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FAQ

Many of our TCU instructors have questions specific to TCU Connected Campus. Below are answers to the most frequent questions we have received. We will continue to add updates. If you have a question that is not on this page, we invite instructors to send additional questions to campusconnect@tcu.edu.

LAST UPDATED: Oct. 19, 2020
This page is updated weekly or more frequently, as needed.

Can I choose how I will deliver my classes? (Updated 8/6/20)
Yes. Instructors will designate their classes as On Campus or Online.

Can I change how I will deliver my classes? (Updated 8/6/20)
Yes. We request that all changes to delivery modality be made through your Dean’s office. Your Dean will notify the Registrar and this will begin an administrative process that ensures students are notified of the change in modality. This is also a good time to reinforce to your students what they can expect from your class.

What does it mean to deliver my course “On Campus”? (Updated 8/6/20)
This may be different for every class and for every instructor. In general, the instructor will deliver the primary components of the course on campus in a physically distanced classroom, and also deliver virtually to online students who have declared themselves online (as indicated on your class roster) or may be ill or self-isolating. Dual delivery allows students who are not physically in the classroom to participate in real time via Zoom or other video teleconferencing platform. The instructor may deliver some course components online to all students (e.g., lectures, labs, small group meetings, experiential learning). If the pandemic forces TCU to move all instruction online, On-Campus courses are expected to transition to Online mode seamlessly, as per the TCU Connected Campus plan.

What does it mean to deliver my course “Online”? (7/30/20)
This may look different for every class and for every instructor. In general, instructors will deliver their Online course(s) entirely virtually through Zoom or a similar platform with the goal of 80% to 100% synchronous engagement. 

Are there occupancy limits for On-Campus classes? (Updated 8/6/20)
Yes. All On Campus class meetings must adhere to established COVID-19 capacities. To facilitate physical distancing while filing in and out of classrooms, instructors should structure the class such that, in general, no more than 30 students are present in the classroom at the same time. If you have more than 30 On-Campus students, you should divide the class into groups, with one group attending in person for a given class period, and the other attending virtually (for example, the A:B model). The groups should alternate to ensure equal access to the classroom experience. Instructors can determine how to best facilitate this for your courses. Variances in this model should be coordinated and approved with your Dean.

What are the COVID capacities for classrooms? (8/6/20)
Classrooms have been diagramed by an architect to ensure the maximum COVID capacity and proper physical distancing. A spreadsheet of COVID capacities is available here. In addition, capacities and classroom diagrams are posted on all classroom doors. Please note that COVID capacities include students as designated and one instructor.

Can I deliver my Online course from an on-campus classroom? (Updated 8/6/20)
Yes. Certain classroom spaces across campus have been transformed into Designated Teaching Spaces for instructors who do not wish to teach virtually from private offices or another off-campus location. Each space is equipped with technology needed for Online course delivery. However, specific technology components, room size and configurations may vary. Instructors may reserve their preferred location using the contact information below. For specific technology needs, you are encouraged to consult with TCU Center for Instructional Services.

Who should I contact to reserve a Designated Teaching Space? (8/6/20)

How can I tell if my students are registering for the Fall semester as On Campus or Online? (7/30/20)
Your class rosters will identify online students in your course.

 Will remote students attend my On-Campus course at the same time as in-person students? (7/30/20)
In general, students are expected to engage synchronously at the time designated in the course schedule, i.e. Central Standard Time zone (Horned Frog Time) as it translates to where they are located. Online courses will be delivered with 80-100% synchronous engagement with students using Zoom and other platforms to give students more face time with faculty.

 Will courses be synchronous? (7/30/20)
Online courses will be delivered with 80-100% synchronous engagement with students using Zoom and other platforms to give students more face time with faculty. On-Campus courses will be held at the date/time designated in the course schedule, i.e. Central Standard Time zone (Horned Frog Time). We emphasize maintaining virtual face-to-face instruction, via synchronous content delivery, as much as possible. For Online students, class date/time translates from CST to the time zone where the student is located. You may elect, but are not required, to make alternate provisions for remote students, such as recording class lectures. (See guidelines for recording below.)

Is there a prescribed attendance policy for Online and On-Campus students? (7/30/20)
The attendance policy is at the discretion of the instructor but must be clearly communicated in the syllabus. In general, students are expected to engage synchronously at the time designated in the course schedule, i.e. Central Standard Time zone (Horned Frog Time) as it translates to where the student is located. You may elect, but are not required, to make alternate provisions for remote students, such as recording class lectures. Instructors should pay particular attention to issues of equity and inclusiveness in establishing their attendance policy.

