Provost issues directives on fall course policies

Previously a quiet study spot, the Engineering quad is now completely desolate. The red umbrellas cast a shadow over empty study and eating tables.
Faculty in individual schools like the Viterbi School of Engineering will be able to implement their own attendance and participation guidelines with the help of the school’s international offices. (James Wolfe | Daily Trojan)

A new set of guidelines for a more accessible and consistent online learning experience was released by Provost Charles Zukoski Friday. The email, sent to all University faculty, included policies regarding recordings for students not on Pacific Standard Time, attendance during “reasonable learning hours” and the option for faculty to require Zoom cameras be turned on.  

Under the new guidance, faculty will not be permitted to require attendance in synchronous course components for students for whom the class meets outside of the 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. window in their time zone. Additionally, classes will be recorded, automatically transcribed and posted to Blackboard for all students to view, although the dissemination of these videos without instructor approval will be considered a violation of the SCampus academic policies.

According to the email, nearly 4,000 USC students will be taking classes from their homes abroad this fall, with most living in Asia. Faculty are asked to offer an additional time for exams and to attempt to hold office hours at a variety of times in order to best accommodate students in different countries. 

Faculty are also instructed to implement attendance and participation policies with the challenges of remote learning in mind. This includes offering students who experience lapses in attendance and participation an alternate way of completing coursework. Faculty can contact one of USC’s nine international offices — two in South America, one in Europe and six in Asia — should on-the-ground assistance for international students be necessary.