Academics and Remote Instruction
How long will remote teaching continue?
All courses and formal summer programming (through August 1) will be offered through remote formats at all of our U.S.-based locations.
We are currently planning for fall semester classes to begin in Pittsburgh on the previously scheduled date of August 31 under a hybrid mode. This model requires us to be prepared to deliver instruction both in-person and remotely, as needed. We are committing to this flexibility for the Pittsburgh campus, and potentially other campuses, because we recognize that some students, faculty and staff will not be able to return by the first day of class for a variety of reasons, including domestic and international travel restrictions, difficulty in obtaining visas, or individual health and safety concerns. We further recognize we may need to pivot to other modes of operation if conditions change.
How can students access classes remotely?
The majority of instructors will use Zoom and Canvas for online course delivery. Both tools are available to CMU community members at no charge. Instructors have been guided to embed the dedicated Zoom link into Canvas course pages for ease of access. If your courses were using other particular online/digital tools, you should expect that will continue.
Students can review detailed directions and remote learning guidance on the Computing Services website.
When are designated class times? Can I take my remote classes whenever I want?
Classes will be offered at their regularly scheduled days and times. All classes are based on the time in Pittsburgh (Eastern Daylight Time, or EDT). Because many classes will not be recorded, students need to plan to engage in their classes virtually at the designated class time. Students who face challenges with these times due to significant time zone differences should discuss this issue directly with their instructors.
How can students make sure they're prepared for remote learning?
Set up and test Zoom and Canvas. The majority of your instructors will use Zoom and Canvas for remote instruction. Students should test the functionalities of each tool in the location where they will virtually access the courses. Detailed directions and remote learning guidance is posted on the Computing Services website.
Review and prioritize classes. Review course schedules and be attentive to any course-specific messages and specific instructions sent from instructors that may be delivered via Canvas, email or other methods. All students — especially those planning to complete their degrees this May — may want to review the courses required to complete their degree and reflect on their current course enrollments. Colleges, departments and programs are preparing for remote advising. Follow their instructions to consult with them if you need assistance or have questions.
Put course schedules into calendars. Classes will be offered at their regularly scheduled days and times and observe Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). Students who face challenges to engage in class at these times due to significant time zone differences should discuss this issue directly with their instructors.
Has the grading policy for the spring semester been changed with remote teaching?
All undergraduate and graduate students are permitted to convert any of their spring courses to pass/no-pass grading. All courses for which you receive passing (P) grades will count toward degree requirements, which overrides some departmental or college policies. At the end of the semester, all faculty will submit their course grades (A-R) to the registrar’s office. You will have 7 days after the date on which final grades are posted to choose to move your courses to pass/no-pass grading if you elect to do so. In recognition that each course’s learning experience will be different, there is no limit on the number of courses you can convert to pass/no-pass grading. You can make the decision on a course-by-course basis.
At the undergraduate level, all grades of D or better in a course for which you elect the pass/no-pass grade will convert to P. At the graduate level, the grade for which a P can be assigned if you elect to have your course be pass/no-pass will be made at the school or college level. The Division of Enrollment Services has posted more information on its website.
What if I'm having technical difficulties or need help?
Students experiencing difficulty when accessing university technology resources may contact the Computing Services Help Center or call (412) 268-4357 (HELP). Students who seek additional instructional support should know that the Student Academic Success Center has transitioned to remote services that can be found on the website. Your college and departmental advisors and resources are also valuable resources for you.
Will a student’s accommodations that are arranged through Disability Resources remain in effect for remote learning?
All accommodations that a student received for in-person classes will carry over to the remote instruction format. Some students may require additional accommodations for a remote instruction format that wasn’t required for in-person course delivery. Please reach out to Disability Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or concerns about additional accommodations that may be relevant given the change in delivery. Disability Resources can connect with students via email, phone, and Zoom and will be flexible and responsive to students’ needs.
Besides classes, what else is remote?
Academic Development programs, including academic tutoring, are conducted remotely. Faculty and TA office hours, advisor appointments and other academic supports will be available online or by phone. In-person meetings will not be required of any student.
Additional guidance on research is available on the Researcher Resources page.
Will students continue to receive academic support services such as Supplemental Instruction, EXCEL, academic coaching, language support, writing consultations, etc.?
All academic support programs are offered via the Zoom platform. To access more information, including schedules, links to programs and registration information, please visit the Student Academic Success website.
What resources are available from the University Libraries?
For information on remote resources, including class materials, textbooks, eBooks, e-journals, databases, streaming video and audio and even consultation with a subject specialist, visit the University Libraries' Remote Resources page.