Fall 2020 > Updates > March 25, 2020—Remote teaching tools

New tools for faculty for remote teaching—March 25, 2020

​March 25, 2020 

Dear faculty, 

Though spring “​break” is even more of a misnomer than usual this year, I hope this week is at least a little quieter than last, and that you’ve had the opportunity to get outside a bit. As you adjust your Spring classes for remote learning, I’m writing with an update from IS on new tools that are now available to improve your remote teaching experience. Feel free to make use of any or all of it, as you see fit. This information is here to help you not burden you with additions to your to-do list. 

Two new tools to support remote learning: Microsoft Teams and Zoom
As DePaul prepares to transition to fully remote instruction, Information Services would like to provide some details about a few important technology options now available to DePaul faculty: Microsoft Teams and Zoom conferencing software. While most of you are already familiar with Zoom, MS Teams is new and worth considering as an alternative, integrated collaboration solution. DePaul will soon be making these services available to students as well, giving them a new @depaul.edu email account in Office 365, and making students available in the Outlook address book. These applications can provide an alternative to most in-person team meetings, office hours, person-to-person chats and phone calls. More information on both of these tools is available on the IS website.

For faculty who usually use specialized software:  Introducing Apporto​
With the move to remote  courses for the upcoming Spring term and the challenges students will have accessing courseware due to limited availability of lab computers, Information Services is currently working on a new virtual lab environment, delivered via Apporto.

If you need a software title for use with your remote course, please submit a request to IS via the form found here. Please be strategic and selective in submitting requests and do so only when the requested software is absolutely essential to achieving the stated learning outcomes of your class. Due to the expected volume of requests, we ask that you submit your requests as soon as possible, and we will begin working on them in the order requested. IS anticipates a high volume of requests, so your patience is appreciated.

Please note, not all software titles may be an option for virtual lab access, either due to technical or license constraints, so IS may need to explore other options, including online or cloud-based options.   Additionally, Apple does not allow MacOS software titles to be virtualized.

As next week approaches, remember to breathe. There will be more information coming in the next day or two about computer labs, libraries, and availability of other services. Please continue to watch your email and read Newsline every day. You can access all updates sent to faculty, staff and students here​. As the coming weeks unfold, unanticipated implications of this adventure with remote learning for all will reveal themselves, and we will address them as they arise. Please do your best to be patient - with your students, with the university and, especially, with yourselves. We are all in this together and I continue to be confident that your dedication and creativity will get us through these trying circumstances.  

Sincerely,

Salma Ghanem
Interim Provost