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General Guidance for Disruption Preparation

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Whether they impact individual students, TAs, instructors, or the institution more widely, many kinds of disruption can affect teaching and learning. Even though we can’t predict exactly what will happen in any given quarter, it’s reasonable to anticipate and be prepared for the possibility of disruption. Planning ahead goes a long way toward easing difficulties for students and instructors, particularly by building appropriate flexibility, within clear boundaries, aligned with course learning objectives.

General policy guidance

Please keep in mind that some general policies and guidelines apply to planning for disruptions. Here are key considerations and links to more information.

Seek up-to-date guidance online 

For disruptions affecting a large number of Stanford community members or campus facilities, specific temporary guidance will be provided by email and emergency websites.

All medical information is protected

All medical information is protected and people in instructional roles (e.g., faculty, lecturers, academic teaching staff, TAs, and others) may not ask students for such information. This includes medical information, diagnoses, vaccination status, and other health information relating to absences.

Also, you should not request disability-related information or documentation from students. Students may choose to disclose illnesses or diagnoses or disability status, but instructors may not request or require this information. Read more from the University Privacy Office and in the Office of Accessible Education Faculty FAQs.

Nearly all Stanford courses are held in-person

Stanford courses for matriculated students are generally conducted in person unless your school, department, or program has informed you otherwise. 

Hybird instruction requires careful consideration

Instructors may designate aspects of their courses as having online or “hybrid” components, as long as choices are consistent with current Stanford policies and coordinated with the department or program. See "What is a hybrid course?" for more details.

OAE supports accommodations for students with disabilities

When a student has a formal accommodation through the Stanford Office of Accessible Education (OAE), the instructor will be contacted by OAE with specific information unique to the student’s situation, including the support that will be provided by OAE. If a student asks for long-term flexibility (e.g., Zoom access that you have not built into your course, a different timeline for assignments outside of your course policies, or other individual changes), please refer that student to OAE.

Instructors decide whether to record their class meetings

It is up to each instructor whether you want to record class sessions and make them available to students, either individually for missed classes, or more generally to support learning. Class videos may not be shared publicly due to student privacy (FERPA) rules, including using YouTube. See "Recording course meetings" for more details.