Course Development

Overview

To ensure appropriate physical distancing and to accommodate faculty preferences, the University has adopted a multi-modal instructional approach for the Fall 2020 semester that delivers course instruction in three broad categories: in-person (all students participate face-to-face), hybrid (a combination of face-to-face and online) and fully online. 

The University is moving quickly to update the Fall 2020 schedule of classes to reflect the new teaching modality for each course.
 

Estimated Timeline for Rescheduling Fall 2020 Classes
  • July 3 to 8: The Registrar’s Office and Information Technology Services (ITS) will create and test the technology needed to make mass scheduling changes. 
     

  • July 9 to 17: The Registrar’s Office and ITS will process changes to the schedule of classes. 
     

  • July 14 to 31: The Registrar’s Office will reassign rooms for in-person courses. 
     

  • July 31: The Academic Support Center and the Graduate School will work with students who have scheduling conflicts. 
     

  • August 1: The Planning and Academic Calendars will be publicly updated. 

The University will keep instructors and their academic units informed of any changes during the rescheduling process, and then send an email to all students and faculty when the new Fall 2020 schedule is complete.

Download the Return to Teaching Guide here.

Looking for more resources? Please read the “Teaching Modalities Tools & Resources” message sent to instructors on August 4, 2020, and this message about the electronic reserve services and other virtual library options available to instructors during the Fall 2020 semester.

 

Getting Started

Instructors will be teaching in new ways this fall, so we have created this general timeline to help guide your course preparation.
 

Action Items for Early July
  • Seek assistance with course preparation. Consider attending workshops and webinars on your teaching modality. ITLAL, Online Teaching & Learning and ITS have developed a schedule of Faculty Development Events for this summer.
     

  • Review the Rubric for Online Teaching and the entire contents of this webpage to develop an appropriate course plan for your teaching modality. 
     

  • Contact teachingandlearning@albany.edu for an individual consultation and support, if needed. 

Action Items for Mid-July
  • Access Blackboard and begin to develop your course materials. 
     

    • A template has been provided to assist with the design and development of your Blackboard classroom. ITLAL, OTL and ITS are also available to assist with individual consultations, webinars and workshops. 
       

    • Building on your initial course design, develop learning activities for as much of the semester as possible, including assignments and activities that will occur during scheduled class time or those that will be completed asynchronously. 
       

  • Select or create learning resources (text, audio, video, etc.) for as much of the semester as possible. Connect with ITLAL or ITS to help with video recording and using Ensemble. 
     

  • Determine your software or technology needs. If you need access to software or technology that’s not currently in the catalog, you must submit a request to ITS by July 20, 2020. 
     

  • Use University library services for e-reserves and support. 
     

  • Review the Disability Resource Center’s guidance for supporting students with disabilities, available at the bottom of this webpage, to ensure your course is accessible to all students. 
     

  • Develop a communication plan for your course that includes regular, clear communication with your students. We suggest you provide weekly announcements in Blackboard to remind students of that week’s requirements and the material that will be covered. These announcements can be drafted in advanced and set for scheduled release on the date you choose.
     

  • Review the suggested First Day Announcement and the University's policy for responding to student noncompliance.

Action Items for Late July and August
  • For courses with an online component, send a note to your students to find out how they will access the course and if they have any concerns about the new format. 
     

  • Assess or develop options for monitoring and engaging remote students. 
     

  • If you’ll be teaching any portion of your course in-person, do a test run in your classroom: 
     

    • Determine how you and your students will safely interact in the classroom. 
       

    • Familiarize yourself with your assigned classroom, particularly its room capacity and layout.
       

    • Familiarize yourself with the classroom’s technology, including where to find and how to use any speakers, microphones, cameras and screens. 
       

  • Practice teaching to include both remote and in-person students. You will need at least two people to help you. Contact ITLAL if you would like help. 

Shaping Your Course Around its Delivery

Best practices on how to handle class meetings, and how to assign work during and outside class meetings, vary based on the mode of delivery.
 

In-Person Classes

In-person classes involve all students meeting in the classroom with the instructor for all class meetings.  

Instructors should plan learning activities that allow students to interact while adhering to physical distancing protocols.  

Class time may include: 

  • the instructor’s brief lectures punctuated with student work and whole-class interaction 

  • frequent opportunities for students to work individually on tasks that require them to apply course content (Students may share their responses with each other in brief whole-class discussions or may submit work to the instructor after class for feedback.) 

