Class Information

On March 18, WVU President E. Gordon Gee announced the next steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19:

Online Instruction:

  • For the remainder of the semester, all classes, except some clinical rotations and related programming for certain programs at the Health Sciences Center, will not be conducted in-class and will be delivered in an alternative format beginning March 30.
  • Courses that were fully online at the beginning of the semester should continue to follow the original syllabus.
  • Faculty and instructors will be in touch with further directions.
  • You can learn more about the academic success measures that are in place. Check back frequently for updated and new information.  

The Teaching and Learning Commons is partnering with ITS and Libraries to provide several “open lab” and webinar sessions to help instructors use online tools. These events are being finalized and will be listed on the Teaching and Learning Commons website. Health Sciences ITS has created a similar web site for Health Sciences Center faculty. Both of these sites are cross-referenced to ensure instructors receive the most appropriate support given their situation.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has compiled a collection of articles on how to make online teaching more sensitive to student concerns, spot potential mental-health issues, and pivot and adapt quickly and efficiently.

Health Sciences Campus Information

Information specific to each of the Health Sciences Schools can be found below:

Health Sciences Library

The Health Sciences Library will be closing its physical space, including swipe card access, after 5 p.m. on March 19. The Library will still be providing online reference service and filling ILL requests, and all electronic resources will remain available. 

Final Exams

Revised final exams schedule now available, exam template coming soon

Due to the University’s transition of all course delivery to distance learning platforms, the Offices of the Provost and the University Registrar have released a revised schedule for Spring 2020 final exams. The revised schedule is for all WVU-Morgantown undergraduate courses. Beckley and Keyser campuses are not impacted by this schedule.

The revised schedule was created to manage the load on eCampus as well as to minimize student conflicts arising from having multiple exams during the same time slot. The schedule is available the WVU Registrar’s website and is searchable by course name. All University community members should review the schedule and make adjustments to their courses accordingly. 

Important details to keep in mind:

  • Final Exams will run Friday, May 1, through Sunday, May 10.
  • There will be exams scheduled on Saturdays – May 2 and May 9.
  • Sunday, May 3, and Sunday, May 10, are dedicated for make-up exams only.
  • Instruction in all undergraduate courses originally scheduled for face-to-face delivery ends on April 30.
  • Not all courses have scheduled final exam times so they may not appear in this schedule.
  • Faculty and instructors should notify students of their new exam time as soon as possible. Central messaging also will be sent to all students via MIX and other platforms.
  • Faculty and instructors should consider amending their syllabi and resending them to their students. If it is loaded on eCampus, they should replace it there as well.
  • It is imperative that faculty and instructors adhere to this revised schedule for their final exams, regardless of whether they are testing in eCampus or not, to minimize student testing conflicts.
  • To accommodate large course sections and to distribute system load, the revised schedule includes “lockdown” timeslots every day (except Sundays) 7:30 – 10:30 p.m. eCampus will be closed to all other courses during these “lockdown” timeslots.
  • An additional April 23 lockdown will occur for some math common exams from 7:30 – 10:30 p.m. eCampus will be closed to all other courses during this “lockdown” timeslot.
  • Course exams that have been moved to the “lockdown” timeslots will have students with more conflicts than in the rest of the schedule. Faculty will need to identify which students will have a conflict and arrange for a make-up exam that works for the student. Students who cannot resolve a particular scheduling conflict with their instructors should contact their dean's office for assistance.
  • If a student is unable to make up an exam on either Sunday, the faculty may schedule the make-up exam during any other regular exam slot that will work for the student, excluding the “lockdown” timeslots.
  • Final grades will be due at noon on Wednesday, May 13. Grades should be available to students when processing is completed on Friday, May 15.

To help with the transition of your final exams, WVU ITS is creating an exam template for eCampus for all faculty and instructors to utilize. On Saturday, April 18, ITS will pre-load an optional exam template into every course section. The template, SPR2020FINAL, is designed to only display one question at a time to help manage system load. Instructions on using the template will be available upon instructor login to eCampus at midnight tonight.

Questions or concerns about this revised schedule should be directed to department chairs or deans’ offices.

Spring Semester Student Evaluation of Instruction Guidelines

Many faculty have raised concerns about the impact of the unexpected changes the Coronavirus pandemic will have on spring semester Student Evaluation of Instruction.

As student evaluations remain a vital platform for students to voice their opinions about their classroom experience, we will continue to require that students complete the standard eSEIs for their courses for May 2020 semester. Those results will be loaded into Digital Measures as usual.

