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for Emergency Building or Campus Closure

Live, Synchronous Online Classes

Please refer to this guide on how to protect student privacy and personally identifiable information in UMD audiovisual recording systems. Note that pursuant to Maryland law, you must provide verbal and/or visual notification of recording at the beginning of any meeting or class to alert the participants that "this activity is being recorded." If a participant continues to participate after being notified that the activity is being recorded, their consent to recording is implied.

Instructors may request that students leave their video cameras on only when class activities or small group interactions require visual engagement. However, there are valid reasons students may decline to have their cameras on. Some students may not have the technology that would enable them to share live video (strong wifi or webcam), which could put them at a disadvantage if there is a requirement to engage video while participating in a Zoom session. We encourage instructors to be flexible and empathetic to students who express reasonable concerns for why they cannot or do not wish to use the video feature.

The UMD Policy on Arbitrary and Capricious Grading III-1.20(B) for undergraduate students indicates that students' grades must be related to student performance. Faculty are encouraged to add low stakes assessments to courses to promote and assess participation. Examples may be student responses to prompts or questions delivered via polls, personal response devices, or shared google docs or google forms.  As in all work that contributes to a course grade, participation in these low stakes assessments are subject to the Excused Absence policy. Students who have an excused absence must be provided make up or alternate assignment opportunities.

Support for Course Redesign

The TLTC is here to help. We provide:

Email with any questions.

The TLTC website has a specific information on assessment strategies and assessment adaptations. Take some time to review and contact us at if you have questions or need additional assistance redesigning your course assessments.

Technology Needs

In an online course, it is reasonable to assume students have some access to the internet. It is recommended that instructors clearly describe the technology tools that will be required in the course and ask if students have any needs to be able to participate fully. If they do, they should visit this website, which provides information for those who need to explore technology-related alternatives that enable teaching and learning online or working remotely.

If you are moving an in-person course online due to an unexpected disruption, keep in mind that not all student may have access to these items and plan accordingly.

For technology questions including issues with hardware or software, online programs, ELMS-Canvas, etc., visit the IT Support website or email

For questions about how to best use technology to support your teaching, schedule a TLTC consultation or email

For any issues while teaching inside the classroom, contact

Want to brainstorm ways to make your online/blended class more interactive and experiential (e.g., creative ways to use breakouts; virtual collaborative brainstorm and reflection tools, asynchronous audio learning sessions, etc.)? Schedule a 30 min consultation with the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


Review the COVID-19 Information for UMD webpage for current requirements and resources. In particular, the Guidance for Instructors section contains helpful information including COVID specific instructor FAQs.

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