Memo from the Faculty Hub

Dear Faculty Colleagues, 

Well, this is not the version of March Madness that I was looking forward to.  

It is clear that our quick conversion from our normal modes of face-to-face teaching to alternative forms of on-line instruction will require hard work, creativity, and flexibility. I write to remind you that you are not alone! Information Services and the Faculty Hub are among the groups that are working to communicate about tools and approaches to help you.  Please visit the resources we have provided and try some things and then reach out when you need more help.  We are responding as quickly as possible.  As some Hub staff will be working remotely, email is better than phone, but we are also checking our voice messages. 

Above all, it is important that we convey to students that we are here to support them and that we will help them be successful in meeting their academic goals this semester.  The psychological toll this will take on many students should not be under-estimated in the adaptations we make to teaching this semester.  A suggestion is to reach out to your students and advisees now to check-in, let them know that the academic mission is going to work, they will be successful, and you will be there to facilitate their success.  The faculty-student interaction is the number one reason students come to UR, stay at UR, and find success at UR.  Let’s be sure to continue those interactions!   

We have produced a survey you may use to assess your students’ capacity for the on-line work you will do with them and to give them a chance to communicate concerns (thank you to Kristine Nolin and Marcella Torres for ideas).  It would be helpful to also communicate to students your confidence that the teaching-learning partnership will be successful.  Attached is a sample survey– you are welcome to modify this with your own language or add/delete questions as you see fit. Four suggestions for how to administer a survey are also listed. 

It also important to manage the expectations you have for yourself!  We recommend that you first try the on-line tools with which you are most familiar. As you then experiment with new tools, please give yourself time to read up and play around with the new tool before trying it in a classroom setting.  You cannot learn all of the options available to you, so you will have to make some choices and move forward.  To help support your own success, you might consider spending some time devoted to mindfulness.  Special thanks to Monti Datta and the Mindfulness FLC for producing this video for our faculty:  

Are you looking for remote teaching support and/or consultation? We have many options in the coming week to help you make this transition. 

  • Tool Webinars – a collaboration between IS and the Faculty Hub 

Using Zoom for Remote Teaching: Monday 3/16 at 3:00 pm 
Using Zoom for Remote Teaching: Tuesday 3/17 at 10:30 am
Using Blackboard and Panopto for Remote Teaching: Tuesday 3/17 at 3:00 pm 

  • 1:1 Faculty Hub Consultations on On-Line Pedagogy 

We are available to talk with you 1-1 via Zoom. Faculty Hub consultants will be available on Wednesday 3/18 and Thursday 3/19 to help you strategize about how to choose the appropriate tool(s) and pedagogical approaches for your version of online teaching. One size does not fit all and there will be a variety of ways to have success, from simple to more complex tools.  If you want some 1:1 help, please click on a name to schedule this via youcanbookme:  Andrew Bell or Ryan Brazell  

Please install Zoom and try it out prior to your 1:1 appointment.  If you need help setting up Zoom, please follow these instructions from spidertechnet (a service of IS): 

You may also contact the IS Help Desk with additional questions about getting Zoom up and running.   

  • Other ways of getting support 

As a reminder, the Faculty Hub has a Slack workspace for faculty to share information and ask questions as they embark on this transition from face to face to online teaching. Join the conversation here. 

For general pedagogy and scholarship support, please contact us at 

For technical support, please contact the IS Help Desk at  


Below are some updates on previously scheduled Faculty Hub Events  

  • March 17: the Hub Talk with David Wilkins has been postponed indefinitely. 
  • March 24 and March 25: our Intentional Tech book club discussions will still meet via Zoom at the regularly scheduled times. Registered participants will receive a Zoom meeting invitation via email.   
  • March 27: our Early Career Faculty group will still meet via Zoom at the regularly scheduled times. Registered participants will receive a Zoom meeting invitation via email. 

Best wishes for good health and our continued successes in teaching and learning next week and beyond – 

Linda Boland 

Director, Teaching and Scholarship Hub (Faculty Hub) 

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