Last updated August 12, 2020 

These frequently asked questions address the Fall 2020 semester. We will update this page as new questions come in so please check back regularly. If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact us at learninginnovation@duke.edu

General Questions Regarding Fall 2020

All faculty have the option of teaching on campus, in a hybrid in-person/online course or exclusively online. It will be the choice of the individual, who will not have to disclose personal health information.
Consult your department chair or dean.
The Duke education is a unique, intensely personal, and highly engaged experience. We think it is of such value and benefit to students that we will take as many steps as necessary to provide it to as many students as we can safely accommodate given the uncertainties that currently exist.  Accordingly, if conditions permit, we would like every student to have at least one semester on campus this year. (Retrieved July 2020 - from "Duke Reopening FAQ")
Regular access to campus facilities, including faculty offices, is being managed through the Return to the Workplace (RTW) process (returnto.duke.edu). Consult your school’s RTW coordinator for specific information about your area.
Every school as well as central units like Duke Learning Innovation, the Office of Faculty Advancement and OIT can provide resources and guidance for faculty.

COVID-19 Precautions & Policies

We will continuously monitor a range of indicators, including local and national conditions, infection and severity rates, hospital capacity, state and local regulations, and community status to determine whether any changes need to be made to campus activity. Should conditions deteriorate we would first move to a “shelter in place” status, in which all in-person classes would shift online, activities would be canceled, and facility access restricted. Closing the campus and sending students home would be a last resort because of the potential negative impact on families and community health.  (Retrieved July 2020 - from "Duke Reopening FAQ")
Most graduate and professional programs will be online-only or hybrid with minimal in-person classes.  Schools will continue to provide specific information to their students. Graduate and professional students will primarily have access to their designated academic spaces, including laboratories. Graduate and professional students will be able to access other important support services such as Student Health.  (Retrieved July 2020 - from "Duke Reopening FAQ")
All students will continue to be governed by their school-specific bulletins and will have to sign the Duke Compact.  Violations of either are subject to disciplinary sanctions up to and including expulsion. We hope that the ability to build and sustain a united Duke community and protect the health and safety of our neighbors, friends and colleagues will be the strongest incentive to observe these common-sense guidelines. Further details about community expectations will be available August 3.  (Retrieved July 2020 - from "Duke Reopening FAQ")
All students coming to campus will be tested upon arrival, with test results expected within 24 hours. All students living in Duke housing will be required to be tested before they are permitted to move into student housing, or to have their Duke Card activated. All undergraduate students living off campus will be tested, as they arrive in scheduled windows between August 11 and 15. After testing, students will be required to sequester in their residence hall or off-campus home until results are received. During this sequester period, students living on campus will be permitted to retrieve food from Duke Dining locations, run essential errands, and spend time outdoors in a manner that does not increase the potential spread of COVID-19. While waiting for test results, students are expected to limit any unnecessary movement and activity outside of their room. Students will be going through anterior nares (nasal swab), PCR testing. This testing will occur between August 6 and August 15. (Retrieved July 2020 - from "Duke Reopening FAQ") Further information provided to undergraduates regarding testing and support on 8/1/2020
Graduate and professional students will be required to be tested. Testing for this group will occur between August 16 and September 1. (Retrieved July 2020 - from "Duke Reopening FAQ")
Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate (at one of Duke’s isolation facilities if living on campus, at their home or other location if they live off-campus) for 14 days and will be monitored by Duke Student Health. In addition, the contact tracing process will be activated and individuals who may have been exposed will be notified and tested.
Medical experts at Duke will review each situation and determine whether contacts need to be referred for testing or other actions. Members of the Duke community will be expected to comply with any quarantine guidance they are given.  (Retrieved July 2020 - from "Duke Reopening FAQ")
Faculty and staff who visit campus regularly will have to complete the app every day (Retrieved July 2020 - from "Duke Reopening FAQ")
Mention the requirements to wear appropriate face coverings, maintain physical distancing, and adhere to other safety guidelines. Include information about health resources for students, including wellness and mental health. And echo the need for us all to pitch in to prevent COVID-19 spread.
You can find the latest guidance and updates here. Those guidelines are likely to evolve this year.

For answers to more questions regarding Duke’s practices and policies regarding COVID-19, please visit the Duke Coronavirus site and the Duke Today Reopening FAQ.

Instruction Mode: In-Person

Yes, course designations may change as a result of a number of factors, including availability of the faculty member, campus and local conditions, and the composition of the students enrolled in the class. (Retrieved July 2020 - from "Duke Reopening FAQ")
The in-person class experience will be different for sure.  All students and faculty will have to use face coverings, physical distancing will be enforced, classrooms will only be used at one-third of their normal capacity, and students may be participating online as well as in person. (Retrieved July 2020 - from "Duke Reopening FAQ")
This varies from space to space. Some rooms may also have portable Zoom carts made available to help better facilitate connection between remote and in-person students. Faculty should reach out to their regular local/school IT staff person for more details.
Model Compliance and Positive Behavior. Make sure that you follow required and recommended health safety measures during interactions at all times on campus.

Gently Enforce Compliance with the Health and Safety Guidelines. If you notice that a student is not complying with health and safety measures, and circumstances allow for a constructive conversation, remind that individual of the guidelines and the reasons behind them. If a student is not wearing a face covering, for instance, provide them with one if you have spare masks or let them know where they can get one (masks should be available in designated rooms in each classroom building).
Be Firm and Consistent in the Case of Non-Compliance. If a student in your course refuses to comply with health and safety guidelines, and cannot provide adequate proof of exemption, ask them to leave the room to protect the safety of others in the class. If the individual refuses to leave, stop the class, tell students that you will schedule a remote/virtual class to cover the material for that day, and then instruct everyone to leave the room. If you are an instructor of record, report the incident to your DUS and/or DGS, depending on the level of the course, as well as your chair/dean. If you are a TA, report it to the instructor of record.

Use Available Resources to Deal with Non-Compliance. If a situation around non-compliance arises (students gathering in close proximity, for example) that jeopardizes health and safety, and you do not feel comfortable addressing the situation directly, please contact your DUS, DGS, program director, or chair/dean. You can also contact Duke’s anonymous Speak Up Program at (800) 826-8109 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), complete the Speak Up online form, or contact the Duke Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance.

See the Duke Registrar’s website for more information on the different instruction modes.

Intellectual Property Concerns

The same policies apply on campus and online. The Duke Policy on Intellectual Property Rights in the Faculty Handbook “reaffirms [the university’s] traditional commitment to the personal ownership of intellectual property rights in works of the intellect by their individual creators…”  The policy states that “recording of lectures may only be done with the permission of the instructor presenting the lecture.” It also limits what students may do with such recordings: “Student recording of lectures, when permitted by the instructor, shall be for private study only. Such recordings shall not be distributed to anyone else without authorization by the instructor whose lecture has been recorded….Unauthorized distribution is a cause for disciplinary action by the Judicial Board.” Zoom allows class sessions to be recorded. We recommend faculty record class sessions and require it if students will be responsible for content that is presented exclusively in Zoom. (This is because students are now located in time zones all over the world and cannot reasonably be expected to participate live in synchronous sessions.) If faculty have concerns about recordings they can set them to delete after a certain length of time. Or they can focus their teaching on instructional methods that do not require audiovisual recording.
Students in different time zones might not be able to attend live class sessions, so if instructors use live Zoom sessions they should be recorded and shared with the class later. 
  • Make sure recording is turned on before you begin each session.
  • Remind your students that the session will be recorded and that their classmates will be able to review it. (Zoom will also ask for consent to be recorded.) For more information on protecting student privacy visit the Privacy page on ScholarWorks.
  • Remind students they may not share recordings outside the class, nor should they record sessions without your permission. To do so violates Duke policies. Set guidelines and expectations clearly. 
  • If you schedule a Zoom session in Zoom and record to the cloud the link for the recording is only sent to you as the host. If you schedule the session through Sakai the recording is visible to those with access to the Sakai site.
  • Breakout rooms in Zoom are not recorded without permission of the instructor. 
  • Direct your students to review this section on the Keep Learning website for further information.
Duke respects the privacy of the community and will follow its policies and relevant laws.

Academic Accommodations and Accessibility

Instructors should continue to comply with academic accommodations authorized by the Student Disability Access Office (SDAO). In most cases, accommodations will not change, and the Testing Center is operating remotely. If you are concerned about meeting particular accommodations remotely, reach out to SDAO. Students with accommodations should provide instructors with a letter outlining their approved accommodations. If a student has new or updated accommodations for any reason, the SDAO will provide the student with a new letter to give to instructors.
Students should be in touch with the Student Disability Access Office to update accommodations under these circumstances. They can request updates online here. More information for students is available at keeplearning.duke.edu.
The specific accommodation for a take-home exam is based on the nature of each student’s disability. Some academic accommodation letters indicate that additional time is not needed. Other letters indicate students should receive extended time in such cases. The Student Disability Access Office (SDAO) staff member listed on a student’s academic accommodation letter can assist with the interpretation and provide guidance on the implementation of a specific accommodation.
Accessibility guidelines for remote instruction are essentially the same as for in-face instruction, and the two main instructional platforms–Sakai and Zoom–are ADA-compliant.  Continue to design documents, presentations, and images according to web accessibility guidelines.  Duke Learning Innovation provides guidelines for creating accessible content in Sakai. If you are using a new online tool or app that you have not used in class before, consider whether it is accessible before adopting it. See also: How do I address accessibility concerns?
Yes. Transcriptions of recorded Zoom sessions are helpful for students. However, even the best automatic transcription often contains errors.  We recommend you view and edit the transcript before posting.  If you have a student that requires captioning or a note-taker, SDAO will work with you and the student to ensure their accommodation is met.

Student Support

Many academic support resources will be delivered virtually this semester, including the Academic Resource Center, the Testing Center, Academic Guides, Academic Advising Center, Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support, Career Center, Duke LIFE, and the Global Education Office. These virtual resources will be available to students regardless of their location.  (Retrieved July 2020 - from "Duke Reopening FAQ")

Additional resources for students: Latest Information: Duke United – University information on campus reopening Keep Learning – Hub for student-focused information and FAQs Mental Health Support: Blue Devils Care: 24/7 mental telehealth support to all students at no cost. To get started, visit BlueDevilsCare.duke.edu. Register once using your @duke.edu email address and Service Key DUKE2020, then you’ll be ready to use the service whenever you need it. Counseling & Psychological Services: CAPS remains open and counselors are continuing to provide care remotely through telemental-health appointments. DukeReach: Submit a report to DukeReach if you’re concerned about the physical or mental well-being of yourself or another student.

All students should call Duke Student Health. Faculty and staff should call their health care provider or Duke Employee Health. Retrieved July 2020 - from "Duke Reopening FAQ")
Yes, students in quarantine or isolation will be able to continue their studies remotely.  (Retrieved July 2020 - from "Duke Reopening FAQ")
If you have concerns about the health or behavior of any student in your classes or with whom you interact, contact DukeReach (studentaffairs.duke.edu/dukereach), as well as the relevant DUS, DGS, or program director, as appropriate. If you need advice or a sounding board yourself, talk to your faculty adviser, your DGS or another mentors.

Grading and Assessment

The normal letter grading system will be in place for the fall semester.  (Retrieved July 2020 - from "Duke Reopening FAQ")