Continuity of Education - The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine
As you are aware, attendance in class is mandatory. Due to the potential for high levels of morbidity this year from infectious disease the following guidelines have been established to allow students, faculty, and staff to understand what we expect and can do to accommodate unexpected levels of illness. It is our intention to reduce the spread of potentially epidemic outbreaks by allowing/encouraging students and faculty who are sick to stay home. Secondly, it is our intention to maintain academic quality and continuity to assure progress towards a degree. A decision to cancel or suspend face-to-face contact for educational activities would be made at the University level and until such notice is given, instructors are responsible for ensuring continuation of instruction.
Please cover your cough and wash your hands often to reduce spread of all infectious disease.
Hand sanitizers have been installed at many sites throughout the College campus. We encourage you to use them frequently.
We encourage students, faculty, and staff who are ill to stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever has returned to normal without the aid of medication.
You might consider getting vaccinated with the appropriate vaccine when vaccines are made available to your risk category.
If You Get Sick
Students who miss class or clinical rotations due to illness are asked to e-mail or call student affairs so we can track the number of people in each class who are out at any time. A Student Affairs representative will communicate with the Team Leader, Section Head and Technical Coordinator when students are out sick. If students miss a quiz or exam due to illness we will work to help reschedule missed assessments. Please work with your classmates to get copies of class notes you may have missed. Regardless of a student's ability to attend class, each student will be responsible for making up missed work and mastery of the material presented in the course.
The Wilce Student Health Center has an on-line self reporting system "Explanatory Statement for Absence from Class" which they may wish to fill out and e-mail to all faculty and Dr. Sander to insure all bases have been covered.
In cases where a faculty member becomes ill, we ask that you coordinate with a teaching team member allowing them access to your power point materials so they can give your lectures for you. This should be pre-planned so that coworkers have access to lecture materials or you have access to them from home so you can forward them electronically to another faculty member. Create a phone tree within the teaching team to facilitate this transfer of lecture responsibility. The Team Leader of the course must be notified by the Departmental representative when a teaching faculty is out sick so the Team Leader can facilitate the continuity of instruction. If the content area requires the expertise of a faculty who is not a member of the teaching team, the back-up faculty member will need to be added to Carmen to have access to the course materials. A Student Affairs representative will make this contact for you when they are advised of the change.
Each core course has a Carmen shell where faculty can place course material so students can still access your information should you become ill. Many faculty already post course materials on Carmen. All faculty are encouraged to utilize this resource so that the course can continue even in their absence. In addition, students who are ill and stay home can still access this course material while remaining in isolation.
Teaching faculty and Class Presidents should communicate with the Office of Student Affairs if they feel absence rates have increased.
What We Should Do
Academic departments should develop a mechanism for faculty to report their absence from classes so that someone can facilitate the internal communications about covering a lecture. Teaching Team Leaders must be notified by the Departmental representative when a teaching team member is absent.
Teaching faculty should identify three individuals who could provide back-up teaching coverage for a short period of time (several days to a few weeks). While it is understood that such a situation is not ideal we remind everyone that the goal is to provide emergency coverage to maintain the program of study while reducing the spread of infectious disease.
Faculty should be flexible in allowing missed assignments to be made up when students have been absent due to infectious disease. Public Health officials are currently asking that we not require physician's documentation of a flu diagnosis as it is expected that physicians offices may be overwhelmed by individuals trying to obtain such documentation.
Faculty should consider adding a statement to their syllabus stating that a modification may be required in the presentation of the material in the case of a significant disease outbreak and what that change will be should be communicated in an addendum.
If a significant number of students in a class become ill, the College will make an effort to podcast the lectures for those students to access from home computers. While we cannot anticipate at this time when this will become necessary I suggest we use the target of 10% student absenteeism to trigger the need to podcast lectures. The Dean's and Chair's will make the final determination of this action.
If a sufficient number of faculty become ill making continuation of the didactic education impossible, the decision to find alternate forms of informing delivery or discontinue offering classes will be made by College's Dean in conjunction with the University Registrar. In the clinical setting, since each service has unique circumstances, an absence of clinicians will require a case by case assessment regarding how to manage the education of the students affected.
All captured lectures should be saved in a repository for courses for professional veterinary education (Carmen) to be used in subsequent years should it be required.
Students in clinical rotations will be required to make up time missed in the clinic to assure each student receives adequate exposure in each clinical area but we will work with individual students to accomplish this during vacations or the elective quarter in order to prevent a delay in graduation.
We expect the flu season will extend into the winter and spring quarters so ask for continued diligence to reduce widespread illness.
We ask that each of us watch out for each other and help classmates who might have missed lectures or labs as the result of the illness.
Changes in the academic structure as outlined in this document will be communicated to the College community by The Office of Student Affairs.