spring 2023

This page provides detailed information about campus plans and preparation for 2022–23 instruction. 

We offer the guidelines and definitions outlined below to enable you to prepare, while recognizing that plans may need to change due to variable public health regulations and campus conditions.

Our planning principles underscore flexibility, community well-being, COVID mitigation, and ensuring educational access as we learn to work together in a new environment.


From In-Person to Remote.pdf

Quick transitions

A guide for quickly transitioning to remote instruction


Masks recommended

A sign for your office or classroom door

essential information


The following questions and answers are designed to help instructors and TAs prepare for spring quarter instruction. The communications section above will be updated if additional guidance is provided. 

Although subsequent developments may require us to make changes, these answers are intended to provide the best and most up-to-date basis for you to prepare to teach this quarter.

These FAQs will be supplemented and updated as needed on an ongoing basis. If you would like to propose an additional question, or if you have other additions or corrections, please email citl@ucsc.edu.


Students are asking permission to attend my in-person course remotely due to illness or other temporary situations (housing, storms, illness of a family member). What should I say? 

For instructors who record their lectures, require attendance, AND have late submission/makeup policies that would accommodate 1-2 weeks of class absences

I will be using Lecture Capture to record all of our class sessions. You can find my attendance and makeup policy in [state location in Canvas and/or provide link/attachment to syllabus]. Please review this policy as a guideline and let me know if you have any questions. 

For instructors who record lectures but do not require attendance

Attendance is not mandatory in this class, but I still want you to have access to our lecture sessions so you can learn the material. I will be using Lecture Capture to record all lectures. You can find those recordings in [state location where recording will be posted]. 

For instructors who do not use Lecture Capture

I do not record my lectures, but I do post slides on Canvas. Please review the slides and ask a classmate to fill you in on what happened in class.

For instructors with attendance policies, and that use frequent in-class graded work

Attendance in this course is expected and we often use class time on graded assignments. If you are unable to come to class for a few weeks, this will have an impact on your ability to succeed. If your absence is due to temporary illness, I can work with you on an individual basis. [Or, especially for larger courses, refer to the syllabus where my policies for students who are ill appear. CITL staff are happy to advise on how to develop such a policy.]  encourage you to seek guidance from an academic advisor and to consider whether other course options may be more appropriate for you.

What guidance is provided to students in isolation regarding instruction? 

The Cowell Student Health Center provides the following guidance to students who are in isolation: 

"The campus will not notify your close contacts. All students who test positive (either on campus or off) are strongly encouraged to notify all of their close contacts, including their instructors and roommates, so that they can take the appropriate actions."

And the following: 

"Academic Support During Isolation

Can I teach my course remotely? 

The Academic Senate's approval of remote instruction as an allowable teaching format formally ended after Summer 2022. Faculty interested in teaching online can propose online courses (synchronous or asynchronous) using the Academic Senate's established course approval process in accordance with the Committee on Educational Policy (CEP) & Graduate Council (GC) Policy on UCSC Undergraduate and Graduate Online and Hybrid Courses. Courses can be proposed using the Registrar’s Office website

Per VPAA Lee and AVPTL Greene's 12/19/22 communication, "Instructors have the authority to make emergency temporary instructional adjustments, including the use of the remote modality, as needed to best support learning. Instructors are advised to inform their department chair, program director, or college provost about emergency temporary instructional adjustments." 

I have a medical condition. Can I request a medical accommodation to teach online? 

Requesting to teach online due to medical conditions is a request for a reasonable accommodation under APM 711. To initiate the process, send your request to Disability Management Coordinator, Kelly Roberts (roberts@ucsc.edu). Once a request is made, the process entails an evaluation of the medical documentation in support of the request, as well as consultation with the department or program chair on the efficacy of using an online modality to achieve the intended course learning outcomes. 

What should I do if I have respiratory symptoms or test positive for COVID? 

First, stay away from campus if you believe you are ill and follow the advice of your medical professional. 

Public health guidance regarding isolation and quarantine can change. Visit the CDPH COVID website for current guidelines.

If one of my students tests positive for COVID or other transmissible diseases, can I ask for verification?

No. As with any other medical situation disclosed by a student, per Academic Senate Committee on Educational Policy, please do not ask students to “prove” they have COVID if they tell you they have tested positive.

I’m new to teaching at UCSC. Where can I find information related to teaching at UCSC? 

Welcome to UCSC! All campus information about teaching during the pandemic is contained on Keep Teaching. A similar site for students is available at Keep Learning.

For information about the current UAW labor action, visit the CITL website

For more general teaching resources, refer to the Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning. For information about online, hybrid, and other technologically-enhanced teaching, consult Online Education.

