COVID-19

Campus moves to virtual instruction for the rest of the semester and will close nonessential services. Details...
Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information

Faculty Resources

Transition to Virtual Teaching

During the unprecedented suspension of in-person classes for the spring semester, faculty are being asked to communicate, share resources, be in contact with, and support their students and help them be successful in moving towards completion of their degree by using electronic or digital means via Blackboard. Faculty should focus on the most essential features of their work that allow students to make progress towards successfully completing their coursework and generally supporting students' academic well-being during this difficult time.

The Human Resources Services Center is maintaining a list of frequently asked questions about telecommuting and University employee policies that apply to faculty, staff, and auxiliary employees.

COVID-19 Employee & Manager FAQs

Recommended Tools for Instructional Continuity

The Technology and Learning Program(opens in new window) is available to help faculty learn about and make use of online tools for teaching such as Blackboard Learn, Zoom, and Kaltura. TLP has created the Keep Teaching page on their site as a dedicated resource and will also be offering a number of webinars to teach faculty about such tools.

TLP is available by:

  • Phone at 530-898-6167. Leave a voicemail for an email or phone callback. 
  • Email at tlp@csuchico.edu
  • Live Zoom Room for drop-in help and consultations. The live Zoom Room is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Launch Zoom room (opens in new window). Zoom meeting ID is 785-807-221. 

Additional Resources

Student Resources

Direct your students to the Student Resources page for a list of services/resources available.

Additionally, the Keep Learning website provides students tips, best practices, and resources for online learning, as well as live support weekdays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Add these web links to your Blackboard Learn course to support students:

Faculty FAQs

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Instruction

  • How do I prepare to teach remotely? What support is available to me?

    Classes may be taught remotely in many different ways. You are not being asked to create a fully online course out of whole cloth. Instead, focus on the range of possibilities for helping students complete the learning objectives for the semester in this less than ideal situation. Different classes will have different needs. For example, some classes may keep meeting at the same time (synchronous instruction) as they do now, but use technology (such as Zoom) to deliver lecture material and interact with students. In other cases, the class may transition to self-paced work that does not require meeting at a specific time (asynchronous instruction). For instance, faculty may post lecture materials (e.g., PowerPoints, recorded lectures) and readings that students can view and discuss with one another within online forums. Faculty members can determine which method of instruction is best for their class(es) and should communicate that determination to their students as soon as possible. 

    This short essay on how to adapt instruction in a hurry offers a simple and useful organizing framework.

    The Technology and Learning Program (TLP) has developed an excellent Instructional Continuity guide with best practices, recommended tools, and trainings. TLP is also developing a list of tech-savvy faculty by discipline who are available to support their peers. Check their website for updates.

    Many faculty are already working and innovating with department colleagues. There are also great disciplinary conversations about teaching in this new context happening across the CSU and around the country. There’s even a Pandemic Pedagogy public Facebook group with troves of ideas (and good humor).

    Your department chair and dean are also available to help, and staff in the Office of Accessible Technology and Services (OATS) are available for consultation about how to make any newly digital material accessible to all of your students.

  • When will I be expected to begin teaching using alternate methods?

    Faculty should be ready to begin teaching using online and alternative-instruction formats starting March 25 and continuing through the end of the semester, including the final exam period.

  • When should I complete my plans for alternative instruction?

    By the end of the day on Tuesday, March 24, faculty will be expected to submit to their chairs a description of how they would continue instruction digitally or in an alternative format, should in-person classes be canceled. This description should focus on how the course learning outcomes will be fulfilled while utilizing a digital or alternative format. It should also indicate if faculty will be teaching synchronously or asynchronously. If your instruction will be synchronous, students need to know that they will be expected to log-on at the normal class time. If your instruction will be asynchronous, students need to know when course material has been posted as well as corresponding assignments and due dates.

  • Do I have to use Blackboard for remote instruction and communication? Can I just email instead?

    While you are not required to use Blackboard, we do strongly encourage its use as it is much more secure than email. If you do use non-Blackboard email to correspond with your students and/or to provide them with course materials, you must use your Chico State email address (csuchico.edu), not your personal email address.

  • Are there specific technology platforms I should use?

    Use the technology that makes sense for you and your course. From simply sending email, to posting a YouTube video for students to critique, to online forums, to embedding full Kaltura lectures in Blackboard, you have many options, and many resources to support you. Please see the excellent “Keep Teaching” site prepared by the Technology and Learning Program (TLP) for advice and training opportunities.

    Please be sure to use tools that are campus-supported and approved through IT Procurement Review:

    • Audacity
    • Blackboard Ally
    • Camtasia
    • Eesy Soft
    • Kaltura Personal Capture
    • Kurzweil
    • Learning Glass
    • PowerPoint
    • Proctorio
    • Snagit
    • Softchalk
    • zyBooks

    We do not support unapproved software that may present security and accessibility issues, such as:

    • Adobe Presenter (Flash content is not accessible and Flash is not widely supported by browsers anymore)
    • Pear Deck for Google Slides (no screen reader functionality)
    • VoiceThread (issues exporting to PDF, not all functions are accessible)
    • Prezi (not accessible; unsuitable for online presentations)

  • How far out should I plan for remote instruction?

    Faculty should plan their online contingency plans through at least the end of the semester, including final exams.

  • When will I be expected to begin teaching using alternate methods?

    Faculty should be ready to begin teaching using online and alternative-instruction formats starting March 25 and continuing through the end of the semester, including final exams.

  • I don’t have a University-owned laptop. Can I borrow one? Or can I use my own computer for remote instruction?

    We are prioritizing our limited number of university-owned laptops for student use. However, you may take your desktop computer home for the remainder of the semester or use your own personal computer equipment, so long as you follow the Instructional Faculty Telecommuting Expectations and complete the Off-Campus Use of University Equipment form (PDF).

  • I do not have sufficient internet resources at home. What do I do?

    Please see the university’s Internet Connectivity Resources webpage for information about additional internet resources available to you.

  • Am I allowed to use my office during this time?

    Given Governor Newsom’s March 19 order for all Californians to stay at home except for essential functions, you should not use your office during this time. If you haven’t already been able to do so, though, you may go to your office (briefly) to retrieve any items you may need to work remotely for an extended period of time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Tuesday, March 24 (including Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22). After Tuesday, March 24, only personnel designated to be on campus will have building access. Should you have any additional questions or concerns about working remotely, please contact your department chair or dean.

  • There’s no way I can teach all I planned to teach this semester. How can I determine what to omit or change?

    You will likely not be able to duplicate every activity you had planned for the remainder of the semester. Please prioritize your course learning outcomes. Use your course learning outcomes to guide your decision-making with the goal of helping students complete as many as possible. Consider what is most essential and be willing to release less critical objectives.

  • How can I support my students in what I know is a stressful time for them?

    Communicate, communicate, communicate. Students are understandably anxious and confused, and they may face challenges like lack of access to materials, internet access, or basic necessities. Their instructors are their most important University contact and will be a valuable source of reassurance. Please be in regular touch about course activities, assignments, and expectations. At least weekly contact in predictable times and formats is a good rule of thumb.

    If you haven’t already done so, please reach out to your students ASAP to tell them that you are here and working on the transition plan.

  • My students have questions about things beyond the scope of my class. Where can I refer them for help?

    The campus COVID-19 website, updated daily, maintains a set of Student Resources.

  • What about my Teaching Assistants (TA), Graduate Assistants (GA) and Instructional Student Assistants (ISA)?

    TA, GA, and ISA employee contracts will continue, as TAs, GAs, and ISAs are expected to report to work (remotely).  TAs and GAs should continue to work the same time base to which they were appointed under the supervision of the faculty instructor of record to assist with delivering the course in a virtual or alternative modality format, performing the same or similar duties including grading, leading discussion groups, and other duties as assigned.  Please do not suggest or assume that their services are not needed, as they should continue to be able to fulfill their Unit 11 appointment.  Supervisors are encouraged to broadly interpret the Descriptions of Duties so as to provide as many reasonable options as possible for work to be completed remotely.

    Student employees in the ISA classification perform teaching, grading and/or tutoring duties and can and should be assigned work assisting instructional faculty members with moving instruction to an online format.

    Student employees in the GA classification assist instructional faculty with various professional and technical duties associated generally with the subjects or programs in which the GA is doing graduate work.  In addition to supervising students in a classroom, workshop, or laboratory, GA work may involve assisting faculty with research and preparation of course materials, participating in the evaluation of students’ work, tutoring students remotely, and other related work.

