Campus Closure: Academic Information and Updates

Campus Closure: Academic Information and Updates

The academic information on this page is a resource for faculty/instructors and will be updated as necessary. Please contact Executive Director Edwin Arevalo (emarevalo@ucdavis.edu) with questions or suggestions.

For updates on campus operating status, see here. For additional employee information, see here.


Frequently Asked Questions for Instructors

Posted on November 18, 2018. Updates will be noted below.

The following FAQs are intended to serve as guidelines both during the UC Davis closure and after it reopens. The goal is to maximize consistency across campus in how we address these very complex issues, drawing from established policies for courses and instruction. Given these unusual circumstances, we strongly encourage instructors to be flexible and understanding of student needs. We also recognize that there are limits to how many additional burdens on time and resources instructors should reasonably be expected to take. Thank you for your patience and collaboration.

- Senate Leadership
Can I expect my students to do out-of-class work during campus closure?  

Yes. Instructors can provide online learning materials, such as recorded lectures or course notes, during the time of campus closure. As best practice, students should not be held responsible through examination or graded work for learning these new materials until at least 48 hours after the campus reopens. Not all students have equal access to online materials, so expectations for student learning during this period of campus closure will need to be adjusted accordingly.

Instructors can also expect students to be working on longer-term assignments, such as research papers or problem sets, if those assignments were (1) specified in the syllabus at the start of the term and (2) do not require access to materials first provided during campus closure. If either of these conditions is not met, then deadlines should be extended.

Important: Examinations can only be administered once campus has reopened, and assignments can only be due once campus has reopened.

What is the Carnegie rule and how does it affect my decision to modify my course content?

UC Davis follows the Carnegie rule which prescribes that students are expected to complete three total hours of work per week (including in-class and out-of-class time) for each course unit. Thus, for a 4-unit class, students are expected to complete a total of 12 hours of work per week. Instructors must continue to respect the weekly work expectations for their courses once campus reopens. As a result, if you plan to add activities or material from cancelled class days to the remaining two weeks that classes are in session, please adjust (if necessary) the expectation of time planned for originally scheduled activities. See Policies and Procedures from the Committee on Courses of Instruction.

When the campus reopens, when can I hold an exam?

If you reschedule an exam, the exam can be held during a regularly scheduled class period, given during an out-of-class time agreed to by all students, or switched to a take-home exam due during a regularly scheduled class time. Try to notify students at least 48 hours prior to the updated exam date. See Davis Division Regulation 538.

Once campus reopens, what if having a make-up exam for my class is logistically unreasonable or impossible? Can I choose to drop that exam and put more weight on the rest of the graded material for the quarter?

Yes. This is at your discretion. For the least disruption, try to minimize major changes to how students will be evaluated. See APM-010.

Will there be additional campus resources provided to enable me to schedule make-up exams outside of my regular course times, once campus reopens?

(Updated on November 21, 2018)

The Testing Services Center is working to identify capacity to offer proctored make-up exams outside of scheduled course times, even for students without documented disabilities. This option for proctored make-up exams will likely be offered on a limited, first come first served basis. For further details on room options, time schedules, and deadlines, see here.

How should I handle testing accommodations for students with accommodations documented by the Student Disability Center?

For instructors who had exams scheduled with the Testing Services Center (TSC) that were missed due to campus closure: Please contact the TSC (ucdtest@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-9040) to coordinate new examination schedules for the students. When possible, instructors should be flexible with exam dates and times. The TSC will have a high backlog of missed examinations to schedule.

For instructors who do not use the TSC, please continue to make accommodations for your students, keeping in mind that flexibility will likely be needed.

As a result of campus closure, has anything changed for instructors in making accommodations for students with documented disabilities?

(Posted on November 21, 2018)

No. Students with documented disabilities still require the accommodations specified in their letters from the Student Disability Center (SDC). If you have any questions, please contact the SDC Specialist(s) who signed the Letter of Accommodation for your student(s) and/or reach out to sdc@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-3184.

Will campus resources be made available for instructors to reserve rooms for additional make-up exams or learning activities?

(Updated on November 26, 2018)

Yes. If you need to reserve rooms for make-up classes or exams (and will be using your own proctors), central resources will be provided to fund these reservations. To do so, make your reservation through Conference and Event Services (CES) and note on your reservation that the room reservation is for an EXAM or MAKE-UP CLASS. You will still have to enter an account number, but CES will change it to the centrally-funded account. If you have questions, email ues@ucdavis.edu.

