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University of Georgia faculty, advisors and staff received an email with instructions to prepare in the case of a COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo/Jason Born)

On March 5, University of Georgia faculty, advisors and staff received instructions from Rahul Shrivastav, vice president for instruction, to “maintain continuity of our instructional activities” in the event of a disruption to instruction from a COVID-19 outbreak.

“We are also proactively evaluating our plans to minimize the disruption to students, faculty and staff in the event that such disruptions become more widespread,” Shrivastav said in the email.

The email included a link to Technology for Teaching and Learning Continuity, a website with tips on how to continue teaching or advising online in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as weather, natural disasters or health concerns. These tools include online lectures through Zoom or eLearning Commons Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and utilizing the different content and quiz functions of eLC to continue instruction.

The website also lists additional considerations for online instruction, including maintaining communication with students through virtual lectures and office hours, accommodating any disabilities or students’ unequal access to technology and creating alternatives to field studies and lab activities.

In the email, Shrivastav requests faculty to “review this website and create a test module … as quickly as possible, preferably within the next week.” The website will be continually updated with information and resources.

The coronavirus outbreak is affecting universities across the U.S. with some colleges in Washington State, such as the University of Washington, cancelling in-person classes, The New York Times reported. UGA study abroad programs to severely affected countries, such as China, Italy and South Korea, have been cancelled at the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of State travel advisories. People returning from those countries are expected to self-quarantine for 14 days.

UGA referred The Red & Black to UGA’s Coronavirus Information and Resources website for future updates.

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(1) comment

ML

I would love for UGA Admin to share their reasoning as to why graduate Instructors of Record did not receive this information along with (presumably) all other instructors. As someone who does teach classes for the University, I should not be learning this information through the newspaper.

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