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) – the second-largest university in Houston – 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 more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 61,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).
For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.