AY2020-2021 Startup Guide for Teaching Faculty - Coastal Carolina University
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AY2020-2021 Teaching Guide

This guide includes information to help you navigate AY2020-2021 academic policies and procedures as altered by the University’s COVID-19 response. Where appropriate, we have included suggested syllabus language that you may use. The inclusion of this language is optional, unless otherwise noted. We will update this guide as conditions require.

Attendance  |  Instructional Formats |  Streaming and Recording of Course Meetings |  Face Coverings  |  Classroom Sanitation  |  Training and Support Services  |  Office Hours and Advising


The University-wide class attendance policy (STUD-332) states that students are expected to attend all of their scheduled classes, and that professors may require documentation for excused absences as defined by the policy. Faculty members must also track absences in order to report students who “never attended” prior to the financial aid census date. 

For courses that are completely online (asynchronous or remote streaming – synchronous), faculty should adhere to the distance learning policies on recording and reporting attendance (ACAD-128). Faculty may also reference distance learning attendance policies for courses that continue in the online environment throughout the semester. 

For reporting purposes, an absence in a distance learning course is operationally defined as a missed online submission deadline—such as a quiz, assignment, or discussion post. That means that, in a distance education context, documenting that a student has logged into an online class is not sufficient, by itself, to demonstrate attendance. A student must participate in some activity to be counted as having attended.  

For example, in order to be counted as having attended an online class, a student should do one of the following:

  • submit an assignment or exam;
  • participate in an asynchronous online discussion via chat or a discussion board;
  • actively participate in a synchronous activity that requires direct participation (e.g., video discussion or student presentation) where the faculty member is present;
  • send an email or other communication to the faculty member to ask a question related to the course.

For in-person courses, faculty may choose to implement the normal class attendance policy, defining attendance as physical presence in the class (including participation in a synchronous online activity), in tandem with the distance learning attendance policy for those students who are moving between face-to-face and online instruction.

Many faculty members have asked whether they can require students to turn on their cameras during online class meetings. There is debate across higher ed about the merit of requiring students to turn on cameras and whether doing so could enhance student stress and anxiety. There is no University-wide policy on this matter.

Using Moodle to Take Attendance in the Classroom 

Faculty may track attendance with manual or automated methods using the Moodle Attendance tool. This tool allows faculty to determine if students should be manually counted, such as through roll call; to be counted through individual student login via a mobile device and selecting “present” in each daily attendance check; or to generate and display a unique QR code for students when physically entering a space, allowing them to simply scan the QR code with a smart phone to register their attendance. 

We encourage faculty to communicate with students how they will be able to continue to participate if they need to quarantine or isolate during the semester. Please consider including that information on your syllabus as well as in the LMS and/or any other digital classroom tools that you are using.  

Note: in addition to syllabus language above, CeTeal’s Guide for Teaching Faculty includes sample syllabus language for regular attendance policies.

Suggested Syllabus Language for Health-Related Class Absences

“Please evaluate your own health status regularly and refrain from attending class and other on-campus events if you are ill. Students who miss class due to illness will be given opportunities to access the course online. You are encouraged to seek appropriate medical attention for treatment of illness. In the event of contagious illness, please do not come to class or to campus to submit work or meet with me. Instead, notify me by email about your absences as soon as possible, so that accommodations can be made. Please note that documentation for excused absences may be required. However, you should not come to class if you are feeling sick, even if you have not seen a doctor.”

Health-Related Class Absences for Faculty

We encourage faculty to communicate with students how your class will continue if you are required to quarantine or isolate during the semester. While most students should be aware of streaming and asynchronous options, a syllabus or LMS reminder would be helpful. Please consult with your chair or dean regarding contingency plans for how your class will be covered if you are ill and/or unable to continue teaching remotely.  

In response to pandemic and weather-related conditions, faculty may teach in a variety of formats, or a combination of formats. All formats will require some remote component to accommodate students who, because of illness, quarantine, or location, cannot attend classes in person. Instructional formats are listed below.  

Instructional Formats

  1. In-person only. Class meetings take place in a classroom on campus. Students are not co-horted, and class meetings are not regularly livestreamed for student access. However, instructors should have a contingency plan in place to provide course access if a student needs to quarantine for an extended period of time
  2. In-person Instruction. Class meetings take place in a classroom on campus. Faculty may cohort students based on course enrollment and classroom capacity. Students who are not attending in person will be provided livestreaming online access to the class meeting.  
  3. Hybrid Instruction.Hybrid online courses combine in-person instruction with remote instruction delivered through the campus learning management system, reducing the number of hours a class meets in person. Hybrid courses provide 51-99% of course instruction online and/or remote from campus. Hybrid courses may reduce course meetings in a variety of ways. Some hybrid courses may reduce course meetings from three class meetings a week to one: for example, three 50 minute on-campus meetings MWF may be modified to one campus meeting per week of 50 minutes on Wednesdays (this example equates to a 66% hybrid course). Alternative hybrid classroom schedules may also flex around weeks or even months. For example, some hybrid classes may meet 2 days a week for the first 3 weeks; take 2 weeks of remote and/or online work, then meet again on campus periodically. Provided that the course maintains a total of 51-99% work completed remotely, it may be classified as Hybrid. For full information on hybridity, please see the Online Teaching Guide.  
  4. Remote Synchronous Instruction.Class meetings take place synchronously in the online environment. Students and instructors may participate in the class from a remote location or on campus in a classroom or other designated academic space. 

