A Message from the CIRTL@UCLA Team

With the suspension of in-person classes and the move to online teaching, we are confronted with so many different and unique challenges every day. This is, indeed, uncharted territory! Yet, we are constantly reminded of the gratitude we have for being part of a caring community. A community of educators who care deeply for their student’s learning as well as their well-being. There has also been overwhelming responses from the Graduate students and Postdocs who are looking to each other as well as their mentors to get help and support while also asking important questions about how to treat their students equitably and with kindness.
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In this difficult time, centers across campuses are reaching out in ways that may not have happened in the past, to collaborate, share resources, and come together. We compiled a list of resources from across campus to help Graduate Students, TAs, and Postdocs navigate the changes to come. This situation is fluid and changing every day. We recommend that you continue to check this page for more information about events and workshops for TAs and Postdocs as it becomes available.
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Please feel free to use these resources and rely on the CIRTL@UCLA community so that together we can work through the challenges ahead. Last, please don’t forget to take care of yourself and your family and be safe.

Announcements

We will update this section with the most recent developments and new workshops. Here’s the latest info:

  • We want to hear from you- Fill out this brief survey! The TA Training Program wants to know more about your needs for support and resources related to remote teaching. Take the short 5 minute survey here.
  • New TA training workshops on remote teaching have been added for the week of April 6th – 10th. See below for details about the “Workshops on Leading Discussion Sections Remotely”, “CAT TA Training Workshops”, and “Open Office Hours for TAs”
  • The Comprehensive Graduate Student COVID-19 Resources Guide is now available! UCLA Graduate Education has put together a website and a comprehensive guide of all the resources on campus offering services to graduate students. View the website here and view the guide here.
  • Official policy on protecting privacy and data during remote teaching has been updatedThe office of Information Technology has released a statement with tips and policies for helping protect you and your students online including the protocol for recording lectures. View the details here.
  • Graduate Student Resource Center Newsletter. The Graduate Student Resource Center sends out a weekly newsletter with topics and events relevant to graduate students. Check out this week’s newsletter for more information on things like mental health resources, graduate student professional development, food access programs, and more!

Resources to Get You Started

  • The Center for the Advancement of Teaching (CAT) has created a greatdocument with resources specifically for teaching assistants (TAs) which can be accessed here

UCLA Guide to Planning for Academic Continuity is the official page for all updates related to the measures related to COVID-19 at UCLA. It is the most comprehensive list of things going on across campus. It also contains several guides and tutorials, copies of communications from the Deans, and so much more!

The Office of Information Technology has released guidelines and suggestions for protecting yourself and your students online. Please see the webpages here and here

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If you are planning to record lectures to put on your CCLE site, you are required to give notice to your students and give alternatives to those who wish to remain anonymous:

When Audio or Video Recording is Necessary:

  • Give notice before recording begins and preferably with the meeting invitation, in the syllabus or other scheduling tool. Approved notification language, which provides options for opting out of being recorded:

This [class/meeting] is being conducted over Zoom.  As the host, I will be recording this session.  The recording feature for others is disabled so that no one else will be able to record this session through Zoom. No recording by other means is permitted.  This session will be posted at the CCLE class website unless otherwise notified.  If you have privacy concerns and do not wish to appear in the recording, do not turn on your video. If you also prefer to use a pseudonym instead of your name, please let me know what name you will be using so that I know who you are during the session.  If you would like to ask a question, you may do so privately through the Zoom chat by addressing your chat question to me only (and not to “everyone”), or you may contact me by another private method.  If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact me. 

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement between the vendor and UCLA, the data is used solely for this purpose and the vendor is prohibited from redisclosing this information. UCLA also does not use the data for any other purpose.  Recordings will be deleted when no longer necessary. However, the recording may become part of an administrative disciplinary record if misconduct occurs during a videoconference.

  • Zoom will automatically inform all participants that the session is being recorded. Be aware not all participants may be running the latest version of Zoom that implements this feature.
     
  • Recordings should be retained no longer than necessary and should only be retained on approved University devices, platforms or networks.
     
  • Make clear on any class website that all recording is prohibited other than by the instructor.

