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Teaching Continuity at Caltech

Teaching Continuity at Caltech

EVENTS AND HIGHLIGHTS

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This website provides information on best practices, tips, available technology and tools, and how to get support for teaching and was last updated on December 6, 2022. The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach site offers many additional resources including planning and teaching courses and inclusive teaching.

Resources for online teaching are available on this site if Caltech needs to return to remote teaching. New technologies implemented during the pandemic—such as Canvas, Gradescope, Piazza, Google Workspace, recording kits, Zoom for office hours—remain key tools for teaching and learning during in-person instruction.


Learning Management System

Caltech uses the Canvas Learning Management System as the central hub for course content. Instructors and TAs have access to training materials and official course shells (used for teaching) via their access.caltech.edu credentials.

If you are teaching with Canvas for the first time, we recommend: (1) viewing this 6-minute video that introduces the available technology, and (2) taking the "Getting Started with Canvas" course within Canvas, which includes many useful tutorial videos and answers to many commonly asked questions.


Winter Term 2023 course shells are available in Canvas

Instructors, TAs, and Administrative Assistants have access to their winter course shells in Canvas. Find tips and guidelines in this email sent on November 9, 2022, to Winter 2023 instructors. Caltech login is required for access.

Key Winter Term Dates 

  • November 9: Instructors receive access to winter Canvas courses. If you do not find the expected course(s) under unpublished items in your Dashboard, please contact your option administrator and ask them to inform the Registrar's Office of your course assignments.
  • December 13: Submit course materials request to Caltech Library to ensure textbook purchase availability.
  • December 28: Students can access published Canvas courses in which they are enrolled.
  • January 4: Instruction begins.
  • March 10: Last day of instruction.
  • See the complete 2022-23 academic calendar

Questions?

To reach the Caltech teams who provide support and consultation about designing and building your course, please email ctlo@caltech.edu and/or canvas@caltech.edu

Fall term courses will follow the spring term in-person instruction with special masking guidelines listed below.

The fall guidelines were as follows:

As announced on August 8, 2022, the Institute is making plans for the coming academic year. Here are some highlights:

  • Fall-term instruction will return to the normal practice of meeting in person in classrooms and lecture halls managed by the academic divisions. We will no longer require reduction in the occupancy of our teaching spaces.
  • Masks are required in instructional spaces for fall term. Instructors may elect to remove their masks.
  • If you are a student in an instructional space, you must wear an N95 mask. As of November 2, 2022, masks may be temporarily removed in classroom settings when a student is called upon by their instructor or when they wish to offer comments or ask questions. This is up to the discretion of the instructor. Read more about this update.

As of August 2, 2022, instructors, TAs, and Administrative Assistants have access to their fall course shells in Canvas. Find tips and guidelines in this email sent on August 2, 2022, to Fall 2022 instructors. Caltech login is required for access.

Key Fall Term Dates 

  • August 2: Instructors receive access to fall Canvas courses. If you do not find the expected course(s) under unpublished items in your Dashboard, please contact your option administrator and ask them to inform the Registrar's Office of your course assignments.  
  • September 20: Students can access published Canvas courses in which they are enrolled.
  • September 27: Instruction begins. 
  • December 2: Last day of instruction.
  • See the complete fall term calendar.

Summer term courses will follow the spring term in-person instruction and current campus masking guidelines.

The spring guidelines were as follows:

As announced on April 21, 2022, Caltech reinstated its requirement that high-quality masks (surgical, N95s, KN95s, or KF95s) be worn in all indoor locations on campus beginning on April 22, 2022. There is an exception for teaching. Instructors may elect to remove their masks indoors when all other individuals in the space are masked.

As announced on March 18, 2022, the Institute returned fully to in-person instruction for the spring term. Here are some highlights:

  • Students who miss class should contact their instructors to access or make-up the material, as they would have prior to the pandemic.
  • Recording classes is no longer required. If you wish to record your class for pedagogical reasons, like as a study tool, or a way for students who miss class to access the materials, consider:
  • If you offer your course via synchronous dual delivery or hybrid, please be aware of the challenges of hybrid instruction. Outside of special emergency permissions granted during the pandemic, Caltech's accreditation is limited to in-person instruction.

