University August Updates

August updatesWhile undergraduate instruction is now remote, our campus remains largely operational. Please see Carolina Together for August Updates opens in new window from the University.

You will find information on:

  • Fall 2020 Course Instruction
  • Academic Policies & Support
  • Housing & Dining
  • Student Support
  • Activities & Events
  • Campus Operations (building access, libraries, transportation/parking)
  • Student Conduct & Compliance
  • Research
  • Human Resources and In the Workplace
  • Testing & Tracing at Campus Health & Employee Occupational Health

We also recommend that Instructors and Teaching Assistants review Remote Teaching opens in new window on the Keep Teaching website to find resources designed to support quickly adapting your courses for fully remote instruction.

Tips on Sakai Tests & Quizzes

sakai in appleWe are finally in the last week of classes of what has been a historic semester. We commend you all on dealing with the abrupt disruption to your daily lives and handling all the challenges as well as possible. There is one last hurdle as final exams begin next week. To help make this experience go smoothly, check out these tips on setting up and taking tests online in Sakai. If you need any assistance, please submit a help request opens in new window. We’re here to help you!

Students

Your instructor may administer exams through Sakai. Here are some tips on submitting online Tests and Quizzes opens in new window:

  • Confirm you have good internet connection – run a “speed test” in your search engine to check connection
  • Use the Firefox browser on a computer
  • Open Sakai in only one browser tab – see Important Note below
  • Use Sakai’s built-in navigation buttons
  • Sakai automatically saves your answers every 5 minutes but it’s good practice to manually save your answers and confirm your answers are recorded
  • Keep a backup copy of your written responses on your computer in case of technical problems
  • If your test is timed, be aware of the countdown clock at the top of your assessment
  • Click “Submit for Grading” when you are done. You should then see confirmation of your submission and receive email confirmation.

Important Note on Tests & Quizzes: When taking a test, remain in one browser tab of Sakai. Do NOT open Sakai in additional browser tabs or windows. Doing so could cause you to lose your work. If you must access other parts of your course in Sakai, save and exit your test before navigating away. Then reopen the test to continue and confirm your answers are saved. Don’t forget to submit when you have finished.

Remember the COVID-19 Student Care Hub opens in new window is available if you need any assistance.

Instructors

Keep Teaching Website

Before you start creating your exam, please review the Keep Teaching Exams opens in new window page for resources and strategies. You will find testing FAQs, common assessment tools, and other things to consider for your exams. You can also review and post to the Keep Teaching Help Forum opens in new window for testing ideas from your colleagues and campus support staff.

Set up Assessments in Sakai

If you plan to administer your exams through Sakai, we highly recommend creating your test questions using the Markup text option opens in new window. This will save you valuable time, especially if you already have your test questions written up in a document.

Please be as flexible as possible with your students, especially now while students are dealing with slower internet connections off campus, sharing connections with family members at home, or potentially sitting in their cars to drive to a location with Wi-Fi. Here are options to consider to help your students who may run into problems:

  • Increase time limit or remove time limit altogether
  • Provide additional submission attempts
  • Give students larger window to take exam
  • Put all test questions on one page instead of one question per page to decrease how many times test pages must be loaded
  • Break up your exam into multiple assessments – if a student has a problem and needs to resubmit, they will hopefully only have a problem with one assessment instead of the entire exam

You may also want to be available to students in Zoom opens in new window in case they need to contact you while taking their test, instead of relying on checking emails.

Accommodations

You could have students who need accommodations. They may have been approved by Accessibility Resources and Service opens in new window or could have extenuating circumstances at home. Whatever the reason may be, you can easily make accommodations for those students through the “Exceptions to Time Limit and Delivery Date” opens in new window tab in the assessment Settings. You can set these exceptions for individuals or a group of students who have the same accommodation. See more on extending time for accommodated students opens in new window, and reach out to Digital Accessibility opens in new window if you have any questions about making your content accessible.

NOTE: If you’re creating Sakai Groups of students opens in new window for accommodations, do not include student names in the Group titles as these are visible to all site members.

Good luck with finals! We’re here if you need help.

New Student Care Hub Site

cv19 student care hub text in front of bell towerUNC Students — A new resource is now available to support you as you navigate the impacts of the current environment. The new Keep Learning website opens in new window is a one-stop-shop where you will find information on financial resources, academic support, and health and wellness information. You can also connect to units across the university to help you when needed. Please visit the hub at the following link and reach out if you need any assistance.

keeplearning.unc.edu opens in new window

You are not alone in this. Please know many of us at the University are here to help you.