There is now a CCLE site dedicated to supporting instructors and TAs as they move their courses online. It is not only meant to be informative but also as a way to build community where we can rely on each other’s expertise through discussion forums and more. There is even a “TA Lounge”! To get connected and be in community with others across campus, view the CCLE site here.

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Additional resources include:

While not specific to TAs, the Center for Education Innovation and Learning in the Sciences (CEILS)  has also compiled resources for educators across campus and is running daily webinars and workshops to help with the transition. Visit their site here.

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CEILS has also created a checklist that can be used to help organize what to do in your first two weeks.

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Upcoming workshops include:

Planning for a Remote Spring Quarter – Where to Start? (Zoom Session) – Part I

Facilitated by CEILS Associate Directors Rachel Kennison, Shanna Shaked, and Jess Gregg.

Wednesday March 25, 9:30 -10:30am

Zoom: https://ucla.zoom.us/j/873552510
Meeting ID: 873 552 510
Phone if needed: 1-669-900-6833

Description: These sessions will provide a framework to help you plan to deliver the first weeks of class in an online format. We will discuss which elements of your course will need to be adapted, how to plan for interactivity and engagement online, review existing open educational resources, and share ideas that you may want to include in your syllabus and course design.

Note: This is NOT a workshop on using CCLE and Zoom – for assistance with those tools and technical troubleshooting please contact your local CCLE support or access trainings and support here.

Planning for a Remote Spring Quarter Part II:

Strategies for an Interactive Classroom in Zoom and CCLE: Engaging Students Remotely in Collaboration, Practice and Feedback.

Facilitated by CEILS Associate Directors Erin Sanders O’Leary, Rachel Kennison, and Jess Gregg.

Thursday March 26, 9:30 am – 10:30 pm

Zoom: https://ucla.zoom.us/j/893240476
Meeting ID: 893 240 476
Phone if needed: 1-669-900-6833

Description: In this webinar we will model how to implement interactive live activities using Zoom features including break-out rooms, screen-share, polling, and chat while incorporating additional tools like Google docs/forms. We will also review some strategies for asynchronous interactivity in CCLE discussion forums.

How to caption videos and add interactivity to videos using CCLE tools

Facilitated by Gaston Pfluegl, Lab Director for LS Core, CEILS Instructional Consultant

Thursday, March 26th from 1-2 pm.  

https://ucla.zoom.us/j/113087347
Meeting ID: 113 087 347
Call in number: 1-669-900-6833

Description: Captioning videos is an important step to take to ensure that they are accessible for all students. This webinar will demonstrate how to do this using CCLE tools as well as add interactivity to your video content.

There is a lot of uncertainty around how to run traditional lab sections online. The main problem is that there really isn’t a one-size-fits all answer. Every lab is different and everyone’s solution will differ. Here is the biggest piece of advice: stay in frequent contact with the instructor of the course. If you have not heard from them yet, now would be a great time to email them!

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In the meantime, we have compiled a few resources that may help you start thinking about what you can do in online lab sections:

  • CEILS has created a document for virtual and remote labs that is being updated regularly as information becomes available. View the document here.
  • CEILS also held a webinar last week on options for teaching labs online. View the recording here for the discussions related to the complexity of lab courses.
  • The chronicle of higher education has also created an article with some suggestions. View the article here.

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We will also be adding more information as it becomes available and may be offering office hours for those with questions.

Please email kdixie@ceils.ucla.edu if you have any ideas for techniques or workshops, or questions that you would like to discuss related to teaching labs remotely.

Many people have questions on how to conduct office hours online. To start, schedule office hours similar to how you would create any other Zoom meeting. Beyond that, here are some tips to help you work with several students in a single room.

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  • If your students have similar questions, keep everyone in the main room so they can listen in.
    • Have students enter their questions on a google doc or in the chat so you can answer them in order.
    • Make sure each student has a chance to get their questions addressed!
  • If there are several students with different questions, consider using breakout rooms. With breakout rooms you can create groups manually and, as the meeting host, you can move between them. This can allow you to:
    • Create groups based on student questions for an opportunity for peer instruction.
    • Create a breakout room for each person so you can meet with each student individually.
    • Create a breakout room and move students in one-by-one while leaving the remainder of the students in the main room.
  • Consider enabling a waiting room. This can give you warning of when students are joining and allows you to admit students into the meeting one-by-one.
    • You could also allow students to schedule specific times to meet with you or RSVP to meetings so you know what to expect.
  • Let your students know how you plan to conduct office hours so they know what to expect when they join the room.