  • frequent opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and plan how they’ll use that learning to complete course assessments 

Outside of class, students will:

  • engage in interactions with each other — through asynchronous online discussions, for example — either as a whole class or in smaller groups to build a sense of class community 

  • do individual work — such as reading, writing, watching lectures or completing problem sets — that prepares them for class meetings and course assessments 

A basic course structure in Blackboard is strongly recommended to plan for the necessity to quickly pivot to remote learning. 

Hybrid Classes with Synchronous Simulcast

Hybrid classes with synchronous simulcast are low-density in-person classes with one or more remote students. 

Instructors should plan learning activities that engage both the students who are physically in the classroom and the students who are joining class remotely. 

Class meetings should be designed to fully include remote students in interactions. The instructor will deliberately and frequently shift focus between in-person students and remote students, seek contributions from remote students, and repeat all comments or contributions from students in class. 

Class time may include: 

  • the instructor’s brief lectures punctuated with student work and whole-class interaction (Instructors should be aware that students who aren’t well primed to listen to a lecture will zone out in less than 5 minutes.) 

  • frequent opportunities for students to work individually on tasks that require them to apply course content (Students may share their responses with each other in brief whole-class discussions or may submit work to the instructor after class for feedback.) 

  • frequent opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and plan how they’ll use that learning to complete course assessments 

Outside of class, both remote and in-person students will: 

  • engage in interactions with each other — through asynchronous online discussions, for example — either as a whole class or in smaller groups to build a sense of class community 

  • do individual work — such as reading, writing, watching lectures or completing problem sets — that prepares them for class meetings and course assessments 

Hybrid Classes with Blended or Reduced Classroom Meetings

Hybrid classes with blended or reduced classroom meetings are low-density in-person classes with one or more remote students. 

Instructors should plan learning activities that help students make the most of both online and classroom learning spaces. 

In-person class time may include:

  • frequent opportunities for students to work individually on tasks that require them to apply course content (Students may share their responses with each other in brief whole-class discussions or may submit work to the instructor after class for feedback.) 

  • frequent opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and plan how they’ll use that learning to complete course assessments 

Online, students will: 

  • engage in interactions with each other — through asynchronous online discussions, for example — either as a whole class or in smaller groups to build a sense of class community 

  • do individual work — such as reading, writing, watching lectures or completing problem sets — that prepares them for class meetings and course assessments 

  • watch instructor lectures that include cues for individual student work designed to help them process core concepts and ideas (Students should use this work to prepare for in-class tasks.) 

Hybrid Classes with Alternating Attendance

Students in hybrid classes with alternating attendance are divided into two or more groups that meet on alternate days. 

Instructors should plan learning activities that help students make the most of both online and classroom learning spaces. 

In-person class time may include: 

  • frequent opportunities for students to work individually on tasks that require them to apply course content (Students may share their responses with each other in brief whole-class discussions and/or may submit work to the instructor after class for feedback.)

  • frequent opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and plan how they’ll use that learning to complete course assessments 

Online, students will: 

  • engage in interactions with each other — through asynchronous online discussions, for example — either as a whole class or in smaller groups to build a sense of class community 

  • do individual work — such as reading, writing, watching lectures or completing problem sets — that prepares them for class meetings and course assessments 

  • watch instructor lectures that include cues for individual student work designed to help them process core concepts and ideas (Students should use this work to prepare for in-class tasks.) 

Fully Remote Synchronous Classes

Fully remote synchronous classes meet during scheduled class times using Blackboard, Zoom or similar technology. 

Instructors should plan learning activities that will engage students, who are at a distance, in real time. 

Class time may include:

  • the instructor’s brief lectures punctuated with student work and whole-class interaction (Instructors should be aware that students who aren’t well “primed” to listen to a lecture will zone out in less than 5 minutes.) 

  • frequent opportunities for students to work individually on tasks that require them to apply course content (Students may share their responses with each other in brief whole-class discussions or may submit work to the instructor after class for feedback. Instructors can make use of tools like Polls or Chat in Zoom to collect students’ ideas in real time.) 

  • opportunities for students to work in small groups using Breakout Rooms to complete focused tasks that require them to apply course content (Students can share their groups’ responses in whole-class discussions or may submit work to the instructor after class for feedback.) 

