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CEE Faculty COVID update July 20th, 2020

* Updated 07/20/2020 *

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I still change the mode of my class?

A: You can change the mode of your class by July 24th.

Q: If I am teaching an in person class, what do I do for students who want to participate remotely?

A: This is at your discretion. We encourage all faculty to provide students with flexibility so that they can take the classes they need to advance in their degree. The following options are available to you:

In addition to the lectures, you should also make provisions in your syllabus in terms of assignments and exams for students participating remotely.

Q: How do I know what technology is available in my classroom?

A: Classroom features are available here https://classrooms.uconn.edu/classroom/ and summarized in a table in the next FAQ.

Q: What is the COVID capacity of my classroom?

A: A list of classes with assigned classrooms and the COVID capacity of the room is provided below. The capacity is set for the students only. If you have the TA present in the room, this is fine, as long as they do not sit together with the students and you make sure that the 6 feet distance is maintained at all time.

Class Instructor Mode Room assignment COVID capacity Video (Y/N) Record
CE 2710 Garrick P MCHU 102

YNG 100 (DIS)

86

30

Y All
CE 3110 Motaref HB MCHU 102

ITE C80

86

86

Y

Y

All

All

CE 3510 Roy SP TBA
CE 3640 Wille P SCHN 151 54 Y All
CE 4541/5541 Liu P AUST 445 12 N K
CE 4710 Garrick P SCHN 151 54 Y All
CE 4740 Adjunct P OAK 104 12 N K
ENVE/ENVS/EVST 3110 Chrysochoou/ Bompoti P GN 20 (OAK 101, AUST 108 for DIS) N K
ENVE 3120 Bagtzoglou SP VDM AUD 65 ? ?
ENVE 3220 Agrios SP ITE C80 86 Y All
ENVE 4210 Agrios HB MCHU 101 40 Y A/K
ENVE 4320 Vadas SP TBA
ENVE 4810 Wang P BUSN 211 34 N K

 

Video: availability of live videoconferencing systems

Recording options

K: Kaltura Record

All: as described below

https://confluence.uconn.edu/ikb/teaching-and-learning/recording-technologies/recording-and-streaming-a-presentationRecording

Q: Can the TA/UTA participate in the lecture or discussion section to help me with technology?

A: Yes, as long as the social distancing protocols are maintained. You should communicate with your TA/UTA as soon as possible in terms of needs to be in person and their level of comfort.

Q: If my class is listed as distance learning or online only, can I require the students to come to campus for exams or other sessions?

A: No, you cannot require students to come to campus. Since there is no provision for room assignments for DL or WW classes, it is not possible to have in person exams for such courses.

Q: If my class is listed as in-person, SP or HB, will my office hours and the TA office hours be in person?

A: In general, faculty offices do not allow for sufficient social distancing and therefore in person office hours are discouraged. For TAs and UTAs, it is possible (but not required) to set up in person office hours in one of our classrooms (CAST 136, 205, 117, 210). If you plan to do this in your class, it has to be coordinated centrally and you should set up a sign-up system so that only a predetermined number of students can show up at any given time and no lines are formed outside the rooms. There should be provisions for office hours using Collaborate Ultra for all classes regardless of the mode of the class.

Q: If my class is DL or WW, can I have a classroom for myself or my TA to broadcast or record the lecture/discussion section/lab section?

A: Yes, you can schedule available time slots in one of the high tech classrooms we control (CAST 136, 205, 117, 306). Scheduling for TAs will be done through the instructors. Online Outlook calendars will be available for all rooms.

Q: What are Reading Days and what are we allowed to do during those?

A: Below is the university guidance on reading days

“This is intended to relieve some of the pressure that students are facing arising from exigencies and uncertainties of the fall semester. The additional reading days are a temporary change to the calendar for fall 2020 only. They will allow students some time to finish final projects and other kinds of non-examination assignments and to prepare for final examinations. This plan was designed with the idea that faculty members would be able to support students on these additional days through answering questions via various media and/or by holding virtual office hours.

