Faculty, Staff Prepare to Transition Classes Online
By Mark Kramer
As the University of Houston-Downtown continues to follow the COVID-19 protocols recommended by City of Houston and Harris County, faculty and staff are moving all face-to-face and hybrid spring classes fully online starting March 23.
Several resources are being provided to ensure a seamless transition of courses to online platforms.
Associate Vice President of Programming & Curriculum Dr. Michelle Moosally said the Provost’s Office has created the Keep On Teaching website, which contains links to all key resources and communications on the COVID-19 virus, as well as all of the trainings and resources for the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE), and the Technology Training and Learning Center and Information Technology. The website also includes as section for frequently asked questions for faculty, staff and students.
“Faculty members are working closely with their deans and department chairs to identify questions and issues that may arise regarding off-campus resource access (computers/internet) as well as discipline-specific challenges in an online teaching environment,” Moosally noted.
This week, CTLE is also holding daily webinars for faculty and staff to prepare for remote instruction.
“During the first sections of these sessions, we are covering best practices in remote instruction, then coordinating an open lab format with Zoom breakout sessions to provide individual support to faculty,” said Dr. Gregory Dement, CTLE director.
Dement added that CTLE staff will be available all week to provide individual support to faculty as needed and also may be reached via e-mail.
Moosally said that messages have been sent out to students to check their Gatormail and Blackboard accounts regularly to ensure their familiarity with key distance learning technologies, like Zoom, Office 365 and Blackboard.
For additional references for students, technology trainer Andrew Hannan said students can access resources through the Information Technology website for taking classes online and remotely.
Teachers and students with technical support issues are always encouraged to email the IT Service Desk or call 713-221-8031, ext. 3000 daily from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.