President Wynne: UND classes moved to remote instruction; University to remain open

After consulting with health officials and studying CDC guidelines, UND leaders decide to shift courses to remote instruction for two weeks after Spring Break

On Thursday, President Joshua Wynne announced a shift to remote course instruction for two weeks following spring break. Archival image.

The following message was sent by UND Interim President Joshua Wynne to all University faculty and staff Thursday morning:

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 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, we are working with faculty regarding questions around labs, clinicals, 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 TTaDA to ensure you receive the support you need and that students continue to make progress toward graduation.

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.

For students

The following message was sent to all UND students Thursday morning:

Your health and well-being are our top priorities. In light of the coronavirus outbreak and rapidly changing conditions, UND will shift on-campus in-person classes to remote instruction for two weeks following spring break. Please read through this email as it provides specific details on how we will support your learning.

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.

Remote learning: Course information will be available through Blackboard as the main communication tool beginning Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3. We are working with individual faculty regarding questions around labs, clinical, flight training, and music lessons and performances as well as seminar instruction. Faculty members are best positioned to determine alternative method of instruction that will meet course objectives and student needs at this time. We encourage you to monitor Blackboard and email for updates from your instructors. If you have questions, contact the Office of the Provost at 701.777.2167.

Residence Halls & Dining: Residence hall students are asked to take their essential personal belongings and academic materials home with them as they depart for Spring Break and to not return to campus until April 4. For students unable to leave campus, our residence halls will remain open and limited dining options will be available. Students living in the residence halls will receive additional information about this change shortly.

Student Employment: The contributions of student employees are critical to our ability to continue operations. As such, we will make every effort to continue the employment of students who choose to stay in Grand Forks rather than leave campus during this time. Because individual departments are best to determine their work needs, department leaders will determine if and how student employees will continue their work. The ability to employ student workers will be based on our ability to do so without risking the health of our students and as such may be revisited at a future time if needed.

Remote Technology Needs: If you have any concerns about engaging in your current classes through remote learning (e.g., you do not have internet or a computer), please call University University Information Technology at 701.777.2222 and let your instructor know immediately so we can find a solution for you.

Summer or Fall 2020 Registration: You can find contact information for your advisor through Starfish. If you have any questions, your advisor can assist you by phone or email if you need to adjust your course schedule.

Travel: As you consider traveling during Spring Break, stay informed regarding state emergencies relative to the coronavirus, and consider limiting your domestic travel. We discourage all international travel as you may have difficulty returning to the U.S. without a quarantine period.

We will continue to monitor the situation and may adjust our course delivery timeline as conditions warrant. If you have further questions or need additional assistance, please call Student Affairs at 701.777.2724. Please continue to read your email and log into Blackboard daily. We are committed to ensuring you can complete your courses and get the support you need as we navigate this unusual situation.

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As of Thursday, an administrative announcement has also been made requiring all UND Study Abroad students to return to the United States immediately. The latest developments regarding UND and COVID-19 may be found on the Coronavirus Updates blog. Subscribe for email updates by visiting the blog.