As announced on April 21, 2022, Caltech reinstated its requirement that high-quality masks (surgical, N95s, KN95s, or KF95s) be worn in all indoor locations on campus beginning on April 22, 2022. There is an exception for teaching. Instructors may elect to remove their masks indoors when all other individuals in the space are masked.

As announced on March 18, 2022, the Institute returned fully to in-person instruction for the spring term. Here are some highlights:

  • Due to health risks from travel over spring break, instructors have the discretion to conduct the first week of instruction (March 28 - April 1, 2022) remotely. All classes are to resume in-person on Monday, April 4, 2022.
  • Students who miss class should contact their instructors to access or make-up the material, as they would have prior to the pandemic.
  • Recording classes is no longer required. If you wish to record your class for pedagogical reasons, like as a study tool, or a way for students who miss class to access the materials, consider:
  • If you offer your course via synchronous dual delivery or hybrid, please be aware of the challenges of hybrid instruction. Outside of special emergency permissions granted during the pandemic, Caltech's accreditation is limited to in-person instruction.


Key dates for spring term:

  • February 14: Instructors received access to spring Canvas courses. If you do not find expected course(s) under unpublished items in your Dashboard, please contact your option administrator and ask them to inform the Registrar's Office of your course assignments.
  • March 21: Students can access published Canvas courses in which they are enrolled.
  • March 28: Instruction begins.
  • May 27: Last day of instruction for seniors and graduate students
  • June 3: Last day of instruction for undergraduates (except seniors)
  • See the complete spring term calendar

Email sent on February 14, 2022, to Spring 2022 instructors, available via Caltech login.

March 18, 2022, announcement with guidelines about spring term instruction.

March 31, 2022, reminder that the Institute returns to in-person instruction for the spring term.

April 2021, 2022, announcement on reinstating universal indoor masking on campus.

As announced on 12/22/2021, due to concerns about the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the first week of instruction in Caltech's Winter Term (January 3 - 7, 2022) was conducted remotely via Zoom. Classes resume in-person on Monday, January 10, 2022, following the guidance in this memo dated 01/07/2022.

This one-page Quick Reference Sheet about Winter 2022 teaching has bullet points and links related to course planning, Canvas, course reserves, recording support and instructional equipment, FERPA, security, permissions, and reusing/adapting past content. The second page also has a Getting Started tip sheet for instructors who may be teaching remotely or using Canvas for the first time.

An archive of updates for Winter 2022 faculty and instructors is available here via Caltech login.

Please find information about Fall 2021 instruction in this Institute communication sent on September 10, 2021, along with the detailed recommendations for Fall 2021 from the Committee on Reconstituting Campus Instruction and these FAQs about fall term instruction. Please find other Institute communications, including those sent to students, at the Caltech Together Coronavirus information website.

Please find an archive of information and updates for faculty and fall 2021 instructors here, available via Caltech login.

Please find information about Summer 2021 in this message to the Caltech Community, sent on May 5, 2021. For summer term courses, instructors were given access to their Canvas course shells on May 10, 2021, and published courses in Canvas will be open to enrolled students on June 7, 2021 (one week before the summer term begins).

Caltech's undergraduate academic program continued as a remote-learning program in the spring term of 2021. Instructors accessed their spring term course shells in Canvas starting Tuesday, February 16, 2021 and published courses in Canvas were open to enrolled students on Monday, March 22, 2021 (one week before the term began. Please find an archive of updates to spring 2021 instructors here, available via Caltech login.

During Winter 2021, instruction proceeded remotely, using primarily online tools and methods. Please find an archive of updates to winter 2021 instructors here, available via Caltech login. Please contact the CTLO with any questions about winter messages.

During Fall 2020, messages to instructors were archived in this fall 2020 messages Box folder. Archived messages are available via Caltech login. Please contact the CTLO with any questions about fall messages.

Instruction moved online for the spring term of 2020. An archive of email updates to spring 2020 instructors can be found in this Box folder (available with Caltech login).