Tips for Students on Learning Remotely

bell tower in front of ominous clouds

Dear Students — We understand you may be feeling anxious and uncertain about all that is happening in your lives this semester. We have put together a list of resources and tips to help you adjust to learning from a distance. You may find additional resources through your instructors or other campus resources.

Remember that your instructors are modifying several weeks of material and learning new tools in a short amount of time to adapt your courses to the digital world. We’re all working on this together and here to help you switch to remote teaching and learning. If you need any technical assistance, please submit a help request opens in new window.

Tips from the Writing & Learning Center

The Writing Center and Learning Center will continue providing coaches and peer tutors through online support. We highly recommend checking out their Keep Writing and Learning handout opens in new window to help you design a successful online academic life. This handout will be updated regularly so continue to check back. Find tips on:

  • Managing time
  • Managing distractions
  • Active learning and studying
  • Managing writing projects
  • Connecting with instructors and classmates
  • STEM support

Zoom

Some of your classes may meet online in a Zoom meeting or share recorded sessions to view through Zoom. Here are 3 steps to get you started with Zoom:

  1. Create your UNC Zoom account opens in new window
  2. Download the Zoom application opens in new window
  3. Sign into your account before each Zoom session opens in new window

Here are help guides for students new to Zoom:

Sakai

You might find that more of your classes are using Sakai. If you are new to Sakai, here are help guides on submitting your course work. While Sakai is responsive and will open on all devices and browsers, we recommend using Firefox and submitting work on a computer. See more Sakai tips for students opens in new window.

Important Note on Tests & Quizzes: When taking a test, remain in one browser tab of Sakai. Do NOT open Sakai in additional browser tabs or windows. Doing so could cause you to lose your work. If you must access other parts of your course in Sakai, save and exit your test before navigating away. Then reopen the test to continue and confirm your answers are saved. Don’t forget to submit when you have finished.

Library Services for Distance Learning

You can still access library e-resources opens in new window and learn from a distance. UNC Libraries often host course readings for classes as well. You can view their Course Reserves site opens in new window for links to electronic reserves, paper or media reserves, Health Sciences Library reserves, and other information about accessing reserve materials.

Accessibility Resources & Service

The Accessibility Resources & Service opens in new window office continues to be open virtually Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm. All meetings will be held via Zoom, Yellow Schedule, or phone. If you have any questions about accommodations at this time, please see the ARS FAQs opens in new window.

Counseling and Psychological Services

Above all, take care of yourself.

Should you find yourself experiencing anxiety, please reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services opens in new window. They are open Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm, or you can call CAPS 24/7 at 919-966-3658 at any time.

We also encourage you to review things you can do to help yourself opens in new window to manage your mental health during this time.

Campus Updates & Additional Resources

We also invite you to check out the following resources:

Be safe and well.

Sakai Tips for Students

sakai in appleUNC Students — Your instructors may be using the Sakai learning management system opens in new window to share course content with you and assess your work. Here are tips on some of the most common features you might use as a student in Sakai, which will be especially helpful if you are new to the system.

Think of Sakai as the central location to:

  • Access your course syllabus, readings, lecture slides, and other materials
  • Receive announcements from your instructor and communicate with your class
  • Submit your papers and assignments
  • Take online tests and quizzes
  • Receive instructor feedback

Access Sakai
To access Sakai, go to sakai.unc.edu opens in new window and log in with your Onyen. Sakai is responsive, so you can access the system through any device and web browser, however please note Firefox is the recommended browser. If you are submitting work, we recommend doing so on a computer instead of a smartphone or tablet.

Access Your Course Sites
Once you’re in Sakai, you’ll first be taken to your individual Home workspace opens in new window, and you should see your course sites listed in your top Sakai site tabs opens in new window. You can also check the Sites button in the top right corner next to your name, organized by the term. Click on the course ID to access the site.

If you are still not seeing your course site, your instructor has either not created the site or not published it to give you access. We recommend emailing your instructor.

Find Your Course Syllabus & Resources
One of the first things you’ll look for is likely the class syllabus. You can find this in either the Syllabus opens in new window tool or in Resources opens in new window. In Resources is also where you will find any files your instructor has shared with you. Your instructor may also be using the Lesson Builder opens in new window, a comprehensive tool that incorporates most of your course content in one place.

Contact Your Instructor or Classmates
In your course site, you can contact your instructor, individual classmates, or the entire class by sending a Message opens in new window. Your instructor may also be using the Announcements opens in new window tool to send communications.

Submit Your Assignments
Any written work collected by your instructor will likely be through the Assignments tool. Depending on how your instructor has set this up, you can easily type your responses or upload attachments as you’re submitting an Assignment opens in new window. If you’re typing your responses, the Sakai text editor automatically saves written text, however you may run into technical issues. It’s a good idea to keep a backup copy of your responses.

Take Tests Online
Your instructor may administer assessments through Sakai. Here are some tips on submitting online Tests and Quizzes opens in new window:

  • Confirm you have good internet connection – run a “speed test” in your search engine to check connection
  • Use the Firefox browser on a computer
  • Open Sakai in only one browser tab – see Important Note below
  • Use Sakai’s built-in navigation buttons
  • Sakai automatically saves your answers every 5 minutes but it’s good practice to manually save your answers and confirm your answers are recorded
  • Keep a backup copy of your written responses on your computer in case of technical problems
  • If your test is timed, be aware of the countdown clock at the top of your assessment
  • Click “Submit for Grading” when you are done. You should then see confirmation of your submission and receive email confirmation.

Important Note on Tests & Quizzes: When taking a test, remain in one browser tab of Sakai. Do NOT open Sakai in additional browser tabs or windows. Doing so could cause you to lose your work. If you must access other parts of your course in Sakai, save and exit your test before navigating away. Then reopen the test to continue and confirm your answers are saved. Don’t forget to submit when you have finished.

Post to Discussion Forums
If your instructor is using class discussion boards on Sakai, you will find these through the Forums tool. Locate the discussion board Topic, and then Start a New Conversation thread opens in new window or reply to someone’s posted message opens in new window. When viewing a Topic, you can display all posted messages on that Topic by clicking the “Display Message Content” tab from the top menu. You can also update your email notifications on the Watch tab opens in new window on the main Forums page.

Add a Photo to Your Profile
You might consider adding your picture to your Sakai account opens in new window to help everyone in your classes easily recognize you when profile photos appear, such as in the Forums tool. This can be especially helpful in large classes where you may not meet everyone in your class.

View Feedback and Grades
Your instructor will likely be sharing your grades through the Gradebook opens in new window. Additional feedback may also be found directly in other tools where you submitted your work. For example, you may have received feedback on an Assignment opens in new window, feedback on Tests & Quizzes opens in new window, or comments in Forums.

If you have any questions, please submit a help request opens in new window. We’re here to help you!

See these Sakai tips in action in this video:

LinkedIn Learning Now Available

welcome to linkedin learningWe are excited to share that you now have access to LinkedIn Learning, the on-demand learning solution designed to help you gain new skills and advance your career! LinkedIn Learning includes all Lynda.com content and more, and is available to all UNC-CH Faculty, Staff, and Students at no cost to you.

For more details and to access UNC’s LinkedIn Learning portal opens in new window, visit:

linkedin.unc.edu opens in new window

LinkedIn Learning is available to you through Information Technology Services. See the ITS story on the upgrade opens in new window featuring one of our very own Teaching & Learning members!

What is LinkedIn Learning?

LinkedIn Learning is an award-winning industry leader in online training, with a digital library of thousands of courses covering a wide range of technical, business, software, and creative topics. It has all the features of Lynda.com but with added insights and social engagement that make learning a more personalized and data-driven experience.

With LinkedIn Learning, you get:

  • Unlimited access. Choose from more than 6,000 video tutorials covering business, creative, and technology topics
  • Personalized recommendations. Explore the most in-demand skills based on your experience
  • Expert instructors. Learn from industry leaders, all in one place
  • Convenient learning. Access courses on your schedule, from any desktop or mobile device
  • Helpful resources. Reinforce new knowledge with quizzes, exercise files, and coding practice windows

Please note that if you have a personal LinkedIn account, it will not be connected to your UNC LinkedIn Learning account.

Action Required of Lynda.com Users

If you have been using Lynda.com, you must activate your UNC LinkedIn Learning account to transfer your Lynda.com history to LinkedIn Learning. Simply log into linkedin.unc.edu opens in new windowto activate your account. This must be done by March 2020 to avoid losing your data.

