Academic Update for Instructors

March 19, 2020

On Wednesday, the Chancellor announced that all employees who are able to work from home plan to do so starting Monday, March 23. We know that you are juggling a lot of things right now: getting ready for remote teaching, shifting your office space to home, and trying to practice social distancing while doing all of this. As you work through this busy and stressful time, remember to take care of yourself. UNL's Employee Assistance Program has shared some self-care suggestions on its website. Don't hesitate to reach out to them if you need support.

Included in this email:

  • Services for students with disabilities - reminder
  • FERPA compliance, tools supported by the university - new
  • Digital Learning Center closed, Scanning Services unavailable- new
  • Reduced hours and closures for libraries - new

Services for students with disabilities

In the rush to move to remote access instruction, it's important that instructors remember to be aware of and sensitive to the needs of students with disabilities. There will be an additional demand for some services, like closed captioning, and we need to make sure they are available for instructors with students who have a need for these accommodations. The Center for Transformative Teaching has accessibility resources and an accessibility checklist available on its website.

FERPA compliance, tools supported by the university

As you work to adjust to remote teaching, it may be tempting to take advantage of offers from software vendors for free access to their tools. Please do not do this. Not only could you run into FERPA, ADA, and HIPPA compliance problems, but some of these seemingly generous offers are in fact phishing attempts. Use FERPA, ADA, and HIPPA compliant products that are officially supported by Information Technology Services. Individual colleges may also already be using additional products that are not on this list. Instructors should check with their college technology support staff for confirmation before downloading any software.

Digital Learning Center closed, Scanning Services unavailable

As students have been encouraged to leave campus and return to their permanent residences, the Digital Learning Center will be closed for the rest of spring semester. Instructors with exam requests on file through May 8 have been contacted directly about the change. Because of this closure, Scanning Services will also be unavailable for the rest of the term. Academic Technologies and the Center for Transformative Teaching have put together resources to help instructors create remote assessments.

Reduced hours and closures for libraries

In response to COVID-19, the University Libraries have adjusted hours and announced some closures effective March 17. A complete list of locations and times has been published in Nebraska Today