Resources For Covid Related Absences

Best Practices and Tools for Faculty:  Helping students in isolation or quarantine stay connected to coursework

This semester we can expect extra demands on the flexibility that BSU faculty extend their students who are sick or caring for family. We appreciate the care and patience you show these students, who are working hard to continue their education. To assist, we have envisioned several options for keeping that quarantined/isolated student plugged into class, without detracting from the in-person class you are delivering.

If you have a student who is quarantining, please email  That email puts you in touch with the Contact Tracing Team, which will give you guidance on that student’s responsibilities and eventual return to campus.

The ideas below are only suggestions, and we welcome more of them from faculty. You should select the means of delivery that works best for your particular discipline and pedagogy. The Center for Professional Development and eLearning Support stand ready to help you in this process, and the BSU Faculty Association can advise you on your rights and responsibilities during this challenging semester.

We can also expect that some faculty will need to continue instruction while caring for family who have been exposed to the novel coronavirus. If for these reasons you would like to shift to remote instruction, then please work with your chair and dean to request a temporary shift in instruction methodology. If you need to cancel some classes to care for sick or exposed family members, please make use of the sick leave policy.

Below are some ideas to help you navigate balancing student needs with your current teaching methods.  Remember to do what is reasonable for both you and your students!  If you want to meet with a faculty member for advice or to discuss ideas, please reach out to any member of the Center for Professional Development or email

  • Allow students to catch up with the course later by accepting late assignments, giving make-up exams, etc. Set up one-on-one-zoom meetings or phone conferences with student(s) outside of class time.
    • This is the more traditional option: meeting a student separately outside of class, over Zoom or phone, to teach them one-on-one. For smaller classes with fewer medical absences, this may be an easier option.
    • Contact Brian Jambor, in eLearning Support for assistance with Zoom.
    • Understanding Due Dates and End Dates in D2L
  • Set up a zoom link for synchronous remote course lectures.
    • The chat feature in Zoom may allow quarantined students to submit questions with minimal interruption to in-person discussion.
    • If you interact with your computer frequently, a second device could be used to run the Zoom call for quarantined students. If you have additional technology needs, contact Information Technology Services for assistance.
    • For especially large classes with frequent medical absences, a student worker could be requested to facilitate the Zoom room.
  • Create assignment folders in D2L course shell for students to upload their work.
    • This option takes you closer to a traditional HyFlex course, and is more time-consuming, but some faculty prefer to create a bundle of lectures and assignments for students to complete outside of or along with the in-person class.
  • Create discussions on D2L for the class where on-campus and on-line students can equally participate.
    • D2L discussion forums or live chat features could be used to create interaction between in-person and quarantined students.
  • Create a buddy system for pair and share work.
    • If a student is absent from class, the ‘buddy’ can share notes, assignments, etc.
    • A UTAP student or class volunteer can assist in communication with students, notes, etc.
  • Utilize Teams to create shared documents where groups of students can collaborate, create, and edit documents online.
    • Teams, Microsoft OneDrive, and many other platforms allow students to collectively write and edit class notes, in real time. In-person and quarantined students could work on lecture notes together. This option pairs particularly well with a synchronous Zoom option, since it keeps quarantined students engaged AND lets them get immediate clarification when they miss a word or two.
  • Substitute topic-based, independent study assignments in place of those a student can’t complete if not in class.
    • One option would be to make up the missed lecture with the student later, and have them use the quarantine to work on papers and other assignments.
  • You may already have a transcriber in your course, to meet an accessibility request. You may also share these notes with other students who are absent.


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