Finishing Strong

Monday, November 16, 2020

Teacher on tablet

As we approach the home stretch of this semester, I want to thank you for your extraordinary work in your classrooms, zoom-rooms, labs, studios, and all the other places we use for effective teaching. I know that teaching hybrid classes has meant extra work and planning on your part, and I am grateful for all that you are doing to help our students succeed.
 
As you know, in-person instruction will conclude at Thanksgiving Break, with the few remaining instructional days and final exams moving online following Thanksgiving. Please let your students know what you expect from them after the break. Even if this information is available in your syllabus, you may want to reiterate it in the next few days.

Reading Day will take place on December 10: As is always the case, no tests or quizzes may be administered on the final instructional day of a course unless the course has not been assigned a final examination time slot by the University. Labs may administer tests or quizzes on the final instructional day. Student presentations to the class in a seminar or graduate course are not considered a test or a quiz. Similarly, no mandatory assignments should be scheduled for completion during Reading Day. You may, however, schedule optional study reviews for your students on Reading Day.
 
Final exams begin on December 11th and end on December 17th. All faculty now have access to Respondus Monitor, an online proctoring solution within the eLC and ALEKS testing platforms. Respondus Monitor is an AI-powered proctoring tool that functions as a plug-in for Respondus LockDown Browser. Like Respondus LockDown Browser, Respondus Monitor is available free of charge to all UGA students and instructors. It does require that students have access to a web camera, so alert students in advance in case they need to make alternate arrangements for this purpose.

If you want to avoid giving a proctored online final exam, there are a number of other ways for assessing students’ knowledge of course objectives. Essays, papers, oral presentations, and portfolios are all effective assessment methods. You can view a full list of proctored exam alternatives on this page or reach out to the Center for Teaching and Learning for additional suggestions and help.
 
Please remember to submit your course grades by noon on Monday, December 21st. It is very important to meet this deadline as failure to do so often has significant consequences for a student’s financial aid. Timely submission of grades will help ensure that we do not create another uncertainty for our students. 
 
The University will remain open after Thanksgiving Break and will continue providing regular campus operations and student life services—such as housing, dining, health/wellness centers, and campus transit—until the end of the semester. Most laboratories, libraries, and other indoor study spaces will continue to be available to students for their work or as they prepare for exams. 

We continue to make good progress for our spring semester as well. If you have not already done so, please make sure the instructional format for your spring classes is clearly identified in Athena. Our spring classes will follow one of five formats, which are described here.

I welcome your feedback and input, so if you have more suggestions related to your teaching or support available to faculty, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can reach me at ovpi@uga.edu. Again - we greatly appreciate your tremendous efforts and dedication to our students’ success. Please stay safe and healthy.
 
Sincerely,
Rahul Shrivastav
Vice President for Instruction