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Dear Colleagues,

We continue to prepare for any impact COVID-19 may have on our college and campus. During this stressful time, I want to thank all of you for your dedication to your work in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

The campus and college are currently formulating plans for continuing operations in the event of a need to suspend in-person instruction and assessment in undergraduate and graduate classes this semester. In the college, we anticipate that all instructional staff members (tenure-track faculty, specialized faculty, and teaching assistants) may need to hold their classes remotely for an extended time should such a suspension occur after spring break.

LAS instructional staff will need to prepare online versions of their courses so that they can teach their classes remotely (from an office or from home, if need be). Over the next few days we will provide detailed information about steps instructional staff members will need to take. In the meantime, we can get started with some basic preparations.

1) If you are currently teaching a course, you should ensure that you have a Web-ready laptop, desktop computer, or mobile device (with camera and microphone) suitable for streaming video and audio. If you do not have such a device, the college can help. LAS is offering a limited number of laptop and desktop computers to use from home via our ATLAS Share program: https://atlas.illinois.edu/student-information/atlas-share

If you have internet access at home but need a computer to lead a class remotely, please make an appointment to obtain a machine at the above link as soon as possible. You may keep these computers throughout the summer and possibly longer if the situation warrants it.

2) One relatively simple way to temporarily move an in-person course online is to present information and interact with students via a video-based interaction platform. The college has a license with Zoom to host such interactions. To help our faculty members and teaching assistants learn how to use Zoom, we are offering a series of online and face-to-face training sessions.

The sessions will provide a hands-on demonstration of the features of Zoom that instructors can use to teach their courses. Zoom can be used either as a standalone product or via the integrations within Moodle and Compass/Blackboard. The facilitators will illustrate the settings that are conducive to helping instructors teach including breakout rooms, polling, and student participation management tools.

Session participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own devices (e.g., laptops, smart phones) to the face-to-face training sessions. The trainings will be facilitated by an ATLAS Teaching & Learning with Technology Staff Member.

"Using Zoom to Teach" ATLAS Training Sessions

Dates, Time frame, Location (if face-to-face) or Link to Join Online

Tuesday, March 10, 3-4 p.m., FLB G3
Wednesday, March 11, 10-11 a.m., Join Session Online:
https://go.las.illinois.edu/zoomtraining
Thursday, March 12, 11 a.m.-12 p.m., FLB G7
Thursday, March 12, 4-5 p.m., FLB G13
Friday, March 13, 12-1 p.m., Join Session Online:
https://go.las.illinois.edu/zoomtraining
Saturday, March 14, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Join Session Online:
https://go.las.illinois.edu/zoomtraining 

Monday, March 16, 3-4 p.m., Join Session Online:
https://go.las.illinois.edu/zoomtraining
Tuesday, March 17, 12-1 p.m., Join Session Online:
https://go.las.illinois.edu/zoomtraining
Wednesday, March 18, 2-3 p.m., Join Session Online:
https://go.las.illinois.edu/zoomtraining
Thursday, March 19, 10-11 a.m., Join Session Online:
https://go.las.illinois.edu/zoomtraining
Friday, March 20, 11 a.m.-12 p.m., Join Session Online:
https://go.las.illinois.edu/zoomtraining
Saturday, March 22, 10-11 a.m., Join Session Online:
https://go.las.illinois.edu/zoomtraining 

We plan to schedule more sessions as needed. Registration is strongly recommended but not required via the form at https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/1076060.

Resources
Using Zoom to Teach Guide
https://uofi.box.com/v/teachingwithzoom

Basics on How to Connect to & Use Zoom
https://go.las.illinois.edu/ZoomRelease

Over the next few days we will send more detailed information about preparing to move in-person classes online. If you have any questions about the ATLAS Share program, contact atlas@illinois.edu. If you have questions about Zoom training, please contact atlas-tlt@illinois.edu

Again, thank you for your work on behalf of our students.

Best wishes,

Feng Sheng Hu
Harry E. Preble Dean
Ralph E. Grim Professor