    In addition to teaching university courses, TAs may also assist instructional faculty with various professional and technical activities.  TAs typically are responsible for providing classroom and/or laboratory instruction, making assignments to students, preparing course materials, administering examinations, assessing student performance, tutoring students and determining course grades.  TAs also may assist faculty with field experience, supervision, simulation exercises and/or research projects.

    TAs who are an instructor of record should follow protocols similar to faculty instructors of record as far as moving their courses to remote instruction.  Please refer to the Faculty Resources – Transition to Virtual Teaching website for resources.   

    With the goal of keeping student employees employed, supervisors should consult with their Unit 11 student employees to work out a telecommuting arrangement that allows them to accomplish their duties remotely.  When work can be assigned remotely, then an Individualized Telecommuting Agreement (PDF) needs to be completed.

    If, however, a Unit 11 student employee is unable to work remotely for the following reasons:

    • due to the employee’s own COVID-19-related illness or that of a family member who the employee would normally be able to use sick leave for;
    • it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely;
    • due to a COVID-19-related school or daycare closure and the employee is required to be at home with a child or dependent, and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely or in conjunction with the childcare commitment

    Then the Unit 11 student employee shall be eligible to receive a one-time allotment of up to 128 hours prorated by time base of paid administrative leave from March 23, 2020 through December 31, 2020.  Please note that the Administrative Leave is only available due to the COVID-19 related absences listed above and while the Unit 11 student is employed.  The hours may be used at the request of the employee, in consultation with the supervisor, at any time during the contract period, including intermittently, either before or after the use of any accrued leave or other paid leave.  Of the Academic Student Employee classifications (TA, GA, ISA), only TAs accrue sick leave (at a rate of 8 hours per month, prorated by time base).  TAs and GAs will report Paid Administrative Leave on a paper Absence Report in the Other Absences column.   Please refer to the Paid Administrative Leave FAQ for additional information about Paid Administrative Leave.

    If a Unit 11 student employee is no longer interested in continuing to work, they are permitted to resign.  A student employee who wishes to resign shall send an email to their supervisor confirming their resignation.  The supervisor will then forward the email to the department ASC for processing, in order to end the appointment.

    ISAs should continue to submit timesheets electronically pursuant to campus protocol indicating the hours they have been assigned in their Description of Duties, noting in an email the dates and number of hours of any Paid Administrative Leave once approved after consultation with their supervisor. 

    Further information will be provided as additional information becomes available.

  • What about labs, fine and performing arts classes, internships, clinicals, capstone projects, and other types of hands-on learning?

    Critical public safety concerns outweigh the very real value of these learning experiences. While it is disappointing not to be able to provide our students with these opportunities, all instruction must occur in virtual settings for the remainder of the semester. In adapting these activities, focus on the most essential learning that will allow students to make progress towards successfully completing their coursework. CSU system-wide and national disciplinary organizations are currently addressing this challenge and many are revising existing requirements to accommodate the situation. Please work with your chair and dean to determine the best solution for your course.

  • How are faculty service obligations to be handled?

    Faculty service obligations remain in place, but these activities, including advising and departmental, college, and university committees, must be prioritized and adapted to virtual settings. Additional detail about faculty non-teaching responsibilities during the period of physical campus closure can be found in the Instructional Faculty Telecommuting Expectations.

  • What if I have not spent my Student Learning Fee award for 2019-2020?

    CFAC has approved the rollover of any remaining Student Learning Fee awards for the 2019-2020 year that you are unable to spend due to COVID-19-related restrictions. These rollovers should be reported as soon as possible, along with a brief explanation of why funds cannot be used, to the University Budget Office at budgetcfs@csuchico.edu.

  • Are we still utilizing the final exam period?

    Yes. The week of May 11–15 will remain as the final exam period. While you are not required to give a synchronous (online in real-time) or asynchronous (at a student’s own pace) final exam, this is still a required instructional week, and faculty who do not provide final exams must still use this week for instructional activities. More information about final exams during remote instruction will be forthcoming.

  • Is conversion of courses to pass/fail an option?

    Per the Chancellor’s Office, no. Should this change in the future, we will be in touch and modify this answer.

  • What will happen to SETs?

    Online SETs will be administrated instead of paper SETs. Additional details can be found in this announcement from Academic Personnel.

