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Instructional guidance for faculty amid COVID-19 concerns

Both the impending threat and confirmed occurrence of COVID-19 are impacting institutions across the nation. At Augusta University, in concert with the USG, we continue to monitor updates from a variety of health care sources, both local and national. President Brooks Keel has appointed a task force of experts from around the university to provide guidance as this situation evolves. The university will provide updates on our COVID-19 resource page.

Note that all classes are still on regular schedule. Any updates regarding classes will be sent from President Keel. Read about the four things students should know right now about COVID-19.

If social distancing becomes necessary, requiring us to suspend face-to-face instruction, we are providing a way that allows didactic instruction to continue. That plan requires all faculty to teach courses remotely. We know those of you who have never taught online may find this challenging, and we are committed to providing the support you need to be successful.

Note: Labs, simulations, clinical instruction, internships, off-site instruction, etc., require different solutions than what is offered here. Work with your chairs and program directors for guidance in these areas.

The Center for Instructional Innovation has developed a guide for considering ways to deliver content, communicate with students, receive assignments and conduct other essential aspects of instructional practice. Our goal in providing this guidance is to empower you to deliver academic content as soon as possible in the event this infectious disease event scales quickly.

There is no expectation that this work will transform you into a master online teacher. However, in the event that an alternative to face-to-face instruction is required, this guidance will help you get to a basic level of efficiency and implementation. And it could even whet your appetite to learn and do more online instruction. Find the quick start guide here.

In anticipation of a possible interruption in face-to-face instruction, we ask that instructional faculty members prepare their classes for possible distance delivery using these instructions as quickly as possible, preferably within the next week.

Ideally, this process should be implemented using technology from your home. To ensure you have the necessary capabilities, please test your remote access ability now to allow us to troubleshoot, provide additional training or identify equipment needs while we have an opportunity to do so. We will appoint instructional design team members and instructional systems analysts to your colleges so you will know who to contact for support. 

If you experience challenges, contact information and FAQs are found online. Please note, it is our expectation that every instructional faculty member will participate in this important effort.

University leadership continues to build strategies for addressing the many contingencies that may arise from COVID-19. We will keep you updated as these plans develop. Despite the uncertainty we are experiencing, we are confident Augusta University is on the right path to ensure we meet the needs of our students and our university community as effectively as possible. Thank you for your flexibility and ongoing commitment to our students.

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