What technologies are available to support instructors who are changing the delivery of their classes and class materials?
There are a variety of technologies available to support instructors who are changing the delivery of their classes to the online/remote environment. Every instructor has a Canvas shell connected to their course that can be published at any time and provide access to the course syllabus, readings, exams, discussions, and a gradebook.
Instructors can use Kaltura to pre-record lectures or use Zoom to have synchronous (live) webinar-style class meetings. To learn more about the technologies that are available, instructors can go to the OTL Resource Page.
In addition to providing a host of online resources, the Office of Teaching and Learning is offering consultations, drop-in sessions, and webinars (see https://otl-events.du.edu/).
What do I do if I teach a highly interactive class that involves a lot of group work?
While teaching online certainly will require modifying your approach, you can still support these kinds of interactions using a combination of tools. For example, you can use the breakout room option in Zoom to create small group interaction, and you are able to move in and out of each room to talk with students. You can also ask the students to use Zoom so they can hold virtual, real time group meetings with each other (where they can see and hear each other, share documents on their computer, chat real time, etc.), or host real-time class meetings.
What do I do if I teach a class that involves community-engaged learning? Can I still have my students engage with the community?
In-person activities in the community should follow the same policies and precautions as other in-person teaching activities. While classes are online, students should not be visiting community sites. As with other class assignments, instructors may be able to develop alternative assignments that still meet learning objectives and community-identified needs. For example, if a class was going to do a workshop at a community partner site, an alternative assignment would be to develop the lesson plan and accompanying materials that the community partner can implement at a later date.
When in-person classes resume, instructors should consult with community sites to evaluate whether community-based activities can also resume. For example, some community sites may not want students to be in their spaces even once classes resume in-person at DU. If in-person classes have resumed and the instructor and community agree to resume community-based activities, then the same considerations for safety used on campus should be followed (e.g., handwashing when students arrive to/leave community sites, maintaining six-foot distances when possible, and and staying home when sick).
What technologies are available to facilitate remote attendance?
DU Information Technology offers tools for videoconferencing, chat, collaboration, online storage, and more. Find out what tools you can use in this helpful technology resources guide for working and teaching from off-campus.
Is there a policy for providing IT support to actively-teaching faculty?
Yes. You can download the policy here.
Office Hours & Student Meetings
What resources are available for students who need technical help for Zoom or Canvas?
- Zoom offers 24-hour technical support at http://support.zoom.us or 888-799-9666 option 2.
- Canvas has a 24-hour hotline specifically for students (1-855-712-9770).
What should I communicate to my students?
Clarify how you want students to communicate with you:.
- DU email
- Personal cell phone
- Email through Canvas email
- Zoom – when you log into Zoom you will see your personal link on the landing page
Please share the 24-hour Canvas Support Hotline for Students within any of your communications with students: 1-855-712-9770.
A global crisis of this scale is unprecedented in many students’ lifetime. Please read through DU’s procedures for responding to students in distress.
Work From Home
What do I do now that my child's school is closed?
As you may know, Gov. Polis also recently signed an executive order that extends the suspension of in-person instruction at all public and private elementary and secondary schools until the end of the 2019–2020 school year.
The expectation is that employees will work from home where operationally feasible. If work from home is not possible while caring for a dependent, sick leave should be utilized. If no sick leave is available, vacation time should be utilized. If no accrued vacation time is available, the employee will be on unpaid leave. As always, employees must notify their supervisor as soon as possible if they plan to be away from work.
If you are unsure as to whether or not your job can be performed remotely, please discuss with your supervisor. While COVID-19 protocols are in place at DU, employees are asked to refrain from bringing their children to work.
COVID-19 & Wellness
What if I am sick?
If an employee is feeling unwell (but able to work) with symptoms of cold, flu or fever they should work from home and call their health care provider if their condition worsens. Employees who are returning from a high impact area will need to self-quarantine for at least 14 days. Please check with your direct supervisor.
When sick, employees should follow normal call out procedures in their divisions. Employees should also record their time away from work when sick in Pioneer Time per normal practices.
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Call your healthcare provider before showing up so that their office can take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
If you have any questions, please contact your HR partner in HRIC.
What do I do if I've exhausted my sick leave?
Non-benefitted employees and those that have exhausted their sick leave may be eligible for up to four days of paid sick leave through the Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay (HELP). To be eligible, employees must be exhibiting flu-like symptoms and test for COVID-19. If you have any questions, please contact your HR partner in HRIC.
We have received many expressions of concern regarding pay continuity. Please know that we are exploring options. For now, our leave practices remain in effect.