Will finals be moved or instructional days added?

(Updated on November 21, 2018)

No. Finals will not be moved and instructional days will not be added. See here.

Where can instructors get advice or tips on how to create online videos for their courses?

(Posted on November 21, 2018)

UC Davis Information and Educational Technology (IET) has compiled a list of articles to assist instructors in recording video and sharing it with students via Canvas or other platforms. See here.

Now that all exams and assignments cannot be due until campus reopens, how will this affect the workload of graduate student teaching assistants?  

(Posted on November 26, 2018)

If instructors need to reschedule exam dates and/or due dates for assignments, they need to be careful not to overburden their teaching assistants. For details on per day and per week maximums, see here.

Where can I direct my students who have been severely affected by the fires?

(Posted on November 26, 2018)

If your students are experiencing a hardship as a result of the California fires, please have them email Financial Aid and Scholarships at FAS-ECRTeam@ou.ad3.ucdavis.edu. They can also visit the FAS Economic Crisis page for additional emergency resources.


Important Class Cancellation Information: Instructional Policies

Sent to Academic Senate and Academic Federation members on November 14, 2018

Dear Senate and Federation Colleagues,

We know you have many questions regarding how to adjust your instructional plans due to repeated days of cancelled classes.

We have compiled information below regarding established policies. In addition, you can find frequently asked questions about the campus closure here

As instructors, you have the authority and flexibility to change the type and number of assignments and midterm exams for your course while it is in progress. These changes need to be applied equitably across all students in your course. Please note that if you choose to reschedule a midterm exam, the exam must be given during a regularly scheduled class period, given during an out-of-class time agreed to by your students, or switched to a take-home exam due during a regularly scheduled class time.

For further reading, here are the relevant policies:

  • Davis Division Regulation 538(D): “In each course for which a midterm examination is required, each student shall have the right to take a midterm examination (or, when the instructor has so opted, to submit a take-home examination) during one of the scheduled meetings of the class published in the Class Search Tool.”
  • Davis Division Regulation 538(E): “Holding a final or midterm examination (or setting a deadline for submission of a take-home examination) at a time not specified in (C) or (D) requires the mutual consent of the instructor and all students involved in the change. Any student who does not consent in writing to the different time must be permitted to take an examination (and/or submit a take-home examination) at the officially scheduled time. A student who consents in writing to the change of examination time waives the right cited in (C) or (D).”
  • APM-010: “The faculty has authority for all aspects of the course, including content, structure, relevance of alternative points of view, and evaluations. All decisions affecting a student’s academic standing, including assignment of grades, should be based upon academic considerations administered fairly and equitably under policies established by the Academic Senate.”
  • Additional information on non-SDC instructional accommodations, including use of an “Incomplete” grade, is available here.

One very complex question is whether we as instructors are permitted to continue delivering instruction in online courses, or temporarily switch to delivering, or making available, instruction or materials online for regular courses (via videos, podcasts, etc.).

Three potential problems arise: Inequitable access to technology among students, since they cannot use internet on campus and cannot be expected to leave their residences in search of internet access; issues with the technical delivery of instructional materials; and courses being delivered in ways not originally approved by the Academic Senate.

That said, we appreciate that every course is different, that the timeframe of campus closure and cancelled classes is fluid and uncertain, and that we as educators should be permitted to adjust pedagogy in extraordinary times of crisis and need. Thus, if you determine that the use of online materials is essential for optimizing student comprehension of course material that was missed during the time of cancelled classes, you can make those materials available while campus is closed. We strongly urge, however, that this material be considered supplemental—students can be encouraged to access it but cannot be held responsible for accessing or interacting with it, including through examinations, until the time when normal class scheduling resumes.

Multiple days of cancelled classes is uncharted territory for UC Davis, but we fully trust that you have the best interest of your students in mind and will make arrangements that balance student needs with curricular requirements and pedagogical goals for your courses. 

We will keep you updated on any developments related to instructional time or policies.

Best,

Kristin H. Lagattuta, Ph.D.
Chair, Davis Division of the Academic Senate
Professor, Department of Psychology and Center for Mind and Brain

Richard P. Tucker, Ph.D.
Vice Chair, Davis Division of the Academic Senate
Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy