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Over the summer, the College partnered with the Office of Instructional Technology to offer intensive training in online teaching and learning to our faculty members. Over three hundred faculty members and twenty faculty mentors participated in these programs. A key element of this training is reimagining and redesigning courses to be more efficient and engaging as online experiences. With more time to prepare (and faculty members have spent the better part of their summers doing this), we will build on successes and lessons learned from the Spring Semester emergency move to remote education to have even more successful Fall Semester.
Faculty members, please find more resources and support for online teaching from the Division of Information Technology’s Instructional Technology Team, including a new site devoted to the PIVOT programs: pivot.umbc.edu. Now available to the campus community and beyond, PIVOT Solo contains lessons on five key topics including course organization, active learning, community building, assessment, and supporting students. PIVOT Solo is designed to be a flexible, self-directed experience, allowing faculty to determine what knowledge they want to refresh or enhance. Additionally, faculty can access recordings of previous training sessions on a number of instructional technologies topics and tools in recorded archives including Blackboard, Collaborate, Panopto, and Voicethread.
Finally, faculty may want to take advantage of the Course Workload Estimator, which will assist in determining how long it may take a student to complete various course activities, and the many other resources we’ve provided on the site to help support their online course development and delivery.
Students, please remember that the Academic Success Center is open (remotely) for business and is ready to provide students the support they need to be successful this semester. Please refer to the student section of Retriever Return Roadmap for the latest updates and a comprehensive guide to support services.
All advising is taking place remotely throughout the Fall Semester. The Office of Academic and Pre-Professional Advising has provided Department Chairs with guidance for advisors and students, with numerous online tools. Please see the Advising Office’s suggestions for how to approach advising in other than face-to-face situations. You can join the Advising Community Group here, to stay up to date on advising issues. CAHSS Academic Advisors James Hamilton (firstname.lastname@example.org), Rob Pawloski (email@example.com) and Janae Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) also stand ready to assist.
Research & Creative Achievement (RCA)
Effective June 15, 2020 UMBC’s Research & Studio Facilities are operating under Stage 1 RCA Mode. Faculty are invited to submit an RCA Relaunch request access to On-Campus labs or studios for RCA activities. All individuals authorized for Stage 1 RCA access are subject to mandatory COVID-19 Symptom Tracking and Testing. If you have a need to conduct Off-Campus RCA Activities, please contact your Department Chair to receive an Off-Campus RCA Request form. We encourage you to keep your UMBC-related Off-Campus RCA activities at an absolute minimum. Documentation from the host site is required to confirm that the proposed RCA activities can be conducted. Due to the current pandemic conditions, UMBC’s transition to Stage 2 RCA Mode has been delayed at least until September 1, 2020. For more details see: Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) website: Research and Creative Achievement at UMBC during COVID-19
The Library will be physically closed but digital resources will continue to be available as usual, and reference librarians are available for video or phone meetings. On August 17 the Library will enter Phase 2 of the reopening process and begin “No Contact Pickup” so that you can request books, media, equipment, course reserve, and interlibrary loan items via our website.You will receive an email notice and further instructions for picking up your item when it is available. In most cases, you will be asked to make an appointment and go the curbside pickup location at the rear of the Library & Gallery (bottom of Walker Drive.) For more details see the Library Reopening Roadmap.
Travel: Given recent U.S. and foreign government policy actions regarding immigration matters, reduced availability of commercial flights, and the changing spread of the virus, ongoing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines will continue to make travel to and from other countries risky and difficult. Following guidance from the Governor, all University-related out-of-state travel for faculty, students, and staff is currently suspended. For safety purposes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend against nonessential international travel. Considering all of these circumstances, we caution our community against personal international travel at this time in order to avoid problems with reentry. (Source: June 25, 2020 – UMBC Community News). See also the US Department of State Travel Guidelines.
Human Resources has provided updated guidance about implementing remote work. This includes the fact that “UMBC has made provisions for all faculty, staff, and students to remain in a paid status at the present time” (i.e., student workers and contingent staff will continue to be paid).
- To Access UMBC voicemail, dial 410 455 1111 and follow the directions
- Access UMBC’s VPN here.
- You can share documents through Box or Google Drive.
- Instructions for connecting to Webex. You will need an internal or external camera and/or microphone for video conferencing.. You can also call in from a phone if internet is not available.
- DoIT’s “Help Yourself Checklist“
Building Access for Fall Semester (Updated 9/16)
Campus Buildings are unlocked from 7:30am-11pm Monday-Friday
Emergency one-time access for Staff and Faculty
- Call UMBC Police Deputy Chief Bruce Perry at 443-677-2195 or Lieutenant Derrick Johns at 410-207-0850 for approval prior to entering buildings.
- One-time access will be much more limited during the fall semester. Staff and faculty who are scheduled to teach and will likely need to go to campus more than one time during fall semester should apply for recurring access.
- For one-time access, faculty and staff can submit their request directly by clicking here.
Recurring or Periodic Access for teaching and class support
Access for Research and Creative Achievement
Opt-out of Fall Access
Sustaining CAHSS’s intellectual community
The College’s five research centers are working to sustain our intellectual community at this moment of physical isolation. Here are some examples; please watch the centers’ websites for updates and further information.
The Center for Social Science Scholarship (CS3) is documenting Research and Responses to COVID-19 from Social Sciences faculty. The Center has moved a number of its events online or virtual, including a Virtual Social Science Coffee Hour, the Climate Solutions Roundtable Debate, Academic Cover Letter & CV speed-review event for graduate students, and more.
The Dresher Center for the Humanities will hold its “CURRENTS: Humanities Work Now” works-in-progress talks and its “Fellows and Others” workshop as scheduled, virtually. The Humanities Forum lecture by Allison Lange, “Images and the Fight for Women’s Voting Rights in the US,” will occur online via Webex (April 15 @ 4:00).
The Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts (CIRCA) is sharing resources for artists at this difficult time, through its email CIRCA Digest and social media.
The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC) plans three initiatives on its website (coming soon): information and links to visit the Joseph Beuys Sculpture Park and other TKF Foundation parks and meditative spaces throughout Maryland; an online version of the 2020 IMDA MFA Thesis exhibition; and a curated, bi-monthly listing of art projects, events, and related programming in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Imaging Research Center (IRC) is working with Hilltop Institute on visualization strategies for understanding the spread of COVID-19, and aims to have much of its research continue online, including the work of its student researchers.
In addition, the team in MIPAR and Rachel Brubaker in the Dresher Center remain available virtually to work with faculty members on their research and grant proposals.
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Testing and On-Campus Safety