Teaching and Taking Residential Courses

To provide safe distancing in Spring 2021, and following general health guidelines, HBU will continue to employ a remote hybrid delivery mechanism that reduces occupancy in classrooms and labs to no more than 50% of capacity.  Wearing face masks consistently also reduces risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other viruses.  Continuous Infectious Microbial Reduction is used widely in classrooms and public spaces throughout the campus.

These safety and health measures supported a low rate of COVID infection on campus in Fall 2020, and will be maintained throughout Spring 2021.  Students are encouraged to attend spring classes on campus using these safe practices.

NEW – Options for Fully Remote Classes in Spring 2021

Students who experience health conditions that result in greater risk may consider several options for continuing to make progress toward their academic degrees and other goals.

Academic Technology Orientation

Because technology will be an important part of your classes, we have developed some information for students regarding the tools you will be using to help you be successful.

  • When you log in into Blackboard you will see ATOR 101: Academic Technology Orientation listed in your courses
  • There are no assignments, just helpful information and tutorials for using Microsoft 365 tools, how to post discussions and submit assignments in Blackboard, watching recorded lectures and much more
  • You will always have access to this information as long as you are a student at HBU

Faculty Communication with Students

Faculty are asked to publish syllabi on Blackboard as early as possible.  Faculty are also asked to communicate directly with students by e-mailing them about the A/B split, especially if your class roster requires you to split differently than A-K and L-Z to achieve COVID room capacity in your class space.  We have added a table of COVID room capacity to help you determine the maximum number of students who can occupy that room at any one time (this may be more or less than the posted “room occupancy, ” which is based on seats in the room).

It is even more important for you to communicate for “special” classes — those that are not traditional three SCH courses such as lab courses, studio courses, clinical courses, and project-based courses.

Hybrid Academic Delivery

Beginning Monday, November 30, all classes will be held remotely, including final exams. This will not reduce or lengthen the semester; however, it will extend the period of physical distancing for several weeks prior to the Christmas break. The campus, including student housing and dining, will remain open between the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks.

With the exception of classes that meet one day per week, classes will be offered in a hybrid model. Each class roster will be divided into two groups of students (Group A and Group B) for Monday-Wednesday-Friday (MWF) courses and Tuesday-Thursday (TR) courses. This will enable classes to use only 50% of the capacity of the assigned classroom. Group A will contain students whose last name begins with a letter in the first half of the alphabet; Group B will contain students whose last name begins with a letter in the second half of the alphabet.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Last name: A-K Last name: L-Z Remote Instruction

Instructors may need to split the class at a different letter of the alphabet in order to ensure no more than 50% of the capacity of the assigned room is occupied at one time; instructors whose class rosters require this will communicate with their students before the first class day.

Monday-Wednesday-Friday (MWF) Classes

  • On Mondays, Group A will attend class in person on campus; the instructor and classroom discussion will be recorded using Panopto in Blackboard, and posted within hours for viewing by all members of the class
  • On Wednesdays, Group B will attend class in person on campus; the instructor and classroom discussion will be recorded and made available by all members of the class
  • On Fridays, the instructor will assign a remote learning activity for all members of the class (examples include discussion board input and responses, homework or writing assignment, and reading or viewing and reflection assignment)

Tuesday-Thursday Classes (TR) Classes

  • On Tuesdays, Group A will attend class in person on campus
  • On Thursdays, Group B will attend class in person on campus

Once per Week Classes

Once-a-week classes will meet in person on campus but will meet in larger spaces that allow for proper distancing of students.

Plan for BSN Students in Lectures, Simulation Lab, and Clinicals

Students in the traditional (residential) BSN program will be on campus for faculty-supervised experiences in the patient simulation lab and will be in various hospitals and clinics for faculty-supervised clinical experiences that are a part of the courses.  They will view recorded or streamed lectures, employing the “flipped classroom” modality for the didactic portions of each course.

Students must attend both the flipped classroom portion (recorded or streamed lectures) and the face-to-face (clinical) activities to receive credit in the course.  The Texas State Board of Nursing requires every accredited college program to assure that students receive in-person clinical instruction and practice in order to remain accredited.  Students who are unable to complete the lab activities using the simulator as well as the clinical activities in the hospitals and clinics will receive a grade of “incomplete” and be able to make up the missed in-person activities after the end of the semester, by appointment with the nursing faculty.