If students are unable to attend class in person, what options do I have for providing students with access to class materials? 

Instructors may not ask students to provide medical documentation of illness or proof of a positive test result (see the Academic Senate’s document on this point).

There are several ways for you to provide access to class materials for students who are sick or unable to attend class to engage with materials. These include the following: 

The Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning (CITL) and Online Education (OE) are available to consult with any instructor who would like to discuss alternative ways to accommodate students who temporarily cannot attend an in-person class. We strongly encourage instructors to work closely with their TAs to make these decisions transparently and collaboratively.

What are some of the basic steps I need to take if I have decided to allow a student to temporarily attend my in-person class on Zoom?

Should students who are sick attend class virtually if their health permits?

Depending on what you want to accomplish in your class meetings, you may choose to use the Lecture Capture system, assign make-up work, or temporarily allow emergency remote attendance.

I have a student who has asked to consistently attend my in-person class remotely this quarter (due to COVID/commuting/housing issues/storms, etc.). Do I have to allow this? What should I tell them?

Per the Academic Senate, instructors can only allow emergency remote attendance on a short-term (temporary) basis. When a student has signed up for an in-person course, there is an expectation that they attend the course in person.

You can help the students asking for this accommodation by pointing them to the following alternatives:

If I teach an in-person class, what are my options for how I hold office hours?

Consult with your department or program chair to see if there are expectations for office hour formats. If you are a TA, consult with the instructor of record and other members of the teaching team. Many instructors and TAs alike have remarked on the benefits of holding virtual office hours to support student learning, and we expect that this practice will continue beyond the pandemic. Offering students at least some virtual office hours may provide them with more flexibility to attend office hours. Check out the Open Student Hours page for more ideas on practices for office hours/student hours.

Should instructors of fully in-person classes make any preparation to offer remote exams in the event of emergency conditions?

While health experts do not expect a return to remote instruction, it is a good practice for all instructors and teaching teams to be prepared to transition to remote instruction—including exams—in the event of major campus disruptions.

What do I do if students express discomfort with attending class in person?

Per campus guidance on instruction, instructors and TAs are asked to refer students to the appropriate campus resources depending on what you know about why they are not comfortable attending class. Below is a list of resources.


Will my general assignment classroom be equipped with the technology to temporarily allow students to also join remotely if a need arises?

Per the Academic Senate, instructors can only allow emergency remote attendance on a short-term (temporary) basis. 

I will be teaching while wearing a mask. Will microphones be available to instructors to check out for the quarter?

At this time Learning Technologies has a limited number of head-mount microphones available for checkout that are designed to work with the amplification systems in large classrooms. If you would like one, use the ITS ticketing system and make your request via SlugHub (formerly ITRequest). Enter keyword "classrooms" and select General Assignment Classrooms. All classrooms with speech amplification systems come with lapel microphones.

ITS and the instructional continuity working group are in the process of securing more microphones both for vocal amplification and for improved functionality in blended synchronous. Check back in the coming days for information about microphones and where to find them.

How is ventilation being addressed in the rooms?

Instructional spaces have either operable windows, direct building ventilation, or both. Buildings with forced air ventilation have been adjusted to maximize outside air while maintaining acceptable temperature and pressurization control. Some areas may still experience temperature extremes; dress appropriately. Building air filters have also been upgraded to MERV 13.

How do I request COVID supplies for my classroom?

Please reach out to your department manager or college administration. If your classroom needs additional supplies, please submit a request form through the campus Work Order process. TAs are encouraged to speak with the instructor of record, who can make requests at the department level.

If you have additional questions about COVID-19 health and safety preparations, please contact ehs@ucsc.edu.


What is Lecture Capture? 

Lecture Capture records in-person classroom sessions and makes them available for students to review asynchronously. It records the content shown on the projector(s) and the classroom audio, and can optionally include a camera directed at the front of the room. Recordings are stored in the YuJa media management system and are automatically published for your students to review. Lecture Capture is currently available in all general assignment classrooms. Use of Lecture Capture is optional — recording of classes is scheduled only at the instructor’s request.

Requests for Lecture Capture can be made through the Lecture Capture Scheduler. Importantly, courses are captured only with the permission of the course instructor, so you must specifically request Lecture Capture be scheduled for your class.

If you are teaching an in-person lecture course, we recommend that you use the new Lecture Capture system. While watching a recorded lecture is not a substitute for attending a class meeting, having recordings of lectures available to students is known to support student learning, and if students are sick or unable to attend, the recordings are likely to help them keep up with course work. One of the things most frequently reported by students as an “upside” of pandemic era remote instruction was the availability of recordings of lectures.

