Teaching FAQs

A. Students do not have the right to record classroom lectures and discussions without securing prior permission from you, but do have the right to take written notes (or typed notes on a computing device). There may be some cases where students with documented learning or physical disabilities need such electronic assistance; in these cases, the student would have documentation from Disability Support Resources (DSR), be in touch with you well ahead of time to arrange appropriate accommodations, and have signed an agreement with DSR not to share the recordings. DSR has included other information about such requests in their FAQ for faculty and staff.

Faculty members are encouraged to use their syllabi to indicate whether or not you are giving permission for electronic recording. Past history suggests that Grand Valley students tend to ask before recording lectures. If you are faced with such a request, you can decide what is best for you and your class. You may want to consider what will happen with recordings once they’re made, and whether additional policies or practices are appropriate – such as requesting that the student turn off the recording device during sensitive classroom discussions or if other students express concerns with being recorded.

A. The policy on auditing a course can be found in the catalog, under Academic Policies and Regulations. Although there is no written policy on giving permission to a guest to sit in on a course, it is not in the University’s best interest to do so. An exception would be to have a faculty colleague (regular or non-tenure track) attend a course in order to prepare to be an instructor in the future, or for other departmental purposes such as evaluation.

A. There is no formal policy addressing this question, other than this excerpt from GVSU’s Minors on Campus policy, “Minors brought to Campus by an employee, student, or visitor … are the sole responsibility of the employee, student, or visitor. The person bringing the child to Campus is responsible for all aspects of the Minor’s behavior including the Minor’s safety and is financially responsible for any damages caused by the Minor.” In addition, the Student Code has language regarding disruptive students. Best practice would be for the student to ask the permission of the instructor, but the student does not have the right to bring the child to class. Given the policies above, if the child is disruptive in the classroom, the Student Code may be invoked.

A.  There are several places to look.

A. Because a syllabus is required by policy, all syllabi are owned by GVSU.  Although GVSU’s policy on copyright may apply, at this time (January 2020) new policies on ownership of course materials are under discussion.

A. The Registrar’s office maintains a website for faculty and staff that addresses this and other questions. Examinations, tests, quizzes, and term papers used to demonstrate student's knowledge of materials learned in a particular course should be retained for at least one year. For syllabi: “5 years from date last offered by department unless accreditation board requires a different retention period.”

A. Historically, the university has posted signs in selected areas, such as computer labs, where eating and drinking is banned, but campus-wide rules for classrooms have never been established. Individual faculty have the authority to allow or ban eating and drinking in their classrooms, with advice to consider the length of the class and the scheduling of breaks. (For example, three-hour classes are scheduled so that two, 10-minute breaks are included.)

When face coverings are required due to health alert levels, face coverings may be removed briefly for eating and drinking.  An acceptable example of “briefly” is to remove one’s mask, take a few sips of water, and then re-mask. Spending twenty minutes unmasked in a classroom to eat a meal is not acceptable.

A. Our normal attendance policies, as described in our Catalog, includes the statement that “faculty members will make reasonable accommodations for students when an absence is excused”.  Such accommodations would depend on the course.  One of the reasons for an excused absence is “student medical conditions that preclude class attendance”.  Students who believe they are not being accommodated should contact the department chair connected to the course.

A. The Faculty Facilities Planning Advisory Committee (FFPAC) has been working with Facilities Planning, Information Technology, and the Office of the Provost on the CHARGE-IT initiative, to increase the availability and visibility of options for students and faculty to keep their portable devices charged up.  In summer 2022, a new web page was created that identifies locations with broad availability of power, portable charging devices that can be borrowed for free, charging lockers, and other options.

A. Yes. For example, for a night class scheduled from 6:00 p.m. to 8:50 p.m., two 10-minute breaks are factored into the schedule. These breaks help students (and instructors) to pay attention to physical needs and to reset mentally, in order to be more productive throughout the class period. It is not appropriate to end class early instead of taking breaks.



Page last modified July 8, 2020