Fall 2020 > Updates > March 30, 2020—Spring Quarter tips for faculty

Interim provost shares more resources, best practices and Spring Quarter updates for faculty

March 30, 2020 

Dear faculty, 

Our brief spring break went even more quickly than usual and now we embark on our unintended experiment with universal remote learning. It can't be said enough how grateful I and the entire University are for the way you have stepped up to this challenge. I'm writing now with a few matters that have come to my attention:

  • Evolving approaches to remote learning: I know that, especially for those of you new to remote learning, the goal this past week has been simply to get your courses up and running the best you can. As Spring Quarter unfolds and you build the modules for upcoming weeks, please keep working to incorporate well structured asynchronous components into your classes. See these tips for features you might try. Please remember to activate your course so that your students can see it on D2L.
  • ​​Zoom bombing: To avoid uninvited and potentially unwelcome “guests" to any synchronous classes you host on Zoom, follow these tips​ to maintain the privacy of these sessions.
  • Continuing university support: You will no doubt have questions as the quarter unfolds.  The University is here to support you. Reach out to your assigned instructional designerlibrary liaison​, dean's office or the IS help desk as needed.  Check the Remote Teaching website regularly for upcoming workshops and updated resources. Read the weekly Faculty Development newsletter for teaching tips and peer stories.
  • University communication: In the past few weeks, you have been inundated with emails, necessary to be sure, in this rapidly changing situation. Once the quarter is fully underway, we hope to be able to reduce the number of mass emails that go out from the university and from me. For updates, links to resources and some features about how your colleagues are approaching the challenge of this quarter, I urge you to read Newsline every day.
​Finally, please be patient and kind as you field students' questions about situations you may not have encountered before. Be aware of resources available to them. Where course content applies, consider inviting students to share their experience of this crisis and use course concepts to frame their reflections. In our current situation, your classes become opportunities for students to create community. Now more than ever, those opportunities are precious.

I wish you all the very best in what will no doubt be a memorable term. Although our current situation is unprecedented, longstanding remote learning practitioners have developed good approaches over time. Let's capitalize on existing knowledge to test out what works for you, what doesn't and what good practices we can implement in these circumstances.  When we get to the other side of this crisis, those lessons will help us move forward together.   

Thanks, as always, for all you do.

Salma Ghanem
Interim Provost