it easier for students with accommodations and special learning needs. But it would be good practice to check with your students if they have adequate internet bandwidth and means to access class remotely, and if they have any learning needs that are complicated by instructional continuity. If that is the case, students should check in with the Academic Resource Center.