Campus update on winter quarter instruction

November 30, 2020
Thomas Smith
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
November 30, 2020

Dear UCR Community, 


We are now one month away from the start of winter quarter and I am writing to provide updates on our winter instruction plan. 


A total of 50 courses have been approved for in-person instruction with remote options for winter. This represents only 2-3% of UCR’s overall course offerings. Consistent with state guidelines, the approved courses that will meet indoors require specialized settings such as studios and laboratories. Other approved courses will meet outdoors (e.g. fieldwork), or off-campus (e.g. internships) and are subject to the health and safety protocols of the host location. 


Continuing our policy from fall quarter, individual study, thesis, practicum and similar 1:1 unit-bearing activities may occur in-person without a remote option if the instructor determines that a remote format is not feasible. International students whose visa status requires registering for at least one class with mandatory in-person participation have to enroll in one of these classes. New international students should consult with the International Affairs Office and their program advisors on the requirements. A small number of courses in the School of Medicine also will meet in-person without remote options.


UCR has not approved any in-person instruction activities that use standard classrooms or lecture halls. This means that instructors for all lectures, discussions, colloquia, seminars, workshops and other similar course types should plan to teach remote-only in winter quarter. Undergraduate research also must be conducted remotely in winter, while the campus remains in phase 2 operations.  


Delivery modes for specific courses are now available in the Schedule of Classes, and instructors who plan to teach in-person will be contacting their students soon with more details. We will keep the Schedule of Classes updated and notify the campus via email if we must make further changes to our instructional plan for winter. 


Finally, I would like to make two requests of our winter quarter instructors. First, please consider increasing the enrollment limits in your remote courses, where possible, to help students make timely progress toward their degrees. Second, please incorporate student learning outcomes into your syllabi and link those outcomes to the lectures, readings, homework, and labs that students complete as part of their coursework. Doing so is a best practice across institutions of higher education and creates a roadmap for students to meet faculty expectations and for faculty to assess learning effectiveness. Especially for remote teaching, this helps to reduce potential confusion between students and faculty. For guidance, faculty can use this How-To Document on the assessment website, or visit XCITE for help.


My thanks again to everyone for working hard to continue our educational mission despite the challenging circumstances. Best wishes for a successful end to the fall quarter.