FAQ for Modified Operations and Digital Learning Days Policies

In what instances would Modified Campus Operations and Digital Learning Days be put into place?

The Modified Campus Operations and Digital Learning Days policies will be enacted in response to hazardous or inclement weather or any emergency or safety issues that impact a large part of campus operations. 

How will I be notified of Digital Learning Days and / or Modified Campus Operations?

If a weather-related event seems likely to affect campus operations, instructors of record will be notified as soon as possible via email by the Office of the Provost. Once a decision to pivot is made, broader campus will be notified via email, GTENS, and Canvas notifications.  

Ongoing operations updates are also maintained at gatech.edu.  

On Modified Operations days, as much as possible, students are expected to check Canvas and/or other class communication methods for updates and expectations from their instructors.  

Staff should expect to be notified by their supervisor.  

 All announcements will be shared on the Georgia Tech homepage, including any specific changes to campus services, such as transportation or dining services.    

In the event of a Modified Operations Day, an alert will be sent via the Georgia Tech Emergency Notification System (GTENS).    

Concurrently, a notification will be posted across the official Georgia Tech social media accounts.  

Finally, Georgia Tech will notify local radio and television stations to be included in their lists of area closures.  

Why did Georgia Tech move to new policies for Modified Campus Operations and Digital Learning Days?

With developments and improvements to digital instruction over the past few years, the goal of these policies is to leverage digital learning to lessen any possible disruption to academic progression as much as possible.

This policy is in accordance with specifications in the University System of Georgia Academic and Student Affairs Handbook, Section 2.1 Semester System, Uniform Academic Calendar, Cancellation of Classes, and Religious Holidays.

The policy is also consistent with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) policy statement on credit hours.  

What should I share with my students if they are upset about the policies?

The goal of this policy is to allow instructors ample opportunity to pivot their instruction as needed should Modified Campus Operations be put into place for a temporary amount of time. Updated information during this time will be provided by Georgia Tech leadership and will be shared as widely as possible.

Please reference these institutional decisions as coming from academic administration and part of a campus-wide shift in operations, not just your particular class.  

Who do I ask for exceptions to the Modified Campus Operations policy?

Exceptions are unnecessary if Modified Campus Operations go into effect. Digital Learning Days are designed to maximize the educational experience and success of students; this policy enables instructors to utilize flexibility and respond to their students in a manner consistent with their course format and teaching schedule.  

Approaches may vary by department, so instructors should connect with department leadership on any specific considerations for your sections or courses. 

Can I choose to teach in-person while Modified Campus Operations are in effect?

No. Should Modified Campus Operations go into effect, in-person instruction is not permitted. Modified operations are designed to be employed in the case of any interruption to campus operations and would mean a disruption for all campus members – faculty, staff, and students. Thus, Digital Learning Days provide a safer alternative that will also prevent the disruption of the academic semester.  

 Instructors have discretion to cancel class or pivot to digital instruction. The approach may vary by department. Instructors should connect with your department leadership on any specific considerations for your sections or courses.  

Does the Modified Campus Operations policy apply to Georgia Tech international campuses and Georgia Tech-Savannah?

No. At this time the only campus impacted by Modified Campus Operations and Digital Learning Days is the Atlanta campus.  

What do I do if I cannot participate in Digital Learning Days due to personal limitation?

As either an instructor or student, this policy seeks to provide you with flexibility during a Modified Campus Operations period.  

On Digital Learning Days, faculty and instructors are responsible for adequately communicating to students and their teaching assistants the course plans and expectations for the days of Modified Campus Operations.  

As a best practice, faculty are encouraged to record and post digital instruction material after the use of a synchronous session to accommodate students who may be unable to attend synchronous instruction during days of modified campus operations due to personal limitation, e.g., no power or internet access, childcare, or family care.  

Additionally, should multiple class days be missed, faculty are expected to reasonably plan for students to make up the extra material and adequately communicate this expectation to their students.  

Where can I find teaching and/or technology resources to effectively move my instruction online?

Georgia Tech’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) maintains resources for leveraging various technologies and strategies to facilitate engaging learning activities inside and outside of classes.  

BEFORE EACH TERM: One way to prepare for any disruption to in-person learning is by proactively using Canvas.  One way to do this is by building your course using the Canvas Course Template, a product developed by CTL, OIT, GTPE, and C21U, that allows you to import a Georgia-Tech branded module structure to meet your course needs.   

Please note that approaches may vary by department, so instructors should connect with your department leadership on any specific considerations for your sections or courses.  

Delivering my course content digitally is best done from campus. Can I still come to campus on a Digital Learning Day?

Yes. Unless campus is closed, instructors can come to campus to deliver their courses digitally, if they prefer, but are not required to do so. 

As a reminder, in-person instruction is not permitted once digital learning days are in effect so students cannot be required to come to campus.

Will we have to make up instructional days at the end of the semester?

If a long-term interruption occurs (more than 3 days), the Provost reserves the right to determine the need for makeup classes. If this occurs, campus will be directly notified by the Office of the Provost.  

If campus operations are modified for three (3) or less class meetings, make-up classes are not required, unless directed by the Provost.  

If campus operations are modified for the equivalent of four (4) or more class meetings in a single academic term, or campus operations are modified after the scheduled make-up days, additional make-up classes beyond the previously scheduled make-up days may be necessary.  

Additional make-up days will be set at the discretion of the Provost.  

How are staff impacted by the Modified Campus Operations policy?

The Modified Campus Operations policy is applicable for staff and is complemented by your department’s continuity of operations plan. Please reach out to your supervisor, your unit’s Continuity Plan Manager and/or consult the Modified Campus Operations policy for further instruction should campus announce modified operations.  

How are research facilities impacted by the Modified Campus Operations policy?

Research facilities will be notified as part of the campus notifications.  

Each unit should have a continuity plan that details how they will conduct operations in the event of an interruption. Principal Investigators (PIs) should ensure that all research staff understand expectations during an interruption.  

The intent of this policy is to allow essential research operations (i.e. care of live research specimens) to continue at the direction of the PI and unit leadership. While the policy does not prohibit non-essential research operations during interruptions, PIs and supervisors should consider that normal, on-campus support may not be available or limited.

Am I an essential employee?

Please check with your supervisor to determine if you are an essential employee.  

I am not an essential employee and have a hybrid schedule, what do I do?

Please check with your supervisor and work from home.

I am not an essential employee but am working from home during a Modified Operations Day. Do I qualify for hazard pay?

No. You do not.

What kind of pay can I expect to receive for working during a Modified Operations Day?

Georgia Tech follows the University System of Georgia policy related to time away from work caused by inclement weather or other emergencies. The policy specifies how employee groups should code time based on operational situations (e.g. campus closed all day, partial day, or open with reduced operations).   

Read the full policy here and contact your supervisor if you have questions.   

I’m a manager, how do I code time for a Modified Operations day?

Pay-codes associated with the previously used moniker of campus closed time will still be used. Managers should only use these pay codes when they are notified via GTENS of a Modified Operations day. Again, these time codes can only be used on Institute designated Modified Operations days.

To know how to code time for your employees please reference this link: https://gatech.service-now.com/hr?id=kb_article_view&sysparm_article=KB0043299

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