What support services are available to employees?
SupportLinc is DU’s Employee Assistance Program for you and your immediate family members. All requests for information or assistance through the SupportLinc program are free of charge and completely confidential. You can contact SupportLinc anytime, around-the-clock. To get started, call 1-888-881-LINC , or log in to the SupportLinc website or eConnect® mobile app (iOS/Android) with the username universityofdenver.
How can an instructor who is accustomed to closed book exams convert to an open book exam?
You can turn multiple-choice exams into a short answer format on Qualtrics, or replace the exam with a graded alternative assignment that can be emailed or uploaded to Canvas. Online, unproctored exams (i.e., open book, open notes) promote additional learning by allowing students to cite from texts and include excerpts in their answers. Consider using Qualtrics or Canvas quizzes. To build your exam through Qualtrics,login here. More information about Qualtrics is available here. You can also create an exam with individual questions in Canvas or create an essay exam in Canvas. If you prefer videos, the OTL has also created videos for how to make exams and quizzes in Canvas and how to add questions to Canvas. For more information, please visit OTL resources here.
When an instructor converts an in-class exam to a take-home format, can the due date be extended beyond the scheduled exam time?
Yes. Students will need to have a clear understanding of the deadline for the exam. If you are using Canvas, you can create an assignment and they will submit it online. If you are not using a Canvas course, students can email you their exam.
Can an instructor make a take-home exam shorter than the scheduled length of the three-hour final exam?
Yes. When an exam format is altered the time to complete the task will change. However, faculty need to be mindful to not create a task that will take more than 3 hours to complete. For example, switching from a written exam to a paper would take longer than 3 hours for a student to do well.
May an instructor offer multiple options for a final exam/assessment?
Yes. A suggestion is to use a rubric to identify the requirements and provide students a list of ways to demonstrate their understanding such as make a visual representation, PowerPoint, video, presentation with a Zoom recording, write a paper, create a portfolio, podcast (audio only), write an exam with the answers, and create a study guide for the course.
How can I support students who need accommodations?
Group proctoring of exams is cancelled. However, the Disabilities Services Program (DSP) will continue to work with faculty to assist with students who require accommodations. Contact them at email@example.com or contact the DSP front desk at 303-871-3241. They will continue to work to provide Alternate Format Text (AFT) for eligible students during this time. If you are using Canvas for a final exam, you can give extended time within Canvas.
I'm hosting an event on campus. Should I cancel it?
Below is a brief summary of the decisions that have been reached so far. This information will allow people to make alternate plans, while also helping to keep our community safe.
- Admission events—Campus visits will depend on current travel restrictions, gathering sizes, and room availability on campus. We hope to have more guidance on admissions tours very soon.
- Alumni 50th Reunion—This event is postponed until June 2021, when the classes of 1970 and 1971 will celebrate together.
- Athletics & Recreation—All coach's summer camps are cancelled through June 30. We will reintroduce student-athlete activities according to guidance from the NCAA and other governing bodies.
- Conference & Event Services (CES)—All summer conference and camp accommodations through CES are cancelled for summer 2020.
- Knoebel Hospitality—Summer cancellations are still to be determined, but meanwhile, a new "to go" option features appetizers, full buffet menu and wine, craft beers and signature cocktails. Curbside pickup will begin on May 22 and will continue every Friday and Saturday through June. Details are available here.
- Newman Center—All in-person events through September 7 have been postponed or cancelled.
- Undergraduate and Graduate Commencements—As we announced yesterday, we have postponed our Spring Commencement 2020 ceremonies until next spring. The Sturm College of Law's Commencement (originally scheduled for May 16) had already been postponed.
- Other events across campus—Through May 27, the size of any gathering is limited to no more than 10 people. As summer progresses, we will follow local orders for group sizes, physical distancing and all other safety protocols. These rules will apply to all visitors for any purpose.
How will research that involves human subjects be affected?
Please visit ORSP's dedicated webpage on this topic.
Where can I find messages sent to faculty from DU leadership?
You can find all messages sent to faculty regarding COVID-19 on the Latest Developments page.
Will DU have to furlough employees? Can you offer any assurances to faculty and staff?
Of course, we value our staff and faculty, and are doing everything we can to preserve our workforce. We are grateful, thanks to everyone who participated in the planning and execution of our fourth-quarter efforts, to be ending fiscal year 2020 in good shape. We were able to offset a very sizable loss of revenue with a very sizable recovery of some expenses when we asked the campus to freeze hiring, cut back on expenses, and to curtail all-but-essential capital projects.