March 19, 2020
TO: Deans, Chairs, Faculty, Staff and Students
FROM: Robert Z. Carr, Jr., Ed.D. | Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
RE: Online/distance delivery of classes throughout Spring 2020 semester
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s highest priority is the health, safety and welfare of our students, faculty and staff. In response to the evolving 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Arkansas and the nation, we have taken proactive measures to maintain a safe environment. While no members of UAPB have been diagnosed with COVID-19, several confirmed cases have been reported in Arkansas.
UAPB continue s to work with the public officials to limit the impact of COVID-19 to the campus community. As a result, we have decided to offer all classes through online/distance learning platforms (Blackboard, Zoom, and other virtual platforms) for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. Faculty and students that need assistance with your distance learning environment can contact Mrs. Dora Sanders at (870) 575-7039 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Students, please contact Ms. Mary Williams at 870-575-7040 or email@example.com for questions pertaining to online/distance learning issues.
Our faculty will continue to ensure that students are able to maintain the academic continuity required to complete the Spring 2020 semester. The following instructions will assist the transition for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester:
We will communicate with graduating seniors about commencement plans in the very near future. For any questions or concerns that you have regarding academics, please feel free to contact me at (870) 575-8475 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, continue to monitor your email accounts and the university website on a daily basis as additional information pertaining to university operations from the Chancellor is forthcoming. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
- Every course has a corresponding Blackboard course shell. Familiarize yourself with Blackboard and your course shells and continue populating them with your course information (i.e. syllabus, assignments, etc.).
- Faculty should send an email to all students to let them know that after Spring Break, all course instruction will continue to take place utilizing the Blackboard system or other distance learning platforms.
- Faculty should communicate the distance learning method that they are utilizing with their department chairs.
- Faculty should continue to add the appropriate course content to their Blackboard/distance learning platforms (e.g. syllabi, lectures, PowerPoint presentations, videos, and discussion questions) immediately and continue to build their courses in order for students to access the course.
- Faculty should continue to develop and implement creative, non-traditional/alternative delivery of instruction in courses that require labs, one-on-one instruction, and group projects. Also, faculty should devise plans for use of Zoom, Blackboard, and other teleconferencing capabilities, if applicable.
- Faculty should inform the students on how course requirements such as presentations, exams, and projects, etc. may be adjusted given the Blackboard/distance learning course delivery.
- Faculty should strongly encourage students that their official University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff email and/or the Blackboard communication system will be used for all course communication.
- Instructors of theses, dissertations, independent study, applied music courses, and all individual-level courses should continue to develop plans for remote guidance and communicate those plans to students accordingly.
- Faculty should notify their Supervisor immediately, if they or the students are experiencing technology difficulties or other challenges in delivering the course content.