JSG Students: Essential Online Instruction Information
March 24, 2020
Welcome back to class. We want to update you on our plans for the second half of the Spring 2020 Semester. I hope all you are well, are home, and are following federal and state health guidelines to stay healthy. We know social distancing and not hanging out with your friends and classmates in person will be difficult, but we at the Jackson School are committed to keeping you company and working with you towards your educational and career goals. We are sure you might be getting a little antsy and would like an update date from us.
As you have heard from President Fenves, we are transitioning all of our learning activities online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. While this may indeed present new challenges, we at the Jackson School have been working very hard over the break to organize the most productive and engaging online learning experience possible. This message is intended to provide you with information to get you ready and setup for the online portion of the class. Your course instructors and teaching assistants will provide you with a more detailed and more specific updates early next week.
Overall, we will adhere to the regular class schedules and “meeting” times. We will be trying to establish an online sense of normality and carry on with our teaching and learning missions. In general, live meeting times for your classes and lab sections at UT should remain the same as before Spring Break. You will be able to review your updated and online-ready syllabi on Canvas no later than March 27, 2020.
What class will look like and what you need:
- Most instructors will use Canvas to coordinate all activities, assignments and meetings and use Zoom for live online meetings and lectures.
- Go to your Canvas course sites for general and specific information on your course, modified syllabus, online format, modified course plans, and communications.
- For fullest participation, you should have access to a computer with a camera and microphone (desktop or laptop). While a mobile phone or tablet will also work for accessing Canvas and participating in Zoom meetings, there might be limitations in terms of other class activities. Please contact your instructors via Canvas to let them know if you are concerned that you may NOT have access to appropriate hardware/devices or internet connectivity.
Get ready for Canvas:
- You can access Canvas as usual with your EID. Detailed instructions for using Canvas and adjusting settings can be found via the following link: https://utexas.instructure.com/courses/633028/pages/student-tutorials
- While not required, you may find the Canvas Mobile app for students handy. It is available via the App Store or Play Store.
- Staying on top of Canvas Communications and class emails will be critical to your continued success in your courses. Consider adjusting your Canvas communications settings to ensure that you receive all messages in a timely and workable fashion.
Get ready for Zoom:
- You and all UT students now have Zoom accounts and can use this service to join and host online meetings. Install and learn how Zoom works by going here: https://zoom.its.utexas.edu/
- Once you have installed Zoom, I would encourage you to test it and practice meeting with some friends or family. Catch up with your classmates. Instructors will also dedicate some time to practicing Zoom the first time we use it for class.
You will receive a more detailed and personalized communication and checklist from your course instructors next week, but we wanted to make sure that you were informed and knew what your online experience would look like.
As you return virtually to your UT community, know that we are all standing by to support you in uncertain times. Note that the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center and University Health Services are available should you desire their services. You can also reach out to Toby Leblanc, the on-site counselor at the Jackson School.
We are looking forward to making the absolute most of the semester with you. See you online soon!