COVID, the DRC, and Instructors

On this page

General FAQ

Testing-related FAQ

Digital accessibility resources and best practices

DRC scheduling and hours

UMN-wide instructor resources

UMN-wide student resources

 

General FAQs

I have concerns about the accommodation of recording lectures for asynchronous review. What are my options? 

If a student has an accommodation to have class sessions recorded for asynchronous review and you have concerns regarding the confidentiality of your course, please consult with the student as well as the access consultant who signed the student’s accommodation letter to explore how it can be implemented in your course. 

  • Here are a few ideas that other instructors have used for implementing the accommodation for recording while maintaining student confidentiality. 
  • Share an access statement at the beginning of the semester to alert students in the course that the lectures will be recorded class and posted to the course site. This FERPA guidance document provides example template language). 
  • Have the student with this accommodation sign a confidentiality form, and/or work with the student to identify when video records are actually needed to create access. 
  • Consider using the Zoom “Spotlight” feature to record only the presenter.
  • If you are sharing your screen to show a powerpoint or presentation, hide all video feeds in the floating thumbnail window, aside from the active speaker.

For additional considerations regarding class recordings visit this UMN resource on FERPA guidance related to COVID-19.

A student in my course is experiencing barriers in online coursework. How can I promote an accessible learning environment?

You can find an array of practices that will support student learning in this Teaching with Access and Inclusion resource document. Please also refer to the section of this document titled Digital Accessibility Resources and Best Practices. Please feel free to reach out to DRC Drop-in to consult regarding students who do not use accommodations. If your student is using accommodations, please contact the Access Consultant listed on their accommodation letter.

A student has tested positive for/is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, should I refer them to the DRC for accommodations?

Students who are experiencing symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19 should follow guidance from their medical provider and the University. Visit the  Safe Campus student FAQs Health and Well-being section. Students who have tested positive should self-quarantine and notify their instructor that they require accommodations for class participation. Illness due to COVID-19 falls under the University Policy for Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences. See the Provost’s letter dated August 7, 2020 for additional guidance. 

If the student experiences serious medical complications that affect their continued learning due to COVID-19, have them reach out to the DRC as soon as possible.

Can I provide informal accommodations without DRC coordination and, if so, when should I refer a student to the DRC?

Instructors may provide informal accommodations due to many life circumstances including COVID-19-related barriers.  These tools and practices can facilitate consistency across practices: the Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences Policy, DRC guidance for Supporting Students with Short-Term Disabilities, as well as consultation with department colleagues.  Consultation with the DRC Access consultant on drop-in is also an option.

If a student reports they are experiencing a persistent pattern of disability-related barriers or health-related barriers and are needing formal accommodations, please refer them to the DRC.

What should I do if a student tells me they cannot attend in-person instruction due to health or disability conditions?

If you can accommodate a hybrid model through natural supports such as recorded lectures, online exams, and discussions, please do so. If this is not possible, and a student is reporting concerns early in the semester, please refer them to their academic advisor to discuss remote or online options before the add/drop deadline.

As the semester progresses, if a student is experiencing barriers to accessing your in-person course, you may consider whether independent remote work or an incomplete may be an option. Consult with departmental colleagues to explore best practice for students in this position.  If the student has shared an accommodation letter, please also refer them to their Access Consultant who can support them through the process.

If the student needs to withdraw from the course after the drop deadline, refer them to their academic advisor and/or Student Conflict Resolution Center (SCRC) for guidance with the academic policy petitioning process.

A student has requested accommodations related to the campus face covering policy. What should I do?

All students, faculty, and staff are required to use a face covering to cover both the nose and mouth at all times when in any enclosed or indoor space on University campuses and properties. What is considered a face covering may be found at Face Covering FAQs

For the health and safety of our community, the Disability Resource Center is not waiving face coverings; however, alternative accommodations will be explored. Please note that the determination of reasonable accommodations takes time. Please contact the DRC as soon as possible if you believe you or a student need alternative accommodations. 

The DRC is developing a process for distributing clear masks for students, instructors, and staff with a disability or health condition to request clear masks for access. Check back for more information.

What should I do if a student does not comply with the face covering requirement and does not have a disability?

