further on finals, disability services, and Spring planning

Bill Maurer
Fri Mar 13 16:14:26 PDT 2020
Dear faculty, lecturers, staff and grad students,

A few words before we close out the week.

1) *Finals: *We are receiving many reports of concerned students worried 
about finals--worried about not having the bandwidth to access Canvas to 
take a final via that platform, if they are home or worse have to access 
Canvas at the WiFi at a cafe or public place; worried about deadlines, 
if they are having to move house this weekend, next week or soon 
thereafter; worried in general because their lives just got more 
complicated with the closures of all the local school districts, 
announced today; or about their jobs off campus or on campus, etc.

We URGE you again to do what you can to offer a take-home final, 
simplify your final exam, offer extensions or incompletes with few or no 
questions asked, or provide end-of-quarter alternative assignments if 
students for whatever reason cannot take the final, or, again calculate 
grades based on work done earlier in the quarter.

Again, if you would like to request a course email for sending and 
receiving final exams, this should be done through sscs@uci.edu
with course name, course number and instructor 
request must come from the instructor. Social sciences computing 
services will provide a password to instructors.  Exams and projects 
over 25MB will need to be shared by the student via Google Drive to the 
course email address; the email system attachment size limit is 25MB.

I will paste below guidance from DTEI regarding students with 
accessibility issues (due to lack of technology, WiFi, etc.) below.

You might also direct students to wellness resources accessed via the Be 
Well website: https://bewell.uci.edu/

2) *Disability Services Center and accommodations during Finals*. The 
DSC has provided the following guidance on accommodating students with 
disabilities during Finals Week. DSC will be open for exam proctoring on 
a smaller scale. Please review this important information if you have 
students who need accommodations: https://dsc.uci.edu/covid19/

3) *Spring teaching*: We know there are anxieties about Spring teaching. 
First, let's get Finals Week going. Next week, we'll be releasing 
material around teaching, providing various models and templates, as 
well as options for receiving assistance in transitioning your classes 
for remote instruction. We'll be hosting 2 workshops, too, on Wednesday 
and Thursday at noon--now wholly via Zoom, not in person. Details next 
week. DTEI has collected its own resources, and this is a useful 
starting place: https://sites.uci.edu/teachanywhere/

DON'T (overly) WORRY. The School will be providing locations with tech 
already set up and with tech support for instructors to come and record 
lectures; we will have faculty members who will serve as coaches to help 
people get their courses ready; and hopefully soon DTEI will have a 
template Canvas space for instructors to use to build their course 
without having to do everything from scratch.  For some of us, this will 
be inconvenient but easy: recording mini-lectures on our phones, posting 
them to Canvas, and keeping our Canvas spaces pretty much as they are 
now, but with videos, making full(er) use of the features Canvas 
provides for text-based discussion forums and other forms of interaction.

For others, we'll be there to support you, and you can think in terms of 
a slow ramp up: Week 1 can be lower key, ramping up into Weeks 2 and 3. 
We are going to encourage instructors to think about asynchronous 
lectures (i.e., not live broadcast, or not only live but also recorded 
while broadcasting), as well as shorter lectures that are more easily 
viewable by students with limited wireless. Think in terms of a lot of 
little (10 minute) lectures with online text-based conversational 
features alongside them. We will have people who will help you set this 
up. We will also provide guidance on building more interaction, even in 
asynchronous classes in which students are dipping in and out throughout 
the week on their own time - and in their own time zone - to respond to 
prompts, watch lectures, engage in group discussions with each other and 
with instructors and TAs. There will be hiccups - obviously - but 
everyone in the whole world will be going through this together, and we 
will all learn and get better at this as the quarter progresses.

Try to get some downtime this weekend, if you can. I plan to watch the 
entirety of https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p063ddm1. Maybe twice.



*Guidance from Division of Undergraduate Education on Remote Exam Delivery*

*Scenario 1: Students have a laptop, but need access to the internet or 
a quiet space to take the exam*

The classrooms originally scheduled for final exams will still be 
available at their designated times. Faculty may allow a small number of 
students to use this space. Social distancing guidelines recommend 
maintaining 6ft of distance between people, or roughly 2-3 seats. To 
help promote these guidelines, we ask that faculty limit the number of 
students testing in person to approximate 25% of the room capacity. 
Current room capacities can be found here: 

If using this option, please ask your faculty to remind students to 
fully charge their laptops before coming to the room as power outlets 
may not be available.

*Scenario 2: Student(s) need access to an appropriate computer to take 
the exam*

As capacity permits, computer lab seats will be made available to 
students who do not have access to a computer for their exam. Social 
distancing measures will be implemented in the computer labs as well, 
meaning capacity will be significantly reduced.

Please work with your faculty and department schedulers to identify 
students who will need to utilize this option. Once you have compiled as 
much of the following information as possible for each course, please 
send it to volzn at uci.edu.

Course number

  * Instructor
  * Number of seats needed
  * Preferred times (depending on demand, we may not be able to
    accommodate exact times)
  * Proctoring requirements:
  * Proctored by webcam (e.g. Respondus Monitor, Examity, or ProctorU)
  * Proctored by instructor/TA
  * Not proctored

Please prioritize Monday exams and send us what you can today. If you 
are able to provide information for other exam days, you may include 
that as well, although we will be prioritizing scheduling for Monday exams.

Please note that we cannot hold seats just in case. With the limited 
capacity, we need to ensure that any seats held will be used.

As an alternative to reserving computer labs, your faculty might also 
consider offering a paper exam option to the impacted students in the 
scheduled exam room, as described above.