 

The fall semester now consists of:

  • Classes: Monday, August 31 – Saturday, November 21, 2020 & Monday, November 30 – Monday, December 7, 2020
  • Labor Day Holiday (no classes): Monday, September 7, 2020
  • Thanksgiving Recess: Sunday, November 22 – Sunday, November 29, 2020
  • Reading Days (no classes or assessments): Tuesday, December 8 – Sunday, December 13, 2020 and Thursday, December 17, 2020
  • Final Assessments: Monday, December 14 – Wednesday, December 16, 2020 and Friday, December 18 – Sunday, December 20, 2020”

 

Faculty should not hold presentations or schedule deliverables during the reading days. Final class deliverables such as reports can be scheduled during finals week. Any presentations associated with projects should be scheduled by Monday, December 7.

This includes ALL class modalities and refers to undergraduate classes only.

Q: Can I have a tablet for myself or my TA to facilitate remote instruction?

A: The department does not have the ability to purchase more tablets or laptops at this time. You may use your indirects or $1500 from the CoP program to purchase a tablet for yourself. Access to technology will be provided through one of our classrooms mentioned above.

Q: What will happen if myself or one of my TAs falls ill during the semester?

A: Please plan ahead in terms of materials and activities to facilitate someone else taking over your class. If you have a colleague or PhD student who is familiar with your class and could take over in an emergency, having this conversation in advance may be useful. If one of your TAs falls ill, the department will work with you to find a replacement on an hourly basis to the degree possible.

Q: What will happen if UConn goes completely online during the semester?

A: Even though we have no such information at this time, it is prudent to prepare to switch to distance learning mode at any time.

Q: Do I have to get tested if I am teaching an in person class?

A: Below the University Guidance on faculty testing (email communication 7/18/2020)

Our approach to testing for our community is straightforward: if a student or employee is coming to our campuses because they have to be there, they should be tested. This includes faculty, staff and commuter students on every campus, both graduate and undergraduate. There is not a “once-size-fits all” approach to accomplishing this, so the university will utilize different avenues and strategies.

 

Faculty and Staff Coming to Campus

Faculty and staff who will be on one of our campuses this fall will have PCR testing made available at reentry at no cost to them through our partnership with UConn Health. Availability will be as early as August 4 through August 21 on-site at Storrs, Stamford (one day only) and Avery Point (one day only) for eligible employees at these locations. Eligible employees at UConn’s Waterbury and Hartford campuses will be provided access to UConn Health’s Farmington drive-through location.

 

Faculty and staff eligible for testing and approved to return to campus and who are returning from out of the state for the start of the fall semester should incorporate the potential for a 14-day quarantine period into their travel plans. Please refer to further guidance already on the HR website for more details and a required domestic travel registry.

More information is forthcoming from HR shortly in messages to UConn Storrs and regional campus communities in the next few days. Additional communications will be made by July 28 to those for whom testing will be made available.

Q: Can undergraduate students register for independent study or thesis courses that involve laboratory work?

A: Yes. The supervising faculty has to add the student to their lab COVID safety plan and make sure they have taken the necessary training. See next FAQ for details.

Q: Can undergraduate students conducted paid laboratory work?

A: Yes, effective immediately. The process is outlined below.

The Undergraduate Student should complete and submit the Undergraduate Student Research Request Form. Once submitted, this will be emailed automatically to both Office of Undergraduate Research and OVPR.

 

The faculty member wanting to add one or more undergraduate students to an approved safety plan should complete and submit the Request to Include Undergraduate Students Form. Once submitted, this form will be emailed automatically to both the Office of Undergraduate Research and OVPR.

 

Once BOTH forms are received, the OVPR will respond with an Approval to both the student and faculty member.

