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Loyola University Chicago Health, Safety, and Well-Being Update
Resources, Policies, and Procedures for the Loyola Community
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Building Flexibility Into Your Courses

Dear Faculty,

Thank you for your continuing dedication to Loyola University Chicago students and the greater community as we continue to navigate teaching during COVID-19. This ever-evolving pandemic has proven the importance of flexibility in all things, including in how we plan our courses.

I encourage you to continue to build flexibility into your course materials and make them more readily available and easier to engage with if your students (or you) fall ill or otherwise cannot attend class in person. Below are some considerations:

  1. Structure your course to support student learning and success. Consider posting your slides and a recording of your lecture in Sakai for those who may be remote due to illness or other reasons. This is a good way to help students keep up. If you have materials in Sakai from previous semesters, you can import those materials to another Sakai site using these instructions.
  2. Think about how each assignment is structured. Is it structured in such a way that students can complete it if they must miss one or more in-person classes? Can it be turned in on Sakai? For example, in-class assignments could also be posted in Sakai Discussions or through the Sakai assignment tool. Tests and quizzes can be offered through Sakai Assessments. See the Office of Online Learning’s resources on academic integrity including strategies like creating question pools.
  3. Consider why you created that assignment. Is it intended to help promote class attendance and engagement, or is it necessary to help students practice their course-related skills? I encourage you to consider ways beyond in-person attendance to assess engagement with course material.
  4. Determine when the assignment is due and when you will grade it. Can students start and submit assignments early? What is your tolerance for assignments turned in late? If, for example, an assignment is due on a Thursday but you will not grade it until Monday, could you allow students to submit the assignment without penalty until the time that you have scheduled for grading? Some faculty allow students to use a “late pass” once or twice per term; others enable students to decide when during a two-week “submission window” they will submit their assignments.
  5. Prepare to communicate if you get sick. As soon as possible, please alert your department or program chair to your illness and communicate next steps to your students. If you test positive for COVID, please report your diagnosis through COVID-19report@LUC.edu or 773.508.7707.

For additional support in building flexibility into your courses, please contact your colleagues, department and program chairs, Center for Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship (CELTS), Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy (FCIP), Information Technology Services, and Office of Online Learning. As always, student accommodations through the Student Accessibility Center (SAC) should be honored.

I also invite you share any classroom or pedagogical strategies that you have found helpful during the pandemic by submitting a short description to the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy. FCIP will share these strategies with faculty across the University.

In these challenging times, the Loyola community will remain strong due to our continuing commitment to excellence, cura personalis, and kindness to each other. Thank you for all that you do.

Robyn Mallett, PhD
Associate Provost for Academic Programs and Planning

Dear Faculty,

Thank you for your continuing dedication to Loyola University Chicago students and the greater community as we continue to navigate teaching during COVID-19. This ever-evolving pandemic has proven the importance of flexibility in all things, including in how we plan our courses.

I encourage you to continue to build flexibility into your course materials and make them more readily available and easier to engage with if your students (or you) fall ill or otherwise cannot attend class in person. Below are some considerations:

  1. Structure your course to support student learning and success. Consider posting your slides and a recording of your lecture in Sakai for those who may be remote due to illness or other reasons. This is a good way to help students keep up. If you have materials in Sakai from previous semesters, you can import those materials to another Sakai site using these instructions.
  2. Think about how each assignment is structured. Is it structured in such a way that students can complete it if they must miss one or more in-person classes? Can it be turned in on Sakai? For example, in-class assignments could also be posted in Sakai Discussions or through the Sakai assignment tool. Tests and quizzes can be offered through Sakai Assessments. See the Office of Online Learning’s resources on academic integrity including strategies like creating question pools.
  3. Consider why you created that assignment. Is it intended to help promote class attendance and engagement, or is it necessary to help students practice their course-related skills? I encourage you to consider ways beyond in-person attendance to assess engagement with course material.
  4. Determine when the assignment is due and when you will grade it. Can students start and submit assignments early? What is your tolerance for assignments turned in late? If, for example, an assignment is due on a Thursday but you will not grade it until Monday, could you allow students to submit the assignment without penalty until the time that you have scheduled for grading? Some faculty allow students to use a “late pass” once or twice per term; others enable students to decide when during a two-week “submission window” they will submit their assignments.
  5. Prepare to communicate if you get sick. As soon as possible, please alert your department or program chair to your illness and communicate next steps to your students. If you test positive for COVID, please report your diagnosis through COVID-19report@LUC.edu or 773.508.7707.

For additional support in building flexibility into your courses, please contact your colleagues, department and program chairs, Center for Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship (CELTS), Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy (FCIP), Information Technology Services, and Office of Online Learning. As always, student accommodations through the Student Accessibility Center (SAC) should be honored.

I also invite you share any classroom or pedagogical strategies that you have found helpful during the pandemic by submitting a short description to the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy. FCIP will share these strategies with faculty across the University.

In these challenging times, the Loyola community will remain strong due to our continuing commitment to excellence, cura personalis, and kindness to each other. Thank you for all that you do.

Robyn Mallett, PhD
Associate Provost for Academic Programs and Planning