Suggested Syllabus Statements

COVID-19 Syllabus Statements for Instructors

As we return to campus this fall, our altered classroom environments are calling us to think in new ways about our courses and how we create a welcoming community for all of our students. This document includes recommended statements and topical suggestions to be included in your syllabi for Fall 2020 to help clarify and cultivate a supportive community of teaching and learning. Additional information and support can be found in the Resilient and Flexible Teaching Resources course in your D2L Account.

COVID-19 Related Statements

Student Health: Students are expected to complete the University’s Daily Symptom Tracker.  The guidance provided upon submission of the survey should be used to determine and guide actions related to monitoring one’s health. The Daily Symptom Tracker is available on RU Mobile and the MyRU Portal

Face Coverings: Under Governor Northam’s Executive Order 63 and Radford University’s Fall 2020 Campus Reopening Plan, all campus community members are required to wear a face mask or covering when in close proximity to others.  This includes all instructional spaces (classrooms, labs, studios, etc.), as well as non-instructional ones, such as public areas of residence halls, dining halls, Radford Transit and while conducting business on campus. Radford University is providing faculty, students, and staff members with two washable cloth face masks. 

The strength of our community rests on trust and care for one another. During this public health emergency, we expect students to abide by the required public health guidelines of our community by appropriately wearing a mask/face covering (i.e., covering both your mouth and nose), while in our academic spaces, including classrooms, computer labs, centers, and departmental suites. Students not wearing a mask in instructional spaces (classrooms, labs, studios, etc.) will be asked to leave. Students who have specific concerns or questions about the masking requirement should contact (name of department chair/director) or (name of college dean). For the health and safety of our community, those who do not wear face masks/coverings may face disciplinary action.

Attendance (for face-to-face courses): It is my expectation that you attend class in person unless you have made alternative arrangements with me prior to the start of class due to illness, medical reasons, or the need to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19. Many of the topics and content explored in the course will be taught and communicated via class demonstrations, activities, and discussions. Therefore, attendance and participation are crucial for a complete understanding of course material.

In the event that you find yourself experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, I request that you do the following:

  • Stay home! This is best way to prevent spreading COVID-19 as supported by scientific evidence.
  • Follow the guidance you received from the COVID-19 Daily Symptom Tracker. Forward me the email you received from the COVID-19 Daily Symptom Tracker and let me know of your absence.
  • If you are self-quarantining/isolating, you can attend class virtually as indicated in this syllabus.
  • It is my expectation that you will contact me to review missed coursework and arrange a timeline and plan for completing that work. In the case that you are not able to make up missed coursework by the end of the semester, we will need to consider options that may include a medical withdrawal or incomplete for the semester.

Be assured that I will do what I can to work with students to facilitate their successful completion of the course. I encourage you to contact me if you have questions or concerns. The Dean of Students Office is also available for assistance regarding extended absences (, 540-832-6297,

Zoom Engagement: Whether we meet in person, on Zoom, or in other digital formats, we are in a professional community.  As professionals, we are expected to:

  • show up on time;
  • be prepared for our collective work;
  • be appropriately attired; and
  • try to limit distractions in our individual workplaces.

As members of a community, please consider the effects of your actions on your colleagues, just as you would in a physical classroom: 

  • keep your video on;
  • mute yourself when not speaking; and
  • focus your attention on the speaker.

Please let me know if you are having difficulties interacting in class via Zoom, and if there are reasons you cannot follow the above guidelines.

Zoom Technology: This class may use Zoom, which is a web and video conferencing tool.  Please be sure you have Zoom installed and are familiar with using the tool. Below are tips for participating in a Zoom session:

  • join the meeting early and test speaker, microphone, and camera settings;
  • keep speakers away from microphones to avoid feedback;
  • use a headset with microphone if possible; and
  • do not join a meeting from multiple devices.

Additional Zoom resources can be found at

Key Dates Fall 2020:

Last day for UG students to add/drop: 8/18

Last day to change P/F to Audit Options: 8/26

Last day to withdraw with a full tuition refund: 8/26

Last day for GR students to drop/add: 8/26

Labor Day—classes in session: 9/7

Mid-semester grades due by 10am: 10/5

Last day to withdraw from one or more (but not all) classes with a grade of W: 10/16

Last day to withdraw from the university (all classes) with a grade of W: 10/30

Last day of classes: 11/16

Final exams: 11/17-11/20

Radford Campus winter commencement: 11/21

RUC winter commencement: 11/22

Grades due by 2pm: 11/24   

COVID-19 Syllabus Topics to Consider

  1. Articulate how office hours will be conducted.  Will they be in-person? Virtually? Both? How will students schedule appointments?
  2. Include information on how to reach the instructor outside of class.
  3. Communicate how students will join the class if they are participating remotely.
  4. Consider altering attendance policies in your syllabi to accommodate students who may not be able to attend class face-to-face due to health concerns, need to quarantine/isolate, or COVID related symptoms.  We encourage faculty to consider flexible attendance policies that are not punitive for students who may be experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms or have health concerns.

