As the UNC School of Medicine prepares for university closures, we have prepared the following guidelines for how best to maintain a learning environment that meets our students, faculty and staff needs, while remaining FERPA and HIPAA compliant.

 

  • Maintain a consistent communication strategy to limit confusion among students.
  • Host materials in a centralized location. This is more manageable than emailing them.

If you currently use Sakai, we recommend sending student notifications through this platform. If you need assistance with Sakai, please review these Sakai tutorials, quick guides, FAQs and How-to videos.

If you are not currently using Sakai, consider creating a course email list to send course-related announcements and updates to the class.

If you are new to teaching online, these additional resources may be beneficial to your online instruction.

Effective communication with students

Inform students where to locate course information and provide detailed instructions for assignments, online meetings, as well as the technology you are using to deliver content.

Set expectations for how students should engage in the communication, including how they should contact faculty.

Set expectations for how quickly the instructor will respond to online communication.

If students have already established working groups, they should plan to continue these online. Encourage them to use discussion boards in Sakai or Microsoft Teams.

Offering Virtual Office Hours

Consider using Webex or Zoom for virtual office hours. This will provide you with the opportunity to have a synchronous discussion, share screens and record the interaction, if necessary.

 

HIPAA Compliance

  • When creating online content – please do NOT include Protected Health Information.
  • In general, the Privacy Rule prohibits health care providers and health plans from using or disclosing an individual’s protected health information (PHI) without written authorization from the individual except for treatment, payment and health care operations.
  • This is especially important for recordings, as they are viewable by all Onyen owners or publicly available to anyone with a link.

FERPA Compliance

  • When creating online content – please do NOT include personally identifiable information.
  • As a general rule, under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), personally identifiable information may not be released from a student’s education records without his or her prior written consent.