This resource center is updated on a weekly basis with the most current information.
Last updated March 13, 2020
Hanover Research is closely monitoring developments surrounding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and how it has and may continue to impact the higher education community. This resource center provides you with key facts, resources, and potential responses to this rapidly evolving situation.
We have set up a dedicated COVID-19 support email (firstname.lastname@example.org) where you may ask any questions related to COVID-19.
In addition to the information included in this resource center, Hanover is committed to providing you with up-to-date custom research to help you address COVID-19 related challenges as the situation continues to develop.
Our syndicated Research Library contains numerous reports that can help inform your institution’s transition to online learning in response to COVID-19 – below are some of most relevant reports:
Our research team can craft a customized research project based on your institution’s individual needs:
Evaluates opportunities for clarification or expansion relative to COVID-19 related policies at peer and competitor institutions. Sample policy areas include remote work, online education, study abroad and international students, support for at-risk students and discrimination responses, and long-term planning.
Gather real-time feedback on the experiences of students and faculty as they navigate institutional responses to COVID-19.
Audit social media communication and responses to the COVID-19 situation to reduce the spread of misinformation and optimize transparency.
Capture data on how current students are evaluating their re-enrollment decisions, and proactively highlight any obstacles that may prevent students from returning for the next academic term – including attitudinal shifts, changes in degree interests, struggles with online course completion, and/or financial circumstances.
How Shifting to Online Learning Affects Pedagogy in Higher Education
Understand the emerging challenges and questions that are currently facing higher education institutions transitioning into online learning environments.
According to Johns Hopkins:
Adapted from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Checklist for Administrators”.
Use reputable resources to stay abreast of recent developments in the COVID-19 situation. To prevent the spread of misinformation, point faculty, staff, students, and community members to reliable sources such as the following:
Working with local health professionals and other relevant partners, review and update emergency contingency and operations plans, particularly those that address infectious disease outbreaks.
According to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American College Health Association (ACHA), and other authoritative sources, institutions should identify a core planning team to develop emergency operations plans. In response to COVID-19, many institutions have developed working groups of community stakeholders and local public health authorities to develop tailored policies and procedures:
COVID-19 Field Guide
Get the resources you need to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 and craft your higher education response strategy with our complete field guide.
This may include posters, bulletins, news articles, online media, and other modes for garnering community members’ attention.
Develop a dedicated COVID-19 resource webpage for faculty, staff, students, and community members. Exemplars include:
Sample Institutional Webpages
New York University
University of Virginia
University of Maryland
University of California San Francisco
University of Louisville
See “Higher education institution responses to COVID-19 to-date” below for additional institutional responses and dissemination methods.
Specifically, the CDC suggests the following (verbatim):
Make accommodations for students who fall ill, such as submitting assignments electronically or extended due dates, and alert local health officials about significant increases in student, staff, and faculty respiratory illness. Individuals who are ill should be sent to/remain in their place of residence and avoid contact with others.
Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis: A Survey of College and University Presidents
We conducted a survey of 172 campus leaders with Inside Higher Ed to understand how institutions nationwide are addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Work directly with local health authorities to determine next steps, such as suspending or postponing in-person classes and events as well as domestic and international study and travel abroad.
In reducing student and faculty travel commitments, higher ed providers should support individuals whose account for the possibility that disruptions may resonate for months to come.
Institutions asking students to leave campus will need to consider how to support students whose personal circumstances may require them to remain away from home for the rest of the semester or even through the summer.
Keep an eye on:
Many institutions have opted to move classes and services online either preemptively or in direct response to an outbreak in the local community.
While moving classes online may be the best for individuals’ personal health, this decision presents multiple pedagogical challenges, including:
In many cases, faculty members will need to restructure their classes to accommodate a distance format. Institutions must consider how to support faculty who may not have experience with hosting online classes,
Universities will also need to consider how to support students who do not have the resources to effectively participate in distance education. Additionally, when shifting to online education, universities must also address how to support low-income, part-time, or other students who are already at the greatest risk of dropping out from classes.
Academic technology specialists at Stanford have put together a guide for “putting together a student-centric learning experience in a remote or online learning environment.”
Administrators should communicate about COVID-19 cases while maintaining individual confidentiality. Faculty and staff should also encourage the use of mental health services and share trusted information to counter potential discrimination and stigma. Create a broad-based taskforce of campus stakeholders and local health professionals when deciding how to proceed with campus operations.
Example: When the University of Washington made the decision to go online, it convened an Advisory Committee of Communicable Diseases, comprised of “medical professionals, student-support staff members, international-education experts, and others.”
While coping with the virus, universities must make sure that they work to reduce potential stereotyping and discrimination.
Universities must also make sure to provide adequate support for students who have experienced discrimination or otherwise feel displaced or worried about COVID-19.
If your institution decides to move to online classes, ensure that student support and counseling services are able to move online as well.
Reassure and project stability to admitted students who are considering which university to attend in the fall.
Use the following live databases of higher education institution responses to COVID-19 to monitor trends and assess best practices. Note that as the situation is rapidly evolving, some links may break.