Coronavirus Update – Implementation of Educational Continuity

Dear UCI Faculty,

We write to follow-up on the Chancellor’s recent message. The intent of remote instruction and testing is to fulfill our responsibility to our students while prioritizing the health and safety of our entire campus community. Instructors are encouraged to exercise flexibility and creativity to adjust course delivery, practices and policies as needed. While many changes can be handled at the school level, there are a number of campus resources available for support.
Please see the Faculty Resources for Educational Continuity webpage as a hub for available information (https://provost.uci.edu/faculty-resources-for-educational-continuity/).

Key Dates

  • Week of March 16 – Winter quarter final exams to be administered remotely
  • Week of March 23 – Instructors should prepare and test remote delivery of instruction
  • Week of March 30  – Transition to remote instruction for the spring quarter

Winter 2020 Finals

There are several tools available to help faculty members host exams remotely, some of which are described below. Ultimately, the instructor can determine the most effective method for determining final grades, including take home final exams, remote delivery of tests or a range of alternatives.
Some students may have questions about or issues with accessibility. If a student does not have access to the needed space/equipment for remote exams (e.g., computer with a camera, high-speed Internet, a quiet space to take the exam), accommodations and exceptions can be made. If you need to discuss an exception to the remote administration of exams, please work with your Department Chair and Dean. All exceptions need to be consistent with the principles of “social distancing” and include a minimum six-foot distance between individuals. The goal is to have as few individuals together as possible, whether in a classroom, lab, or whatever space.

Remote Exam Information

Canvas – Use EEE+ GrandCentral (https://grandcentral.eee.uci.edu/) to create and publish your Canvas course space. If you have not already requested a course space on Canvas, note that it can take an hour to process a request. Both Respondus and Examity require the use of Canvas. Canvas can be used to create a basic quiz, see https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-12943-4152724267 for more information.

Respondus – a Canvas-linked solution for automated test monitoring, Respondus uses a student’s webcam and video analytics during non-proctored exams. Faculty will also have access to the student videos after the exam, if needed.

Examity – a Canvas-linked remote proctoring solution, Examity allows you to configure to have another person to actively monitor students as they take an online exam. This is not yet available, but we expect it to be ready for use via Canvas soon. Please note that because Examity uses live proctors, there may be limitations with capacity.

There are how-to guides for all of the above on the Teach Anywhere webpage (https://sites.uci.edu/teachanywhere/). See the Remote Testing Resources tab, and further down the page under the heading “Use Proctored Exams.” Examity documentation will be added soon, when the service becomes available. If you have questions about the above, contact EEE Support at eee-support@uci.edu.

Spring 2020 Remote Instruction

In-person class meetings will be suspended and classes will be offered remotely starting on March 30 and continuing through the end of spring quarter. Resources for remote delivery of courses can be found at http://dtei.uci.edu/teaching-continuity-plan-during-disruption/. Instructional tools and classrooms remain available for hosting online meetings, seminars and course development. Continue to check the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation (DTEI) teaching continuity website for updates on resources and support events.

  • Practice Remote Course Delivery – Instructors are encouraged to practice remote course delivery in the space that they plan to teach (classroom, office, home) before March 30. Details on support and options will be available by the beginning of next week.
  • Set up Courses in Canvas – In an effort to provide a unified experience for our students, we recommend that you use Canvas. Canvas is a secure system to store and access files, with multiple helpful functions. As a reminder, it can take an hour to process a Canvas course space request.Use EEE+ GrandCentral (https://grandcentral.eee.uci.edu/) to create and publish your Canvas course space and the teaching continuity website for suggestions on ways to use Canvas.
  • Use Yuja for Lecture Capture – Yuja (https://yuja.replay.uci.edu) is the recommended platform for lecture capture – e.g. video, streaming, podcasting – of your course. Use Yuja to create and distribute the content via Canvas. This ensures that the material is stored safely and is available with sufficient internet bandwidth. Video files can be easily uploaded to Canvas. Faculty are encouraged to become familiar with Yuja as Zoom could be over loaded with the extensive use by the campus.
  • Zoom is Available for Hosting Virtual Classes – Zoom is now available for all faculty, students and staff. For details and updates on Zoom, please see http://dtei.uci.edu/teaching-continuity-plan-during-disruption/. For classes over 300 students, you will need to use a shared Zoom Webinar. Instructions for this process will be added to the DTEI site. Access to Zoom – https://uci.zoom.us/
  • Course Material Copyright – Regarding copyrights, faculty retain full ownership of all course materials even when campus resources are used to post content online. It is a violation of the student code of conduct to distribute course material without the express consent of the instructor. For full details, see UC 2003 Policy on Ownership of Course Materials – http://copyright.universityofcalifornia.edu/resources/ownership-course-materials.html. Also, see UC 2005 Policy on Use of Recordings of Course Presentations – http://copyright.universityofcalifornia.edu/resources/recorded-presentations.html.

Required In-Person Educational Activities

For courses involving a lab, studio instruction, or clinical experiences, instructors will need to make accommodations to meet the course requirements, whether respecting “social distancing” when using in-person modalities or via alternative delivery modes. Deans and department chairs will communicate these exceptions by the end of the week and after consultation with the Provost’s office.

Graduate Student Information

Faculty are encouraged to transition communications, meetings and interactions to virtual platforms as much as possible. In consultation with their supervisors and as appropriate, graduate students will transition to remote work within their normal schedules. Access to research spaces and other necessary resources will continue to be available. Graduate students currently conducting fieldwork should contact their supervisors to ensure that appropriate precautions are taken and contingencies are put in place for field sites that may close or cause concern for continued engagement. Click here for more information on graduate and postdoctoral students.

Disability Accommodations

Faculty who need accommodations to support online instruction as well as those who are teaching students with accommodation requirements should consult with the Disability Services Center (DSC) (https://dsc.uci.edu/) to ensure access and inclusion. For exams, students using DSC will proceed as normal, as DSC is set up for appropriate social distancing.

In-Person Activities Limited to 100 Participants

  • Whenever possible, limit in-person campus events and activities to those that are essential and otherwise hold them in an alternative format. All in-person events are limited to no more than 100 participants.
  • Non-essential visits to campus should be cancelled or postponed. Departments should not require visiting scholars and recruited faculty or graduate students to attend in-person meetings on campus. Necessary interviews and presentations should be done remotely.
  • Campus tours will be cancelled and prospective students will be offered alternatives.

We appreciate your flexibility and your commitment to providing UCI’s world-class education while maintaining the health and safety of our community.

Sincerely,

Michael Dennin, Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning and Dean, Division of Undergraduate Education

James Steintrager, Chair of the Academic Senate, Irvine Division