RTP

  • 2019-20 RTP Calendar Evaluation Revisions

    Through the efforts of many – Evanne O’Donnell and the Office of Academic Personnel (OAPL), local and regional CFA representatives, the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate, deans and department chairs – revisions to this year’s RTP calendar have been finalized. The updated RTP calendar for 2019-20 (PDF) and the Revisions Memo (PDF) are located on the OAPL website under the Essential Dates and Information section.

    This task to adjust the calendar was no simple effort. As you will see, there were many important details that needed to be worked through. This team is now turning their attention towards the development of fair and practical guidance for next year’s RTP activities and candidate requirements. They are very aware of the impacts of COVID-19 on faculty teaching, scholarship, and service activities, and they are gathering information from others in the CSU and across the nation.

    Some FAQs can be found below. If you have additional questions, please consult with your dean, Evanne O'Donnell, or the CFA.

  • Can Department Personnel Committee Reports still be submitted to the Dean’s office?

    Yes, Department Committee Reports may be submitted through April 3rd only in the following circumstances:

    1. The Department Personnel Committee’s report is complete, without additional committee or chair work to be done; and
    2. All committee members have reviewed both the WPAFs (including signatures in the WPAF logs) and Report; and
    3. The report can be confidentially transmitted per acceptable Level 1 data transmission procedures such as a Level 1 Box file, emailed using Adobe Professional password encryption or U.S. Mail.

  • If the reports are not complete and cannot be submitted to the Dean’s office for inclusion in the WPAF, can the information be informally shared with the candidate?

    If the report is not complete, the committee can still provide the candidate with valuable feedback through informal communication (email, phone or Zoom) with the candidate, but the candidate should not be provided with an incomplete draft report. No incomplete reports will be included in the WPAF.

  • If the reports are not complete and cannot be submitted to the Dean’s office for inclusion in the WPAF, can the information be informally shared with the Dean?

    Because the report is incomplete and will not be included in the WPAF and the Dean must rely on the information in the WPAF in writing their report, this information should not be shared informally with the Dean.

  • If there hasn’t been an interview with the candidate, can a department personnel committee report still be submitted through April 3rd?

    Yes, completed reports can be submitted. For periodic reviews, a meeting with the candidate is optional and not required per FPPP 10.2.1.

  • Should Department Personnel Committees who are submitting a complete report to the Dean’s office also provide their report to the candidate?

    Because the department-level review has been suspended, departments should send their reports directly to the Dean’s office. When the Dean sends their report to the candidate, the department-level report will be attached. The candidate will have the right to file a response/rebuttal to both reports within 10 calendar days after receiving the Dean’s report.

  • What is the mode of delivery for RTP reports?

    Reports should be confidentially transmitted per acceptable Level 1 data transmission procedures such as using a Level 1 Box file, emailed using Adobe Professional password encryption or U.S. Mail.

  • How are rebuttal reports to be received and added to the PAFs?

    Rebuttal/responses should be electronically transmitted (email or transmit through Box) from the candidate to both the Dean and Senior Assistant to the Dean (AA/S).

  • How do I send an RTP Level 1 data RTP report to a candidate or a rebuttal/response back to the college?

    Box Level 1 Data Folders

    The best method of delivering confidential, level 1 RTP reports is to set up a Level 1 data RTP folder through ITSS. Please work with your AA/S to organize these files and deposit reports directly into a Box file. Once the files are organized in Box, RTP candidates can be notified that their report is available with a Box string such as Box-CSU, Chico Level 1 Jane Doe Final RTP Reports to access their reports and upload any response/rebuttals.

    Adobe Professional with Password Encryption

    Level 1 reports can also be transmitted by email using password encryption.

    1. Save the document as a .pdf file - click “Save As”, then in the “Save as Type” box, choose PDF.
    2. Open the PDF and choose Tools>Protect>Encrypt>encrypt with Password
    3. Select Require a Password to Open the Document, then type the password in the corresponding field.
    4. Select an Acrobat version from the Compatibility drop-down menu, choosing a version equal to or lower than the recipients’ version of Acrobat or Reader.
    5. Select/Encrypt All Document Contents
    6. Click OK.
    7. At the prompt to confirm the password, retype the appropriate password in the box and click ok.
    8. Once the document has been emailed, call the faculty member to verbally tell them the password or instruct them to call you for the password. ISEC recommends that you verify the recipient faculty’s identity using an Empl ID or some other identifying method before revealing the password.