Advice from CAT:

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER WITH YOUR INSTRUCTOR OF RECORD

  • How can your instructional team tap into various forms of tech support at UCLA?
  • How will course materials be presented? Synchronous or asynchronous delivery?
    • Remember: Different learning objectives may require different approaches!
  • How will exams and grading need to change?
  • How will you provide review sessions?
  • How will peer review be facilitated for writing-intensive courses?
  • How should you conduct your discussion sections?
  • How can you leverage technology and which technologies will your team use?
  • What do you do for performance classes and labs?
  • What happens if you get sick and cannot teach?
  • What issues with accessibility and equity might there be?
  • How will you reach your most vulnerable and struggling students and connect with them?
  • Issues of access: How will you accommodate students who may not have access to laptops/high speed internet at all times? Or students who may be travelling or caring for sick others?
    • Offer both live and recorded sessions for lectures
    • Offer supplemental readings & multiple options for accessing content
    • Provide outlines of key information
    • Share lecture notes

Many students may need extra resources based on accessibility needs. This is also true for graduate students and postdocs who are suddenly asked to host online classes. There are some who may require accommodations due to being blind or deaf, some without access to computers or wifi, and beyond. Considering these things is crucial during these times. Addressing equity and inclusivity in the classroom is more important than ever. Here are some resources that may help.

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People without access to computers or internet have several options on campus. Here are a few:

  • Funds to support technology purchases for eligible students can be found here and here. It is still undetermined if graduate students are eligible at the moment, but stay tuned!
  • Laptop lending from the library is also an option (however, they are starting to run out!). Visit the library website here.
  • Some companies are offering free wifi to those who may need it for education. There are many articles available on this, but this is one article that may be of use.
  • For a list of approved software tools, visit here.

The Center for Accessible Education (CAE) has also come out with several resources for students. Please refer to the following webpages:

Know your rights: TA Contract & UAW Resources during COVID-19
http://uaw2865.org/covid-19-your-union-your-rights/
https://uaw2865.org/covid-19-resource-center/

Online Workshops for Teaching Assistants

The TA Training Program at the Center for the Advancement of Teaching is hosting two different workshops specifically for TAs. Here is a link to the materials from last week’s webinars. We highly recommend you check them out:

Leading Discussion Sections Remotely (no registration necessary)

The aim of this 90-minute workshop is to help further develop participants’ confidence in their ability to teach online by exposing them to a variety of active learning strategies in digital environments. It will help them to begin developing a toolkit for engaging your students effectively during an online discussion section, with plenty of opportunities for practicing these tools both as an administrator and as a student. This workshop will model some activities that TAs might use in their discussion section, such as Zoom, Hypothesis, Kahoot, Mentimeter, and Google Docs.

NOTE: This is not a tutorial on how to use the basics of Zoom. You can get familiar with the basics of some of the tools available at https://ccle.ucla.edu/course/view/teaching-remotely?section=3 or in our Introduction to Remote Teaching for TAs workshop.

The materials and resources from this workshop can be found here: https://sites.google.com/g.ucla.edu/remote-discussions/home

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For any questions or issues that come up while you are teaching this quarter, feel free to join us for conversation and support at our weekly STEM TA office hours held every Friday from 1:00 – 2:00 pm! Email kdixie@ceils.ucla.edu with any questions.

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Meeting room: https://ucla.zoom.us/j/338030007

Meeting ID: 338 030 007

One tap mobile
+16699006833,,338030007# US (San Jose)

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching (CAT) and their TA Training Program is hosting open sessions for a brief overview of key considerations while TAing online, some tips for using Zoom more effectively, and plenty of time for Q&A. View more information at their website.

Facilitated by:
Michelle Gaston, Ph.D., Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning Initiatives and TA Training Program Coordinator at CAT

Please stop by our open office hours to ask questions, brainstorm ideas, and share what is working with each other.

The TA Training Program holds quarterly workshops to support TAs in different areas of pedagogy. Below are this week’s workshops (you must register to attend). Register for them here.

Foundations: Creating Inclusive Classrooms

In this workshop, you will learn strategies to proactively set norms supportive of an inclusive classroom. Through self-reflection, you will develop an understanding of your own identities and how these identities appear in the classroom. You will practice using active listening techniques to troubleshoot difficult moments in and outside of the classroom. This workshop focuses on proactive strategies rather than on confronting bias. You will practice inclusive strategies to apply in your own classrooms.

Monday, 4/6 (3:30–5:00 PM) I https://ucla.zoom.us/s/608252830

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Foundations: Active Learning Strategies for STEM Discussion Sections

As facilitators of discussion sections, STEM TAs are frequently concerned that they will spend sections solving problems at the board for passive students. This workshop will go over the principles of active learning and how to implement active learning strategies in STEM classrooms. You will learn strategies for asking effective questions, engaging students in problem solving, encouraging deductive reasoning, and eliciting participation from reluctant students.

Wednesday, 4/8 (10:30 am–12:00 PM) | https://ucla.zoom.us/j/501598553

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Foundations: How Students Learn

This workshop will offer an overview of how students learn and teaching techniques that will help your students achieve their goals. You will examine why material you’ve learned has stuck with you and the best ways to help your students hold onto the content you teach. Through activities and discussion, you will learn how to build on students’ prior knowledge, help students organize new knowledge, tap into students’ drives to learn, and use activities to encourage students to set goals. Our focus will be on the practical application of student-centered instruction.

Thursday, 4/9 (4:30–6:00 PM) | https://ucla.zoom.us/j/731105560

The CIRTL Network has put together some new just-in-time workshops this week!. Learn how to apply evidence-based practices in online platforms and more by registering for the workshops below!

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Teaching Inclusively & Equitably Online: Course Outcomes and Storyboarding (Hosted by the Aspire Alliance)

Wednesday April 1st 10:30am – 12:00pm

Register here.

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Teaching Inclusively & Equitably Online: Using an Inclusive Pedagogical Framework (Hosted by the Aspire Alliance)

Thursday April 2nd 10:30am – 12:00pm

Register here.

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View the recordings and materials from last week’s sessions by visiting the webpages below:

Going Online? Applying Evidenced-Based and Inclusive Practices to the Online Synchronous Classroom

Monday, March 23rd    1:00-2:30 pm
View the recording here.

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Tips for Support Staff and TAs Suddenly Supporting Synchronous Online Learning

CEILS and the Life Science 495 instructional team conducted a workshop for TAs across the sciences to provide some basic information on how to use Zoom and answer some burning questions. To view the recording, slides, and resources shared during the workshop, a link to the google folder is provided here.

The TA Training Program hosts quarterly workshops for TAs on topics including Lesson Planning, Time-Management, Inclusive Teaching, and more. This quarter, all of these workshops will be held online over Zoom. View their website for more information and for the dates and times of the workshops.

Mental Health and Well-being

Along with everything else, this mode of working can be quite isolating. You are not alone. You are part of a community. Now more than ever it’s important to take care of yourself. Take breaks and get some fresh air! Stay positive! Write down one thing you are grateful for every day! Reach out! Eat well and sleep well!
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Here are some more resources and pieces of advice on how to take care of yourself and your loved ones during this trying times.

There are many resources at UCLA and beyond with information and suggestions for how to keep yourself healthy in mind and body during the social isolation we are experiencing due to COVID-19. Here are a few of those resources:

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  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is the official student center (undergrad and grad) for mental health and counseling. This is a great resource for both you and your students! View their homepage here.
  • Student Affairs has a list and updates on the status of each student support center on campus. Similar to CAPS, this is also a resources for both you and your students. View the list here.
  • Beyond Blue is an organization dedicated to mental health. Read their advice to keep yourself healthy amidst the chaos here.
  • UCLA Campus & Student Resilience (RISE) is a group that helps offer support like a Resilience Peer Network, UCLA Depression Grand Challenge, STAND for Anxiety and Depression, Mindful UCLA, and more! We highly recommend that you view their website for the numerous programs they offer here.
  • Semel Healthy Campus Initiative is an interactive site with advice related to all types of health concerns. View the homepage here

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Office of Associate Vice Provost Wendelin Slusser
Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Center at UCL

To the Campus Community:

The concerns about the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are being addressed in multiple ways here at UCLA. At the same time, information about the virus and its effects, including misleading information from outside sources, can heighten our fear and anxiety. The uncertainty surrounding this global and local event is unsettling for many of us, and there is much uncertainty about the coming weeks and months. You are receiving information from good, trusted sources here at UCLA through our dedicated COVID-19 website and Bruins Safe Online.

We also recommend the World Health Organization (PDF) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites, resources that offer trusted information about mental health considerations. Even during these trying times, there are many aspects of daily life that remain under your control, including how you take care of your emotional, social and physical well-being, and your ability to support and help your friends, family and community.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Take care of your body. Eating healthy meals, exercising, getting at least seven hours of sleep a night, and limiting your alcohol consumption can help your immune system. Even while maintaining a safe distance from other people, you can still go outside! Regular exercise can reduce anxiety. Just be sure to protect yourself and others by following these guidelines for managing anxiety and stress.
  • Learn and share. Learn best practices from trusted resources on how to limit your exposure to, and the spread of, COVID-19, and share that information with others. UCLA is providing information relevant to our specific roles as students, faculty and staff. The WHO website details actions for health care workers, team leaders, caretakers of children, older adults and people in isolation. The CDC website lists common warning signs of emotional stress responses (including problems with sleep and concentration, and increased drug or alcohol use) and some ideas for how to cope.
  • Do things that give you purpose and meaning. Helping others is a gift, and it is good for your own well-being. Many in our community are more vulnerable to the impact of the novel coronavirus. You can help others by offering reassurance and emotional support, for instance.
  • Take care of basic needs (including food security). The CPO Food Closet is open today through Thursday, March 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Friday, March 20, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The food closet will open again on Monday, March 23, and on Tuesday, March 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., but will close for the remainder of Spring Break. These hours are subject to change, so please check the CPO Facebook page for up-to-date hours of operation. Lastly, the Economic Crisis Response Team will have its meal voucher program distribution four times during finals week. Please see the team’s most up-to-date meal voucher distribution schedule (PDF) for times and locations.
  • Take care of your mind. Constant searching, scrolling or consumption of coronavirus news will only make us feel more afraid and powerless. Take breaks from media coverage and use UCLA’s COVID-19 website and Bruins Safe Online for updates rather than checking unreliable sites. For many of us, maintaining routines will help keep us positive, balanced and mentally well.
  • Social distancing does not mean social isolation. Reach out to others and offer support, empathy, information and, if possible, tangible help. Stay connected using technology such as video chat, Zoom group calls, and cellphone texting and conversations. Personal relationships are crucial in maintaining perspective and elevating mood.
  • Increase your feel-good activities. Whether it’s mindfulness, talking to your friends and family members, going for walks, taking part in sports, journaling, or watching Netflix, now is the time to increase positive experiences in your daily schedule. For a quick stress reliever, UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center offers free guided meditations in English and Spanish.
  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect. Let’s work together to address xenophobic sentiments that perpetuate stigma toward people from the countries most affected by COVID-19. Members of our community are experiencing additional fear right now because of the increased suspicion and racism from others who wrongly attach COVID-19 to an ethnicity or nationality. Language like COVID-19 “victims” or “the diseased” is stigmatizing and harmful. Instead, we can say “people who are being treated for or recovering from COVID-19.”
  • Pay attention to how you’re feeling. Fear, worry and dread are normal reactions during this unprecedented time. People who have pre-existing mental health concerns are more vulnerable and face a higher risk of worsening mental health as the virus spreads. If you have a history of mental health concerns, form a plan such as how to access health workers, counselors and prescriptions. Resources for students are available at Counseling & Psychological Services and for staff at the Staff and Faculty Counseling Center.

This message reflects the expertise of the leaders of the Semel Healthy Campus Initiative MindWell and EngageWell pods. The Semel Healthy Campus Initiative website provides a wealth of additional information on health and well-being.

You are part of a UCLA community that is home to health experts who are committed to containing, delaying and reducing the impact of this virus in our community. We encourage you to stay abreast of all new information from trusted sources and share accurate information with others. Each of us can play a very important role by caring for ourselves and caring for others in our community.

Sincerely,

Wendelin Slusser

Associate Vice Provost, Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Center at UCLA

Clinical Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine

Read the full article here.

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Kate Hagadone is the Wellness Counselor at Michigan Medical School’s Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (OGPS). She sent the information in this post to an OGPS listserv at the end of last week. I thought the information would be of interest to lots more folks, so, with her permission, am reproducing her email here:

In the midst of managing a situation like the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, it is easy to feel overwhelmed & worried. Focusing on how to slow the spread of the virus is important for our physical health; however, identifying ways to manage our mental health is also crucial.

We may experience increased feelings of anxiety or powerlessness; impatience, irritability, or frustration. We might also experience a sense of scarcity, or be concerned about increased stigmatization or xenophobia. We may feel uncertainty about the future or worry about isolation amidst rapidly changing schedules & social plans.

Suggestions for Positive Coping
While feeling worried is normal & expected, we can increase our resilience in the following ways:

  • Take breaks from the news. After a certain point, it’s more upsetting than informational. Make sure the info you do get is from reputable & non-sensationalist sources.
    • How much is helpful for you to read per day? Aim to stick to that limit. Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return to your normal life as much as possible.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch.meditate. Try to eat relatively well-balanced meals, move your body regularly, get plenty of sleep and highly limit alcohol & drugs. This will boost your immunity & your resilience.
  • Plan for coping with a potentially sudden drop in social contact (e.g., classes & events being cancelled):
    • Create new traditions for connecting regularly with friends, family & peers via messaging apps, etc. Check in with your people.
    • Create a new, adapted schedule taking cancellations in to account. Keep things as consistent as possible
  • Focus on what you can control in terms of disease prevention & more broadly.
  • Do a “worry drop” — write out all of your fears in a journal until your anxiety has dropped by half.
  • Make a daily list of what is going well.
  • If you have a pre-existing mental health condition, these recommendations are especially important. If you have appointments with your therapist or doc, keep them. If you aren’t feeling well physically, ask if they have options for video appointments.

More resources
These websites offer additional ideas for coping during the COVID-19 outbreak:

With many of us now working from home, we may not all have the most ideal work space available for long hours spent on the internet. Here are some ideas on how you can mitigate pain that may be caused by an improvised work environment and suggestions for how you can try to set up a work-space to maximize your productivity and minimize discomfort.

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For tips for fixing posture to reduce neck and back pain, watch this video here.

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How to Set Up a Healthy Home Workspace. Read the article here.

COVIDCafe provides a space to help combat the isolation felt by social distancing. Interact with people from across the globe in these social hour sessions.

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Supporting Undergraduate Students

Now more than ever, students will be looking to their professors and TAs for advice and guidance as they struggle to navigate learning in a new environment! Here are some ideas on how you can communicate with your students about the transition and help them succeed through the quarter.

This is probably a stressful and uncertain time for your students and many of them will have questions and many will be in need of additional support. Here are a few resources and suggestions to help your students thrive  in an online learning environment. The official page for student resources for remote learning (you can add this link on CCLE or in your syllabus): https://www.teaching.ucla.edu/resources/student-remote-learning

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Some Advice and Resources to help your students:

Share this short Zoom video tutorial with students to help guide them on how to use Zoom from the student perspective here.

Using the instructions provided on this CCLE page to Communicate with your students ASAP to let them know you’re thinking of them and their limitations  pre-class survey in Google forms and student Zoom resources)

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The CCLE Guide for Students: A Live CCLE Site. View the tutorials and resources listed in this official CCLE website for students here.

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The University of Michigan has created a great document to help students navigate online learning. As we compile documents specific to UCLA, this is a great place to start to help students who may be anxious about being good online learners. View the document here.

Many students may need extra resources based on accessibility needs. Considering students (and maybe some of you as well!) who may be blind or deaf, students without access to computers or wifi, and beyond, is going to be crucial during these times. Addressing equity and inclusivity in the classroom is more important than ever. Here are some resources that may help.

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Students without access to computers or internet have several options on campus. Here are a few:

  • Funds to support technology purchases for eligible students can be found here and here.
  • Laptop lending from the library is also an option (however, they are starting to run out!). Visit the library website here.
  • Some companies are offering free wifi to those who may need it for education. There are many articles available on this, but this is one article that may be of use.

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The Center for Accessible Education (CAE) has also come out with several resources for students. Please refer to the following webpages:

  • https://www.cae.ucla.edu/announcements-events
  • https://www.cae.ucla.edu/faculty
  • https://docs.ccle.ucla.edu/index.php?title=Timing_and_Accommodating_requests_from_CAE_for_additional_time

The Chronicle of Higher Education put together a compendium of articles on how you can help support students in traumatic times. View the articles here. Articles include:

  1. Shock, Fear, and Fatalism
  2. 10 Tips to Support Students in a Stressful Shift to Online Learning
  3. Let’s Add Compassion to Our Online Curriculum
  4. How to Help a Student in a Mental-Health Crisis
  5. How to Make Your Online Pivot Less Brutal
  6. Linking Course Content to the World Around Us
  7. Resources
  8. Learning from Crisis

With the transition to online courses, please note that students will not be required to come to campus for research-related responsibilities.  However, this does not mean that a student cannot elect to continue their research on campus.  We advise students and faculty mentors to discuss the matter and develop a fair plan for moving forward.  For your assistance, the Undergraduate Research Centers at UCLA have put together suggestions and resources for how faculty-mentored student research may be conducted off campus during the spring quarter.

In this letter to the UCLA public, the Undergraduate students had a chance to voice their feelings and anxieties about the upcoming quarter including their worries over access to technology, anxieties over tests, and sense of loss at not being part of a large campus community. We urge you to please read this letter, as we are sure some of you may empathize with their concerns. The letter can be viewed here.

Additional Resources for Graduate Students and Postdocs

We will continue to compile resources not only for teaching, but also for you in other aspects of your professional lives. See below for some of the most current articles.

The Graduate Student Resource Center sends out a weekly newsletter with topics and events relevant to graduate students. Check out this week’s newsletter for more information on things like mental health resources, graduate student professional development, food access programs, and more!

To the Campus Community:

I appreciate your efforts to develop strategies for ramping down on-campus research activities following my March 17 communication.

In light of Los Angeles County’s safer at home order, UCLA has determined that these ramp-down strategies must be fully deployed by Monday. Please know that buildings will be locked at 10 p.m. tonight and remain locked on Monday, so please check with your department if you require special arrangements to enter your building. Effective at 11:59 p.m. tonight, all on-campus operations will be suspended, with the exception of those that are essential and cannot be conducted remotely.

Effective immediately, all group meetings, courses and scientific convocations are to transition to virtual environments — for example, Zoom, Slack or another approved, secure platform.

Research performed on campus

If you have not already done so, please obtain approval for any essential experiments and essential research personnel you believe must remain active on campus during this time. To minimize community interactions, each lab is to activate no more than one or two essential research personnel to manage animal husbandry, equipment or essential experiments. To ensure the safety of essential research personnel, labs should establish a communication protocol and use it while personnel are working on campus.

Some units, including the David Geffen School of Medicine, Samueli School of Engineering and the UCLA College Divisions of Life Sciences and Physical Sciences, have developed internal processes and deadlines for researchers to obtain approval for personnel and experiments. Those units will communicate directly with researchers under their purview. All other requests are to be submitted to me via C19@research.ucla.edu. Requests to continue research activities must include a full description of why the on-campus research is essential, a timeline for completion and documented support of the department chair or dean; essential personnel should also be identified in each request. All on-campus projects and personnel not approved to continue research activities or that do not have a pending request to their unit filed are required to cease operations.

As previously communicated, essential research personnel are those individuals who are:

  1. Necessary to ensure the ongoing viability of research, including the well-being of research animals. This includes vivarium lab staff and non-vivarium lab staff responsible for animal care, although staffing should be minimized to the extent feasible to maintain the health and safety of the animals.
  2. Necessary to ensure the ongoing viability of research that includes not easily replaceable, perishable research materials.
  3. Responsible for the maintenance of equipment that, if not done, could result in damage to equipment or extraordinary cost — for example, cryogen fill on NMR spectrometers.
  4. Researchers working on experiments that have a small window for completion — for example, research that relies on the ability to make specific measurements only a few times a year.

As a reminder, note that students, including graduate students, cannot be mandated to serve as essential personnel.

Essential experiments are those for which suspension of on-campus activities would cause irreparable harm to the research project. This will usually involve ongoing animal experiments that required enormous time and cost to get to their current state, and that will be completed in the near future. UCLA has also made a commitment to prioritizing COVID-19 research. Requests for continuation of such projects must be described in writing as indicated above.

In animal facilities, all animal orders, imports/exports and internal transfers will be put on hold and rodent breeding reduced to the minimum possible. Please contact UCLA’s Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine for guidance on identifying unique and irreplaceable animals. Study areas maintaining aquatic, avian or other species are expected to maintain basic animal care and husbandry operations, and labs with USDA-covered animals that require specialized lab care or intensive husbandry operations are expected to continue providing this care as well.

Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) staff are available for safety consultations related to ramping down your on-campus research activities. Contact C19Support@ehs.ucla.edu for support. In the event of a lab emergency, researchers should immediately call 911 rather than the EH&S hotline or email contacts.

Clinical research activities

With respect to clinical research, in-person research visits should not be conducted unless the specific research visit provides an immediate benefit to a participant’s health and/or well-being, or the visit is part of the course of ongoing clinical care. (Note: Policies for routine and elective visits are also undergoing review by UCLA Health.)

Please consider suspending recruitment or conducting follow-up visits remotely, if this presents no harm to your participants. Please also be certain to personally inform participants of the risks of COVID-19. Visit UCLA CTSI Research Go and the Office of the Human Research Protection Program website for detailed information about UCLA’s COVID-19 clinical research policy and human subjects research.

Off-campus research activities

Research activities that can be performed remotely and do not require physical interaction with human subjects (for example, field studies, surveys, record reviews and data analysis) can and should continue. As a reminder, the University of California Office of the President has stated that under no circumstances are researchers to take materials — other than lab notebooks, laptops and data storage devices — off-site, including to their homes. Notebooks taken off campus must be inventoried and tracked to protect university property while off-site.

While it is not possible to predict how long we will remain in this new state of ramped-down activities, you should plan for the possibility that this could continue through the end of the quarter or longer. I will continue to communicate with you regularly as I receive new information. Thank you for being True Bruins and exemplary members of our community.

Please direct questions to C19@research.ucla.edu.

Sincerely,

Roger Wakimoto

Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities

Dear Colleagues,

To ensure that graduate students are impacted as little as possible by the rapidly changing events associated with COVID-19, we want to assure graduate students that planned dissertation defenses will proceed as scheduled whenever possible. Current policy specifies that only one committee member can be absent or online for a dissertation event, however, we recognize that this policy may be disruptive in the event of individual quarantine or isolation, or a campus closure or suspension of in-person instruction. In the event that more than one committee member is unable to attend a dissertation defense due to COVID-19 quarantine or isolation, or campus closure or suspension of in-person instruction, exceptions will be granted automatically to allow the defense to proceed with more than one member online. Students defending a dissertation may also present virtually. This automatic exception will be granted for defenses scheduled through the second week of Spring Quarter. The Graduate Council will re-evaluate this policy in early Spring in accordance with campus recommendations regarding COVID-19.

Virtual dissertation defenses may be scheduled via GoogleHangouts, Skype, or Zoom sessions. If the evolving COVID-19 situation affects a student’s dissertation defense plans, please have the Committee Chair send an email to Academic Services, Graduate Division (academicservices@grad.ucla.edu), copying the Department/Program Chair, Graduate Student Advisor and Co-Chair (if applicable) with a student’s plans for virtual defense. Please include the student’s name, student ID number, department, name(s) of individual(s) to participate remotely, and the date of the dissertation defense.

While Departments individually regulate comprehensive, preliminary and qualifying exams, we encourage them to consider alternative modes of assessment. For in-person written exams, we encourage departments to consider online examinations, take-home exams, or other evaluations that do not require physical presence. For in-person oral examinations, we encourage departments to allow virtual presentations and committee attendance as described above.

As always, please be mindful of students or committee members who may require special accommodations to participate in online meetings. The Center for Accessible Education can assist in setting up desired accommodations.

Please forward this information to the students, staff and/or faculty in your department.

With best wishes,

Robin L. Garrell

Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate Division

Andrea M. Kasko

Chair of the Graduate Council

https://medschool.ucla.edu/coronavirus-information#ResearchTH

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