Clinical Teaching and Internships

The Educator Preparation Program (EPP) will work closely with local schools, Texas Education Agency (TEA), and supervisors to provide a safe clinical teaching or internship experience.  Updates will be delivered through supervisors and the EPP Office. Questions or concerns can be directed to epp@hbu.edu.

Safety Considerations

Classroom layouts will be adjusted for best practices in social distancing. Students attending class in person will wear masks to ensure a safe environment for their peers and faculty. Faculty members will wear either a mask or clear face shield. Specific protocols have been established for special courses such as labs, individual music lessons, studio art courses, etc. and some of them may be referenced in the Guidelines for Schools found elsewhere on this page.  For example, laboratory settings that require students to work in close proximity to one another will be cleaned and sanitized by instructors or lab assistants. Faculty and students will wear all other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gowns, gloves, face shields, etc.

Through this hybrid remote delivery method, faculty and instructors are still able to:

  • Provide regular instruction and interact regularly with their students
  • Provide full and substantive assessments and regular feedback on students’ coursework
  • Be proactive and available in providing information or responding to students’ questions about the content of the course
  • Accommodate the needs of students who, because of health risks and concerns, are not able to attend classes physically in person as long as the risk of COVID-19 remains a national and local concern

Thanksgiving to Christmas

Plans currently include not returning to campus following the Thanksgiving break, but concluding the class work in the online/virtual environment.

Final Exams

Final exams should be administered as scheduled in the Academic Calendar (during first week of December). Final exams will be administered through Blackboard, taken at the time and manner given by the instructor.  Faculty reimagining final exams and using alternate assessment methods is strongly encouraged (see Academic Integrity section below for more).

Academic Integrity

Remote learning is an opportunity to demonstrate commitment to integrity and principles. At HBU, we pray that our students will commit to Christian principles, and to Jesus Christ who defines them. Remote learning requires a stronger commitment to acting with truth and justice in performance of classroom assignments and assessments. We hope that students and faculty at HBU will be guided by principles such as these:

  • Proverbs 11:3 — “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”
  • Proverbs 10:9 — “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”
  • Luke 6:31 — “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
  • Luke 16:10 — “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”
  • Proverbs 4:25-27 — “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.”

To provide accountability and support for academic integrity, instructors will use a variety of methods, including:

  • Tests available through Blackboard only during pre-determined timeframes that will be announced by the instructor
  • Individual test questions may be further limited to an allowed response time
  • Only one question available at a time
  • Alternative forms of assessment (alternate to traditional exams)
  • Using features in Blackboard to facilitate integrity, including Respondus Lock Down and Monitor, which prevent access to other web sites during test administration and allow the instructor to proctor the exam through the student’s webcam

Capacity and Layout of Traditional Classrooms

All classrooms have been reviewed by the Husky Strong Task Force with proper social distancing in mind. As most classes will be conducted in a hybrid modality, with half of the class learning remotely and the other half residentially (then switching off), 50% or less of each classroom’s capacity will be utilized during any given class period. Each classroom’s capacity has been temporarily adjusted to fit the new modality. As such:

  1. Classroom layout will be adjusted for best practices in social distancing
  2. Students will be spaced every other seat or a variation thereof depending on the classroom layout
  3. Faculty will be at least 10-12 feet from students
  4. Where necessary, the first row, or a portion of the first row of seats, will be removed from the classroom or partitioned off
  5. A tape line on the floor will be laid down in each classroom to ensure that the instructor is aware of the proper distancing.

Graduate and Other Small Classes

Classes with enrollments which are less than 50% of the capacity of the assigned classroom or lab space will meet as scheduled on campus.  In this case:

  • Every student is invited to attend every session
  • To accommodate students with health risks or concerns who have been cleared for 100% remote instruction, both the instructor and the classroom discussion will be recorded every session using Panopto in Blackboard, and the recording will be posted within hours for viewing by all members of the class
  • The instructor of small classes will notify all students prior to the first class period if the class will meet every class period (every MWF, or every TR, or every week for classes that meet only once per week)

Non-traditional Classrooms, Labs, and Studios

For classes that require non-traditional instruction or activity including labs and studios where some level of close physical proximity must take place, the following guidelines have been established:

  1. Laboratory settings that require students to work in close proximity to one another or to contact each other physically (i.e. nursing labs) should maintain clean and sanitized work spaces and standard facial coverings for students and faculty at all times. Students and faculty should also wear all other applicable personal protective equipment (PPE) including, but not limited to gowns, gloves, face shields, etc. Where possible, students should be acceptably distanced from one another in the lab. Please see Guidelines for Schools elsewhere on this page for more.
  2. Classrooms that traditionally require physical interaction and movement such as athletics, dance, acting, or the like, should adjust lesson plans to eliminate as much direct contact as possible. Students in these classes are required to wear proper PPE as necessary. When exercise or other athletic equipment is utilized, the instructor should verify the disinfection of each piece of equipment before and after use by each individual student.

Academic Delivery Technology

Faculty members must bring their laptops and power supplies to all classes. The university will provide:

  • Laptop podium
  • Ethernet cable to connect laptop directly to internet
  • Room multimedia connected through laptop HDMI port
  • Wired microphone to attach to laptop via USB

The more adept faculty are at using the tools and technology HBU provides — the many new laptops, microphones, Panopto, Blackboard, Teams, etc. — the better experience the students will have, and the more satisfied instructors will be.  Please take advantage of the training sessions that have been recorded and made available through the Faculty Communication Center in Blackboard.

Attendance Information and Guidelines

Attendance is a critical requirement and HBU must satisfy U.S. Department of Education regulations.  HBU falls into the category of “institutions that are required to take attendance.  The DoE final rules define “academic attendance” and “attendance at an academically-related activity.”

It is critically important that all instructors record attendance for their students.  Many methods are available to note and record attendance, and even students who choose the 100% remote option must “attend” class through the methods you describe for your students.  This will require the instructor’s best communication and flexibility skills.  Failure to note (and report) non-attendance has significant financial implications to individual students and to the university. Many of our students receive federal financial aid for some part of their account payment, and this form of aid requires attendance.

What Counts as an Academic Related Activity?

  • Physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students
  • Submitting an academic assignment
  • Taking an exam, an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction
  • Attending a study group that is assigned by the institution
  • Participating in an online discussion about academic matters
  • Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.

What Does Not Count as an Academic Related Activity?

Logging into Blackboard without activity does not count as attending

How Should Faculty Record and Track Attendance?

  • Because students will be watching lectures or participating in activities at different times and in a variety of ways, it is recommended that you document attendance on a weekly basis: did they actually participate through at least one of the above listed academic related activities during the week?
  • There are a variety of ways to determine attendance and faculty may wish to designate a specific assignment or activity as meeting attendance requirements in any given week. This should be outlined in the syllabus.
  • Because students will be watching lectures or participating in activities at different times and in a variety of ways, it is recommended that you document attendance on a weekly basis: did they actually participate through at least one of the above listed academic related activities during the week?
  • There are a variety of ways to determine attendance and faculty may wish to designate a specific assignment or activity as meeting attendance requirements in any given week. This should be outlined in the syllabus.

Viewing Lectures in Panopto

  • Faculty can review the student viewing history each week with the following steps:

Go to Analytics for each video:

Once you select Analytics you can filter how many days you wish to view and see a breakdown of viewers and time spent by scrolling down the page.

How Will Faculty Report Non-Attendance?

  • The student that has not completed any of the items in the list of accepted academic activities during a seven-day period should be considered as non-attending for that week.
  • If a student does not complete any of the expectations for attendance for two complete weeks (14 days) in succession, it should be reported in Navigate.
  • Census reports will still be required to identify students who have not attended by that date.
What If I’m Not Sure?
  • Because we know there will be a variety of issues that may arise as a result of the current situation, at any time you have questions or are in doubt about whether a student is attending, please contact the chair of your department.

Office Hours

Every faculty member shall establish virtual office hours each week for students.

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