All in-person class meetings should follow the health and safety guidelines developed by the University and published in the Coastal Comeback plan. That includes physical distancing, one-way entry and exit (where possible), face-coverings, personal protective equipment, and limitations on the use of high-touch items, including elimination of the use of paper or shared instructional materials. 

Note: Courses originally scheduled in WebAdvisor with the “D” designation (and a TBA meeting time and location in WebAdvisor) are considered remote asynchronous instruction and may continue to be held asynchronously. However, faculty who wish to use asynchronous online instruction for courses that were not originally coded with the “D” designation should direct that request to their department chair and/or dean.  

Student Locality in WebAdvisor 

Students have been asked to indicate their preferred locality (in classroom or online) in WebAdvisor. Faculty may view their student preferences by clicking on “Class Roster Select Section” under Faculty Informationin WebAdvisor. For the Fall 2020 semester, all students will receive via email a link to the DL Student FAQs, which provides details on required computer specifications and other specifics to successfully accessing and completing classes adopting digital learning technologies, including streaming. 

Due to public health conditions and personal health considerations, students may be asked to self-isolate or quarantine throughout the semester. For that reason, students may move between in-person and online course attendance. Students who wish to change learning locality after the start of the semester may do so by emailing their professor(s), but must give the faculty member 48 hours’ notice of the change. 

If a student wishes to switch to a fully distance learning schedule, they may make that request via this form. The request will be directed to the appropriate area, and an advisor will contact the student to discuss their options. 

Whenever possible, it is ideal to leave a student’s schedule intact and allow the student to participate via livestreaming. The Provost’s Office will work with deans and department chairs to identify and address unique student needs. 

Suggested Syllabus Language for Student Locality 

“If your personal or health circumstances change and you would like to change the way you attend the class (from streaming to in-person or vice versa), you may do so. However, you must provide me with 48-hours’ notice of this change via email, excepting documented emergencies, so that I can track accurately your attendance and course participation. You should also change your in-person vs. virtual preference in WebAdvisor.” 

Streaming and Recording of Course Meetings

We understand that faculty may wish to record face-to-face course meetings and post them online for students to view later. If you plan to record face-to-face course meetings, you must notify the students by including that information on your syllabus. We recommend that you regularly remind students that the course may be recorded.  Each classroom where recording will take place will also have signage alerting students to recording in progress. 

At the beginning of livestreamed sessions, regardless of the location from which the faculty member is streaming, we advise faculty to alert students of recording through a statement such as, “I’ll begin recording in the next 10 seconds. If you would prefer your image and/or voice not be recorded, please mute your audio and/or video at this time.”

Suggested Syllabus Language for Streaming and Recording Course Meetings 

“To make this course accessible to all students, I will be livestreaming our course meetings. I will also record (some) course meetings and post the recordings on Moodle.”  

Face Coverings

Face coverings are required 

Face coverings are required in all indoor spaces and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Faculty may remove their face covering when alone in their own office space or while dining. Students may remove their face covering in their own living space. 

Faculty who are concerned about being heard or seen during class may use a clear face shield in tandem with a clear classroom barrier. We will provide each faculty member with a clear face shield, and each classroom will be equipped with a glass barrier. Please do not remove these barriers from classrooms. 

Please note that face shields are not an acceptable substitute for face coverings outside of the classroom, and must be used with the glass barrier inside the classroom. 

More information about face coverings may be found in the Coastal Comeback Standards

The University will provide each student and faculty member with two reusable masks. We encourage all community members to procure additional masks for their personal use, and/or to frequently launder masks per best practices. Disposable masks will be stocked in the Sanitation Stations that are located in each classroom. Ideally, these disposable masks will be used only in cases when a student forgets to wear a mask to class and/or breaks their mask. 

If a student does not wear a mask in class 

If a student declines to wear a face covering as required, the student should be referred to the Dean of Students Office. If the situation occurs in a classroom or other academic setting, it is considered a classroom management issue, and the faculty member should remind the student of the requirement and give the student a chance to comply with it prior to referring the matter to the Office of the Dean of Students. A suggested classroom management protocol, tips on discussing compliance with students, and a community health concern report are available in a special section of the Dean of Students website.  

The Department of Public Safety is not responsible for enforcing campus face covering requirements and should not be the first point of contact regarding concerns of non-compliance.  

Our first preference is to address student non-compliance with the face covering requirement through a conversation and a social enforcement, educational perspective; share facts, offer resources, and reaffirm community expectations for all members of the Coastal community. However, students who repeatedly disregard this expectation will be held responsible for their actions. Be sure to document the incident of disruptive behavior, even if it appears to be minor at the time. 

For students who initially did not comply but did use the face covering when asked: consider emailing the student to remind them of the requirement for future classes. Remind the student that future non-compliance will result in a report to the Dean of Students Office and that the student may be asked to leave class and/or be penalized for participation or attendance grades (per syllabus policies). 

For students who were asked to leave class due to non-compliance: submit a written report to the Dean of Students Office and notify your department chair. The Dean of Students staff will contact the student for educational review of expectations and process overview. The faculty member may submit additional written reports as needed if the student continues to ignore the face covering requirement.  

Accommodations for not wearing a mask 

Students with a documented disability seeking COVID-19 related accommodations should contact Accessibility and Disability Services at disability@coastal.edu or 843-349-2503. Faculty will receive an email notification from ADS describing any official accommodation granted to the student. 

Please note that the University requires face coverings indoors at all times and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. If a student cannot use a face covering, they can select distance learning, virtual, online (whichever term is consistent) classes for fall 2020 via WebAdvisor.

Suggested Syllabus Language on Face Coverings 

*with examples adapted from Montana State University and Penn State University

“Face coverings are required indoors at all times and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. CCU requires all students to wear face masks or cloth face coverings in classrooms, laboratories, and other instructional spaces. Compliance with the face-covering protocol is expected. If you do not comply with a classroom rule, you may be asked to leave class and/or reported to the Dean of Students Office. If you forget your mask, or if your mask breaks on your way to class, there are disposable masks available for your use.” 

“Individuals whose unique and individual circumstances require an exception to the face covering requirement, as indicated by a medical professional, may request an exception in accordance with campus ADA policies. Contact the Office of Accessibility and Disability Services at 843-349-2503 or disability@coastal.edu. Appropriate accommodations relating to class modality and social distancing will be evaluated and implemented based on the student’s needs.”

“A portion of the grade for this course is directly tied to your participation in this class. Successful participation is defined as consistently adhering to expectations and requirements in this syllabus. I expect you to wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose.” 

“We know from existing data that wearing a mask in public can help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, in the community (Lyu & Wehby, 2020; CDC, 2020; Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2020). In accordance with the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CCU has determined that everyone will be required to wear a face mask in university buildings, including classrooms. This requirement includes wearing a mask appropriately (i.e., covering both your mouth and nose).”

Lyu, W. and Wehby, G. L. Community Use Of Face Masks And COVID-19: Evidence From A Natural Experiment Of State Mandates In The US Health Affairs 0 0:0 doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00818
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (July 16, 2020) 

Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings, Especially in Areas of Significant Community-Based Transmission. Retrieved on July 22, 2020.

Maragakis, L. L. Coronavirus Face Masks & Protection FAQs. (Updated July 2, 2020) Retrieved from the Johns Hopkins Health website on July 22, 2020. 

Classroom Sanitation

Custodial Services staff will perform enhanced cleaning and disinfection in classrooms, laboratories, and computer labs on a daily basis. Sanitizing stations have been installed in each classroom to provide easy access to cleaning and sanitizing supplies. Custodial Services will monitor supplies and refill at sanitizing stations as necessary. Each station has the following supplies:

  • All-purpose cleaner and disinfectant
  • Paper towels
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Hand sanitizer (automatic dispenser)
  • Disposable face coverings

If your classroom sanitizing station needs to be restocked, please contact your department chair and/or dean’s office, allowing for 24-48 hours for replenishment. Centralized locations for sanitation supplies may be used as needed when supplies are depleted entirely.  

Suggested Syllabus Language for Classroom Sanitization

“Our classroom has a Sanitation Station that is stocked with cleaners and sanitizers. When you enter the classroom, please use the spray and/or wipes to clean your workspace. The Sanitation Station also includes hand sanitizer and disposable masks in case you forget your own face covering. These disposable masks are finite in supply, so please take one only when necessary!” 

Training and Support Services


The Coastal Office of Online Learning (COOL) is ready to support your effective digital teaching this semester with many excellent workshops, including both synchronous and asynchronous opportunities. Our current group and individual offerings include: 

For a comprehensive list of optional training workshops, visit the Resources for Faculty: Training Workshops Libguide


Students are required to sign a community public health expectations pledge and complete the COVID-19 Public Health Practices training. Students will be prompted to complete these actions via Moodle and will receive reminders each time they login until the pledge and training have been completed. Students will receive an email confirmation that they completed the training.

Office Hours and Advising

College deans have the authority to determine office hour policies in their respective colleges. However, we strongly encourage faculty hold office hours virtually. Similarly, faculty should conduct advising appointments online unless an in-person meeting is absolutely necessary.  If you must meet with a student(s) in person, please advise them of the requirements to wear a face covering and maintain physical distancing inside academic buildings, even when visiting faculty offices.