Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQs are intended to promote consistency across the campus in the event that you cannot meet in person.  Instructors, students and the campus community are encouraged to be flexible and understanding of each others' needs.  

Instructional Clarity

During a partial campus closure, all events are cancelled and all instruction is transitioned to remote modalities.  The campus will remain open to maintain business continuity, though some buildings will be closed and some operations will be reduced. Some staff will work remotely, as determined by operational need and their supervisor and Human Resources. Find recent campus announcements in the Advisories section of the SF State COVID-19 website. 

The four-day suspension period for in-person classes is intended to provide time for instructors to adapt course materials to remote modalities, seek out and offer peer-mentorship and support for others during this time, and for students to regroup and settle into this new mode of learning.  

Credit-bearing face-to-face and hybrid classes have been suspended until Monday, March 16th, 2020, at which point they will resume in a remote modality. Credit-bearing fully online courses will continue without disruption, though instructors are asked to provide some flexibility with assignments and exams during this suspension period.

Online courses have been conducted exclusively in an online modality, without any in-person sessions, since the first day of the semester, and are listed as such in the course schedule.   Face-to-face and hybrid courses have conducted some or all class sessions in a face-to-face modality since the first day of the semester, and are listed as such on the course schedule.

“Fully online courses” can be very engaging for students and lead to achievement of learning outcomes at par with face-to-face courses, provided the instructors have appropriate lead time for planning, and have developed the pedagogical and technical expertise required to develop and facilitate a quality fully online course. The call to “transition courses to remote modalities” mid-semester acknowledges the unusual and extenuating circumstances that instructors and students are facing. Alternative modalities for remote instruction include virtual modalities (e.g. Zoom, iLearn), pedagogically appropriate alternative assignments, self-paced work from home, and take-home exams and quizzes. Instructors should exercise professional judgement, flexibility, and discretion in determining the best way to provide instruction given the circumstances, and reach out to the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) for support and guidance at any time during this transition and beyond.

Certain classes require the use of specialized equipment and spaces and arrangements for these will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Departments, in consultation with college leadership, will provide guidance to instructors and students on how best to help students meet the course learning outcomes.

Planning plays a critical role in determining whether an individual instructor, or the campus as a whole, can effectively maintain instructional continuity during a partial campus closure. Given the uncertain nature of emergency situations, instructors are encouraged to develop instructional continuity plans using remote modalities for three scenarios: the period of two-weeks, one month, and the remainder of the semester.            

The Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) provides a variety of resources to support instructors who are transitioning their courses to remote modalities. Instructors can participate in Keep Teaching webinars, schedule a virtual consultation with an instructional designer, faculty peer-mentor, or Quality Learning and Teaching (QLT) ambassador, and access a range of support documentation on the CEETL and QLT websites. Email to learn more or schedule an appointment.

  • Academic Senate policy indicates that final exams are not a required course component, so finals week provides an opportunity to make up some instructional time or other activities, such as quizzes, exams, and lab work.
  • Instructors can use iLearn for quizzes, tests, and to collect and grade final exams and assignments.  For support materials, visit the iLearn Quizzes support page and the iLearn Assignments support page.

Instructional Support

  • Develop a plan to communicate with your students in the event of a campus closure.  For example, log into the Campus Solutions Faculty Center and download your rosters so you can email and communicate with your students.
  • Plan how to adjust course policies related to class attendance, assignments and assessments to best accommodate all forms of instructional disruption.
  • Plan for a reliable method to remotely collect and submit final grades.

Instructors who are not familiar with the campus learning management system, iLearn, can refer to the Keep Teaching Instructor Guide on this website for help in preparing to continue instruction remotely. 

Visit these websites for ideas and strategies for alternative final exams: 

Alternatives To Traditional Testing: Center for Teaching and Learning, UC Berkeley

Alternatives To Traditional Exams and Papers: Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, Indiana University

Moving Your Final Exams Online: Office of Teaching and Learning, University of Denver

Online Alternatives to In-Person Proctored Exams: Office of Distance Learning, University of Florida

Final Exam Options: Keep Teaching, UC Davis

A Different Kind of Final: Faculty Focus

The Final Exam Experience: Center for Teaching and Learning, Brigham Young University 

SF State’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs continues to operate as normal. The ORSP team will continue to support proposal submissions, assist with post-award transactions, as well as process human/animal subjects protocols. If you have any questions, please feel free to email

Instructors can use a number of remote modalities to share content, including recording lectures and presentations in SF State supported technologies CourseStream, Zoom, or Camtasia; facilitating live lectures and class sessions with Zoom webconferencing; directing students to streaming video subscriptions available through the Library, or by linking directly to SF State Library eBooks and journal articles. Students can also locate sources of content that support the learning outcome and share these with the class by posting links to the iLearn forums. 

  • iLearn provides multiple ways to contact students; the easiest is the Quickmail block which also retains an archive of the messages sent to students.  For support materials, visit the iLearn Quickmail support page.
  • Outside of iLearn, instructors can download student emails in class rosters from the Campus Solutions Faculty Center and use traditional email to maintain communication with students. Students should be encouraged to check their email accounts regularly.

Minimum course elements include a syllabus, assignments and a reading list. Additional course information, such as new course expectations and preferred methods to contact the instructor, are encouraged.  

Instructors are encouraged to update their syllabi and promptly communicate to students in a written format any changes that have taken place.

For instructional design support in adapting course materials, activities and assessments into remote modalities, contact the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL).

CEETL Support Contact:

Faculty are encouraged to take advantage of centrally provided learning technologies to ensure the environments are secure, accessible and supported for faculty and students.  

For specific help in using centrally supported learning technologies, contact Academic Technology.

Academic Technology Support Contact: