Online Teaching and Learning Resources for Faculty and Students
Message from Provost-Elect Trisha Folds-Bennett to UVA Wise Faculty, March 20, 2020:
By now, you should have received a communication from Chancellor Henry about the plan to complete the remainder of the semester from a distance. Now, Interim Provost Mark Clark and I hope to address some issues that might be of interest or concern to you. First, though, we would like to congratulate you and thank you for your willingness to step into the unknown with courage and conviction. We realize that re-purposing courses that you have planned carefully for a face-to-face to a virtual format in a matter of days has been a tall order. But, from all reports, you have done what faculty do: you have been creative, intentional, and thoughtful. We so appreciate the energy you have devoted to this process and we know your students will as well.
Below, we address point-by-point some questions that have arisen in conversation with many of you and with the senior team. We realize that some of this information may bring up more questions. As such, we encourage you to work first through your chairs and your supervisors to address those questions – they will be in direct contact with Mark and me. Even so, we would be happy for you to contact us directly as well.
We would like to close by saying again how much we appreciate all of you – your resilience and dedication is remarkable. We know that the road ahead will be challenging, but we are confident that all of you will continue to teach our students well and to support their academic success. Please understand that we do not expect this transition to online instruction to be perfect; we just want you to connect and engage with our students in a meaningful way that continues to expand their knowledge and build their skills.
Continuity of Instruction:
Starting Monday, March 23, classes resume online and will continue in that format through the end of the semester. Faculty should plan to teach classes through May 1 and to hold final exams from Monday, May 4 through Friday, May 8.
If faculty plan to offer synchronous classes in which all students are online at the same time for a lecture or class discussion, they must be offered at the same time the class was scheduled during the first part of the semester. Otherwise, our students will have difficulty balancing competing demands on their time.
We realize that many of our faculty are concerned that the loss of a week of instruction or the use of the virtual format will make it difficult to achieve your course objectives. We encourage them to speak with their chair or with departmental colleagues about these concerns as many of them will be discipline specific. However, if a faculty member has more general questions about how changes in your course may affect SACSCOC accreditation, please email them to Amelia Harris.
Faculty should update each syllabus to reflect the online tools in use to deliver the course no later than Friday, April 3.
As always, we believe it’s important to monitor students’ engagement in class and to report concerns about students who are not meeting the requirements of a class. As such, faculty should do a “check in” at the end of the first week of class and then a couple weeks later to gather information about students who seem to be struggling to make the transition to the virtual format. Registrar Narda Porter and her team are closely monitoring students of concern and are sharing information with advisers and others as appropriate.
Knowing that student evaluations of courses may be affected in unpredictable ways by the changes we have had to make, we have decided to suspend them for this semester.
Seniors will still need to complete their Cultural Activities requirement, even if that requires an alternate plan for completion. Questions about Cultural Credits may be directed to Dean Amelia Harris.
Commencement has been postponed, but seniors who are poised to graduate and complete all requirements by the end of this semester will have their degree conferred.
Access to Campus and Services:
If you still have technology concerns, they can be addressed by UVA Wise Information Technology. If you are a faculty member who still has any concerns about connectivity from home or about having the proper technology to deliver your courses from home, please reach out to IT via email at email@example.com, via phone at 276-376-4509, or by submitting a ticket on their website. If you are a student with an online learning learning or IT access issue, please reach out via these methods as well. If you are a student a with learning difference and need additional adaptation given online learning, please contact Whitney Wells in the Office of Disability Services.
If faculty members need to come to campus to deliver your courses or to retrieve materials or other necessary items for your courses, they may do so. However, we strongly encourage them to complete their work from home if that is possible.
Students who live nearby should not come to campus for class.
Library resources are available online, as usual. Faculty and students can “Ask a Librarian,” email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call librarians Shannon Steffey at 276-328-0157 or Angie Harvey at 276-328-0159. The Circulation Desk can still be reached at 276-328-0158. (These phone numbers have been forwarded so that the staff can respond from offsite.)
Tutoring and advising support for students will continue in a virtual format. Students have received an email about the services available to them.
Students who have jobs on campus, either as work-study or special payroll, will be able to continue their work remotely with their supervisor’s permission and will be paid. Please see Chancellor Henry’s recent email for the details.
A comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions for students, faculty, and staff has been assembled for the UVA Wise community.