COVID-19 Related Support Statements

Our Inclusive Learning Environment: Ensuring that all students from diverse backgrounds and learning abilities are able to contribute, learn, grow, and succeed in this course is my highest priority.  As colleagues, we will each commit to showing respect to individuals, to working together to create a learning environment that fosters a sense of belonging and inclusion to all members, and to understanding that our differences are strengths.  I commit to offering learning materials and activities that express and are respectful of diversity, and in which all students can see themselves in our field.  Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated.

Our Brave Learning Environment: Our class is a brave and inclusive space in which we will explore all kinds of perspectives aimed at identifying and analyzing the problems of our time.  We will study both the causes of and solutions to ethical issues, and we will often disagree with each other.  That’s how great ideas are born and workable solutions designed!  I will facilitate our difficult discussions, but I am counting on the class as a community to help us structure mutually meaningful conversations, while ensuring that everyone feels included and honored as colleagues sharing the same goals of becoming better humans and creating more equitable and healthy societies and systems.  Disagreement should be thoughtful and respectful, and criticism of another’s view should be coupled with evident and empathetic care for the person who holds it.  Please think of all of our various learning environments, whether on campus, on Zoom, in D2L discussions, or even on social media, as our classroom and community, and consider your actions and words appropriately.

Computer Lab Software Access:  Although campus computer labs will be available during the Fall 2020 semester, the number of seats in each lab will be reduced in order to comply with physical distancing requirements.  Students may use a web browser (Chrome recommended) to access the Virtual Computer Lab (, which provides remote access to most software packages found in campus computer labs.  This environment is based on Amazon Web Service (AWS) AppStream 2.0 and scales up and down based on student demand.  There is a two-minute wait time when you connect.  Students will need to establish a connection to their Office 365 OneDrive space during their first connection to the virtual lab and be sure files are saved to their OneDrive space when using the virtual lab. Microsoft Office can be downloaded at no charge by students using a PC or Mac (

CAS Statement: If you are a student with special needs or circumstances, I invite you to contact me early in the course so appropriate supports and scheduling can be addressed. Students seeking academic accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act must register with Radford University’s Center for Accessibility Services (CAS). The policies regarding students with disabilities may be found at  You may also contact the CAS office at: 540-831-6350; ASL users 540-922-1176;;

RUC Academic Support Services and Starfish: RUC students have access to a wide range of free academic support services, including PASS academic coaching, subject tutoring, and writing assistance. These services can be scheduled through the Starfish app inside the My RU portal. For your safety and convenience, you can meet with our coaches, tutors, and writing consultants through Zoom, e-mail, or by phone. 

RUC Testing Center in Fall 2020: Please note that the Educational Testing Center (ETC) is also now open for testing full-time, with 16 computers and rooms for students with accommodations. Students should schedule tests through the Starfish app inside the My RU portal early, as space is at a premium this semester. The sign-in process has been streamlined to accommodate social distancing and a new one person in the office at a time rule. Computers and other high-touch areas are cleaned routinely throughout the day.

Harvey Center: The Harvey Center is a Radford University resource to explore class content, learn new skills, prepare for your exams, or receive individualized academic coaching. In the HKC you can:

  • Work one‐on‐one with an academic coach to discuss course content, study strategies, or college success skills
  • Get your classmates together and form an online facilitated study group
  • Reserve a single-use room for Zoom coaching or for working on your online class
  • Access tips and guides for taking your learning to the next level

Call us at: 540‐831‐7704 | Email us at:

Visit our website: | Schedule an appointment through Starfish
Check out our Learning Guide on

Technology Support: The Technology Assistance Center provides a number of options for students to find answers to common questions and request assistance. 

  • Find common answers or submit an online support request:
  • Phone Support: (540) 831-7500; Monday - Thursday 8 a.m. – Midnight, Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Walk-in Support (Appointment Recommended); Walker Hall 1st floor lobby; Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.