To all teaching staff of the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS),
I would like to give you some information concerning the Fall 2020 trimester. As you know, this Fall will be like no other because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As announced by the University, we will all have to prepare our courses so that they can be offered virtually throughout the Fall session.
Course delivery mode for Fall 2020
For the great majority of us, this means that we will be distance teaching our courses in a synchronous manner, while others will be teaching their courses on-line asynchronously or using a mixed delivery mode. Also, if public health measures allow, a small number of courses which have already been identified by FSS academic units may be offered in classrooms equipped for teaching to a limited number of students who are physically present while also transmitting simultaneously and recording for the other students.
In all circumstances, the Faculty of Social Sciences VERY strongly suggests that you record all of your classes in order to make them accessible through Brightspace to students registered in your course. This is a question of accessibility to university education for many students who will not be able to access our courses synchronously, either because of their material and social conditions (lack of appropriate Internet connection or equipment, lack of space in the home, etc.) or because they are in different time zones. For the same reasons, I strongly suggest that you adapt your evaluation for participation so that it is not based on “live” course attendance.
Please note that the University has recently acquired an on-line proctoring system for exams (Respondus) that you can use through Brightspace.
FSS and TLSS supports
I strongly encourage you to reread the detailed message from the Dean about the preparation for distance teaching this Fall. It contains a lot of important information about course delivery. You have also already received information from the Dean about FSS support (assistants and material) to prepare for teaching this Fall.
- The Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS), whose staff numbers and resources have grown considerably over the past few weeks, has identified an Educational Specialist for FSS who will coordinate our Faculty’s access to all TLSS services; you may at all times contact TLSS directly by email to obtain support and information: SAEA-TLSS@uOttawa.ca.
- The TLSS web site contains a ton of information and training that you will find useful, including guides, workshops and information about individual consultations for professors.
- FSS has hired Meghan Ede (our “Tech Fairy”) to support us. She will work all summer within FSS to help disseminate knowledge, ideas and helpful hints to prepare our courses for the Fall (see Teams FSSProfs). You may also reach her directly at: mede@uOttawa.ca.
Rest assured that FSS and TLSS will be working collaboratively over the coming months to support you in the transition towards virtual teaching in the Fall.
General information, guides and accessible course syllabus templates
In order to prepare your courses for the Fall, you will find attached to this message:
- Memo about important general information for teaching;
- Basic guide for distance teaching (pdf, 251 KB), prepared in the Spring 2020 by APTPUO (useful for all teaching staff);
- Accessible course syllabus templates – these accessible templates comply with Ontario law – please use them;
- Professor’s Handbook (pdf, 3.4 MB) – please note that this manual has not been modified for virtual teaching – it is therefore important that you also use the supports identified throughout this message for your course preparations.
For any additional information or support, do not hesitate to consult the Chair of your unit and your Undergraduate or Graduate Studies Coordinators.
I wish you all the best in your preparations for the Fall trimester.
Vice-Dean Undergraduate Studies