Transition to Online Instruction and Maintenance of Critical Research Needs

Mar. 23, 2020

Below is a message from Dean Eric Chronister:

The responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have required unprecedented efforts on the part of instructors and researchers.  Thank you for rising to this task.

Transition to Online Instruction  
Chairs have been providing updates on the impressive efforts to move 809 lecture and lab sections online during Spring "Break". Each department has identified local experts to help instructors with the transition. If you still need help completing the online transition please notify your chair (or me) quickly so that we can help. A variety of options are being utilized by instructors to provide remote content for lectures (e.g. panopto live streaming and recording, annotating lecture notes with audio, WebEx meetings with recording, etc.), labs (TA recorded experiments with data provided to students, access to virtual lab data bases, Labster, JoVE, etc.), exams (canvas quizzes, oral exams, etc.), and office hours (WebEx, zoom etc.). The Faculty Center also offers online transition help — you can email them at facultycenter@unlv.edu and they will call you back or set up a WebEx meeting (provide your name, dept, phone, and your question). The goal for this emergency online transition effort is to provide our students with the best possible learning experience under these challenging circumstances. Not everything will go as expected next week — if you encounter problems please contact your chair or me (x5-2058 direct line) so that we can assist in a quick solution before the following class period.  

• Critical Research  
On 3/17/2020, President Meana directed that "Research labs will remain open at the discretion of the lab manager/director", with the caveat that "lab managers/directors will prioritize workforce, access, and activities." Up-to-date information regarding research operations is available at unlv.edu/coronavirus/research. On 3/18/2020, Governor Sisolak ordered all non-essential businesses to close for at least 30 days. As of now the research continuity plan remains in effect. The AVP of Research is coordinating the Research Continuity effort, and you should have received a brief questionnaire to ensure critical research needs are maintained under a full campus closure. The link to this request is https://www.unlv.edu/coronavirus/research/letter.  If you have not already done so please complete the questionnaire and forward it to either AVPR Hatchett or the building managers for SEB or HRC. As part of your lab workforce prioritization effort please stagger the schedules of lab students/staff to minimize contact and maximize distancing, e.g. literature review, writing papers/thesis chapters can be done remotely during this period. You should also instruct your lab personnel to perform frequent anti-viral cleaning of lab and office surfaces.

I greatly appreciate the diligence and professionalism of college personnel in achieving the online instruction transition in a little over a week. I also encourage instructors to look for ways to improve their S20 online course as the semester progresses. It is reasonable to expect online instruction to continue through summer term(s) so online improvements in S20 will help improve summer session.