Are there best practices I should follow if I record a class session? (7/30/20)
Instructors who choose to record class sessions and student meetings should carefully consider FERPA requirements. If you record class sessions or meetings in Zoom or a similar platform:

  • Personally identifiable student information should not be shared with anyone who is not enrolled in your course.
  • Tell students that you will be recording. While this notice is not required by law in Texas, it is required by many states where students reside. By default, Zoom notifies meeting participants that a meeting is being recorded, but it is best to have an acknowledgment from you. An example that can be used at the start of the session: “This class session is being recorded. By joining today’s class session, you consent to being recorded.”
  • Allow students to turn off their camera and microphone using STOP VIDEO and MUTE in Zoom and participate via CHAT if they prefer.
  • Although you cannot stop students from using local or personal technology to record a meeting, you can disable cloud recording settings.
  • Include language in your syllabus about the purpose of Zoom recordings and the protection of student information. An example: “All class sessions will be recorded for use by enrolled students, including those who are unable to attend live. Students who participate with their camera engaged or utilize a profile image are consenting to have their video or image recorded. If you are unwilling to consent to have your profile or video image recorded, be sure to keep your camera off and do not use a profile image. Likewise, students who un-mute during class and participate orally are consenting to have their voices recorded. If you are not willing to consent to have your voice recorded during class, you will need to keep your mute button activated and communicate exclusively using the CHAT feature, which allows students to type questions and comments live.”

How can I promote inclusive online teaching? (Updated 8/6/20)
Some students may not have access to advanced computers/software, internet access, or quiet places to study. Some may wish to keep their home environment private and turn off video during online courses. You can encourage engagement with brief reflective exercises and exit surveys. Anonymously ask about their access to technology. Ensure materials are accessible and mobile-friendly, such as PDFs. As you are designing activities and lessons for your fall courses, keep in mind that all meetings held in Zoom (or a similar platform) that include course content or student information are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Policy Act (FERPA). The Office of Diversity & Inclusion has also compiled a list of strategies and tips for creating equitable classrooms online.

Is there a place on campus for students to participate in Online courses? (8/11/2020)
There are a variety of locations across campus where students may participate in online classes.

  • Many are the same spaces students gathered in before, such as computer labs and the library, all set up for social distancing.
  • Tents have been constructed across campus for gathering.
  • Landing Zones have been designated as classroom spaces in the BLUU Ballroom, King Family Commons 203 A/B/C, Library 1208, Smith Hall 1520 A/B, and Rees Jones 337.
  • Some online classes have been assigned classrooms where students may gather for a specific class. Instructors are responsible for notifying students of this option. It will not appear in Class Search.

In all instances, students should use their personal devices to connect with the class (unless accessing a computer in a lab), wear earbuds to reduce disruptions for others, wear face coverings and follow social distancing. It is helpful if instructors remind students of the health and safety protocols, but you have no responsibility to enforce in those designated areas.

What is Hybrid Certification? (7/30/20)
There are three required elements that lead to Hybrid Certification:

  • TCU Online training
  • Hybrid Course
  • a 1-hour consultation with an assigned eTrainer

More information on Hybrid Certification and alternate ways to meet the training requirement can be found in the “Fall 2020 Online Course Delivery Training Expectations FAQ”. 

What is the deadline for Spring 2021 instructors to complete Hybrid certification?  (Updated 8/20/20)
Spring 2021 instructors must complete Hybrid Certification by Nov. 1, 2020.

Who is in charge of redesigning my course? (7/30/20)
You, the instructor, are in charge of redesigning your course(s). TCU eTrainers can assist you with designing course elements (e.g., lecture, discussion, lab).

Are there specific criteria that must be considered in redesigning my course? (7/30/20)
Yes. The criteria are broad and intended to verify that you have considered important issues such as equitable testing and inclusive access. Your Dean will adapt these criteria to School/College expectations as they communicate the verification process to you.

What is the process for verifying that my course has been redesigned? (7/30/20)
Each School/College will determine how course redesign verification will be implemented for their instructors. Your Dean will confirm that a course has been redesigned consistent with the criteria provided and that you are eligible to receive a redesign stipend for that course. For more information on stipends see below.

How do I get assistance for redesigning my course? (7/30/20)
Each instructor has been assigned an eTrainer to assist you with course redesign. eTrainers are instructors identified by your Dean. who have completed additional training.  The Koehler Center also provides training opportunities and resources that may be helpful as you redesign your course.

What is the deadline to post course syllabi incorporating online delivery? (7/30/20)
As part of the verification process you must post your course syllabi to D2L by Aug. 16, 2020.

Are there additional syllabus disclosures for Fall 2020? (Syllabus template updated 8/6/20)
Yes. Check the Fall 2020 Syllabus Resources page.

What new technology is available in the classroom? (Updated 8/20/20)
Visit virtualclassroom.tcu.edu to see what is being installed in each space, along with a status of the room.

  • Traditional Classrooms with A/V Installed – Two cameras and mics attached to the teacher stations. If a room is not equipped with a computer, faculty can check out a loaner by emailing itloaners@tcu.edu.
  • Traditional Classrooms without A/V Installed – Newline TV with cameras on a cart, built-in computer, mics and cameras.
  • Lab Spaces with or without A/V – Rolling carts with a camera and mic attached. Faculty should bring a laptop to start a zoom session. You may check out a loaner by emailing itloaners@tcu.edu.

What about video teleconferencing training on the new equipment? (Added 8/20/20)
Visit virtualclassroom.tcu.edu to see all of the online training for using the A/V and cameras/mics in the classrooms.

Is there a TCU Zoom account? (Updated 8/20/20)
Yes. Download the Zoom App from tcu.zoom.us and login with your TCU username and password.

Log in to Your TCU Zoom Account

Who do I call to get support with Zoom? What if I want training on Zoom or have more questions? (7/30/20)
Please visit the TCU IT website.

What if On-Campus students don’t have computers or have problems with theirs? (Updated 8/20/20)
TCU has more than 100 computer labs on campus. All computer labs have been redesigned with social distancing and enhanced cleaning. Several will be accessible to students without a reservation or class. Faculty and students also may check out loaner laptops from TCU IT by sending a request to itloaners@tcu.edu.

For other TCU IT questions: (7/30/20)
Check www.keepworking.tcu.edu and www.keeplearning.tcu.edu.

Will I still be able to have office hours? (7/30/20)
Yes, office hours should be conducted virtually, emphasizing synchronous tools such as Zoom. Maintaining regular office hours is an important way to maintain the personal interaction that is a hallmark of TCU.

For answers to many questions pertaining to health and safety, visit the TCU Coronavirus COVID-19 website. You may also check the TCU Connected Campus Guide for Faculty and Staff.  

What are the requirements for face coverings and social distancing on the TCU Campus? (Added 8/27/20)
The TCU Community is reminded to continue to remain diligent in wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance in the classroom. If you think you have been in close contact (within 6 feet for over 15 minutes) with an infected person or have questions related to this exposure, contact the TCU COVID-19 hotline at 817-257-2684. 

Should I wear a face shield or a face mask, or both? (Added 8/27/20)
Face shields without masks may be worn only while teaching in a physically distanced classroom, which designates an “instructor zone” at least 6 feet from students. Instructors must:

  1. Wear a face mask when entering and exiting a classroom and throughout an academic building.
  2. Only inside the instructor zone in a classroom: Put on the face shield first and then remove your mask. Ensure that the shield wraps around the side of your face and below the chin.
  3. Remain in the instructor zone at all times while wearing a face shield without a face mask.
  4. At the end of class, put on your mask and then remove the shield.

Will classrooms be arranged for social distancing? (Added 8/27/20)
Yes. A diagram is posted outside each classroom indicating the maximum capacity and approved furniture arrangement.  Please do not move furniture.

Will signage be in place for social distancing and other guidelines? (Added 8/27/20)
Yes. Signage is posted throughout buildings.

What if I get sick? (Added 8/27/20)
If you are symptomatic for COVID-19 or think you have been exposed:

  • Seek a viral test. University Urgent Care at 3107 Greene Avenue will test insured TCU faculty and staff at no out-of-pocket expenses.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, do not come to campus. If on campus, leave immediately and begin the isolation process. Contact the TCU COVID-19 hotline at 817-257-2684. This will begin contact tracing and other services.
  • Contact your Dean to assure your class is covered by another instructor.

What if one of my students gets sick in my classroom? (Updated 8/27/20)
If the student needs immediate medical attention or transportation call 9-1-1. If the student is healthy enough to return to their place of residence, instruct them to go there and contact the TCU Health Center as soon as possible. If possible, ask them to wipe down their classroom space to disinfect the exposed area. You may terminate the class period and continue it as a remote session.

Will I be notified if a student tests positive for COVID-19? (Added 8/27/20)
In the case that a student tests positive for COVID-19, all in-person class instructors will be notified, along with their Dean and the Dean/Building manager of the located classroom. Typically, no further action will be needed on the part of the instructor.

Will I be notified if a student must attend classes virtually because of self-isolation or self-quarantine requirements? (Added 8/27/20)
Campus Life will notify instructors by email if a student will be unable to attend classes in person. The email will provide the student’s name and expected dates. The student will be advised to communicate with their instructor.

What if the student was in close contact with others in the classroom? (Added 8/27/20)
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines close contact as someone who is within 6 feet of an infected person for over 15 minutes within 48 hours of symptom onset. Since classrooms are arranged for physical distancing, there should be no close contact in most cases.

Will the classroom be disinfected? (Added 8/27/20)
TCU Facility Services disinfects all ALL TCU classrooms nightly, so the room does not need to be closed beyond the time needed for the nightly disinfection. TCU Facility Services will analyze the exposure and initiate any additional disinfection protocols.

What can I do if a student doesn’t comply with TCU’s health and safety protocols? (Updated 8/6/20)
Students will be expected to practice physical distancing and wear protective face coverings at all times while in public spaces on the TCU campus. Failure to do so in the classroom could result in the student being asked to leave the room and continue the class through remote access. Additionally, the instructor has the option to terminate the class period and continue it as a remote session. Failure to comply with the instructor’s request to adhere to TCU policy regarding face coverings or repeat violations may be reported to Campus Life.

What happens between Nov. 24 and Dec. 10? (7/30/20)
In short, nothing has to happen. The extra time allows finalizing grade submission. It can also be used by instructors to offer online make-up exams (not regular exams), allow additional time for project work submission by students, and hold graduate student thesis and dissertation defenses.

Providing extra-curricular engagement for our students is an important element of a vibrant college experience. To continue to offer these opportunities, TCU is committed to adhering to health and safety policies at the University, County and State levels. To help you plan and approve your event, we have created a form and approval process.

Which types of activities or events (outside of class) must be registered and/or approved? (8/6/20)
All activities that involve a structured gathering of more than 10 people must be registered and/or approved. This includes indoor or outdoor activities regardless of whether the activity is held on campus or off campus. Note that restrictions exist for food service, outdoor gatherings, off-campus visitors, among others.

What is the process for registering/approving activities? (Updated 10/19/20)
Predominately, off-campus activities will be limited to those critical to the mission of the University. The sponsor of the activity or program must complete and submit the appropriate form to request approval. The intention is to ensure adherence to the most current health and safety guidelines and collect important information for contact tracing, if necessary. Submit forms to ConnectedCampus@tcu.edu.

On-Campus Activity Approval Form
Off-Campus Activity Approval Form

Note: University, County and State guidance are complex and continuously adapting to the current situation. While current restrictions are frustrating, these restrictions will not be required forever.  We will reassess in early September, once we’ve demonstrated that, as a community, we are able to successfully navigate health and safety protocols.

May I bring visitors to campus, such as guest speakers and judges for competitions? (Updated 8/20/20)
We encourage you to consider virtual guest speakers and judges. You may find that you have even more volunteers from across the country and around the world via virtual options.

Only TCU employees and authorized contractors and vendors should be on campus until restrictions are lifted and officially communicated by the Chancellor. Any on-campus visitor must be mission-critical. You must complete and submit this form to request approval. Visitors, if allowed, are required to follow TCU health and safety protocols. Submit forms to ConnectedCampus@tcu.edu.

What about virtual events? (7/30/20)
When possible, events should be administered and attended virtually. Zoom videoconferencing is available to all TCU community members and can be used to move an event, or portions of it, online.

Can students participate in off-campus internships, clinicals, research or similar experience earning academic credit? (Updated 10/19/20)
All off-campus student internships must be approved in advance. You must complete and submit this form to request approval. Note: If internships are supported by TCU scholarships, they will require approval through the unit (Academic Affairs/Student Affairs) offering financial support. Submit forms to ConnectedCampus@tcu.edu.

What about extending the probationary period in the case of an extraordinary experience or event beyond the individual’s control? (7/30/20)
The pandemic is imposing personal challenges on each of us. The TCU Faculty-Staff Handbook states, “In the case of an extraordinary experience or event beyond the individual’s control that affects a non-tenured faculty member’s performance… the faculty member may request an extension of the probationary period” (p. 52). Faculty, within their first five years on the tenure track, may request an extension to their probationary period based on COVID-19 as an extraordinary experience. All requests should be facilitated through your Dean.

Should I record Zoom meetings (non-classroom material)? (7/30/20)
As a professional courtesy, you should notify colleagues at the start of a Zoom session that you will be recording. By default, Zoom notifies meeting participants that a meeting is being recorded, but it is still a good idea to state at the start of the meeting, “This session is being recorded. If you prefer to STOP VIDEO or MUTE, please do so.”