Ideas for Supporting Students in Quarantine

This fall, instructors face a particular set of COVID-related teaching challenges. We want to make sure students in quarantine or isolation have the support they need, including access to course materials and learning resources necessary to stay connected to and keep up with the course. At the same time, they have different needs from students last year who needed to spend an entire semester learning online. The goal is to provide enough resources and points of contact for students to feel connected, supported, and successful while in quarantine.

Different courses will present different challenges for students. As the instructor, you are best placed to understand what your students will need during their quarantine period. For example, needs in a language class will be different from needs in a large lecture course. Many of these ideas can be implemented once and then re-activated if necessary throughout the semester.

Course Content

(Students in Isolation or Quarantine FAQ)

How can you present content to students to keep them connected with the course? While there is no one-size-fits all answer, there are many options. We encourage you to choose the method that will work best for you and your students. You may want to combine methods.

Course Engagement

What are the planned ways you would have students interact with course materials during the quarantine period? (i.e. if they were in class and not in quarantine)

  • Encourage all students to participate in online discussions, especially question and answer discussions using Ed Discussion (e.g. encourage quarantined students to join non-quarantined classmates in asking and answering questions online).
  • ​​Ask students to use a Google doc to compile (crowd source) lecture notes to share. OneNote allows students to write, draw or sketch course notes and collaborate in a shared folder.
  • Using Hypothesis, accessible through Canvas, enables instructors and students to annotate handouts, create notes, and start conversations in the margins of text (readings, news articles, blogs, books, etc.). It also allows students to authentically connect online to ask questions, share ideas, and collaborate.

Course Support

Given the risk of students falling behind during quarantine, consider channels specifically for these students.

  • Consider designating one hour per week for Zoom office hours reserved for quarantined students. They could sign up for a designated appointment time to help protect their anonymity.