Dear Pitt Public Health Community,
This message is to update you on a few pieces of new information about fall educational plans. We anticipate further updates to all of you next week, as well as specific information for fall instructors. As always, coronavirus.pitt.edu is the reference for university information.
Reminder: Remote vs. in-person teaching
Fall semester classes will start with three days of remote instruction from Wednesday, August 19 – Friday, August 21. If we are still in the Elevated posture, instruction will continue to be remote following that. If and when there is a change to the Guarded posture, in-person instruction will resume except for classes that are planned as fully remote per the class schedule.
New: Class times and room scheduling
The start times for classes held on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday have been moved slightly to allow additional transit time between classes. These changes now appear in the official PeopleSoft class schedules. Morning classes start a few minutes early, and evening classes up to 30 minutes late. It appears that a few fixes to that schedule may still be needed. In addition, Pitt Public Health has expanded classroom scheduling to include some new, larger rooms, so in-person Pitt Public Health classes may receive new classroom assignments in the next few days.
New: Student town hall
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Jessica Burke and Executive Associate Dean Eleanor Feingold will host a student town hall on Thursday, August 13, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Look for a separate email with the participation link and information on how to submit questions in advance.
New: Building access and health check
Building access and health check procedures are being developed for the event that the University moves from the Elevated to the Guarded posture. We expect more information next week on those procedures.
New: Pitt community compact
Pitt student leaders have developed a community compact to encourage full campus-wide adherence to behaviors that protect the community. There are also corresponding changes to the student code of conduct.
New: EdTech and IT help for instructors
Virtual Drop-in hours are available with Pitt Public Health's educational programs and IT staff via Zoom on 8/10, 8/11, 8/12, 8/13, 8/14, 8/17 & 8/18 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Zoom link: https://pitt.zoom.us/j/94802724778
Reminder to instructors: Canvas learning management system
The University's migration to the Canvas learning management system started in the summer 2020 term. If you previously taught a course using BlackBoard, your course materials should already have been transferred to your Canvas Dashboard. In cases where the content was not automatically migrated, faculty should submit a BlackBoard Content Import Request as soon as possible, by filling out this Qualtrics survey: https://pitt.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6Jpw8xosJsCbNKB.
More information about this process and the migration from BlackBoard to Canvas can be found on the Teaching Center's Transition FAQ page, teaching.pitt.edu/canvas/transition-faqs/.
The Teaching Center has created a Canvas page: http://pi.tt/canvas and offers multiple training sessions throughout the year: teaching.pitt.edu/workshops-events/. A good primer for all things Canvas can be found in Pitt Public Health's Teaching Tips from summer 2020, collected in the top left sidebar of the Resources for Teaching, Learning, and Advising page: https://publichealth.pitt.edu/home/academics/resources-for-teaching-learning
Canvas has 24/7 chat support for faculty and students, which is available after you sign in to the http://pi.tt/canvas site. (It's on the right-hand side, under the panda graphic.)
Eleanor Feingold, Executive Associate Dean
Jessie Burke, Associate Dean for Education
Renae Brinza, Associate Dean for Administration and Finance