You may receive a request from the DRC to enable Lecture Capture for student accommodations. You have the choice of enabling the recordings for all students in the class, or limiting the availability to only DRC students. This option is controlled in the Lecture Capture Scheduler, along with the option for whether to automatically publish your recordings or not.

I’m teaching in a classroom that isn't equipped with Lecture Capture and I will be recording class sessions using Zoom. Do I need to ask students for consent if I record a class session?

Per the UCSC Privacy Office, consent is not required but you must notify students that the class session is being recorded

Here are some best practices for recording class sessions:

Note: If you are using the Lecture Capture system with video turned on, the classroom camera is positioned to record only the instructor and whiteboard area in the front of the room. Incidental recording of other people will only occur if they move into or through that area. Audio is also only captured by the instructor’s microphone or ceiling mics designed to amplify the instructor’s voice. For this reason, if students ask questions, you will likely want to repeat them so they show up on the recording.

In any case, make sure to notify students of the class being recorded, be sure to wear the provided lapel mic if provided in the room when using Lecture Capture, and in addition to allowing students to ask questions during the class, offer them the option to ask questions after class or during office hours when Zoom or Lecture Capture is not being used to record.

What is a DTEN, what is it used for, and how can I get one?

A DTEN is a large screen device (think of a huge iPad or tablet), either 55 inch or 75 inch, that is available in some General Assignment  classrooms as well as some departmental spaces. When the device is invited to a meeting with Zoom, it will display the Zoom session on the screen, making it easier for the instructor, the in-class students, and the remote participants to interact. The entire display is a touchscreen.

Learn more about DTEN devices, how to use them, where to get them, how they are supported, and more.


Are students required to test before returning to campus and afterwards?

All UCSC community members are strongly encouraged to take a rapid antigen test before returning to campus, especially if they: 

Ongoing (surveillance) testing is not currently required for students, faculty, or staff. However, free asymptomatic testing is still available.

How do I notify other members of the teaching team about students who will be unable to attend class in person due to illness? 

The easiest way to inform all members of the teaching team about students who may be out for a week or more due to illness is to maintain a Google Doc that simply includes the names of students who have notified you that they are unable to attend class for an approved reason. This ongoing list cannot be exclusively for students with health-related absences. It is highly advisable at your weekly TA meeting to go over the list of students who have been approved to be absent or who may not be submitting assignments for a specified period of time. Encourage your TAs, if they are communicating with students about extended absences, to keep you informed through the shared document or by another means of your preference. 

What kind of masks does the campus provide and recommend?

Masks are strongly encouraged for indoor settings at UC Santa Cruz facilities. Masks are still required in clinical settings.

The campus has determined that appropriate indoor masking with N95, KN95, KF94, or a surgical mask underneath a cloth mask is key to minimizing on-campus transmission.

The university continues to provide free masks to the campus community. They can be picked up at the Bay Tree Campus Store, the McHenry, and Science & Engineering Libraries. Employees can request larger quantities of masks on this form

What should I say in my syllabus about COVID, masking, expectations, etc.? 

For instructors who plan to mask while teaching and wish to request continued masking from students:

For a variety of reasons, some people in our community remain particularly vulnerable to or apprehensive about COVID transmission. Out of courtesy to them, I will be wearing a mask in class (and/or during office hours). I encourage you to consider doing the same.

Instructors who do not plan to mask while teaching but wish to signal support for those who do:

Option 1 (instructors who will only unmask during active instruction):

I plan to teach without a mask, although I will continue to mask before and after class and during office hours. I ask you to consider wearing a mask in class as a courtesy to those members of our community who may be immunocompromised, have a vulnerable family member at home (such as a child under 5), or remain apprehensive about COVID transmission.

Option 2 (instructors who don’t plan to mask at all but want to signal support for continued classroom masking):

I plan to teach without a mask. However, I ask that you consider continuing to mask in the classroom as a courtesy to those members of our community who may be immunocompromised, have a vulnerable family member at home (such as a child under 5), or remain apprehensive about COVID transmission in situations where social distancing is not possible. If you prefer that I be masked when you are in close proximity to me, please let me know. I will be glad to put my mask on while we talk.

Instructors who do not plan to mask and who do not plan to ask students to mask:

Regardless of your personal decision about masking, I ask that you interact in a respectful and considerate way toward those who have made a decision that is different from your own.

Instructors who do not wish to hold office hours with unmasked students:

I will be offering both in-person and remote office hours this quarter. I ask that you wear a mask when meeting with me in person. If you prefer to meet without a mask, please sign up for my remote office hours.

What should I do if a student is coughing, sneezing, or looks ill?