For questions or concerns contact the OVPR at ovpr@uconn.edu or Office of Undergraduate Research at  our@uconn.edu

Q: Are we allowed to use our offices?

A: Yes, if you have an in person class, you can be in your office during the days you teach. In general, faculty are advised to stay home. You can take your desktop home if you wish, make sure that you check it out with Jessica. Alternatively, you can access your computer remotely with Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop https://confluence.uconn.edu/ikb/remote-access/using-remote-desktop

Q: Will the CEE office be open during the fall?

A: The CEE office will likely open once or twice a week to deliver packages and mail. The schedule will be determined sometime in August.

Q: What if a student does not have a computer or an Internet connection?

A: If the students are on campus, they will still have access to the computer lab at Castleman 117 outside instructional times. The student can check out a laptop for up to four hours from the library https://lib.uconn.edu/services/technology-services/borrow-technology/

If the students are off campus, the department does not have the ability to provide them with either a computer or an Internet connection. The following information is available on the Uconn website in terms of computer requirements for student success

https://uconn.edu/public-notification/coronavirus/covid-19-academics-and-research/ (see Device Requirements for Student Success)

Online Teaching Resources for Faculty

* Updated 04/22/2020 *

Important: All classes will be conducted online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 Semester, including final exams. There will be no commencement exercises this year. Please see the main UConn link below for additional information.

FAQ

General COVID-19 Information

For general information related to COVID-19 and UConn-related updates, please visit the official University webpage: https://uconn.edu/public-notification/coronavirus/

Additional information for the State of Connecticut can be found on the Department of Public Health website: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus

Guide to telecommuting: https://confluence.uconn.edu/ikb/it-guide-to-telecommuting

FAQ

Q: Students are asking to reschedule the final exam due to time conflicts. What do I do?

A: If a situation should arise where a student is unable to complete the final exam due to a time conflict or for some other extenuating circumstance, they should contact the office of the Dean of Students for guidance. The Dean of Students has also created a Finals Rescheduling Request Form for Spring 2020. Please note that being on another time zone does not guarantee that the student request will be granted. If you independently decide to accommodate a student, you may do so, but be prepared to accommodate any student with a similar request.

Q: Can students take my course as Pass/Fail for credit and what do I have to do?

A: Yes, students can take any engineering course as Pass/Fail. You do not have to do anything, students are responsible for declaring this to the Registrar. You will report the grade normally at the end of the semester and the registrar will convert to a Pass or Fail.

Q: Do I have to have a final exam?

A: You do not. You can revise your syllabus any way you like at this point. You can have a take home exam, an exam using Respondus Monitor or convert to different types of assignment.

Q: What kind of hardware do I need to bring my class online?

A: You need a computer (PC or laptop) with a camera and a microphone. You can use your home or office computer, or get access to high tech classrooms if you do not have one available. The department has set up a recording and broadcasting station in Castleman 136, which includes a desktop with touchscreen, pen, camera and microphone and all the necessary software installed. You may reserve the room on the online Outlook calendar.

If you want to be able to write on an interactive surface to project, which is, for example, available in Collaborate Ultra, you can do so with a regular mouse, but it will be more convenient to use a touchscreen laptop, Microsoft Surface or similar interface. Collaborate Ultra is supported on Chrome browser for PC/Android and Safari for Apple devices.

The department does NOT have tablets to provide to faculty on a full-time basis.

Q: Should I pre-record my lecture or broadcast it online during the normally scheduled times?

A: You can do either. It is advised that you record the lecture and make it available to the students even if you broadcast it live.

  • If you pre-record your lectures, make sure that they become available at regular intervals during the week and that the students are aware of what is available and when.
  • If you broadcast your lectures, you should only do that during the pre-scheduled class times, so that students can plan their schedule

You can also assign readings of the textbook or other materials in lieu of a lecture.

Q: Can I use other people’s videos for my class?

