Dear Faculty: This week we celebrated Veterans Day. For those who have served or are serving, I thank you for your contributions and the sacrifices you and your families have made so that we might experience the freedoms we enjoy each day.
With less than two weeks left before we break for Thanksgiving, I continue to have some important information to share with you.
- As you make your Thanksgiving plans, I urge you to refrain from traveling and/or hosting guests from out of state and to limit gatherings to your immediate family. I know the prospect of this is difficult for many of us, but our individual sacrifices can have a positive impact on the health and safety of our campus and our state. If you do travel outside of Vermont, you must abide by all Vermont quarantine restrictions upon your return. Your guests must abide by these restrictions as well. Please also see the Travel Requirements Update issued November 12.
- Given the rising incidence of the virus, all faculty and staff who are coming to campus are urged in the strongest possible terms to test weekly. There is simply no good reason not to test -- it is a safe and efficient process that helps ensure the health of our campus, our state, and our families. Testing for faculty, staff, and students will be available throughout our move to remote instruction.
- You can find detailed information on COVID-19 tests administered and results on the Weekly Testing Report. Last week’s student tests results included six off-campus positives and one on-campus positive out of 14,412 tests.
- Please join us for the Faculty Teams Live event next week where we’ll provide updates on a variety of topics including academic reminders as we end the semester, January 2021 faculty professional development opportunities, spring 2021 opening, and more. As always, we’ll leave plenty of time to answer your questions.
Faculty Teams Live Event – Updates
November 19, 2020
12:00 – 1:00pm
- As we prepare to transition to remote instruction after Thanksgiving break, Educational Technology Services (ETS) strongly encourages faculty who will be teaching remotely for the first time this semester to experiment with their technology setup in advance. The ETS Help Line will be available during those two weeks of remote instruction. Faculty in need of technology support can visit the ETS Knowledge Base or can simply contact the ETS Help Line. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will also be available to provide instructional technology support and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you had a classroom producer assigned to you this semester, these students will still be able to support your class during the week of December 4.
- Many faculty benefited from the support of a student Classroom Producer in the fall. Classroom Producers help to manage Teams side-functions for remote students, while supporting faculty in troubleshooting minor tech problems as they arise in the classroom. If you are interested in having a classroom producer in your mixed or remote course this spring, please fill out this form by 5:00 pm on November 30. The form does allow you to indicate whether you have asked a specific student to apply for the position. Classroom producers are trained for UVM-supported technology only.
- We are hearing from faculty, student services staff, and from students themselves that our students are working hard but struggling to manage the demands of this multi-modality semester. With final exams approaching, the following recommendations will help make finals more manageable and less overwhelming for students.
- Remember that students have several other classes, each with final exams or other assessments. Be generous when designing finals; if possible, offer more time to answer each question than you would for an in-class exam.
- If you are doing a take home exam, design it to be completed within the regular 2.75 hour exam timeframe, or give students several days to complete it. Students have multiple final assessments to complete remotely. Please consider offering enough flexibility in take-home exams to allow them to devote attention to each of those assessments.
- Take advantage of CTL guidance and support for assistance in designing online or remote assessments.
- Follow all aspects of the UVM exam policy. Communicate exam structure and expectations to students so they are prepared for exam week.
- Adhere to the exam schedule that has been created by the Registrar’s Office to minimize instances of conflicting exam times for students.
Students are going to be registering for classes beginning November 16. Please connect with your advisees to support their decision making and full engagement in their learning experience. And please ensure you have posted expanded section descriptions for all your spring 2021 courses.
Thank you for all you are doing,
Provost and Senior Vice President
The University of Vermont