Spring Semester Information for Instructors
January 8, 2021
Dear MSU Educators:
As we begin another semester together in this largely remote teaching environment, I want to thank you for extending grace and empathy to one another and to all members of our MSU community. Many of us are struggling with feelings of isolation and frustration, so now more than ever we need to focus on our shared goal of providing the high-quality learning experiences for our students. Our students’ success depends on your good work and on your agile and innovative approaches to tackling each new challenge. Thank you!
As announced last month, the spring 2021 semester will begin on Jan. 11, with a “reading, reviewing, and reflection” week that will not include any online or in-person class meetings. As per MSU’s agreement with state officials, students will move into the residence halls beginning Jan. 15. Online classes will begin meeting on Jan. 19. In-person classes may begin meeting online on Jan. 19 and then transition to in person beginning Jan. 25.
By Monday, Jan. 11, all instructors should:
- Post their course syllabi and schedules to allow students to begin their preparations for the semester, and
- Be available by email Jan. 11-19 to answer any questions that students might have.
In your initial communications with students, you might consider:
- Reminding them of the MSU Community Compact, which explains their responsibilities for helping keep the MSU community safe and asks students to quarantine for ten days upon arrival back in the East Lansing area;
- Sharing workshops, seminars, and training activities being offered for students;
- Sharing our Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration schedule;
- Asking undergraduate students to complete our Student Experience Survey if they have not done so already. Students who respond before Jan. 25 will be entered in a drawing to win one of 25 Amazon gift cards for $100.
Later today I will be sending a message to MSU’s undergraduate students explaining our expectations for them regarding coronavirus testing and adherence to MSU’s community compact. All undergraduate students living, learning, or working on campus will be required to be tested at least once each week. MSU’s COVID-19 Early Detection Program is a centralized resource for testing. Each college’s Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education (or equivalent) will contact educators who are teaching in-person undergraduate classes to provide them with additional information.
Our situation is very dynamic, so we are using webpages to provide resources. If you find yourself unable to find the guidance you need or if anything on these pages is lacking, please reach out to me or anyone else in the Provost Office with questions. We will adapt and amend resources as needed. The following resources have been created to help you this semester:
- MSU’s syllabus checklist
- Syllabus support
- Safety guidelines for classrooms
- Managing classroom disruptions
- Please continue to check our Together We Will site and our Keep Teaching sites as you teach this spring.
Additional existing resources that may be beneficial to educators as we start the semester include:
- Faculty and student success quick tips
- Student support resources
- Childcare resources and information
- Mental health resources
- Educator development opportunities for the 2020/2021 academic year
- Spring semester planning details
As always, thank you for your ongoing commitment to student success, to one another, and to MSU.
Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education