A: Yes, anything on the public domain is available for use and there are many good resources available. You can embed YouTube videos directly on HuskyCT. Some examples of YouTube videos for Civil Engineering are provided below

Soil Mechanics: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1A_poM_ksoafQJLc3Iu_Bg

Mechanics of Material: https://www.youtube.com/user/Engineer4Free

Structural Analysis: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvSpLnUTU6MamZwD2a9zySg

Concrete Design: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCV9OyAY5K-Vg8EVNKf7skEk5agDUJxoM

Steel Design: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCV9OyAY5K-XeBX0vjNu3bOTDQYYYePDD

Q: What kind of hardware do I need to bring my class online?

A: You need a computer (PC or laptop) with a camera and a microphone. You can use your home or office computer, or get access to high tech classrooms if you do not have one available. The department will also set up a recording station with a tablet, details will be forthcoming soon.

If you want to be able to write on an interactive surface to project, which is for example available in Collaborate Ultra, you can do so with a regular mouse, but it will be more convenient to use a touchscreen laptop, Microsoft Surface or similar interface. Collaborate Ultra is supported on Chrome browser for PC/Android and Safari for Apple devices.

The department does NOT have tablets to provide to faculty on full time basis.

Q: Are we allowed to use our office and classrooms?

A: Yes but you are advised to stay home. You can access your computer remotely with Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop https://confluence.uconn.edu/ikb/remote-access/using-remote-desktop

Q: If a student wants to meet in person, is that allowed?

A: At this time, this is at your discretion. However, we encourage faculty to communicate with students remotely with a uniform policy.

Q: What kind of software can I use to deliver my lectures synchronously?

A: You have two choices supported by UConn:

-          Blackboard Collaborate Ultra - RECOMMENDED, available through HuskyCT

-          WebEx

Instructions for both are provided on the Resources section.

Q: What kind of software can I use to record my lectures and have them available on HuskyCT?

A: Again, you have choices:

  1. If you deliver your lectures synchronously, you can record them both on Collaborate Ultra and WebEx, then upload the links on HuskyCT.
  2. If you are pre-recording your lecture, you can use the Kaltura tool and the CETL Resources page also has instructions for that.

Q: Can I use my TA to help me with lecture preparation and recording?

A: Yes, but try to facilitate remote collaboration.

Q: What if a student does not have a computer or an Internet connection?

A: If the students are on campus, they will still have access to the computer lab at Castleman 117 at all times. The student can check out a laptop for up to four hours from the library https://lib.uconn.edu/services/technology-services/borrow-technology/

If the students are off campus, the department does not have the ability to provide them with either a computer or an Internet connection. The School of Engineering IT staff is currently working on providing a solution to access computer labs remotely, but that will still require a personal computer and Internet connection.

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Q: Is Advising still required for students to register for Fall 2020 courses?

A: Yes.  Below are some key points regarding advising:

  • Fall 2020 registration begins for students with the most credits (121+) begins Monday, March 23 at 9am and enrollment appointments continue through Wednesday, April 9 at 9am.
  • UConn summer registration for ALL students also begins Monday, March 23 at 9am.
  • Students will be able to make changes to their summer and fall schedules through May 15. On May 15, Student Admin’s add/drop function will “close” to current students for summer Orientation, and reopens for students to make changes on July 22.
  • Students with (delinquent) remaining “EOD” Dean/Director holds for scholastic probation must go tohttp://scholasticstanding.uconn.edu, complete their Academic Recovery and Engagement Plan, and email the academic recovery advisor listed on the same site.
  • Preliminary plans of study (students with 54+ completed credits, one-time requirement) also carry a hold. Please review these in a timely way, or you will delay a student’s registration.
  • Mandatory advising appointments can be held via WebEx, Skype, phone, or email if necessary. Advising is still mandatory.

After you have virtually met with the student, email Jessica with the Peoplesoft ID so that she can lift their advising hold.