March 16, 2020
I write to provide resources and guidance for the teaching of Spring Quarter College classes.
As you know, Spring Quarter classes will only be offered on-line, and for many of us, this will be our first experience with on-line teaching. I expect that many of you are making your first acquaintance with Canvas, Zoom, and other technologies. Note that the start of Spring Quarter has been delayed one week, to April 6th.
The University has started a remote learning working group, which is running a website of best practices, and is an excellent place to start:
Note in particular the distinction between synchronous and asynchronous activities (cf., the "Getting Started" tab), and how different technologies may be needed for each.
I believe it would be useful early in your planning process to survey your students. Do they have access to the technologies they'll need to fully participate in the class you're building. The following survey is a model of what you might send to your students:
Please *copy* this survey, and make your own. You can send a URL out through the "Fast Message" capability of Faculty Access. Please let me know if you have students facing significant difficulties, and I'll see if there help or at least good ideas from the College.
Thank you for all you do. I will be writing more later.
Stuart A. Kurtz
George and Elizabeth Yovovich Professor, Department of Computer Science and the College Master, Physical Sciences Collegiate Division
The University of Chicago