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Faculty update, teaching tips, and Zoom changes

Published on Tue 09/08/20
Dear Texas A&M Community,

As you know, we made many changes over the summer to make the classroom as safe as possible. To date, we have no evidence of COVID-19 transmission in the classroom. Nonetheless, in-person attendance has been lower than expected.

Please remind your students that the choice of delivery is theirs unless you asked them to make a commitment to use one approach over another for planning purposes. I’d ask that you encourage students to consider coming to campus for in-person delivery while also continuing to allow students to choose remote delivery. Additionally, it’s possible we will see a small to modest increase in attendance for in-person classes after the first set of exams and midterms. 

Our goal is to continue teaching in-person classes throughout the entire semester. However, if in-person attendance decreases to zero in a given class after midterm in October and the instructor wishes to move to remote instruction, the dean’s office (not the faculty member) should query students about the possibility of a change. If all students agree that this is their preferred method of delivery, the dean’s office may submit a request to the registrar’s office. The registrar will consult with the provost’s office for approval. 

Tips for teaching
The Center for Teaching Excellence is offering a workshop on Wednesday about balancing remote and in-person instruction and another on Friday on alternative methods for assessing student learning. Details are provided here

We had great response to our request for creative teaching tips on remote and in-person instruction. Those responses can be read here. Please continue to send your ideas to with the subject line TEACHING TIP. 

If you have any technology needs in your classrooms, please reach out to the Instructional Media Services center nearest to your class.

Important Zoom Changes
Starting September 27, Zoom will require that all meetings have a Passcode or a Waiting Room enabled. Thus, all new Zoom meetings scheduled at Texas A&M University already default to setting up both a Passcode and a Waiting Room. For standing meetings and a Personal Meeting ID (PMI) that do not already have a Passcode or Waiting Room enabled, you will need to update your meetings. Details are outlined here under Zoom Security Update.

Online exam proctoring
We are in the process of integrating and testing Honorlock for online exam proctoring. Additional information about using Honorlock will be available later this week with an update at the Faculty Senate meeting next Monday. 

Thank you for all you have done to make this semester go as smoothly as possible.   


Carol A. Fierke  
Provost & Executive Vice President