Return to Campus
Stay Safe - Return to Campus
Students - Return to Campus
Faculty - Return to Campus
Employees - Return to Campus

Dedicated GU-Q faculty successfully led the transition to an online learning environment in a time of unprecedented crisis. With lessons learned and the introduction of IT enhancements, new resources, and increased support, faculty have even more options to help them continue their commitment to Georgetown’s teaching and research missions.

Books in a Classroom

Important Spring 2021 Dates

 GU-Q building closes for winter breakDecember 17
 GU-Q building reopens for faculty and staffJanuary 3
Spring 2021 semester begins (virtual)January 10
Instruction will be completely onlineJanuary 10 – 21
Gradual introduction of in-person instruction beginsJanuary 24
Qatar National Sports Day – no classesFebruary 9
Spring BreakFebruary 28 – March 4
Easter Sunday – no classesApril 4
Last day of Spring semester classesApril 26
Study dayApril 27
Final examsApril 28 – 29
Study dayApril 30
Final exams; End of semesterMay 1 – 4

Spring 2021 Planning and Guidance

In preparation for a flexible teaching and learning environment in the Spring, the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) has provided a number of resources, guidebooks, training options, and dedicated support contacts to help design and deliver online courses.

Faculty FAQs

Yes. If you are residing with your family, you will also need to quarantine.

Faculty are welcome to return to the building and to their offices if health and safety conditions allow. There are certain protocols that you will need to follow to gain access to the building (see below).

If health and safety conditions allow, starting August 16 and until further notice the GU-Q building will be open for business Sunday-Thursday, 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. In addition you may access your offices between 7:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Fridays. The evenings and Saturdays will be dedicated to cleaning and maintenance works. 

To ensure the health and safety of the entire community, and to minimize the density of people in the building, please do not come to the GU-Q building outside of the aforementioned business hours. Faculty who teach classes that run past the end of business hours – ending at either 6:45 pm or 8:00 pm – can be in the building on weekdays until their class session is over. 

Before you return to campus, review the Return to Work checklist for the steps you should take to keep you and the community safe.

Access to the building is limited to the VIP entrance and at Car Park 1 (underground). The Main Entrance (Library) is now closed. 

There will be access controls for entering the building that will include temperature checks, a green verification on the Ehteraz contact tracing app, a “CLEAR to go to campus” confirmation from the #CampusClear self-screening app, and GUID card checks. You must register a temperature of less than 38° C in order to be admitted into the building. 

Note: After 4:00 p.m. the Car Park 1 entrance will be closed. You may still park your vehicle but should follow the signs to walk to the loading dock to enter the building.

Faculty, students, staff, and contractors are required to wear face masks (made-for-purpose only, no bandanas, no vents) in all public areas of the GU-Q building. This includes the underground parking lot, all entrances, and classrooms. You do not have to wear a mask while working alone in your office with the door closed or while seated to eat your food.

Faculty are encouraged to hold office hours virtually to the extent possible. In-person office hours can only be held once students are allowed to return to the GU-Q building. If it is necessary to meet students in person, then you will need to hold such meetings in a location other than your faculty office. This is because, for health and safety reasons, the capacity of all faculty offices is one person only. Alternate meeting venues have been identified to facilitate meetings with students. These include four conference rooms (0D09, 1D10, 1D63, 1D34) and four seminar rooms (0D03, 0D04, 1D03, 1D04). Faculty are asked to please reserve meeting times in these rooms at least one day in advance by contacting Katja Watterott-Schmidt via email at kw778@georgetown.edu.

Faculty are able to request books for pick up in the Library or at the VIP entrance through the Library Item Request Form. Please be advised that due to health and safety precautions, library users are not currently able to retrieve books directly from the stacks.

It is important to acknowledge that much feedback received from instructors and students since going online in Spring 2020 has noted the need to maximize interaction between instructors and students. Having cameras on was found to facilitate the greatest degree of interaction, reducing the sense of isolation for all, while minimizing distractions.

It is the instructor’s prerogative to either require or not require that cameras be turned on during synchronous Zoom sessions. The instructor’s preference will be stated in the syllabus for each course.

If an instructor requires cameras to be turned on, a student who cannot turn on their camera for technical reasons, or has compelling cultural or personal reasons to not turn on their camera, should first seek to resolve their concerns in consultation with the instructor of the course. If this does not lead to a satisfactory solution, the student must apply in writing for an exemption from their advising dean. If their personal reason is confidential, a student may initiate the application process through the Student Wellness & Counseling Center. Those students granted exemptions will work with their deans and instructors to plan alternatives as needed.

To address more basic privacy concerns, it is recommended that students use a virtual background.

Faculty should make reasonable efforts to accommodate students who face obstacles to participating in Zoom synchronous sessions. One way of doing this is to record sessions and make them available to students in the class.

It is the instructor’s prerogative to either record or not record synchronous Zoom sessions. Students will be informed that the session is being recorded.

Students may not record (audio or video), photograph or take screenshots of any sessions. Any such records, photos, screenshots, or other means of recording and/or posting and sharing sessions by any means (including emails, social media platforms) is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

In cases where a student has a documented accommodation provided by the Student Wellness & Counseling Center and confirmed by the Office of Academic Services (OAS), the faculty member should record the class sessions and provide the recording to the student.

Proctoring Software (Respondus Monitor, Respondus Lockdown Browser, and Proctorio) cannot be used as the default exam-taking option unless the instructor secures the anonymous and unanimous consent of all students in a class.

