Temporary CAS & SBS Academic Policies
Learning Management System and Related Platforms & Tools
All courses must be conducted through the official learning management system (LMS) of Suffolk University (currently Blackboard) and should rely only on tools sanctioned and supported by Suffolk University (such as Zoom). Students may not be able to access tools and platforms that are not supported by Suffolk, and may become fatigued and frustrated by needing to learn multiple systems. In addition, non-supported sites and tools may pose security risks. Faculty should consult their academic dean's office and should secure permission about any exceptions to this policy.
Assignments and Grading
Instructors must require students to submit all assignments through Blackboard and to issue grades through Blackboard.
Note: The instructor does not need to implement the full Grade Center or to make grades available to students through the Grade Center. However, grades on tests, assignments, and any other assessments must be returned to students through the Blackboard system (final course grades must be entered through “MySuffolk”).
All use of Zoom for course meetings must be scheduled through Blackboard. Learn how to schedule a Zoom meeting through Blackboard.
For faculty responsibilities, see the Suffolk University Faculty Handbook. Suffolk University must track student attendance to comply with federal policies, and faculty are expected to record student attendance in all their classes, regardless of the modality. They should implement and enforce the attendance policy that they have included in their syllabi. Please note that the Department of Education expects student participation in online classes, beyond simply logging in, when attendance is certified. The following resources provide ways for faculty to track attendance using currently sanctioned platforms and tools:
To minimize confusion for students attending from different time zones, all course dates and times should be set for the EDT/EST time zone and in accordance with the LMS (Blackboard) calendar. The course week begins on a Sunday, and the day ends at 11:59 PM (EDT/EST).
Due Dates for Assignments
Unless otherwise stated on a syllabus, assignments are understood to be due at 11:59 PM (EDT/EST) on the due date of the assignment listed on a syllabus. Please note that the Bb system reads 'midnight / 12:00 AM' as the start of the next day.
Faculty may encourage but may not require students to turn on cameras. (Wifi strength or unwillingness to show personal space may be playing a role when students choose not to turn on video.) Faculty concerned about student attendance or participation should indicate reward and penalty systems in attendance and/or participation policies on the course syllabus. Faculty may, for example, indicate that those who do not respond to polling systems or when called upon or who disappear from breakout rooms will be given absence penalties. Faculty should exercise reasonable judgment in accommodating students who experience random internet access issues.
Exception for Examinations and Tests
Faculty may require students to make themselves visible on camera (including phone camera) while completing exams or equivalent activities. If applicable, requirements for camera use during exams should be stated on the course syllabus.
Course Meeting Times
Instructors should adhere to meeting times and final exam times as scheduled by the Office of the Registrar on WebAdvisor—whether as F2F / on campus meetings in classrooms or as "web-chat" meetings—bearing in mind that altering scheduled meeting times may interfere with students' other scheduled courses or with safety protocols that allow adequate transitioning time between classes.
Recording Classes and Remote Access Issues
Recording online, HyFlex and Hybrid classes, and giving students access to the recordings, is the prerogative of the instructor. Some may choose to record all classes and make them available to all students, others may choose to restrict access to recorded classes to students with a demonstrated need. Instructions for restricting access to recordings is available on the CTSE website. If the students taking a class from a remote location would need to attend the class earlier than 7AM or later than 10PM (their local time) in order to participate synchronously, they must be served asynchronously, by recording or some other arrangement. Suffolk University’s Temporary Class Recording Policy contains more information and is available on the Provost’s website.
Students may tell faculty about access issues that arise for financial reasons (for example, inability to replace broken technology). These students should contact Amanda McGrath at firstname.lastname@example.org. Faculty may also submit a CARE report to the Dean of Students' office.