Employee leave during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- SDBOR Emergency Sick Leave
- FFCRA Non-Federal Employees
- FFCRA Federal Employees
To request emergency sick leave or emergency FMLA, please contact NSU Human Resources.
The following documents contain guidelines on remote work arrangements for those at greater risk:
- NSU Remote Work Policy
- Remote Work Agreement Form - Complete this form if you are a high-risk individual and are requesting to telework
- FMLA Request Form - Complete if you are caring for someone, including children
- FMLA Sick Leave Request Form - Complete this form if you are ill
If you have questions, please contact NSU Human Resources.
Please customize and print whichever sign you need and post on your office door:
- Cleaning My Own Space Sign
- Mask Up In This Space Sign
- Please Call or Email to Make an Appointment Sign
COVID-19 precautions and resources
Frequently asked questions related to Northern's COVID-19 response
Return-to-campus and academic planning task forces' membership and charges
The COVID-19 Student Emergency Relief Fund will provide grants to students.
The CDC website includes information for people who need to take extra precautions. This includes people aged 65 and older; those who are immunocompromised; and those living with diabetes, liver disease or serious heart conditions, among others. If you’re not sure if you are considered high-risk, please speak with your health care provider.
Employees at greater risk may request to work remotely by submitting the password-protected form included in NSU’s Return to Workplace Guidelines. More information about working remotely can be found in the NSU Remote Work Policy, and questions may be directed to NSU Human Resources.
All benefits-eligible employees receive five free visits with a counselor through Northern’s Employee Assistance Plan. Employees who need assistance are encouraged to utilize this benefit, found at KEPRO Employee Assistance Program and Work-Life; the password is southdakota.
Yes, but you are asked to make all efforts to socially distance yourselves. Also, if people are visiting you, that space would then be considered public, and you should all be wearing masks while socially distancing.
In-state business travel is permissible only if essential and approved by the supervisor. Out-of-state business travel is not allowed until further notice.
Cleaning and Safety
To request COVID-19 supplies from NSU Facilities (such as cloth face masks and hand sanitizer) or supplies to clean your own office space, please work with your supervisor to determine the needs for your entire department. Submit one order from your department or area using the Cleaning and Safety Materials Request Form. For information about alternative arrangements, such as clear masks or face shields, please contact NSU Disability Services.
Deans and directors should submit request for shields to Facilities Management.
Anyone in a public indoor space on campus: Cloth face coverings, per BOR Face Covering Protocol at Masks on Campus.
Anyone caring for students or staff who become symptomatic while on campus: Gloves, surgical/procedural face mask.
Staff who work with students at less than six-foot distance for 15 minutes or more: Cloth face coverings are required per BOR Face Covering Protocol at Masks on Campus; if/when developing policy or practices, consider factors such as staff person’s risk factors, or special needs that students may have. Consider special circumstances for musical and athletic groups, understanding that the virus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets.
Administrative staff: Cloth face coverings are required when in a public indoor space on campus, per BOR Face Covering Protocol at Masks on Campus; if/when developing policy or practices, consider factors such as staff person’s risk factors, ability to social distance, or special needs students may have.
Food service staff: Usual recommended food safety guidelines with the addition of cloth face coverings. Cloth face coverings are required when in a public indoor space on campus, per BOR Face Covering Protocol at Masks on Campus.
Staff providing special services to students (e.g. health care professionals): Depending upon student needs and procedures being performed: Surgical/procedural face mask, face shield, gown, gloves. Cloth face coverings are required when in a public indoor space on campus, per BOR Face Covering Protocol at Masks on Campus.
Custodial staff: PPE appropriate when using cleaners and disinfectants. When cleaning areas with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, surgical/procedural face mask, face shield, gown, gloves. Cloth face coverings are required when in a public indoor space on campus, per BOR Face Covering Protocol at Masks on Campus.
To be low-risk while outdoors, we need to maintain social distance of 6 feet at all times. See the Mayo Clinic assessment of low-risk outdoor activities: “Wear a mask when you can't maintain at least 6 feet (2 meters) from people you don't live with.”
All faculty are required to use D2L and to share all course materials both face-to-face and remotely (for students who cannot attend even when classes are face-to-face). At a minimum, D2L must contain the course syllabus, assignments, and grades, and preferably be set up with content modules. Quizzes and tests can be administered through D2L using the Respondus lockdown browser and monitor. Due to the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty should be ready to pivot to online instruction at short notice. Being prepared from the beginning of the semester is the best approach.
The use of the HyFlex instructional format for all classes is strongly encouraged, allowing for the reduction of face-to-face time and to provide options for students who miss class due to illness or quarantine. NSU hosted the HyFlex workshop on June 22, 2020 and follow up sessions on “HyFlex Techs” were conducted by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning on June 25 and 29, 2020. The Zoom video recording for the No Stress HyFlex workshop is now posted in the Faculty Connect sandbox in D2L. You will find it under Content>HyFlex Teaching Model>No Stress HyFlex Workshop Recording.
We have created links to all of the activities that Dr. Hayman used in the workshop in that same content module. Dr. Hayman has also posted a few resources that you will find useful as you further explore the HyFlex modality and how you can personally implement aspects of it into your teaching. Lapel microphones have been ordered for all faculty who intend to use the HyFlex model and wish to record their lectures. Please contact Jeanie Hoffman to receive your microphone.
Faculty have established lab and studio protocols that limit the number of students in lab at any one time and maintain social distancing of at least six feet.
Find all academic calendars at Academic Calendars & Important Dates.
Faculty are asked to establish testing practices that do not require a proctor or that are paperless, so a proctor (including Disability Services) does not have to handle paper and return it to faculty. For example, faculty can email exams to proctor/testing center, coordinator can print exam and administer to students, and coordinator can scan and return completed exams to faculty electronically.
Covid-19 guidelines for class attendance will be utilized to discourage students who are ill from attending class and to protect students in high-risk categories by allowing them to shift to remote learning as much as possible. Syllabus attendance statement: “Class attendance is flexible due to COVID-19. If you are absent due to illness, self-quarantine, or to avoid exposure due to a high-risk status, please inform the Dean of Students, who will notify faculty. No documentation from a healthcare provider is required for missed classes. Students are responsible for all class content and requirements, regardless of absences.” Faculty are requested to be flexible on assignments, tests, etc., for students who are ill, as always.
During the fall 2020 semester, Covid-19 guidelines for class attendance will be used to discourage students who are ill from attending class and to protect students in high risk categories by allowing them to shift to remote learning as much as possible. No documentation from a healthcare provider is required for missed classes. Students are responsible for all class content and requirements, regardless of absences.
The SDBOR has suspended the Small Section Rule for the 2020-21 academic year. This provides flexibility for BOR institutions to adjust class sizes to adapt to COVID-19 safety measures such as social distancing in classrooms. All decisions on class enrollments will be coordinated by the Deans and the Provost.
Northern faculty: These resources are available for your support as you plan for a variety of delivery modes for your courses: face-to-face and online (synchronous and/or asynchronous). This planning means developing your courses with D2L and creating lesson components that are applicable to all teaching formats.
Information and Assistance
Jason Henslee: 605-626-3349 or book appointment online
Danette Long: 605-626-3361 or book appointment online
Numerous resources are available to help you teach your course virtually. The first step is to ensure your D2L course is activated and students know that you will use this platform to continue class. Please reach out to Instructional Technology for any assistance with using D2L or other instructional technologies.
D2L Brightspace Tutorials – The Brightspace by D2L YouTube channel has a seemingly endless supply of video tutorials that teach instructors and students how to get the most out of the D2L tools: Content, Discussion, Quiz, Dropbox, Rubrics, Groups, Grades, Digital Awards, Class Progress, Bulk Editing Dates, and more.
Online Learning Consortium (OLC) – Northern holds an institutional membership with the OLC, an industry leader in quality online, blended, and digital teaching and learning. Create an account using your Northern email and gain access to free webinars and other materials to guide your instruction.
Educause – Don’t be fooled by the seemingly IT nature of this organization. They conduct many great webinars and publications like their 7 Things You Should Know About series, which answer seven essential questions relating to current trends in teaching and learning. You will also find reports detailing results from their numerous research topics.
Faculty Focus online journal – The Higher Ed Teaching Strategies online journal from Magna Publications hosts a number of quality articles relating to teaching and learning in all modalities: face-to-face, online, blended and flipped.
Instructor Presence – Discover methods to help you bring your teaching self into your online courses and really connect with your online students.
Curricular Alignment – Why should assessments, learning objectives, and instructional strategies be aligned? Read on and find out…
Writing Measurable Learning Outcomes – Measurable learning outcomes are at the very center of solid instruction. It is with the outcomes that course design begins. This resource will remove the mystery from writing strong, measurable learning outcomes.
Delivering High-Quality Instruction Online in Response to COVID-19 Faculty Playbook - This playbook is a collaboration between the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and the Every Learner Everywhere Network with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is designed to serve as a concise guide in addressing faculty needs for online course design, teaching, and continuous improvement. This guide will provide you with the information you need to get started (and keep going!) at any level, along with resources for more in-depth information or assistance.
7 Things You Should Know About…The HyFlex Course Model – Get up to speed on the basics of the Hyflex Course Model from the 7 Things You Should Know Series published by Educause.
Hybrid-Flexible Course Design: Implementing student-directed hybrid classes – (Brian J. Beatty) – Beatty’s e-text provides a full account of the Hybrid-flexible course design model. Read the whole thing or skip right to section 1.4 Designing a Hybrid-Flexible Course.
HyFlex Model of Course Delivery – Example Course from the University of St. Thomas explained.
MindWires PodCast: Considering Hybrid (Flexible) Models - In this episode, Phil Hill, Jeanette Wiseman, and Kevin Kelly discuss an overlooked aspect of the COVID response from higher education. Beyond traditional face-to-face models, and fully online models, there is a vast middle ground of hybrid – the combination of face-to-face and online components. Added this is the concept of Hybrid Flexible as shared in in this blog post.
COVID-19 Planning for Fall 2020: A Closer Look at Hybrid-Flexible Course Design – Kevin Kelly walks readers through a discussion on HyFlex course design including A few implications of adopting Hyflex and Some HyFlex pros and cons.
UDL at a Glance by CAST – UDL is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. Learn about the Why, What, and How of learning through a series of brain-based networks.
UDL on Campus – Acquire skills in designing courses with diverse learners in mind. This is a comprehensive resource with a large variety of information and materials.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) – Access a variety of Faculty Focus articles relating to UDL.
ThinkUDL Podcast - ThinkUDL is a podcast about Universal Design for Learning where we hear from the people who are designing and implementing strategies in post-secondary settings with learner variability in mind.
Four-Step Strategy to Create Active Learning in any Learning Space—Online, F2F, or Blended – A quick article that breaks designing active learning activities into four easy steps. Be sure to check out the resources on this article!
- Active Learning Strategies – Using student-centered active learning strategies in your face-to-face and online classroom will help keep students engaged in the learning process.
Create Engaging E-Learning courses You Can Be Proud Of – Learn how to create engaging content that actively involves learners in the course content.
Active and Cooperative Learning Strategies – Explore a number of active and cooperative learning strategies often used in higher ed classes.
Use the checklist below to help prepare you to teach remotely.
- Create a plan for continuing your course online.
- Ensure your course is accessible to students.
- Communicate with your students via email and the D2L news widget. Inform them how the course will continue and what your expectations are.
- Check your email and update your D2L course (content, news widget, grades) frequently.
- Don't use Zoom from a remote desktop. Disconnect from the remote desktop and start Zoom directly from your laptop or computer.
- If you are using a computer tower (not a laptop), your computer might not have a microphone and your meeting audio will not work.
- NSU Zoom Instructions: Getting Started
- Tips and Tricks for Educators Using Zoom
- Zoom Password Requirement
Resources from Zoom
NSU-themed Virtual Backgrounds
- Work with your supervisor to ensure you are approved to work remotely. If you do not have requisite equipment or connectivity, you must let your supervisor know.
- Your supervisor must submit approval to Technology Services.
- Register for Self-Service Password Reset (allows you to reset password off campus)
- Staff do not need to request a laptop, as Technology Services maintains an inventory of those staff who may need one to work remotely. Laptops will be provided at the time an employee must work from home.
- Supervisors must notify Technology Services of the requirement for a laptop.
You can transfer your work phone directly to your home phone. Otherwise, you should change your voicemail to indicate that you are working remotely and that callers should email or leave voicemail.
If you need access to the systems below, request access to VPN and learn how to use it.
- Systems requiring VPN: Network drives (F: and H: drives), ImageNow, Banner Finance, Banner Admin, Cognos
- You will not need VPN if you use these systems: D2L, Starfish, Banner Self-Service, SNAP (timecards, sdezbuy), myNSU, Email, Panopto, Zoom
- NSU Virtual Private Network (VPN) Instructions
- Find an area where you will have minimal distractions
- Set a schedule. Get up at a regular time; take lunch at a regular time; wrap up when the work day is complete and your tasks are finished.
- Don't sit in one position for more than 30 minutes. At the very least, stand up and stretch or walk around the room. Eyestrain is a thing.
- Let your counterparts and colleagues know when you are "leaving" for lunch and when you are back.
- Stay plugged in to your group. It is easy to get immersed in a project and forget to check in or respond.
- Never underestimate the value of talking on the phone to someone. It may be old fashioned, but one 10-minute phone call can easily replace 30 minutes of text chat.
Teleconference Dos and Don'ts
- Mute your microphone unless you are actively talking
- "Mute" or disable video if not absolutely needed (bandwidth reduction)
- Assume you are always on camera and that you are always audible (even if you think you're muted or video-disabled)
- Avoid side conversations if you are physically next to someone. Cross-talk is especially annoying and distracting to remote participants.
- Be careful not to talk over others. Politely wait your turn, and if you are talking for more than a minute at a stretch, pause to let others ask questions.
- Avoid tapping pencils, moving papers around, rattling ice, setting coffee cups down on table-tops, tapping on keyboards, and other seemingly innocuous sounds. They are unbelievably loud and annoying to others on the call.
- If conducting a video teleconference, warn your family members not to wander through; some home attire may not be safe for work.
- Make notes on what you want to say before the conference starts. Take notes on action items during the conference whenever you are asked to work on something. Don't ramble; be succinct. If it is a question that can be addressed offline, then do that.
If you need to move files between your on campus workstation and your remote laptop, be sure to take advantage of the cloud storage in OneDrive offered through the Microsoft O365 environment.
Top Five Steps to Securely Working From Home: An SSA fact sheet with tips for working securely from home