For faculty: UND classes moved to remote instruction; University to remain open

Dear Faculty and Staff,

After consultation with health officials and a review of the latest Centers for Disease Control & Prevention updates, University of North Dakota leaders made the decision to move all lecture and seminar face-to-face classes to remote delivery for two weeks following the end of Spring Break. We are communicating to students today via email, Blackboard and other University communication channels that lecture and seminar courses will be delivered through remotely, beginning Monday, March 23, through Friday, April 3.

University Operations

At this time, the University intends to remain open and has no plans of ceasing operations. However, hours of operation and services may be limited depending on employee availability and campus needs. Schedules may need to be adjusted; we are committed to ensuring that employees continue to be compensated without disruption. Supervisors or College deans will be responsible for determining appropriate adjustments to work schedules.

Remote Learning

All courses will be activated in Blackboard on Wednesday, March 18. Since individual faculty members are best positioned to determine alternative methods of instruction that will meet course objectives and student needs, at this time, we are working with faculty regarding questions around labs, clinical, flight training, and music lessons and performances. We encourage you to update Blackboard regarding these types of learning for your students. If you have questions, contact the Dean of your School/College.

Please know that some of our students live in UND residence halls and may not be able to leave Grand Forks due to work, travel restrictions, or other reasons. UND will accommodate this group of students in residence halls and provide limited dining options.  We are also aware that some students may have difficulty engaging in classes by distance (e.g. if they do not have internet capabilities).  We have asked students to inform their instructors if they face such challenges so we can help find solutions. If students reach out to you with these challenges, please be flexible on due dates and call University Information Technology at 701.777.2222.

We appreciate the work faculty have engaged in to move their syllabi and other pertinent course information to Blackboard, which is the main communication tool for teaching and learning.  If you haven’t already done so, please do so IMMEDIATELY.

UND is committed to providing faculty with the support you need. Our excellent team from TTaDA is available to assist you on how to teach remotely. Please visit their webpage for strategies and tips to teach remotely. This includes how to video record your lectures using Yuja, ways to integrate student-instructor and student-student engagement in a remote setting, and assessment suggestions.  TTaDA team members are available to assist by phone, walk-ins, or you can attend one of the following sessions in the 3rd Floor of O’Kelly:

  • Thursday, March 12, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Friday, March 13, 10 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 2 p.m.

It will be important that you keep digital records of grades and assessments. The Gradebook in Blackboard is the preferred method as students will also be able to monitor how they are doing in your classes. Finally, we ask that you keep your chair informed of any challenges or needs you have.  They in turn will work with their deans and TTDA to ensure you receive the support you need and that students continue to make progress towards graduation.

Activities

Over the last 24 hours, there have been a number of local events that have been cancelled or altered. We ask event sponsors of future University events confer with their supervisor or college dean to determine whether or not an event should take place. Protecting the safety of our faculty, staff, students and guests will continue to be a priority and will guide decisions making. Please updates to jan.orvik@und.edu so they may be included in U Letter and the Coronavirus Blog for easy reference.

We will continuously monitor and evaluate the situation and communicate to all faculty and students if the date to resume face-to-face classes changes.

Thank you again for your commitment to student learning particularly during these difficult circumstances.