Resources for remote fall teaching for faculty and GEs

September 10, 2020

Dear UO faculty and GEs,

As we approach the start of the academic year for most of us, it is almost ridiculous to say that there has been a lot going on lately. The fires burning across Oregon are just the latest catastrophe in a string of events this year that have left us all concerned about the future, not to mention worried about the well-being of family, friends, and colleagues. Yet in the face of each of these challenges our faculty members have done their utmost for our students, as well as their own scholarly work — the things that make us a great university. Please know that we have a deep appreciation for all that you are doing during these difficult times.

The decision to move to primarily remote instruction for Fall term was not an easy one, but given the COVID-19 pandemic it was a necessary one. The UO spent the summer working closely with government officials, including Lane County Public Health, the Oregon Health Authority, and Governor Kate Brown’s office, to ensure that our decisions prioritized health and safety of our community. By moving to primarily remote instruction, we will be better positioned to make a successful return to more in-person instruction for Winter term should circumstances allow.

The focus of this message is to highlight the resources that are available to assist you in developing and adapting your courses to remote instruction as you prepare for fall. The Office of the Provost has worked closely with the deans of each of the schools and colleges, together with University Senate leadership and a host of others from across the university, to create a robust portfolio of new tools and instruction to support you.

These new resources include:

  • School, college, and divisional Remote Teaching Overview sessions – These sessions, sponsored by the Teaching Engagement Program (TEP) and UO Online, start on Monday, September 14, and are open to all faculty. They will be focused on key Academic Council guidance; tips on how to get more from Zoom and Canvas; best practices to engage and assess students remotely; ways to build community in classes; and how to identify and support students in crisis. We encourage all faculty to attend, especially those for whom remote instruction may be new. The workshop schedule is:

    College of Education
    3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Monday, September 14

    School of Music and Dance
    10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
    Tuesday, September 15

    Lundquist College of Business
    4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    Tuesday, September 15

    School of Journalism and Communication
    1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
    Wednesday, September 16

    College of Arts and Sciences
    Natural Sciences
    3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Wednesday, September 16

    College of Arts and Sciences
    Social Sciences
    3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    Friday, September 18

    College of Arts and Sciences
    3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Tuesday, September 22

    Clark Honors College
    10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    Thursday, September 24

    College of Design
    1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
    Thursday, September 24

    School of Law
    12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
    Thursday, October 1

    Click here to connect to your workshop.
  • Creation of the Teaching Leaders Group – Made up of representatives from each of the schools and colleges, this group will serve as a bridge between central resources and academic units to maximize support for remote instruction for faculty. This will create a network across campus to build on collaborations of faculty supporting each other as we navigate new modalities of instruction. Consider applying to be fellows in a new, stipended Teaching Leaders group. We are seeking a representative from each school and college, along with the three divisions of the College of Arts and Sciences, to help chart the path forward to even greater strength and support for remote instruction. Letters of interest are due Wednesday, September 16, and should be sent to
  • Course tours – Lundquist College of Business Leah Schneider, a senior instructor of marketing, will provide a walkthrough of her Canvas site and share how she addresses what UO students say matters most for their learning in this COVID context: the organization of the course; opportunities for connection and interaction; and the provision of both structure and flexibility. This will take place on Friday, September 11, from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Use this link to join.

Here is the lineup of upcoming teaching workshops, including the GE Day of Teaching and a session on coordinating teaching teams, as well as recordings of past sessions.

  • Expanded Zoom Assistant Program – This program is designed to support faculty with the technological aspects of teaching remotely.
  • Upgraded technology in classrooms – The university has invested in various upgrades of equipment – including cameras, microphones, and speakers – for use in more than 100 classrooms on campus. The upgrades provide additional tools for HyFlex or remote course delivery, and the equipment is relatively easy to use with little or no training. Both Registrar- and some unit-controlled classrooms have been updated.

We will also continue to provide ongoing support in all of the areas created last spring when the pandemic first struck. Such resources include:

  • Resource Sharing Blog – TEP and UO Online host this ongoing blog that encourages faculty members to engage with each other to offer tips, get help, make suggestions, and have dialogue about teaching during turbulent times. Since spring, the blog has had more than 43,000 page views.
  • Key Resources include the one-stop Remote Course Builder, Teaching In Turbulent Times Toolkit, and Student Success Toolkit.
  • Canvas Resource site – A step-by-step guide on the most frequently used tools and features of Canvas.
  • Teaching News emails will continue to be sent to faculty and GEs on a regular basis from TEP and UO Online throughout the term.
  • ProctorU – UO continues to contract with ProctorU, so faculty who need online proctoring for course assessments can do so easily.

 And we will continue to offer opportunities for faculty, including:

  • The “All Hands” consulting group of faculty and Officers of Administration which started last spring. The group holds 30-minute, every-other-week meetings, and a schedule is currently being planned for the fall term. Hosted by the Office of the Provost, the group examines ways to more tightly connect around the policy, planning, pedagogy, and technology of teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone interested in joining should contact Lee Rumbarger, assistant vice provost for teaching engagement, by email at
  • As part of the online initiative, we are finalizing development of 50 new online courses for fall term. An additional 50 classes will be developed in fall and winter terms, bringing the total to 150 new online courses. For more information or questions about this endeavor, send an email to
  • Individual consultations for faculty and GEs on online and remote instruction. Use this form to schedule an informal one-on-one meeting to get your questions answered. TEP drop-in consultations are available every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Friday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. through October 2. Click here to join.  

We hope you will find this information helpful as you plan for your fall teaching. We will continue to communicate with faculty and GEs throughout the term as we develop more resources and other opportunities for you. We appreciate you and your work, and we hope you can find time to decompress amidst all that is happening around us. If you have any questions or suggestions, please send them to

Take care, and we hope that you and your families are healthy and safe.

Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President

Janet Woodruff-Borden
Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs