Fall 2020 Academic Planning Update

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to provide an update and some additional clarity on Fall planning. This email is not addressed to faculty in the Colleges of Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Nursing, or Pharmacy.

The UIC Campus will be open for classes in the Fall semester, even though much of our instruction in the Fall 2020 semester will have to be online.

The Fall 2020 Academic Planning Task Force continues to meet every week. The three subcommittees have worked very hard between meetings on three issues:

  1. What classes should be live, on-campus in Fall 2020?
  2. What resources can we provide to faculty teaching online in Fall 2020?
  3. What is the student perspective on Fall 2020 planning?

Classes that will be taught live on campus in Fall 2020

  1. Classes that the college deans have indicated should be taught on campus because of their learning goals. These include for the most part science labs, as well as some studio, theater and music classes.
  2. At least one on-campus class for every first-year student at UIC.
  3. Additional classes to the extent that classroom space and the requirements of physical distancing allow.

We will announce by July 1st the full list of classes that will be taught on campus

In the upcoming weeks, the deans and department heads will be communicating with faculty who are slated to teach these live classes. Once the schedule for these classes is set, we will determine if there is space to offer any other live classes on campus. To the extent there will be, it will be limited and will only include classes with fewer than 50 students.

Classes that will be taught online in Fall 2020
Colleges have now identified all classes that have 70+ enrollment, or classes that have 50-70 enrollment and have been substituted for 70+ classes. These classes will be taught asynchronously online and those faculty will be provided with a GA Course Builder and other resources over the summer to accomplish this. GA Course Builders have been hired and begin training this week.

Faculty who are teaching classes that will not be live on campus and that are not included in the paragraph just above, have a choice whether to teach asynchronously online or synchronously online. There is a lot of information about what these terms mean, and resources to support both options are on my website and on the ACCC website.  Among the resources being offered by ACCC are office hours by instructional designers every weekday during the summer (you can click here for an appointment). Instructional designers are also available to attend and lead departmental meetings about designing online classes.

Student Perspective
The task force subcommittee on the student perspective, which included holding student focus groups and examining the student survey from last semester, has produced a document that suggests how to build community with students online, both synchronously and asynchronously. That document is available here.

I encourage you to visit my website for a lot of information about Fall Academic Planning, including a new set of FAQ’s.

The Fall 2020 Academic Planning Task Force will soon turn its attention to building upon these best practices and consider how UIC’s mission and strategic priorities, particularly as they relate to student learning, can be communicated and sustained in the context of online education. As one of the Fall 2020 Academic Planning Subcommittees stated it:

UIC is a public, Research 1 university that serves one of the most diverse student bodies in the country, is still predominantly an urban, commuter campus, and is populated by majority Pell-eligible students.  We believe that UIC is thus uniquely positioned to lead by offering a vision of what it means to provide for a rigorous, remote learning experience, designed specifically for the needs of students who have chosen to enroll in a public, urban, Research 1 university with a social justice mission of access, diversity, and inclusion.  This vision should help guide and inform faculty as they prepare their courses for fall . . .

We hope to be able to provide resources about this as the summer progresses.

Thank you all for your dedication to UIC and to our students.

Sincerely,

Susan Poser
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

For more information, please contact:
Kelcie O’Shea
kgauen3@uic.edu