The Office for Student Affairs has developed the following document: Strategies for addressing face covering non-compliance in the instructional environment to assist instructors and students.

My student is experiencing barriers in online coursework. How can I promote an accessible learning environment?

Please refer to the section of this document titled Digital Accessibility Resources and Best Practices. Please feel free to reach out to DRC Drop-in to consult regarding students who do not use accommodations. If your student is using accommodations, please contact the Access Consultant listed on their accommodation letter.

I have concerns regarding my own health and the effects of COVID 19.  Who should I speak to?

University supervisors have received guidance for supporting employees with health concerns related to COVID-19. Please work with your supervisor. You may also find helpful information on the UReturn FAQ page. For more extensive accommodation needs, please contact the DRC office that works with employees—UReturn

I have a student in my course who is not responding or participating in class and I am concerned. Who should I contact?

If the student has shared an accommodation letter, please contact the access consultant who’s contact information can be found at the bottom for additional support. You may also consider consulting with their academic advisor as well as the Care Program

Per Care Program guidance:

  • Prior to referring an unresponsive/disengaged student to the Care Program, please contact/email the student at least 3 times (please ensure that both instructor and advisor and/or access consultant have made attempts to contact the student). 
  • The last message sent to the student should include e.g. If I do not hear from you by 4pm today, I will need to ask my colleagues in Student Affairs to contact you.

The Red Folder is a useful resource for you to assess next steps.

Testing FAQ

How do I extend time in Canvas quizzes/exams?

Testing time for students can be individually adjusted. Please visit Canvas’s extra test time support page for instructions.

How do I allow for breaks during an exam that’s being proctored via Proctorio?

To support a student who needs extra time for breaks during an online exam, the DRC guidance is to add the break time to the student’s extended time accommodation.

If you need to track the use of breaks or you need to be alerted that they are occuring, here are a few ideas used by other instructors:

  • If a student can take a break within the view of the camera, ask them to show a sign when they start their break and show another sign when they end their break. 
  • If the student needs to take a break outside of the camera view, the option of holding up signs can still be used. If you have additional concerns about maintaining academic integrity during breaks off-camera, consider having the student digitally sign an academic integrity form.

How do I assess student knowledge without using traditional assignments or exams?

I’ve extended test time for all my students. Why do students with disabilities need extra time in addition to that?  

If a student has an accommodation for extended time, they should be receiving that based on the duration you are giving the rest of the class. All accommodations formalized in a student’s letter have been determined reasonable and necessary to create equitable access through an interactive process. Access Consultants are happy to discuss exam accommodations on a case-by-case basis. If you are deciding to give the whole class four hours, then a DRC student with 1.5x extended time needs to be allowed six hours. Please see Canvas’s extra test time support page for instructions.

A student has barriers with remotely-proctored exams. How can we problem solve? 

  • Provide clear information in advance regarding how exams are being monitored for academic integrity.
  • Create a practice exam for all students to try.
  • Consider offering informal time extensions for students who do not identify as having a disability, but have concerns.
  • Consider whether other forms of proctoring could be implemented. For example:
    • A TA or departmental staff member could proctor through Zoom or Google Meet.
    • The exam could be proctored using the screen share function in Zoom or Google Meet.
    • The exam could be proctored with the camera off but the audio on in either Zoom or Google Meet.
    • The student could complete the exam without any proctoring and perhaps digitally sign an academic integrity form.
  • If a student is registered with the DRC, please contact the access consultant listed on their accommodation letter.

How do I create semi-private and private space when remotely proctoring in Zoom?   

Consider using breakout rooms in Zoom to proctor a small number of students or individual students. If you are not able to accommodate the number of students needing proctoring, please refer the student to their Access Consultant to discuss options.

Digital Accessibility Resources, and Best Practices

How do I record lectures in Zoom?

Recording Zoom meetings and lectures for future reference can increase accessibility and may be requested as an accommodation. For more information about how to record in Zoom, you can reference OIT Zoom: Recording a Meeting or Webinar resource.

How do I enable live transcripts?

Live transcripts increase accessibility for all students and should not take the place of ICU real-time captioning when that is requested as an accommodation. To enable live transcripts in Zoom and increase accessibility for participants, you can reference OIT Zoom: Manage Automatic Live Transcription.

How do I make sure my Zoom lectures are captioned in real time?

If you have a student in your class who has real-time captioning as an accommodation, email icu@umn.edu with the Zoom link, course number, date and time. Our office will provide the student access to real-time captions (visible only to the student with the accommodation).

How do I add captions to a video I’m distributing to my students?

If you have a student in your class who has media captioning as an accommodation, follow the 2 steps below:

  • Use Kaltura to record your video. This is currently the fastest and suggested way to get captioned materials to students: Visit this Keep Teaching page, click on Record a Video for Students to Watch Online. By recording in Kaltura, the DRC will be able to caption videos in the most time efficient manner.  
  • Submit your media captioning request to the DRC’s instructor portal and choose “Request Media Captioning". Due to the large volume of videos/recorded courses, we need to receive these videos as soon as possible. 

My student uses interpreting/captioning services. How will these be arranged? 

Interpreter:

A sign language interpreter will be provided by the Disability Resource Center. The Interpreting/Captioning Unit will contact you regarding working with sign language interpreters. Further information can be found at: z.umn.edu/interpreting-guidelines

Captionist:

A real-time captionist will be provided by the Disability Resource Center. The Interpreting/Captioning Unit will contact you regarding working with real-time captionists. Further information can be found at: z.umn.edu/rt-captioning

Media captioning:

The student will need all media captioned (ie: lecture videos, YouTube clips, audio files, podcasts, video responses made by classmates, etc.). To ensure the student has access to captioned media, please select or use captioned material. If your course content is not captioned, and it doesn't exist with captions already, please submit your media captioning request through the DRC's online form (faculty.drc.umn.edu/) and select "Request Media Captioning". Our office will then assist in either locating or creating a captioned version. If you are creating course videos, an efficient way to create captioned media is through Kaltura. When using Kaltura in Canvas and MediaSpace, videos are automatically closed captioned. As auto-generated captions do not meet accessibility standards, they then need to be reviewed and edited (z.umn.edu/editing-captions).

How do I add captions to a video I’m distributing to my students?

If you have a student in your class who has media captioning as an accommodation, follow the 2 steps below:

  • Use Kaltura to record your video. This is currently the fastest and suggested way to get captioned materials to students: Visit this Keep Teaching page, click on Record a Video for Students to Watch Online. By recording in Kaltura, the DRC will be able to caption videos in the most time efficient manner.  
  • Submit your media captioning request to the DRC’s instructor portal and choose “Request Media Captioning". Due to the large volume of videos/recorded courses, we need to receive these videos as soon as possible. 

How do I prevent students and myself from experiencing Zoom Fatigue?

Zoom meetings can be challenging for a number of reasons. Starting and ending class on time, and inviting students to turn their video off as needed will be helpful in minimizing Zoom Fatigue.

DRC Scheduling and Hours

How are appointments being held?

Appointments are remote by phone or video conference (Zoom or Google Meet). 

Student Access Hours

Student Access Consultants are available for remote appointments from 8:00 am-4:30 pm Monday-Friday. All student appointments and instructor consultations are currently done via phone or video conference using Zoom or Google Meet. Please leave a message at either drc@umn.edu or 612-626-1333 to schedule an appointment. 

Drop-in is available Monday-Friday from 11:00 AM-12:00 PM and 1:00-3:00 PM. To reach the Access Consultant on drop-in call 612-626-1333 or email drc@umn.edu.

Interpreting/Captioning Unit Hours

Interpreting/Captioning Unit administrative hours are 7:30 am-6:00 pm Monday-Thursday, and 7:30 am-4:30 pm Friday. Requests for services and inquiries should be made at icu@umn.edu.

Document Conversion/Media Accessibility Hours

Document Conversion/Media Accessibility hours are 7:30 am-4:30 pm Monday-Friday. Request services and inquiries related to document conversion should be made at DocCon@umn.edu. Media captioning questions and inquiries should be made at ICU@umn.edu.

UReturn Hours

UReturn consultations for staff and faculty are available for appointments and consultations as usual. Requests for services and inquiries should be made at ureturn@umn.edu

UMN-wide Resources and Support for Instructors

 

UMN-wide Resources and Support for Students