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Faculty Resources, Internet, and Study Areas

Published on Fri 03/20/20

Dear Faculty,


Classes resume online no earlier than Monday, March 23. Please communicate no later than today with your students and provide a revised syllabus. Syllabi should be updated through Howdy, as well.
As a reminder, no student may be required to be on campus. Information about changes to all university operations is here

KEEP TEACHING & KEEP LEARNING
While many faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants have used the new Keep Teaching site, we have established a parallel site for students called Keep Learning at keeplearning.tamu.edu.  This site includes many resources for students, including how to connect, setting up Zoom, ecampus, and Google tools, a list of companies who have changed wifi and data plans to accommodate the needs of students and families, and new online resources available from student affairs and academic affairs. 

INTERNET CONNECTIVITY NEXT WEEK
Although the university and its partners are prepared for increased utilization next week, some have expressed concern about off-campus internet connectivity next week. While it’s difficult to anticipate what we may experience - particularly early next week - please know that the Division of IT, the Provost’s IT Office, and the Office of Academic Innovation are monitoring these issues and will adjust accordingly. 
The Division of IT has two initial suggestions for those experiencing network latency or jitter.  First, if teaching synchronously via Zoom, faculty may ask students to turn off all other applications consuming bandwidth. Note that connectivity may vary by location, particularly if there are other internet users in the immediate area (an apartment or a home) who are using bandwidth-intensive programs. 

Second, faculty can ask students to turn off their video to reduce bandwidth consumption. If the problem persists, anyone may contact Help Desk Central through chat, email, phone, or web for assistance. The Division of IT has doubled personnel to assist faculty, staff, and students through the weekend.

OPEN ACCESS LABS and ON-CAMPUS STUDY AREAS
You may have students who need access to computers, internet service, and study space.  Therefore, students seeking internet and computer access may go to the SCC, Business Library & Collaboration Commons, Blocker, and AGLS.  Students needing a study space and quiet zone may visit the Commons, sections of the MSC, the 1st floor of Evans Library, and White Creek Community Center. The number of students allowed in these areas at one time will be limited and social distancing will be maintained. Hours of operation will be adjusted if needed. Additional information is provided for students in the "What's Open for Learning" section of the Keep Learning page.

 
Sincerely, 
Michael T. Stephenson
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives