Published on Sun 03/15/20
Thank you for your patience as we move our courses online. I am writing to update you on several developments related to course delivery.
Over the weekend, our staff loaded all Texas A&M courses for spring 2020 into both eCampus and Google Classroom. If you were already using eCampus for your course, you will not be affected by this development and your course should continue to operate as it did before the break.
However, if you were not using a learning platform for your course, you may now choose either eCampus or Google Classroom. Once you log in to these platforms, your course shell will be there for you to develop.
These and other instructions are located on our Keep Teaching page.
For platform-specific instructions, see Getting Started with eCampus or Getting Started with Google Classroom.
You do not need to utilize both platforms. It is recommended that you utilize only one option so that your students have a single place through which to access course materials.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT ECAMPUS
Capacity of eCampus
Blackboard has increased server nodes to the Texas A&M University environment and has committed to scaling and monitoring our Blackboard system. Additionally, the Division of IT has dedicated additional resources to the Howdy web portal in anticipation of the increased amount of web traffic.
The AI Service Desk (email@example.com) will continue to assist faculty with eCampus questions. Please review the Help link for additional support opportunities.
Multiple Sections of Same Course
If you teach one course with multiple sections and would like your sections combined into a single course in eCampus, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Contact AI Service Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request multiple sections be combined into a single course in eCampus
Step 2: Include subject, course, and section numbers in body of the email
Step 3: Please allow up to one business day turnaround time for your sections to be combined
Step 4: When your course sections have been combined into a single course in eCampus, this change will be reflected on your eCampus home page
If your course requires additional instructor roles, please submit a request through the AI Service Desk (email@example.com). In order to preload all courses over the weekend, the Member Management tool had to be disabled for the Spring 2020 term in eCampustools. This means that Course Instructors will need assistance from the AI Service Desk to add TAs, Alternate Instructors, Course Builders, and Graders to a course for the Spring 2020 term.
Teaching with eCampus
Over the next few days, the Keep Teaching website will be updated with resources that align with Keep Teaching with Zoom and Keep Teaching with Google Classroom. Please check back for these resources. We also encourage you to seek support from colleagues who already utilize eCampus, as well as support staff in your School or College.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT GOOGLE CLASSROOM
To activate your Spring 2020 course in Google Classroom, please follow the steps under Getting Started with Google Classroom and Keep Teaching with Google Classroom.
LARGE-ENROLLMENT COURSES WILL BE AVAILABLE IN ZOOM
We are assigning a special Zoom license to certain individual accounts to accommodate large-enrollment courses (defined as courses in excess of 300 students). If you are a Course Instructor who teaches one of the 30 large-enrollment courses for Spring 2020, you received a separate email with instructions on how to claim your Zoom account. Please claim your account this week so that your course can resume via online delivery on Monday, March 23, 2020. If you have issues logging into Zoom, please contact Help Desk Central at firstname.lastname@example.org or 979-845-8300.
TRAINING AND WALK-IN SUPPORT BEGINS MONDAY AT 11:00 AM
As a reminder, our service units are providing multiple opportunities to access training and help. We encourage faculty to bring their own device to walk-in support. Additionally, printed training materials will be distributed at all live training sessions and circulated digitally during the online training sessions.
Finally, aside from the fact that we find ourselves in a very surreal and challenging time, an overwhelming majority of us find the task of putting courses online incredibly challenging. Please know that it need not be perfect. Let us know if we can be of any help.
Michael T. Stephenson
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives