COVID-19: Instructional Technology Update for Students and Faculty

March 16, 2020
Instructional Technology Taskforce
March 16, 2020

This message contains important updates for both students and faculty taking and administering exams during winter quarter, and planning for remote learning in spring quarter.

Important updates for UCR students

  • Computer labs in Watkins 2111 and 2117 are open and available for students in need of a computer to take a final exam. The labs will be open from 7:30am - 10:00pm during finals week. 
  • Laptop kiosks in Orbach library, Rivera library and the HUB (first floor lobby) also are available for students during finals week.
  • For students without home internet service, several companies have announced plans to offer free internet service to students for 60 days. UCR shared this information via email on March 14 (Remote Network Connectivity Recommendations). 
  • For students with technology, consider helping a friend in need by sharing your device when you don’t need it during finals week.
  • Remember to check for help navigating remote learning environments. This website is being updated regularly. 

Important updates for UCR faculty

  • Please use only UCR-recommended platforms for administering online exams and hosting materials for remote learning. iLearn (Blackboard) is an approved platform that will satisfy most instructors’ needs. Other recommendations can be found on the KeepTeaching website. Using these recommended platforms ensures both security and accessibility for our students. 
  • Remember to check for help navigating remote learning environments. The KeepTeaching website adds new information for faculty every day, and there are numerous live webinars this week to help faculty make effective use of Zoom and iLearn. 

Instructional Technology Taskforce

Access to instructional technologies (computers, software, wireless internet, etc.) is critical for remote teaching and learning. UCR staff from ITS, Undergraduate Education (XCITE), the Library, Procurement and other units have been working hard to ensure that UCR faculty and staff have the access they need. Going forward, we are formalizing this group as the Instructional Technology Taskforce and augmenting the membership to include members from the Academic Senate and the Provost’s Office. The taskforce will meet daily to address ongoing and evolving needs of UCR students and faculty. Taskforce members already have been identifying equipment that is currently available or that can be acquired on short notice to help lecturers, TAs and students who do not have adequate technology for spring quarter remote instruction. More information about requesting and checking-out equipment for spring quarter is forthcoming.