  • frequent opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and plan how they’ll use that learning to complete course assessments 

Outside of class, students will: 

  • engage in interactions with each other — through asynchronous online discussions, for example — either as a whole class or in smaller groups to build a sense of class community 

  • do individual work — such as reading, writing, watching lectures or completing problem sets — that prepares them for class meetings and course assessments 

Fully Remote Asynchronous Classes

Fully remote asynchronous classes use Blackboard, Zoom or similar technology and do not involve real-time interaction. 

Instructors should plan learning activities that will engage students who do not meet in the same place at the same time. 

Students will: 

  • watch lectures recorded or curated by the instructor. (Lectures should be recorded in 10- to 15-minute chunks and include cues that prompt students to frequently pause and do work with the content while engaging with the lecture.) 

  • do individual work — such as reading, writing, watching lectures or completing problem sets — that prepares them for class meetings and course assessments 

  • do individual work on tasks or assignments that require them to apply course content (These tasks can be graded or ungraded.) 

  • engage in small-group asynchronous discussions in which they complete focused tasks that require them to apply course content (Students can share their groups’ responses in whole-class discussions or may submit work to the instructor after class for feedback.) 

  • have frequent opportunities to reflect on their learning and plan how they’ll use that learning to complete course assessments 

Unlike a course with class meetings, the schedule for a fully remote asynchronous class is formed around the sequences of student engagement with course content, fellow students, assessment activities and due dates. 

Instructors must carefully plan student interaction to enable substantive discussion and knowledge building across time throughout the learning sequence, allowing for all students to engage asynchronously and create building blocks for the next sequence or assessment. 

Planning to Pivot

Any courses planned for in-person and hybrid delivery must be ready to move to online delivery at any point in the semester. Instructors must also prepare remote learning options in case a student is unable to attend in-person classes due to illness or infection. 

  • All instructors are asked to use Blackboard to communicate with students, post course materials — such as syllabi, readings and assignments — and host instructional activities, as appropriate, from the start of the semester, even if classes are meeting partially or completely in person. 
     
  • Instructors should also develop plans for how to use Zoom or other technology for courses that necessitate synchronous components, such as supervised field experiences, in case their course must pivot to a remote-only delivery.

Note: You may wish to review the Rubric for Online Teaching.

 

Maintaining Academic Integrity 

Despite the unusual times, UAlbany maintains its commitment to academic integrity, a responsibility embodied in the Standards of Academic Integrity outlined in the Undergraduate Bulletin and Graduate Bulletin

We recommend instructors reference the University academic integrity policy in their syllabi and remind students that it’s their responsibility to familiarize themselves with this policy. 

As always, course instructors are responsible for determining violations of academic integrity in courses, exams, theses and dissertations. 

If you identify a violation, please complete a Violation of Academic Integrity Report (VAIR) and communicate with the student and either the Office of Undergraduate Education or the Graduate School, as appropriate. All policies for penalties, notification, grievances and adjudication will apply. 

We encourage instructors to consider these teaching practices — developed by ITLAL — to minimize student cheating in online, hybrid and face-to-face courses:
 

Use more frequent, low-stakes assessments — instead of high-stakes assessments

When students believe that a single assessment or assignment will determine their success or failure in a course, they may decide it’s safer to cheat than to risk a low grade.  

Instead of a midterm and final exam being large determinants of students’ grades, consider smaller, more frequent assessments that carry less weight for students’ final average. 
 

Assessments that involve solving problems 

The instructor gives weekly quizzes that are 5 to 10 items in length. Students can drop the lowest score of the 14 quizzes and know that each quiz is worth 4% of their course grade.  

Students can also choose to rework a certain number of problems during office hours or discussion sections, in the presence of an instructor or TA, identifying how they worked the problem originally, where they went wrong and how they now understand the conceptual work they originally struggled with.   
 

Assessments that involve student papers or projects  

Each week, the instructor requires students to submit small pieces of a large project — submitting, for example, their paper’s topic, three possible resources for the paper, a plan for conducting research, a draft of first paragraph, a progress report on analysis and writing, a draft of interpretation or key ideas about the research and so on.  

These one- or two-page assignments require students to share not only their work to date but also their thinking about that work. 

Students are asked to write the thinking or action steps they took to complete this piece of the work, as well as a difficulty they encountered and what they learned that will guide them in their next assignment. 

Help students see the value of assessments

If students see assessments and assignments as just a hoop to jump through, they don’t see the need to engage in the work those assessments require.  

Take the time to explain to students in writing that the final assessment will give them valuable information about what they’ve learned this semester. Remind students why that insight is valuable as they continue their academic work and prepare for their future careers.
 