At the start of the term in your syllabus language, and regularly throughout the term, remind students not to come to class if they are feeling unwell. Given the range of symptoms associated with COVID-19, any student with cold- or flu-like symptoms should be encouraged to stay home and to get tested at the Student Health Center. Students who feel well enough should be encouraged to review lecture or other class materials as they would have prior to the pandemic in cases of student illness (e.g., through Lecture Capture recordings or make-up work), or to temporarily attend class remotely if you are offering a remote option.

If a student has COVID-like symptoms or tests positive, how long are they expected to isolate from others? 

Public health guidance regarding isolation and quarantine can change. Visit the CDPH COVID website for current guidelines.


Online: A course offering format that is expressed in synchronous or asynchronous instruction (more on that below), without meetings in a physical space, and only includes courses that have been approved by the Academic Senate Committee on Courses of Instruction (CCI). 

Remote: Remote instruction, which emerged on a large scale in March 2020 as “emergency remote instruction,” refers to the type of instruction that was offered during the current pandemic and that is likely to be used during significant campus disruptions in the future. This includes courses that would normally be taught in person but are being offered remotely due to COVID-19. The majority of these courses have not gone through the Academic Senate’s formal process for course approval to be taught in an online format and are being taught in a remote format during the pandemic only. Courses being taught during this period of remote instruction are commonly synchronous (Zoom-based offerings) with set course meeting times, but these courses may also incorporate asynchronous materials such as pre-recorded lectures.

In Person: Courses in which lectures or seminars are offered in-person with a single modality of instruction by the primary instructor. For those lecture courses that have discussion sections/secondary labs, these may or may not be held in person pending the availability of classrooms. As in the past, instructors may elect to teach in a classroom with webcast functionality, and to make recordings of their lectures available to students. 

Synchronous: Instruction that is characterized by its use of videoconferencing software to facilitate face-to-face, real-time interaction with students. Similar to courses taught in person, synchronous online courses are also characterized by their use of set meeting times that are advertised to students when they enroll. 

Asynchronous: Instruction that is characterized by its reliance on lectures, engagement activities, assessments, or other course materials that are pre-recorded and carefully pre-planned for students who will have minimal (or no) face-to-face, real-time interactions. Unlike fully synchronous or in-person courses, asynchronous courses do not have set meeting times that are advertised to students when they enroll; instead, students typically access the materials at a time of their choosing within the timeframe specified by the instructor (e.g., all of week three materials might be available on the first day of week three). That said, all UCSC asynchronous courses give students at least some opportunities every week for synchronous engagement, i.e., real-time interaction with the instructional team and with other students in the class, including office hours or problem set working groups. Final exams in asynchronous courses require a fixed three-hour time block that will need to be offered during one of the “non-standard” times in the final exam schedule. Because students may have conflicts with exams in their other asynchronous classes, faculty teaching asynchronous courses should also offer alternate exam times.

Hybrid: A term used generally to describe models of teaching and learning that include multiple modalities in one course. These might be asynchronous and in-person, synchronous and in-person, asynchronous and synchronous, etc. Hybrid is a broad term and can quickly lead to confusion, hence it is advisable to use more specific terms to refer to modalities of instruction. 

Flipped: Flipped classrooms involve a teaching technique that combines the strengths of asynchronous and synchronous formats with a synchronous in-person or remote (Zoom-based) element that is characterized by the use of active learning techniques that often prioritize student engagement through group work. Each student is expected to engage with both the in-person and the remote elements.

Emergency Remote Attendance: An in-person course where, due to an emergency situation, a student(s) attend(s) remotely while the majority of students attend in person. In-person courses that include emergency remote attendance were not designed or formally approved by the academic senate for dual modalities. Requests for remote attendance originate from the student who is experiencing an emergency, and are voluntarily considered by the instructor. 

Blended Synchronous: Class meetings or entire courses that include real-time engagement from both in-person and remote students. These class meetings or courses are taught from classrooms on UCSC campuses with remote students joining via Zoom. All students, remote and in-person, are given opportunities to engage in real-time.  

HyFlex: A course design model that can include student participation that is in-person, synchronous (Zoom-based), and asynchronous (recordings of synchronous class meetings). Students in this model are often given flexibility to choose their mode of attendance, which may differ from one class meeting to the next. This model suffers from providing modalities that can lead to inequities in student learning, and a variant on the HyFlex model that attempts to address these concerns is Blended Synchronous (defined above), which excludes an option for an asynchronous modality. This model requires substantial time, effort, attention, agility, and technical skill of instructors.

Sections: This term is used across campus, often to refer to two different things. For this reason, we recommend adding additional context where appropriate: