Frequently Asked Questions for Students

We will update this page and our responses as we receive more questions, and as we receive guidance from Yolo County and the State of California. Because health guidelines are being updated on an almost daily basis, please check this FAQ regularly to see if answers to your questions have changed.

Classes and Instruction

Where can I access information about COVID-19 academic policies?

The Academic Senate recently announced updates to academic policies regarding final exams for undergraduates and Passed/Not Passed (P/NP) and Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) deadline extensions for undergraduates and graduates, respectively. Details are provided on the Academic Senate website. Please also refer to the Academic Advising section of the Campus Ready Student FAQ for factors to consider before electing to take a course P/NP.

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What is the guidance to students for remote learning?

While this journey on remote learning is still relatively new, our students and faculty are on this path together. Your instructors are likely using a combination of Canvas, Zoom, email, and other web-based tools to offer remote instruction. To navigate this new learning environment, please review the Remote Learning Strategies available on the Keep Teaching website.

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What do I do on the first day of class?

  • Log into Canvas by the first day of instruction. If your instructor is using Canvas, you should be able to see your class. You can check earlier, but it may not be visible before the first day of instruction.
  • Instructors who are not using Canvas should contact you via email. If you don’t hear from them, email them.

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What do I need to prepare for Zoom?

While you may find it useful to sign up for a free Zoom account, you do not need one. You can use Zoom on a computer or a smartphone device.

  • To begin: click the meeting link that you receive, let the Zoom software/app download, follow the prompts, and you will enter into the remote session or virtual waiting room.
  • You’ll need: minimally audio functionality, ideally a webcam for video functionality on your end, stable internet connection, and a quiet place.

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How do I access WiFi and/or technology, such as a webcam, to take classes and proctored exams?

UC Davis has a program to provide loaner laptops for students in need. Please complete the Student Laptop Checkout Request and sign the accompanying agreement. The campus is also providing support for WiFi and/or other technology needs. More information can be found on the Keep Teaching website.

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Will classes be exclusively remote? Which ones will be available remotely versus in-person? Can I see that in Schedule Builder?

We advise you to check Schedule Builder to see which classes have been designated “remote” for fall quarter. All lectures and discussion sections will be held remotely for undergraduate students and for most graduate students. For classes without that label, we are still carefully evaluating which of them we can offer in-person, depending on public health guidance. We recently received the state’s guidance for higher education—and we are reviewing it now.

If allowed, we know we will be offering a limited number of in-person classes and only those with educational objectives that can be met only through in-person instruction (e.g., advanced laboratory skills, some studio or performance classes, or fieldwork). These classes will follow strict public health guidelines related to required face coverings, physical distancing, disinfecting surfaces, and ventilation systems, among others. Once approved, these classes will be identified in Schedule Builder and we will notify students that the designations have been added.

In addition to indicating whether each class will be offered only remote or have an in-person component, Schedule Builder will also specify whether it will be offered asynchronously to accommodate students living in other time zones.

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Can I take classes exclusively remotely even if the campus is open?

Yes, for winter 2020 you can choose to enroll only in courses that are being offered remotely.

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If I have personal health concerns how will I participate in in-person classes? How will professors respond if I still don’t feel safe to come to in-person classes?

While limited in-person course offerings will follow rigorous safety guidelines, if you have additional health or safety concerns, please contact the Student Disability Center for assistance and support. We also recommend you consult your advisor regarding your individual academic plans.

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How will courses with labs be conducted? How will studio courses (art, theatre, design) be conducted?

This is being decided on a course-by-course basis after careful review of safety plans, as well as justifications for in-person classes. While we hope to offer some laboratory sections in person, the lectures will still be offered only remotely. Courses requiring in-person attendance will follow campus as well as county and state public health policies concerning protective equipment, physical distancing, room occupancy limits, cleaning protocols, etc.

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How do I access my books?

All of your textbooks, lab manuals and faculty-created readers are included in Equitable Access for just $199 per quarter when you pay your student fees. For additional information including how to opt out, please visit the Equitable Access Student FAQ. Textbooks available in digital format will be provided as e-books. To access your e-books, click on the Bookshelf option in the Canvas navigation menu. If you do not have a posted class on your Canvas page you may access your e-books through the account menu on the top left of your main Canvas page. Required textbooks that don’t have a digital equivalent are also included at no additional cost. Printed textbooks and other materials may be picked up at the Campus Bookstore or shipped if you are unable to pick up your books in person. We are unable to predict shipping delays due to COVID-19. Therefore, if you are able to visit the Campus Store, picking up your printed textbooks in person will be the most efficient option.

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Are there going to be caps on class sizes if they are offered remotely?

Most remote courses will still have caps, though the caps may be higher than the equivalent in-person class. Courses must maintain reasonable enrollment caps to prevent overloading the work of instructors, teaching assistants and readers.

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Will students have access to professors and office hours?

Instructors will continue to hold regular office hours via remote means. If you have scheduling questions about office hours, contact your instructor.

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Will professors be lenient if students are feeling ill?

Instructors are encouraged to provide reasonable accommodations for students who are feeling ill. Students testing positive for COVID-19 or with COVID-19 symptoms should not attend in-person classes and should seek treatment at Student Health and Counseling Services. Please also follow the campus reporting protocol. For students attending class remotely, please contact your instructor if you are unable to attend a particular class or classes due to health reasons.

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Will professors be accommodating of students in different time zones or with varying levels of access to consistent Wi-Fi or a home computer?

Instructors with students in different time zones and with synchronous presentations have been advised to take time differences into consideration.

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Should I focus on general education courses if things are remote and save STEM classes for when I can take them on campus?

We encourage you to continue making progress toward your major, but please consult your advisor regarding your individual academic plans.

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How do I decide what classes to take?

Please consult your advisor regarding your individual academic plans.

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Will remote online classes be recorded?

This is at the discretion of your instructor. Instructors are encouraged to record class sessions if it is feasible and appropriate for their course.

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Will any courses be offered in both remote and in-person modes?

We are not planning to offer courses where some students join remotely and other students attend in person. All students in a course will receive the same method of instruction.

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Can students enroll in an in-person course after the quarter has started if the enrollment cap has already been met?

Students will not be able to enroll in an in-person course that has already reached capacity. Please talk to your instructor if you are unable to be on campus by the start of the quarter.

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What will winter and spring quarter look like?

We are hopeful that the campus will be able to transition towards an increasing proportion of in-person courses during winter and spring 2021, but it will depend on county and state public health directives in place at that time. We aim to inform students about plans for winter 2021 by early November.

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If I need additional help with classes, who can I turn to?

Please consult with your advisor or instructor regarding your individual situation.

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