Academic Continuity During Disruption Caused by COVID-19

In the current emergency situation caused by COVID-19, your ability to continue your class in the manner that you've planned will be impacted.

Digital learning and teaching tools Support for remote teaching

Critical concerns at this moment are to 1.) limit the impact of emergency disruptions on our student’s academic progress, and 2.) maintain academic quality and rigor within the constraints of the current situation.

Colgate’s foundation is built upon residential living and learning. The tools discussed in this document are meant to be employed during emergency disruptions and are not meant to replace or alter Colgate’s core philosophy.

Lecture Capture, Audio/Video Recording, and Privacy FAQs

As we move forward with remote instruction, some faculty members have asked about privacy, rights to protect their intellectual property, and policies with regards to recording students in the classroom.

Any live or recorded classroom activity that depicts students or that allows for the identification of a student is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the federal student privacy law. In such situations, individuals who are not University officials and are not registered for a specific class may not view class recordings or live sessions. Sharing recordings with students in the class is not a violation of FERPA and no additional student consent is required for this use of the educational record.

If a recording includes only the instructor, it is not a student record and FERPA does not limit its use. However, you may include language in your syllabus regarding expectations that students not share classroom recordings with anyone not enrolled in the course.

At this time, the institution recommends that you record all sessions to ensure that students with excused absences may view its content later. While not legally required, it is a reasonable practice to inform students that a recording is being made.

No, not if other students are identifiable in such recordings. In such cases, the syllabus or a statement from the faculty member should prohibit students’ capture or copying of the recording by any means or sharing with others. This is a violation of FERPA and, while the student would not be personally liable, the institution could be cited. If such a statement is clearly made to students, and they violate it, it would become a potential violation of Colgate's Code of Student Conduct.

To protect your materials from being shared, you should tell students that you require written consent for them to share, in any fashion, the content of your instructional materials. If such a statement is clearly made to students, and they violate it, it would become a potential violation of Colgate's Code of Student Conduct.

Some of the sessions in this course will be recorded or live-streamed. Such recordings/streaming will only be available to students registered for this class. These recordings are the intellectual property of the faculty and they may not be shared or reproduced without the explicit, written consent of the faculty member. Further, students may not share these sessions with those not in the class, or upload them to any other online environment. Doing so would be a breach of the Code of Student Conduct, and, in some cases, a violation of the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Flexible Choices

The Importance of Communication

Instructors have flexibility around how to teach and complete their courses. Student questions are likely to arise during such scenarios and it is perfectly appropriate to let students know that you are developing a plan and will get back to them by a specific date and time.

Class Options

This emergency disruption may warrant that you incorporate technological tools into your classroom. There are many options for you, and your teaching and learning goals will dictate the types of tools you use. You have options that include, but are not limited to:

  1. synchronous remote learning, where you meet with students live online to deliver lecture content or where you have students meet in smaller live online groups for discussions;
  2. asynchronous remote learning, where you pre-record lecture material or discussion prompts that students watch and then follow with a quiz or exam, or;
  3. mixed asynchronous and synchronous remote learning where you pre-record a lecture and then hold live online discussions with the class. 

It is important to keep in mind that the use of technology in the classroom and even moving your class online doesn’t mean you have to lose the human connection with your students. It does, however, require improvisation and patience from student and teacher alike. No matter your choice, keep in mind that remote learning and teaching is difficult and requires flexibility all around.

FAQs for Remote Instruction

In stressful situations, it can be comforting to establish normality. Deep intellectual engagement and intense classroom interaction is the Colgate norm. Moving to remote instruction does not mean these are lost. It will be hard and even the most seasoned online instructors struggle with delivering effective remote instruction. Don’t have unreasonable expectations of yourself or your students. Realize that the students are just as worried as you are about this shift in their academic world!

Information about avoiding "Zoombombing"

No. However the ITS staff is offering its highest level of support for Zoom. It is helpful if students have the same experience for all of their classes. Standardization around Zoom will allow us to build a community of practice where we can all learn from each other.

If you are using synchronous instruction, you might encourage your students to show up to class dressed appropriately and ready to engage with you and their colleagues. Presumably, you would not show up to class in your pajamas and it is reasonable to expect the same from your students.

There are many good reasons to offer asynchronous lecture or class discussion:

  • A student may be in a different time zone and it would be unreasonable to have them wake up at 4:00 a.m. to attend your class
  • Your student’s internet connection may fail
  • Connectivity issues may prevent live synchronous streaming
  • Students may be called to care for siblings if parents need to work, etc.

For these reasons, we strongly recommend that you record your sessions, even if you are running a synchronous class. If you are set on limiting access, you may consider making the recording available for 24–48 hours to give everyone a chance to see the material. The most important thing here is flexibility.

There are no FERPA violations in sharing classroom videos or discussions with your class. You should announce that the session will be recorded and allow students to self-select out of camera range if they so desire.

This is up to you to develop, but keep in mind that the start of this will be a stressful moment for the students. Test the waters with low stakes no stakes assessment to start. As we all know, Colgate students are high achievers and love to display their knowledge. Give them a distraction and help them focus. Don’t just give up on assessment!

Yes. Testing times and all other accommodations apply. The CLTR is currently working to ensure that captioning is available for those students with approved captioning accommodations. Please reach out to Lynn Waldman for assistance. More information about offering accessible online courses

Yes, but depending upon how you have the session set up, students with the Zoom link can drop in unannounced. For help with these settings please contact

If you have a question you want answered or an answer you want to share here please email