Instructor Information to Minimize Impact to Class Meetings

If PSU is closed, has a delayed start, or early closure, instructors may find the following information helpful in determining how best to accommodate both the learning outcomes for their classes and the hardships and safety needs of themselves and their students.

Faculty should discuss the University Closure Policy and Inclement Weather Procedures (Campus Closure) with their students at the beginning of the term, and are encouraged to include any established alternative plans or instructions in the course syllabus, so students fully understand – in advance of inclement weather – how to get closure information before traveling to campus and what to expect if final exams are impacted, or classes are cancelled.

When the PSU campus remains open, faculty members are asked to exercise normal flexibility and make reasonable accommodations for students who miss class, miss an exam, or are unable to submit coursework as a result of inclement weather or responsibilities related to other community closures.

When PSU is closed, faculty may not require or even suggest that students be on campus. This includes cases where an early closure is announced or occurs in the middle of a class or exam meeting time. In these cases, students should be released immediately.

In all cases, communicating expectations for courses is important and helpful to concerned students. You can send your entire class an email through your PSU gmail account. During campus closures, OAI and OIT offices will continue to provide remote support. You can submit a support request or chat with the OAI Faculty Support Desk M-F 9am-5pm. You can direct your students to OIT phone or chat support.

Online and Remote Courses

Although your virtual class will remain open, the library and most other university buildings will be closed. Students may not have access to the campus study spaces or wifi they rely on due to closures. Power outages may also disrupt remote or online course access. Assignment deadlines are the prerogative of faculty; however reasonable accommodations should be made to minimize the negative impact on students.

Because online and remote courses are available digitally and on-campus attendance is not required, these courses may continue during inclement weather closures at the discretion of the instructor. While virtual activities may continue, faculty members are asked to exercise normal flexibility and make reasonable accommodation as needed for any weather related impacts. Examples include the inability of faculty or students to travel to locations where they have access to suitable technology, power outages, changes in work or childcare schedules, etc.

It can be helpful to plan ahead for how you will accommodate power outages or other weather-related impacts. Such accommodations include extended deadlines, rescheduling exams, recording class meetings, not requiring students to have their cameras on, or alternative learning activities instead of scheduled class meetings. See additional resources below for alternative learning activities:

No matter how you approach your remote or online class during inclement weather, remember to communicate your expectations and any changes to students clearly and as soon as possible. Email and D2L announcements are two good options for communicating with students.

Need More Help?

We'd love to hear from you. Full-service remote support is available to all PSU instructors through the Office of Academic Innovation. Contact the virtual Faculty Support Desk, Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm.

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