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Faculty Information

Message to Faculty/Staff about Fall Semester – 6/17/20

A Message from Willard P. Gingerich

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

[Addendum – Monday, March 16: All instruction will be online starting Monday, March 23, 2020]

Dear Faculty,

I am writing to follow up on President Cole’s message from earlier today, announcing that we are extending Spring Break for a week and moving the majority of instruction online for the rest of the semester. Our goal is to reduce the population density on campus, in order to reduce health risks while ensuring continuity of instruction and maintaining critical services.

We need every faculty member to prepare now to put their courses online. We have prepared a guide to assist you in moving your face-to-face instruction to online delivery.

Here are some specifics:

  • Every course should be delivered remotely. There may be some exceptions, such as studio courses or labs. If you believe your course should be allowed to continue in person, submit a justification to your Dean immediately. All exceptions require my approval.
  • When students return from Spring Break on Monday, March 23, we need to be ready to go.
  • Fully online courses will continue according to the original, established schedule.
  • Hybrid courses will, of course, move to fully online mode.

If you have questions, or need more information or support, please contact your Dean.

Continued Online Teaching

Faculty are expected to continue teaching, advising and conducting research. The University will continue to deliver its mission of teaching students, conducting research, and serving the public. During this public health emergency, some of the ways in which we deliver that mission will change, but the mission itself is unchanged. Faculty are vitally important in delivering that mission, and the University will do its best to provide the necessary support and assistance to Faculty as they continue to perform their irreplaceable role in these difficult circumstances.

Class Times

If you choose to deliver your course in synchronous mode – all students meeting together at the same time – you can do that at the usual time your class has always met. You may also choose to deliver the course asynchronously, which allows students to complete the work at their own pace, within a time frame you establish. Regardless of which model you choose, be sure to inform your students.


In order to support faculty with this online transition, Instructional Technology & Design Services (ITDS) and the Office for Faculty Advancement (OFA), has prepared a series of live, online, synchronous training workshops and web-based resources, which are listed below.

  1. Online, Synchronous Training Workshops
    • Teaching Online for Academic Continuity
    • Canvas Web Conferencing
    • Using Panopto for Teaching Online
    • Introduction to Canvas
    • Leading Effective Discussions, Teamwork and Collaboration in Canvas
    • Designing Assignments, Quizzes & Tests in Canvas
    • Creating Your Back-Up Teaching Plan
  2. Web-based Resources:
IT Support

For information on obtaining IT support, remote access, installing software/printer drivers and audio and video conferencing please refer to the Technology Information FAQs

Report a Case

All faculty, staff and students are asked to inform Patricia Ruiz, the University Health Center Director, when they become aware they become aware of infections and exposures within the campus community. She wants to know about anyone in the campus community with a positive (confirmed) test for COVID-19, or has been in close contact with a person who has tested positive, or has been placed in isolation or quarantine due to suspected COVID-19. Confidential reports can be submitted securely using a secure form.

Quizzes and Exams

While Canvas Assignments can be a valuable method for online assessment,  Canvas quizzes and exams can be also created and conducted to help assess student learning. When creating an online quiz/exam in Canvas, consider the following recommendations:

  • Create question groups to randomize quiz questions
  • Shuffle/randomize answers
  • limits the amount of time students have to take a quiz
  • Give a practice quiz with Lockdown Browser (LDB) if it is used for a graded quiz

In addition to assignments and quizzes/exams,  best practices of online assessment also includes using a variety of assessment methods, adapting authentic assessment approaches, scaffolding larger assessments into smaller ones, etc. Please check for more guidelines about online quizzes, exams and other assessment strategies.

What Are the Support Hours? (Everyone)

The IT Service Desk will continue to provide support as normal. Hours for support can be found at IT Service Desk web page. It is important to note that the IT Service Desk has limited support staff available after 5 p.m. weekdays and on weekends.

Please also view our Information Technology FAQs for further assistance.

Last Modified: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 1:07 pm