Fall 2020 academic updates
As the summer begins to draw to a close, we want you to know that the faculty, staff and administration have been preparing to make this upcoming semester a great, though unique, experience. The faculty have been working all summer on their classes in order to ensure each student has a rigorous and engaging fall semester at UIC. Whether your classes are online, on campus, or both, there will be many ways to get to know your professors and your fellow students and have an outstanding UIC experience!
This message provides information and links to further information about your classes and academic support during the Fall 2020 semester, whether you are new to UIC or a continuing student. Some of the websites mentioned are still being built, so please refer back to these links for updates as we get closer to the beginning of the semester.
We are committed to providing a safe environment at UIC for all students, faculty and staff.
Everyone on campus will be required to wear a mask at all times, including during classes. Eating and drinking is not allowed in classes. When one is eating or drinking in other public spaces on campus, the mask can come off but there must be appropriate physical distancing from others. As part of our commitment to your health and safety, all students will receive two reusable masks.
Classes will be held in classrooms that are large enough so that there is always at least 6 feet distance between people. UIC will strictly adhere to classroom and common area cleaning regimens, in accordance with CDC guidelines. Hand sanitizing stations and disinfecting wipes will be readily available throughout all campus buildings.
We have built an infrastructure for COVID-19 testing and tracing of members of the UIC community. The protocols are being put in place right now and will be announced soon.
CLASSES & CLASS SCHEDULES
You can find resources for orientation, advising, and registration at my.UIC.edu. Find the services you need in the search box in my.UIC.edu. If you have not already done so, you should register for classes at my.UIC.edu. New students must meet with an advisor prior to registering, so if you have not already done so, please contact your college to set up an advising appointment right away.
Detailed instructions for registering can be found here. Please check your course registration periodically for updates in location or instructional method as the schedule of classes may be updated.
There are 3 modalities for taking classes in Fall 2020:
- Synchronous: A synchronous online course is one in which students use video conferencing technologies (such as Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom, etc.) to join class at the meeting times that are listed on the UIC schedule of classes for that class. Additional online learning activities may be included in the class.
These classes will use Blackboard to access the synchronous platform (e.g. Zoom, Webex, etc.)
- Asynchronous: An online course where all of the coursework and assignments are completed online and there are no mandatorymeeting times when students join class using video conferencing technology. Students use Blackboard to participate in required online learning activities each week. Coursework is completed on students’ own time while still meeting deadlines. The instructor may create optional meeting times using video conferencing technology, where attendance is encouraged but not required. These optional meeting times must be scheduled at the times listed on the UIC schedule of classes that were previously set aside for that class, and must be recorded for students unable to attend.
These courses will utilize Blackboard.
- ONCAM: A course that will meet live on campus (ONCAM) at the meeting times that are listed on the UIC schedule of classes for that class.
On-campus courses (ONCAM) may offer some portion of instruction online using Blackboard. Information about this and other aspects of the course will be provided by the instructor.
All on campus courses will switch to a fully synchronous online mode if public health authorities or the university determine that on campus classes are no longer safe.
ISSUES RELATED TO CLASSES
- Students taking synchronous and on-campus classes are expected to attend all classes.
- Students with health conditions that will prevent them from attending on-campus classes for which they are registered should contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) for consideration of an accommodation.
- Instructors teaching classes synchronously online and on campus are asked to record their classes. However, there may be situations where this is not possible or advisable. In those cases, the instructors will try to work out a solution with any student who needs a class or classes recorded.
TAKING ONLINE CLASSES WHILE ON CAMPUS
Spaces are being designated on campus for students who need a place to take an online class while they are physically on campus. This situation may occur when a student has an on-campus class that is preceded or followed by a synchronous online class. Study spaces for this purpose will be designated in the following classroom buildings:
- Behavioral Sciences Building (BSB)
- Burnham Hall (BH)
- Lincoln Hall (LH)
- Taft Hall (TH)
- Stevenson Hall (SH)
Additional study spaces will be available in the libraries, Student Center East, and Student Center West. Information about these hours will be available on the student academic resources page by Aug. 21.
Detailed information about tutoring, advising and coaching virtual and on-campus options for students will be available on the student academic resources page.
MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING
The UIC Counseling Center, which offers mental health services including individual and group therapy, continues to operate virtually and at no charge to enrolled students. To schedule an appointment or to contact a counselor, please call 312-996-3490 during business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday). If calling after hours, press 2 to be connected to a crisis counselor. You can find additional online mental health resources here.
CENTERS FOR CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING AND SOCIAL CHANGE
UIC’s seven Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change will be hosting a variety of events and activities to support and bring students together throughout the semester. You can join and connect virtually with the Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change here, or visit a Center’s website directly by following the links below.
- African-American Cultural Center
- Arab American Cultural Center
- Asian American Resource and Cultural Center
- Disability Cultural Center
- Gender and Sexuality Center
- Latino Cultural Center
- Women’s Leadership and Resource Center
We will be sharing addition information about fall semester online and on-campus activities over the next four weeks. Meanwhile, enjoy the remainder of the summer, and welcome to UIC!
Last week the following statement appeared in this column:
Recording classes: Because recording classes will benefit a wide swath of our student body (e.g., international students living abroad; students without reliable internet; students with responsibilities that may prevent them from attending a class; students unable to go to campus), faculty and TA’s will be strongly urged, but not required, to record their on-campus and synchronous classes. In situations where faculty do not record, they and their department heads should accommodate students as much as they possibly can.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits recording classes but they must be accessible only to the students in that class. Information about the FERPA implications of recording classes can be found on the website of the Office of the Registrar.
There was further clarification last week about new international students.
OIS Email about new first year international students https://emails.uofi.uic.edu/newsletter/740292600.html
REMINDER: All faculty who are teaching on-campus this fall must have a well-developed plan for pivoting to fully online teaching in the event that the university must cease teaching on campus.
Fall Teaching Resources for Online Classes
This is a reminder that many resources for online teaching, FAQ’s, faculty mentors, and other information about Fall planning, are available at https://provost.uic.edu/faculty-instruction-resources-fall-2020-2/ and https://accc.uic.edu/news-stories/your-guide-to-online-teaching-learning/