Faculty: Preparing for the Weeks Ahead

As our first week of remote learning approaches we wanted to share some updates, information and a few thoughts that we hope will help in the days and weeks ahead.

Dear Faculty,

As our first week of remote learning approaches we wanted to share some updates, information, and a few thoughts that we hope will help in the days and weeks ahead.

This experience, albeit incredibly difficult, has brought out the best qualities of the Oxy community. In the face of a scary public health crisis that has simultaneously affected everyone’s personal and professional lives, we have rallied together to support our students by coming up with new ways to teach, learn and work. It has been both inspiring and humbling. 

The Academic Continuity Planning team will continue to provide training, support and resources to faculty and students. Here is an overview of the support available to help you navigate this shift to remote instruction:

  • All support requests and inquiries should go to the ITS Help Desk at helpdesk@oxy.edu or 323-259-2880. We have on-premise and remote team members ready to respond and provide support.

  • We have hardware and peripherals available including laptops, iPads, Chromebooks, adapters, wires, microphones and more. We will work with you to find the best way to get you these tools if needed.

  • The Academic Continuity team will be available synchronously and asynchronously - you can call, email, join a daily live lunch session or instant message the Help Desk via Google Hangouts to get help. We will continue to find new ways to support your needs and we are open to suggestions.

  • We will continue adding new tools to our portfolio to support teaching and learning. For example, we are completing the implementation of Panopto, a video management platform for lecture capture and video creation. If there are tools you need, let us know and we will act quickly to assist you.

  • If there are other tools you want or prefer to use, please talk with us and we will find ways to make them work. For example, you might find that Google Hangouts Meet (free to the Oxy community) or Zoom work better for you than BlueJeans for synchronous teaching. We will provide our best effort to support you.

To access information about the tools and resources available to the community, check out these newly created resource hubs for students, faculty and staff:

For online course content, we encourage faculty to seek e-alternatives to print and other analog materials. The Library has expanded the e-resources available to faculty and students, with more than 600,000 e-books in the system, in addition to e-serials and other materials. We have added 105,000 records to the Internet Archive’s Open Library to provide you with additional e-content. All ProQuest content (except textbooks) will automatically convert to unlimited access until June 19, 2020. To access the Library’s e-content, always use this link. A wide range of open educational resources (OER) is available on the internet. We will also purchase on- demand e-content required for classes. If good alternatives are not available, Library staff will help faculty by digitizing analog materials, such as chapters of books, films, videos, and CDs. Digitization is time-intensive and requires staff to work on site, so we ask faculty to explore e-alternatives before submitting a digitization request to library@oxy.edu.

Our work together over the last few weeks gives us confidence that the remainder of the semester will be a success. We will get better at this every day as we stay focused on the goal of providing the highest quality education to our students in new and creative ways. But we know it won’t be perfect. Our patience will be tested, our tools will not always run smoothly, and unforeseen challenges will arise. In spite of these inevitabilities, our resolve will not wane. We are in this together and the entire Academic Continuity Planning team stands ready to support you in every way possible. 

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. 

Stay safe and be well.

Wendy and James, for the Academic Continuity Planning team

Wendy F. Sternberg, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College

James Uhrich
Vice President for ITS, Chief Information Officer