FAQs - Fall 2020 Reopening

Course Format Capacity Planning Resources Student Support/
Faculty Guidance

Course Format

1)  Does every course this fall have to include a remote/online option?
Instructors for all Fall 2020 courses must provide a method for students to complete course requirements remotely, if necessary.

2)  For the different course-delivery modes, it seems that there may be differences in contact hours for different groups. Is this acceptable?
Contact hours will remain the same regardless of the mode of course delivery.  SACS allows "classroom time" and "direct instruction" time to be interchangeable.  The  activities online that can count toward direct instruction are: online lectures/instruction, video conferencing, video presentations, chat rooms, discussion boards, group or team‐based activities, online tests/quizzes, virtual labs, directly supervised field experiences, and online content modules. 

3)  For hybrid-delivery courses, if only half of the students meet face-to-face on Tuesday and the other half of the students meet face-to-face on Thursday, how do the students get their full contact time unless the faculty offers another session that week?
In this example, the other half is attending online synchronously.  Thus, all of the students get the same amount of contact time.

4)  Science lab classes typically require students and faculty to work together on the same materials and equipment, in close proximity.  Should such hands-on activities be cancelled and/or converted to some kind of online distance education experience?
Each academic department is discussing how to address safety in labs due to the pandemic, as well as the possibility of alternatives that will be advantageous to students and faculty. The Division of Research and Economic Development offers additional guidance to researchers. 

5)  How will UNC Charlotte handle classes in labs?
The protocols for using labs for academic instruction are under discussion and will be communicated when finalized.

6)  Is there a way to streamline course delivery changes in Banner, and will Banner record that a course has been changed to a hybrid format or to an online format with synchronous and asynchronous components?
All requests for schedule changes in Banner must go through the current Associate Dean approval process.  The Office of the Registrar will make the requested changes, in coordination with OneIT.  Changes made locally by a department will not be reflected on individual student registrations prior to the change. The Office of the Registrar is already tracking changes to instructional methods now.  Once the change is made by the Office of the Registrar, it will be visible to students.

Capacity Planning

1)  Can faculty choose their preferred mode of course delivery?
Department chairs/school directors should work with their faculty to determine the plan for their unit.  

2)  Is there a percentage of a department’s offerings that must be face-to-face?
Recognizing that departmental and college needs differ, there is no specific percentage that is required for FTF instruction in each department.  Department chairs/school directors should work with their faculty to determine the plan for their unit.  

3)  When scheduling hybrid classes, departments can select the percent of content that is online such as 50-74% or 75-100%.  Is it acceptable to choose whichever percentage the unit thinks is best while keeping the guiding principles in mind?
Yes, academic departments have the ability to select the percentage hybrid that makes sense for the specific class.  Faculty should select the percentage that accurately reflects the online/face-to-face split. That should be determined by classroom capacity (which is determined by the social distancing numbers).

4)  Can instructors remove the appropriate number of student stations to help manage social distancing requirements?  Will departments get help to move/store furniture from the classrooms they control?
Yes, requests can be made to Facilities Management to assist with moving furniture.

5)  Will there be a process in place to switch a low-capped class into a larger classroom so it can safely meet in a face-to-face format?
Yes, such requests should be submitted to Academic Affairs through the Associate Dean of the college.

6)  What happens to a hybrid-delivery course when a student petitions to take it only online?
When a course has multiple sections, the department should offer at least one section online to accommodate those students who cannot come to campus.  But in cases in which there is only one section, if the course is required, then departments will need to think about a plan for accommodating students who have no alternative.


1)  Will all classrooms be equipped with necessary equipment to stream and record instruction for hybrid-delivery courses?
Every classroom will be equipped with a USB microphone (but not a webcam) and will be capable of screen recordings and castings.  The Center for Teaching and Learning and OneIT are developing training materials and will offer workshops about how to use Kaltura Personal Capture to make those recordings and upload them to your My Media folder in Kaltura and then link them to the relevant course. 

2)  Will purchases of wireless headsets and/or webcams be categorized as COVID-19 related expenditures?
Requests for resources related to classroom space, technology needs, and funding to increase capacity in existing courses should be submitted to Academic Affairs through the Associate Dean of the college via the Fall 2020 COVID-19 Academic Affairs Resource Request Form.

Student Support/Accommodations

1)  How is the University assisting students who need help with available technologies so they can access and be part of online course delivery?
Distance Education provides resources to help students adapt to online and hybrid learning.  Additional resources are being explored.  

Faculty Guidance

1)  Are faculty being consulted and listened to in a systematic way? 
University leadership is regularly consulting with the Faculty Council president and Faculty Executive Committee (including Epidemiology faculty) as decisions for Fall 2020 are considered.  Faculty members are encouraged to share ideas by contacting the Faculty Council president or their Faculty Council unit representative.

2)  Will there be a policy requiring mask-wearing on campus? How should faculty respond to students not wearing masks in the classroom?  

Faculty members are encouraged to include this statement in course syllabi: "It is the policy of UNC Charlotte for the Fall 2020 semester that as a condition of on-campus enrollment, all students are required to engage in safe behaviors to avoid the spread of COVID-19 in the 49er community. Such behaviors specifically include the requirement that all students wear CDC-compliant face coverings while in buildings including in classrooms, labs, and in other instances where social distancing is not possible. Students are permitted to remove face coverings in classroom or lab settings only when I explicitly grant permission to do so (such as while asking a question, participating in class discussion, or giving a presentation) and while at an appropriate physical distance from others. Failure to comply with this policy in the classroom or lab may result in dismissal from the current class session. If the student refuses to leave the classroom or lab after being dismissed, the student may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity for charges under the Code of Student Responsibility."

3)  How should I address student absences related to symptoms of COVID-19?

Students are asked to stay home if they are sick. While students are responsible for fulfilling course requirements, faculty members are asked to reward participation rather than attendance. Faculty should not be punitive with absences due to illness. Instead, faculty members are encouraged to provide remote options for students to participate and complete coursework in order for a student to fulfill requirements in the event of illness.  For suggested syllabus language related to student absenteeism, please refer to the language provided by the Office of Legal Affairs.

Last updated: 05/27/20