Language to use when the assessments involve solving problems 

Over the course of the semester, you will practice applying principles of physics and concepts related to climate to make predictions about weather. Our midterm is largely based on that kind of predictive work and the items on it will be familiar to you.  

This midterm will allow me to see how you are putting all the pieces of our course together. I’ve designed it so that I can see clearly where you are still struggling, as well as where you are doing well.

In the areas where there is confusion, I will revisit that work with you and provide further feedback and practice to strengthen your thinking. It’s okay to make mistakes on the midterm and I will provide ways for you to regain points.  

In your future work in the field, you will need to practice making good judgements about weather patterns quickly. Be sure to put your own honest effort into the test — it will pay off in what you learn about your own learning and what I learn about how I can help you improve in areas that are still challenging. 
 

Language to use when the assessments are papers or projects 

You will work on the final project all semester and make changes based on feedback you get from me and from your classmates. The project will showcase how you can now use sociological theories to analyze and respond to a current social issue.  

I am assigning this project because I want you to be able to use what you learn in this class long after the semester ends. The project will allow you to practice skills like research, argument and problem solving, which are skills you will use in every dimension of your life at the University. 

Both academic and personal problems can be solved when we do some research into the problem, use theories to guide our research and thinking, and present our solutions in ways that are clear and focused. I want you to put your all into this project so that you can use sociological principles to lead a better life.  

Help students prepare for assessments — and understand why that's important

Students who don’t feel well-prepared for an assessment, or who believe an assessment is unfair, will be anxious — and therefore more likely to cheat. 

As you design course activities, make sure that there are multiple opportunities for students to practice using the skills your assessments require and explicitly communicate the value of that practice to them. Remind student before assessments that they have spent time practicing what they need to succeed on the exam.
 

Language to use when talking about assessment preparation 

I’ve planned work for you this semester that builds toward the three case study papers that are the big assignments for our course. Each week, I will present you with a short scenario and guide you to practice analyzing it in the same way that you will be required to analyze the three case studies.  

Some weeks, you will analyze the scenarios on a discussion board with your classmates. Other weeks, you will practice analyzing problems and proposing solutions by first generating some ideas individually in a Blackboard Journal and then sharing your ideas in smaller groups during our Zoom class meeting.  

I will ask you to draft a short written analytic response to two of those scenarios after we’ve worked on them. This will allow me to see how your skills are developing and to give you ways to improve your thinking.  

Those analytic responses and my feedback will prepare you for the longer case study papers.  

I also want you to note that the three case study papers are weighted differently: the first is worth less than the second and the second is worth less than the third. This means that I expect your skills to build over the course of the semester.  

Applying economic principles to real scenarios and cases is hard work but, with practice, you will develop your skills. You will be ready when the final case study comes! 

Create assessments that require students to do more than recall information

It’s much easier for students in any type of course to cheat if test items focus on simple recall of information.  

For online assessments, if most questions can be answered with a quick look through the textbook or a Google search, many students will struggle to resist the temptation to cheat.  

Creating test items that challenge students to use their knowledge or understanding is one way to make cheating more difficult and less attractive.  

Another productive response is to ask students to explain how they arrived at an answer to a given question. This ensures that students must show their thinking — even if they consulted their textbook, notes or classmate when choosing an answer. 
 

Two-part test item that requires students to apply knowledge 

Alice, Barbara and Charles own a small business, the Chock-Full-o-Goodness Cookie Company. Because Charles has many outside commitments and Barbara has a few, Alice tends to be most in touch with the daily operations of Chock-Full-o-Goodness. As a result, when financial decisions come down to a vote at their monthly meeting, they have decided that Alice gets 8 votes, Barbara gets 7 and Charles gets 2 — with 9 being required to make the decision.  

Question 1: According to minimum-resource coalition theory, who is most likely to be courted for their vote?  

a) Alice 

b)  Barbara 

c)  Charles 

d)  No trend toward any specific person. 

Question 2: According to minimum-power coalition theory, who is most likely to be courted for their vote?   

a) Alice 

b)  Barbara 

c)  Charles 

d)  No trend toward any specific person. 

Note: This test item was created by Georgeanne Cooper and Michael Sweet. 
 

Two-part test item that requires students to apply knowledge and justify their thinking 

Question 1: At which location (A, B, or C) in the diagram below would the waves break closer to the beach? 

3 beach diagrams for a test item

Question 2: Explain your answer to Question 1 using course concepts. Describe the concepts in your own words and then use about 3 sentences to justify how you responded to Question 1. 

