This policy sets forth requirements, procedures, and responsibilities related to the scheduling of digital instruction and/or make-up classes due to the modification of campus operations, closing of campus, or the necessary closing of instructional spaces for any reason. With developments and improvements to digital instruction over the past few years, the goal of this policy is to leverage digital learning as much as reasonably possible.
This policy is intended to provide guidelines and a probable approach to the scheduling of digital instruction in place of in-person instruction, and/or make-up of regular classes.
Digital Learning Days – General
This policy seeks to reasonably address most common reasons for interruptions of campus operations but recognizes that certain scenarios (e.g., natural disaster) may not allow for digital instruction. In such instances it is the Provost’s responsibility to set forth reasonable instructional plans.
Institute leadership will determine specific plans for each case, working to maximize the educational experience and success of the students while allowing some flexibility for faculty members to respond in a manner consistent with their course format and teaching style. Lab courses, studios, and other specially scheduled classes may be managed differently as circumstances dictate.
In instances when digital learning or class rescheduling is leveraged to support learning and community safety, the below requirements for both undergraduate and graduate regular classes shall be followed.
Lab & Studio Requirements
Due to their unique nature, lab and studio sections and other specially scheduled classes may be managed differently. Those arrangements will be announced as appropriate to the circumstances.
Short-term Modified Campus Operations
Should it become necessary for the Institute to modify campus operations for one (1) to two (2) days, it is the expectation that, where possible, courses will continue as scheduled via digital delivery. However, instructors have the option to cancel classes with a plan for make-up instruction once campus has reopened.
Long-term or Recurring Modified Campus Operations
If it is necessary for the Institute to modify campus operations for the equivalent of three (3) or more days faculty are expected, as reasonably as possible, to leverage technology until campus has returned to normal operations for classes.
If digital instruction is impossible, a make-up course schedule to be held during days previously identified by Institute leadership as make-up days will be utilized in compliance with USG and accreditation requirements.
If campus operations are modified for three (3) or less class meetings, make-up classes are not required, unless directed by the Provost. If campus operations are modified for the equivalent of four (4) or more class meetings in a single academic term, or campus operations are modified after the scheduled make-up days, additional make-up classes beyond the previously scheduled make-up days may be necessary. Additional make-up days will be set at the discretion of the Provost. Additional information can be found here.
Student and Faculty Considerations in Modified Campus Operations
A student should not be penalized if they are unable to attend class on an announced Digital Learning Day, though are responsible for course content and subsequent assignments taught on Digital Learning Days. Faculty may also have extenuating circumstances that may preclude them from implementing a Digital Learning Day. Students and Faculty should reach out to their respective faculty or department chairs as soon as practicable.
This policy pertains to courses taught as part of any Georgia Tech academic-credit bearing program on the Atlanta campus. It does not pertain to non-credit courses or certificate programs offered by Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE), nor does it apply to courses offered at locations outside of Atlanta, including locations outside of the United States and online courses already delivered via technology, e.g., Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS). Non-credit cource schedules and any corresponding cancellations will be determined and communicated by the dean of GTPE.
Digital Learning Day
For courses typically taught in person, Digital Learning Day is a day of instruction leveraging online delivery (either synchronous or asynchronous) due to the modification of campus operations.
A serious situation with inherent risk that requires immediate action.
Temporary changes to Georgia Tech teaching, learning, research and business operations in response to a threat of an Emergency, ongoing Emergency, or any other interruption that requires Institute-level action. In extreme cases, Modified Operations can include up to the cancellation or temporary suspension of all in-person and digital instruction.
Establish the dates of the previously scheduled make-up days each term and add them to the tentative five-term calendars for future terms. The details added to the tentative five-term calendars are finalized prior to that term’s start date and are reliant on other factors that require input from other campus offices and units.
Oversee the implementation of this policy and determine when unforeseen or specific circumstances require deviation from the stated policy. This policy seeks to reasonably address most common reasons for interruptions of campus operations but recognizes that certain scenarios (e.g. natural disaster) may not allow for digital instruction. In such instances it is the Provost’s responsibility to set forth reasonable instructional plans.
Crisis Management Team
Because digital learning requires specific preparation and materials from faculty, the Institute will announce the use of a Digital Learning Day as soon as reasonably possible, preferably at least one business day ahead of the expected Digital Learning Day.
Faculty and Instructors
On campus Modified Operations days, faculty and instructors are responsible for adequately communicating to students and their teaching assistants the course plans and expectations for the days of Modified Operations.
Should in-person instruction be impossible after two (2) instructional days, faculty are expected to leverage technology to continue instruction. As a best practice, faculty are encouraged to record and post digital instruction material after the use of a synchronous session to accommodate students who may be unable to attend synchronous instruction during days of modified campus operations due to personal limitation, e.g., no internet access. Additionally, should multiple class days be missed, faculty are expected to reasonably plan for students to make up the extra material and adequately communicate this expectation to their students.
Should an examination fall on a campus Modified Operations day and/or Digital Learning Day, the best practice is for the faculty member to administer the exam during the next in-person class meeting. Accommodations for unique classes such as lab and studio sections and other specially scheduled classes will be managed differently.
On campus Modified Operations days, as much as possible, students are expected to check Canvas and/or other communication methods for updates and expectations from their instructors. Students can reach out to the Office of Advocacy and Conflict Resolution or Student Engagement and Well-Being for additional support.
August 15, 2023