However, faculty members will be permitted to remove their Spring 2020 eSEI reports from their faculty files. Likewise, faculty members can choose to include those numbers as part of their teaching portfolio for the semester. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed is waiving all college- and/or unit-level requirements to include Spring 2020 SEIs in annual productivity reports.

Faculty should refer to the process outlined on the faculty.wvu.edu website. The request option will be available through June 30, 2020.

Faculty should be aware that if they choose to remove SEIs for a course, they still must provide evidence that documents their excellence in teaching for Spring 2020. Rather than relying on a standard one-dimensional metric of performance, faculty should begin thinking about how to document the creative, adaptive and innovative approaches they employed to provide students with a quality learning experience in this unprecedented situation.

Campus Access

The goal is to maintain strict social distancing and continue to limit our physical presence on campus. If you need to stop by your office to pick up something you’ve left behind, you have permission to do so. Such visits should be very brief and very infrequent.

Any extended period of time on campus must be pre-approved by your dean’s office.

Faculty and staff access to the Health Sciences Center should be coordinated through Health Sciences Incident Command at HSIC@hsc.wvu.edu. Information about access to Health Sciences Center entrances can be found here

Teleconference / Online Class Safety Tips

The FBI has shared a warning about teleconferencing and online classroom highjacking threats.

When sending Zoom Meeting invitations to students, please continue to send Zoom MeetingID to students/faculty via email or post the MeetingID within SOLE (Login required) to help prevent unauthorized individuals from entering your online classroom or teleconference. Never post Zoom meeting information to a public website or social media site and/or utilize meeting passwords, waiting room features to control admittance of guests.

When sharing Zoom links for upcoming departmental meetings/conferences, please send privately to guests via email or calendar invite only.

Please contact the HSC Help Desk at hsc_helpdesk@hsc.wvu.edu if you have any questions.

Online Classes and Disability Accommodations

As classes move online, faculty will rely more on written content, online examinations, web meetings, recorded lectures and other media content. For students with disabilities, this presents unique challenges. Therefore, it is important that instructors work with the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) to ensure that those students receive equal access to course instruction.

The OAS site provides recommendations that apply to faculty members who have received an official accommodation authorization letter from OAS indicating that a student in their class receives accommodations. For questions about the implementation of a student’s academic accommodations in the online classroom, or if you need assistance, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services at 304-293-6700.

Tenure-Clock Extension

In response to COVID-19, the Office of the Provost is implementing an automatic extension of the tenure clock due to the Exceptional Professional Circumstances clause within BOG Faculty Rule 4.5. The one-year extension will be for all tenure-track faculty members who are currently not in their critical year.

Web Access Issues

The Provost’s Office has asked professors to consider a variety of methods to deliver instruction, some of which do not necessarily involve the internet.

Some other options include:

  • Sometimes you can use your cell phone as a WIFI hotspot.
  • There are some options for people for whom cost has been an obstacle to having internet service. Here are a few:
    • There is a federal government program to provide a discount on the cost of basic internet connectivity, subject to financial need qualification. Details are available at this link.
    • Comcast offers an introductory offer of two months free service that the company serves. Check this link for information.
    • Xfinity is making its hotspots available to anyone. For information, visit Xfinity
    • Altice, parent of Suddenlink, is also offering a free 60-day service to its service area. Follow this link for more information.
    • Charter also has a offer off two free months: Charter Free Internet offer for 2 months
    • AT&T offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers and $10/month plans to low income families: AT&T COVID-19 response.
    • Several carriers are following an agreement with the Federal Communications Commission that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots. Those include Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Each has slight differences.
    • Check with other internet service providers in your area for similar programs.
    • If none of these options work, send an email describing your situation to coronavirus@mail.wvu.edu

Even if you have high-speed broadband or WiFi at home, you may still have trouble accessing your online courses at times. With millions of Americans working at home and K-12 students studying at home, all phone, Internet and cloud-based service providers are facing unprecedented demands. You should prepare for the possibility of slow load times, dropped connections, loss of video feeds and other disruptions of service. Homes that rely on a cable company or analog (DSL) service, and those with copper-wire connections, will be among the first affected. This is most of West Virginia.

The key is to be realistic about what you can – and cannot – do. Scale back your expectations and have a back-up plan in case you or your students encounter technical issues. Remember, there are always low-tech options to consider, such as calling your students or emailing them their assignments. Be sure to refer to the WVU Teaching and Learning Commons website for guidance and online teaching tips.

Please be patient and calm when you encounter difficulties, knowing that it may take time to resolve problems. Below are contacts for your reference: