On Behalf of the Instructional Support Team - September 9 Message

September 9, 2020

This message is distributed to All-Instructors, Academic-Assistant-Deans, and Academic-Department-Managers.  (Click here to view description of distribution groups.)  

The following is being sent on behalf of the Instructional Support Team
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Dear Colleagues,

As we move through the last weeks of summer and toward Fall quarter, information about technology changes, new features, and Fall quarter preparation.

Security Changes to Zoom: Starting September 27th, Zoom will require that ALL meetings have a Passcode or a Waiting Room enabled for UCSB accounts. The Zoom Support Page has a comprehensive FAQ document to provide you with more information. In addition, if you use the personal meeting room feature, you may want to take a moment to set the password to that room to some easy to remember number. If your account does not have a passcode enabled, and you have meetings scheduled out into the future, those meetings will automatically have a waiting room enabled. There is additional information on Zoom and UCSB’s implementation available at: https://www.it.ucsb.edu/zoom.

Anonymous Posting in GauchoSpace Forums: Following the GauchoSpace update on Friday, September 18, 2020, instructors will be able to enable anonymous posting in forums. Research suggests that setting up a forum where students can ask anonymous questions can have a beneficial impact on engagement, particularly in STEM courses.

New TA Resources and Workshops:  We have developed comprehensive resources to support TAs in remote teaching, and a full set of workshops starting Sept. 14 through the start of Fall quarter. Please direct students to the new TA Resources page on Keepteaching.id.ucsb.edu

New GauchoCast (Panopto) Feature for Chrome and Edge browsers: With the Panopto upgrade that will be in effect on September 28, 2020, Panopto Capture for the Chrome and Edge browsers will be enabled. This will allow anyone authorised to log into GauchoCast (including students) to make recordings using their web browser, without installing the Panopto Recorder. We recommend that all instructors continue using the Panopto Recorder for making recordings because it will continue to be more full-featured. 

Preparing for Fall Quarter
Students appreciate welcome messages prior to the start of the quarter that invite them into the course and tell them what they will need to succeed. Here are instructions for sending a Welcome message to students through GauchoSpace before classes begin. You can find sample welcome text here and guidelines for a sample welcome video here.

There is also a Video Guide on the multiple ways of communicating with students using GauchoSpace available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy1PIZ7PrOQ&t=190s 

Please try to make your GauchoSpace site “visible” to people 7-10 or so days before the quarter starts, remembering that you can “hide” whatever you’d like to. The LSIT help desk receives many “help” tickets from students who want to see course sites, but aren’t able to.

Instructional Equipment Loans for Faculty Available at Media Equipment: Faculty who need to borrow instructional equipment (laptops, web cameras, headset microphones, document cameras, etc.) for Fall quarter can contact Media Equipment in Kerr Hall to check on inventory available and arrange for a pickup. Please email help@id.ucsb.edu and include “ID Equipment Loan” in the subject line.

Campus-Wide Power Outage:  Southern California Edison (SCE) plans to shut off power to the main UCSB campus beginning Saturday evening, September 19, until Sunday afternoon, September 20. We anticipate that most campus services will continue to operate (i.e. GauchoSpace), but performance may be degraded because these services will be running on backup power.

To prepare for the outage, mitigate risks to on-campus equipment, and minimize staff on campus to maintain social distancing, please: 

  • Contact your local IT department to see how they plan to handle equipment (e.g., computers, printers, and servers) shutdown and power-up safely. 
    • Servers: Where are they? What are they connected to? Which applications do they support?
    • Who is going to be on campus for the shutdown and power up?
    • Will they need access to buildings, including ID badges? 
    • Are certain areas equipped with an alarm? Do staff need alarm codes or accompaniment to those areas?
    • Which areas need extra safety and precaution, as they may be hazardous?
  • Note what specialized/ancillary equipment will need attention, in addition to computers and printers, e.g., lab equipment.
  • Verify your backup power source and replace batteries as needed. Most likely, this includes an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). 

Have a great rest of the week! We’ll be back with more next week…

The Instructional Support Team