However, if an instructor has an alternative default option, such as in-person tests/exams, then requests by students to use exam monitoring software such as Respondus Monitor may be accommodated at the discretion of the instructor, as an alternative option. This may particularly apply to students who cannot or may not want to be on campus.

In cases where (i) there are proven reasons why a student cannot be accommodated with the default exam-taking option, (e.g. the student is out of the country and the default test/exam option is in-person), and (ii) the student does not agree to use Respondus or other software, then the instructor and the student will have to work on establishing an alternative form of assessment.

Students and instructors are encouraged to finalize all exam-taking arrangements, including special permissions and exceptions, during the first two weeks of classes.

Yes, you can change your mind. The only exception is classes with enrollments of 23 or higher – these will remain online for the entire semester. If you change your mode of course delivery after the semester has started, be sure to give your students as much advance notice as possible. Also, please be sure to notify Jimm MacGregor via email at jbm225@georgetown.edu and Deborah McKee at dem54@georgetown.edu of your plans as soon as possible.

The resumption of onsite activities in the GU-Q building will begin sometime after January 24, if health and safety conditions allow. The exact date will be finalized and communicated, depending on public health conditions and once safety measures have been tested in the building.

Please remember that students are free to choose whether or not they wish to participate in any planned in-person activities. Attendance at these activities cannot be mandatory and students cannot be placed at a disadvantage for not attending. You should therefore plan to provide a completely online component of your in-person (hybrid) course for those students who choose to continue learning virtually. The technology in all classrooms has been updated over the summer to facilitate teaching and learning in both the online and in-person (hybrid) modes.

In preparation for in-person activities, each faculty member should consult with their students to determine how many of them will actually come to campus to participate in these activities. It is advisable to wait until the second week of classes to engage in this consultation. This is because the add/drop period runs through Thursday, January 14 and some students may only appear on your course roster for the first time after that. Once you have determined how many students in your class will come to campus, please share this information with Deborah. Based on this information, Deborah will assign a classroom to your course. If possible, a classroom will be assigned that will accommodate the total number of the students who will come to campus. A more likely scenario, however, is that a classroom will be assigned that will accommodate a fraction of the students who will come to campus. In this case, the students will need to attend class on a rotating basis (e.g. half of the class on one day and half of the class on another). Once a classroom has been assigned, each faculty member will need to determine this rotation in consultation with their students and share this information with Deborah. The reason for proceeding this way is that not all classrooms will be available since their capacities have been significantly reduced in order to ensure safe physical distancing between faculty and students.

Yes, you can. Please contact Deborah McKee via email at dem54@georgetown.edu as far in advance as possible to make the necessary arrangements. The ability to schedule an in-person exam (or other form of assessment) will depend on the availability of sufficient seats/classrooms to accommodate the number of students who will take the assessment onsite. Additionally, please remember that students cannot be required to come to campus to participate in onsite assessments and they cannot be placed at a disadvantage for not participating. You should therefore plan to offer the same assessment online to ensure that all students can continue to make satisfactory academic progress in your course.


An instructional designer is available to all faculty for 1-1 consultations and group webinars (Gautam Saha at gs899@georgetown.edu). Additionally, the Washington, DC, campus Spring 2021 Instructional Continuity web pages have a wealth of resources and information, including a set of custom-designed Guidebooks on a variety of essential topics.

GU-Q has developed a resource guide for faculty and staff to recognize and support students in distress.

IT will provide an overview of the newly available technology through short video tutorials, and arrange training sessions for faculty in August. OAS will provide instructional videos on the hyflex classroom teaching and learning environment for both faculty and students.

The Bookstore and OAS are working to integrate your e-books into your Canvas courses. For any concerns please contact the Bookstore.

The best starting point is to read the Spring 2021 Instructional Continuity web pages then book an appointment to consult with an Instructional Designer.

As a safety measure, we are aiming to minimize the number of visitors to the GU-Q building. Therefore, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to hold meetings with external visitors online rather than in person whenever possible. All requests for exceptions should follow this process >>

To ensure online events do not clash and audiences are not split, please inform the Events team of any upcoming events you are organizing or in case you wish to organize a webinar. If you have a virtual event you want to schedule and advertise please raise a ticket using the new online events helpdesk template. The Events newsletter goes out to our community every Sunday.

Only limited in-person events are currently taking place. All in-person event requests need to be submitted for Health Committee’s approval prior to contacting the Events team for further planning. For more information contact Malgorzata (Gosia) Ledwon.

Faculty Resources

Secure materials for teaching and research, put books on reserve for students, invite a librarian to your class to discuss research skills, request a library guide for your course in Canvas, book an appointment with your Subject librarian, and much more. Find the complete faculty guide for library services at guides.qatar.georgetown.edu/faculty.

Library Contacts

Georgetown University in Qatar

For assistance with course design for Spring 2021, GU-Q faculty should contact:

For IT support:

GU-Q IT provides technical support to staff, faculty and students on the use of the technology, such as, Zoom, Box, Google Apps, VPN, Wireless, NetID, Printing, Microsoft Windows/Office, MacOS etc. If you require support please contact IT via email guqhelpcenter@georgetown.edu or phone on (+974) 4457 8130.

For technical help with Canvas, faculty can seek support by emailing edtech@georgetown.edu during Washington, DC, business hours or call the dedicated 24/7 support line at +1 (833) 476-1171 or open a live chat request from within Canvas.

Georgetown University – The Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS)

Faculty can also consult the university’s Instructional Continuity website or email cndls@georgetown.edu for assistance.