Sunday, March 29, 2020

Beginning online education tomorrow

To the faculty,
Tomorrow, we begin delivering online education at the University of Maryland in difficult times. We have all been immersed in our preparatory efforts and seemingly endless ZOOM meetings—I wanted to take a moment to recognize this pivotal event and to share some thoughts from me and from your supporters in the DIT Instructional Technology group and the TLTC:
  1. In working from home many of our students are facing barriers and challenges that we may not know or fully understand. I’m sure you will do this without being reminded, but with respect—Please continue to extend kindness and patience to your students and colleagues and assume that your students are doing the best they can. Don’t hesitate to call for help if you need it.

  2. Remember that lessons/classes should preferably be adjusted to be delivered asynchronously. This strategy is less prone to unexpected technical failures and will make it easier to ensure that course content is accessible for all students. Many students have returned home where they might have few (or one or no) computers shared by an entire family, limited bandwidth, and significant disruptions. These challenges are much harder to overcome with real-time course meetings.

  3. Lastly, and most importantly, THANK YOU. I am deeply proud of the faculty and the many ways our institution has come together in support of one another, guided by our shared commitment to high-quality education during these challenging times.
Please continue to practice social distancing, take care of yourselves and be well.
With all best wishes,
Mary Ann Rankin
Senior Vice President and Provost
The Flagship Institution of the State of Maryland
College Park MD 20742-5035, USA
Phone: 301.405.1000