Suggested COVID-19 Syllabus Elements
Each of these suggested elements is presented as an expandable toggle item, so you can select each one to see more information. You can also download an editable copy of this page.
1. In-person course welcome with a safety message
“Welcome! This course is designed to be held in-person. Our class lectures have been carefully designed to emphasize safety while providing a rich learning experience for all students. Following campus-wide policy, masks are required for all students in our classroom. Should other health directives, or the overall situation connected to COVID-19 change over the course of the term, a back-up plan for remote delivery is in place to ensure that the course will continue and to minimize disruption to the student experience.”
2. Remain home if unwell with leniency message
A statement regarding student health needs and doctors’ notes. e.g.,
“There is nothing more important than your mental and physical health. Doctors’ notes are not required for medical absences in this course. You are encouraged to seek appropriate medical attention from the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre. I am committed to working with students with pre-existing medical and mental health needs, as well as new needs that may arise within the semester. I encourage you to reach out to the Blundon Centre as early as possible to discuss any adjustments you think may be necessary in this course. Let’s explore the options to help you succeed, no matter what is going on.”
A statement regarding remaining home when unwell. e.g.,
“To protect yourself and those around you, it is important to stay home if you feel unwell or if you are under quarantine, because you have potentially been exposed to the virus. Please keep me informed so we can work together to allow you to keep up with the course materials should you need to miss classes. You will not be penalized if you need to stay home for quarantine. Memorial University has recognized the importance of academic leniency as we work to keep our campus safe for all.”
3. Transition to remote learning at any time with MUN standard computer requirements
A statement regarding transition to remote learning. e.g.,
“If Memorial University campus operations are required to change because of health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that this course will rapidly move to a fully online delivery format. Should that be necessary, students will need to have access to a networked PC or Mac computer with webcam and microphone, for remote delivery of the class. The university has published minimum computer requirements which you can review.
Should we shift our class to remote lectures, this will likely remain in-place for a minimum of two weeks as a “circuit-breaker” to allow the university and province to evaluate safety requirements.”
(Add one of the three additional notes below.)
- “Remote lectures for our class will be held synchronously, following our normal class hours.”
- “Remote lectures for our class will be recorded for asynchronous delivery, with links posted on our class Brightspace website.”
- “Remote lectures for our class will include a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous delivery. If this transition occurs, we will update the course syllabus and post to Brightspace to announce the revised lecture schedule.”
4. Course assessments: Messaging for online versus alternative arrangements
With the potential for rapid transition to all remote learning, and the further likelihood of students occasionally remaining home if feeling unwell, syllabus statements to clarify plans and contingencies for assessment will be important. One strategy is to simply plan for all assessments to be online. Another strategy will be to develop alternate modes of assessment to use as needed.
A statement for all online assessments. e.g.,
“With the possibility of transition to remote learning, and the further likelihood that some students may need to remain at home if feeling unwell, our quiz, midterm, and final evaluations will be conducted online. As with remote lectures, please be sure you are set to meet please be sure you are set to meet the minimum computer requirements”.
A statement for alternative assessments. e.g.,
“The weekly quizzes and midterm exam will be conducted in-class. If you are feeling unwell and will be remaining home, please contact me by course mail before the scheduled evaluation date to arrange for an alternate form of assessment.”
NOTE: The following resources may be provided to assist instructors with developing alternate assessments. CITL staff are available to consult with instructors looking for alternate assessment strategies. Instructors should contact the CITL Support Centre to request a consultation.
- 7 Assessment Challenges of Moving Your Course Online (and a Dozen+ Solutions) (reading)
- Decision-making flow chart (pdf)
- Assignment tool (pdf)
- Quiz tool (pdf)
- Student Presentations (pdf)
- Video assignment (pdf)
- Open book assessments (video)
- Quiz design for accessibility — Understanding quiz settings (video)
- Using video and audio evaluation in your course (video)
5. Additional supports are available
A statement regarding general COVID-19 supports. e.g.,
“While the COVID-19 pandemic is slowly subsiding in many parts of the world and vaccination rates are increasing, this is still a stressful time for many. It’s important that we support each other and keep informed of current information. The Memorial COVID-19 website is an excellent source of information and support, with specific links for students, supports and services, and health and wellness.”
A statement regarding vaccinations and masks. e.g.,
“As a part of our shared responsibility to keep each other and our extended families safe during the upcoming school year, COVID-19 vaccines are required for all students, faculty, and staff; masks are required on all Memorial campuses in all indoor spaces.
For further information, see the University webpage on COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics.”
A statement regarding the COVID Alert app. e.g.,
“Memorial encourages faculty, staff, and students to download the COVID Alert app to help protect yourself and others. The app is designed to let Canadians know whether they may have been exposed to COVID-19.”