Also, if you have saved any Lynda.com links outside of the Lynda.com platform, in your course syllabus or on a WordPress site for example, those links will automatically redirect through March 2020. After this time, those links will no longer work. See details on updating your links at linkedin.unc.edu opens in new window.

Happy Learning!

Check Your Tech — Graduating Students Checklist

We can’t believe it’s already here but we are halfway into the last month of the semester. Spring Commencement is exactly a month away! We know there is a lot going on this time of the year, especially for students who are graduating. The ITS Service Desk has conveniently provided you with a checklist on all things you need to know tech-wise.

Check Your Tech

Graduating students, we highly recommend you take a look at the Check Your Tech checklist! The list includes recommended steps graduating students should take before leaving UNC. Details are included on the following and more:

  • Access transcripts
  • Save email
  • Access ConnectCarolina info
  • Get software upgrades before leaving

You can view the Check Your Tech infographic and video:

Video details:

  • Your Onyen will expire 180 days after you graduate, so you will lose access to software, including:
    • UNC Email (Heelmail)
    • Adobe Creative Cloud
    • OneDrive / Office 365
      • You should create an alternate email account and update your contact info so subsequent emails are sent to your new account.
      • You should save and upload files to external hard drives or alternative cloud services
  • Your computer’s operating software will remain, along with MS Office!
    • Visit the UNC Service Desk for software updates, questions, and to re-image your device
  • Get help at help.unc.edu

ConGRADulations, 2019 Grads! You’re almost there!

Be the New Face of Sakai

Welcome back from Spring Break! We hope you’re feeling refreshed and ready to take on the second half of the semester.

sakai welcome photo of four carolina students with laptop on the QuadIt is time for the Sakai landing page to get a refresh as well, and we need your help. We are looking for photos of you and your friends using technology on campus to use as the new header image on Sakai. The carousel of photos on Sakai includes real UNC students — this could be YOU.

If you want to check an item off your UNC bucket list (The Daily Tar Heel) by being the next face of Sakai, we encourage you to submit your photos by Tuesday, March 26.

Don’t worry. Any photos we receive after March 26 may still make it onto Sakai, as we rotate photos every few months. We welcome photo submissions not just from students but faculty and staff as well!

Photo Guidelines

Please note that we may use any of the photos we receive for online and/or printed material for Information Technology Services.

Here are some guidelines regarding the Sakai header photo:

  • Group of UNC students, faculty, and/or staff using technology
    • Mobile devices preferred
    • The idea is that you are using your devices for class work
  • Show wealth of diversity of UNC community
  • We must be able to crop photo down to 980 x 375 pixels
    • Wide landscape orientation — zoom out!
  • Enough empty space to add “Welcome to Sakai @ UNC” text
  • Photos on UNC campus and/or in Carolina gear encouraged
  • Avoid looking at camera
  • Be natural and have fun with it!

As always, the Sakaiger will sneak his way in!

Photo Release Form

In order for us to use your photos, the photographer and everyone photographed must sign this Release Form, stating that you give consent to the University to reproduce, distribute, and display these photos and identify you. If there is anyone in the picture who has not signed the Release Form, they must be far away enough where we can crop them out or blur their face.

Email your photos and everyone’s signed release forms to tnt@unc.edu. Identify the photographer and everyone in your photos.

Past Sakai Photos

You can view some past photos we have used for inspiration. Go to the Sakai landing page and click on the left or right edges of the current photo to scroll through the carousel.

Here are a couple of great examples!

carolina students with laptops outside

carolina students with laptops on wilson library steps

We’re looking forward to seeing your submissions! Thanks!

Flexible Learning Spaces Initiative

flexible learning spaces initiative banner with instructor and students in flexible classroom

Have you seen or even taught in some of the renovated classrooms designed to support a greater variety of teaching methods? Exciting news has been shared by the Center for Faculty Excellence:

In response to a 2012 faculty survey on classrooms, the University has been experimenting with alternative classroom designs to accommodate a wider range of teaching methods. Now, Provost Bob Blouin has approved a master plan put forward by the Classroom Policy Steering Committee to expedite updates to many of the University’s general purpose classrooms. The Flexible Learning Spaces Initiative (FLSI) is a multi-year plan to implement these updates and help faculty, graduate instructors, and students make the most of them. Over the next five years:

  • As many as 50 general purpose classrooms will be updated, including several lecture halls
  • New workshops and resources will be offered to support instructors using the updated spaces
  • The faculty-led Classrooms Modernization Advisory Group will help oversee implementation of the initiative

What great news for Carolina!