Note: This test item was created by David McConnell, David Steer, Walter Borowski, Jeffrey Dick, Annabelle Foos, Jeffrey Knott, Alvin Konigsberg, Michelle Malone, Heidi McGrew, Kathie Owens, and Stephen Van Horn.

Be aware of technology tools that make it easy for students to cheat on online exams

Students are savvy and aware of tools that can help them with assessments.  

There are “homework help” websites where students can easily find answers to test questions, papers or other projects for free. There are also paper mills where students can pay for assignments. 

It’s important not only to be aware of these resources but also to ensure that our assessments make it difficult for students to succeed by using these tools.  

It’s also important to use the four practices outlined above to ensure that students feel less anxious about assessments and less inclined to cheat.
 

Language to use when the assessments involve solving problems 

Our midterm is a multiple-choice exam and has 45 items. I create these items each semester so that they are unique to our course and align with the work that we’ve been practicing.  

I think you’ll find the items challenging at the right level. Remember, you’ve been preparing for this exam during the last five weeks through your homework and in-class activities.  

I’m excited to see how you’re thinking about these problems, so I can give you good feedback on your individual progress. 
 

Language to use when the assessments are papers or projects 

The final draft of your “Ethnography of Everyday Life” paper is due in two weeks. As you know, I designed this project for you this semester because ethnographic research is only as valuable as it is applicable to the everyday problems and situations we find ourselves in.  

You’ve been turning in pieces of the project throughout the semester, so in many ways the final draft will be a last assemblage of these pieces with reflection on the changes you’ve made based on my feedback.  

I have appreciated mentoring you through these steps and observing your development as ethnographers. I am looking forward to reading the final draft and will be creating personalized feedback about your learning so that you can continue to develop your skills as an anthropology major and / or in regard to your analysis of everyday life as you move forward to use these new skills to make sense of our ever more complex social and political worlds. 

Updating Your Syllabus  

We recommend instructors update their syllabi to address new classroom procedures and course delivery methods. Instructors should consider adding these suggested sections to their syllabi:
 

Suggested “Classroom Health and Safety” Section

Thank you for your cooperation with these expectations and for helping us save lives. It is only with your help and support that we will be able to take effective steps to address the critical consequences of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Together we can make a difference, one person at a time. 

Your Health and Safety in the Classroom

At the University at Albany, supporting the health and safety of all members of our campus community is a top priority. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are following federal, state and local public health guidelines, and these guidelines apply to all campus community members across all University spaces. 

To ensure that each of us has a healthy and safe learning experience within courses that involve in-person contact, all students, faculty members, staff and visitors are required to adhere to the expectations outlined on the Health & Safety page of the University’s COVID-19 website.  

Please note:

  • In class, please be sure that you enter the classroom wearing your face covering and keep it on for the entire class period. 

  • It is always important to observe the physical distancing markers in the classroom, including when you enter and exit the classroom. 

  • Follow the posted classroom cleaning protocols upon entering/exiting the classroom. 
     

Your Psychological Health During COVID-19 

It is normal to experience some psychological distress and a range of emotional reactions to an evolving global health situation, such as COVID-19. Some signs of distress may include: 

  • Difficulty concentrating 

  • Increased fear, anxiety, worry, or feeling paralyzed or overwhelmed 

  • Trouble sleeping 

  • Changes in appetite or eating habits 

  • Increase in alcohol or other drug use, and/or concerns about your use by friends or family 

  • Crying, sadness, loss of interest/pleasure 

  • Feeling hopeless and/or helpless 

If your distress is interfering with your relationships, academic, work or daily life, confidential support is available to you.  

Contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 518-442-5800 or consultation@albany.edu to schedule an appointment with a psychologist. Virtual counseling services are available. The CAPS website also contains self-help resources and other valuable information. 

Suggested “Reasonable Accommodations” Section

Reasonable accommodations will be provided for students with documented physical, sensory, systemic, medical, cognitive, learning and mental health (psychiatric) disabilities.  

If you believe you have a disability requiring accommodation in this class, please notify the Disability Resource Center by contacting them at drc@albany.edu or 518-442-5510.  

Upon verification and after the registration process is complete, the DRC will provide you with a letter that informs the course instructor that you are a student with a disability registered with the DRC and list the recommended reasonable accommodations. 

We also suggest instructors add a section in their syllabi that clearly articulates how they will use online learning resources and what their expectations are for student engagement. You may wish to review the suggested First Day Announcement.

Please review the following additional guidance as you prepare your syllabi for the Fall 2020 semester. 
 

Office Hours

Instructors should establish consistent office hours with clear instructions for students about how to connect during the designated times. 

  • Instructors teaching online are expected to provide virtual office hours.

  • Instructors teaching courses that involve any amount of in-person instruction can offer both virtual and in-person office hours. 

Virtual office hours: We recommend instructors either use the Zoom waiting area to manage the flow of students or schedule individual meeting times with students. 

In-person office hours: Instructors who want to hold in-person office hours can reserve smaller classrooms that won’t be used for teaching using the EMS reservation system. Additional information on this process is forthcoming. 

Accommodations for Absences and/or Illnesses

We are asking instructors to use their best judgement when accommodating student absences and/or missed assignments. Instructors should provide appropriate and reasonable accommodations consistent with existing policies. 

Undergraduate Students: The Office of Undergraduate Education will only provide letters of excuse for prolonged absences (more than 5 days) or in exceptional circumstances. In other cases, instructors should make their own decisions and don't need to rely on this office unless necessary. 

Graduate Students: The Graduate School does not provide letters of excuse for student absences, except in extreme situations. Students and faculty are expected to work out any necessary accommodations.  

Faculty will be notified if a student has been quarantined due to COVID-19 and should develop a plan to work with students who experience this type of documented disruption. 

Ensuring Accessibility 

Please use this guidance, developed by the Disability Resource Center (DRC), to ensure your course is accessible to all students.  
 

Academic Accommodation Letters

A student’s request for accommodation should include an electronic letter from the DRC. 

Accommodation letters are generic, so a particular academic accommodation may not apply to your class. The letters are specific to a student and dated for this term. 

If a student makes a request but is not registered with the DRC, please ask them to contact our office at DRC@albany.edu or 518-442-5501. We will meet with the student virtually to ensure their civil rights are protected and reasonable accommodations are made. 

Blackboard

Blackboard Ally is a tool that seamlessly integrates with your Learning Management System to provide insight into your courses’ accessibility.  

Using the text material you post, Blackboard Ally can create an accessible document for student use. 

Blackboard Ally can also rate your course material, noting which parts are not accessible, and walk you through how to make it accessible. 

Captions

All instructors should do their best to find audio recordings and videos that are appropriately captioned so there is no need to suddenly make an inaccessible class accessible. 

Auto-captioning is a starting point and can include some rather embarrassing mistranslations, so it should not be used without review and correction. 

If you do not own the audio recording or video, and it is not properly captioned, consider using something different. 

Exams

If you are giving in-person exams and a student is using the DRC to take exams, follow the directions on the accommodation letter for delivery and return of the exam.

Be sure to give the same type of test to everyone, including students receiving accommodations. If you use several test versions in class, you can send different versions to the DRC. 

Instructors need to know how to adjust the timer on Blackboard for any timed quiz or exam. Please note: 

  • Extended time accommodations apply for any timed assessment, including quizzes and class exams.  

  • Extended time accommodations usually do not apply to take-home exams that students have several days to complete without a timer. However, always contact the DRC if you are unsure. 

Presentation Tools

PowerPoint: You can add captions to PowerPoint slides. 

Prezi: Do not use this software or allow a student to use it in your class. It is inaccessible and can trigger seizures, migraine headaches and/or vertigo. 

Zoom: You can caption recorded Zoom meetings. Read Zoom’s caption instructions or contact the DRC at DRC@albany.edu or 518-442-5501 for a guide. 

Visible mouth masks and hooded face shields

Instructors who may have Deaf/Hard of Hearing students in their classes will get an email from the DRC about a hooded face shield or visible mouth mask that they can obtain from the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.  

Hooded face shields and visible mouth masks provide greater protection that typical face shields, while still allowing instructors teaching in-person classes to keep their whole face or mouth visible to assist students with lip reading.

If a student who is registered with the DRC makes a special request — such as asking you waive penalties for missed classes or late work — consider these questions: 

  • Would you do it for other students? If the answer is yes, say yes. 

  • Will it lower the standards of your course? If the answer is yes, say no. 

  • Does it impact the academic integrity of your course? If the answer is yes, say no. 

If you don’t know what to do, the Disability Resource Center staff is ready to talk it over with you and work on a response that is reasonable for everyone involved. Contact us at DRC@albany.edu or 518-442-5501