*Update 3/18/19: See more on this story from ITS! This story includes interviews with Gina Bradford, our Classroom Hotline Manager, and Bob Henshaw, our CFE Liaison.

See the Flexible Learning Spaces

All UNC instructors are invited to visit the Flexible Learning Spaces! The CFE has several events planned for you to visit the flexible classrooms, as well as learn about best practices and effective design strategies for your in-class activities. We invite you to register for any that interest you!

Registration for all sessions are found on the CFE Learning Spaces Initiative page.

Flexible Learning Spaces Open House

Visit a recently renovated classroom, chat with instructors who have taught in these spaces, and meet instructional support staff from several campus groups. No registration required.

  • March 20 | 2:30-4pm | Kenan Labs 125
  • March 22 | 1-2:30pm | Peabody 220

Intro to Teaching in a Flexible Learning Space

Find out how you can take advantage of the new classrooms. Presenters will model practical teaching techniques that can be implemented in any class.

  • March 6 | 9-10am | Alumni 203
  • March 7 | 3:30-4:30pm | Carolina Hall 213
  • April 5 | 1-2pm | Peabody 220
  • May 3 | 1-2pm | Peabody 220
  • May 9 | 2-3pm | Peabody 306

Best Practices for Small Group Activities

Learn about examples of potential group work and projects that fit course goals, and reflect on how the instructor’s role changes using this format. You’ll also discuss common group work pitfalls and strategies to overcome them.

  • March 29 | 2:30-3:30pm | Bingham 217
  • April 4 | 3:30-4:30pm | Greenlaw 317
  • April 17 | 3-4pm | Kenan Labs 125
  • May 8 | 11am-12pm | Phillips 212

Designing Effective Discussion Prompts

Discuss strategies for developing effective question prompts for in-class activities and out-of-class assignments.

  • March 19 | 12:30-1:30pm | Dey 301
  • April 10 | 3:30-4:30pm | Dey 205

Flexible Learning Spaces Retreat

Don’t have time to stop by on multiple days? Sign up for this half-day event to get a comprehensive overview of best practices of teaching in the new spaces. It will incorporate strategies discussed in the previous workshops listed above.

  • May 10 | 9am-12:30pm | Location TBA

We are excited for faculty and how you all will use these new Flexible Learning Spaces! Thank you to the CFE for providing these many learning opportunities on campus.

Meet Online or Share Recorded Media

With the threat of Hurricane Florence on the horizon, the University has announced that classes are canceled starting today at 5pm and non-mandatory employees work from home or use leave starting tomorrow at 5pm. While campus clears out, we urge you to be prepared and stay safe.

We know that you will also be trying to figure out how to adjust your class schedule and meetings. Here are ways to meet or distribute course materials virtually so that the forecasted weather doesn’t disrupt your schedule!

These tools are available through Sakai and can be added to your site through Site Info > Manage Tools.

Zoom Video Web Conferencing

zoom logoMeet with your students online in a web conference room through Zoom. You can share your lecture slides, turn on your video camera, have a discussion, and meet with your students as you would in a physical classroom. You can also record your Zoom sessions and send the recordings to your students.

The University just purchased a campus-wide license for Zoom over the summer. All faculty, staff, and students have access to Zoom and can create meetings as needed.

See more information on getting started with Zoom.

NOTE: Zoom is available as a tool in Sakai however it is not integrated with Zoom. See how to share your Zoom meetings through Sakai.

VoiceThread

Voicethread logoAnother way to record your lecture and share it with your students is through the VoiceThread tool, which allows you to create slides of media and add voice and video comments on those slides. You can also use VoiceThread to have a discussion with your students over media or ask your students to create VoiceThreads to share directly with you or the entire class.

See VoiceThread Support for help guides.

Warpwire

warpwire logoPerhaps you just have a video that you would like your students to watch on their own time while everyone is away. You can easily upload a video to Warpwire, which securely streams videos to students in your Sakai course site.

See how-to guides from Warpwire.

If you have any questions, just contact us through the ITS Service Desk at help.unc.edu.

Please continue to check unc.edu and alertcarolina.unc.edu to stay updated on University communications. Be safe!