UVic transitioning from face-to-face to online instruction due to COVID-19

UVic transitioning from face-to-face to online instruction due to COVID-19
File photo/CHEK
One of the signs at the University of Victoria.

Starting Monday, March 16, the University of Victoria will be moving from face-to-face to online instruction to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Late Friday afternoon, the announcement came from UVic President Jamie Cassels.

Cassels said with over 5,000 credit course sections, almost 3,000 courses and hundreds of Continuing Studies offerings taught on campus using a variety of instructional formats, the university recognizes “that it would be inappropriate to require a single approach to completing courses and final exams this term.”

UVic is asking faculty and instructors of undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies courses to use their best judgement regarding the delivery and completion of courses.

Faculty and instructors are asked to assess whether “sufficient learning outcomes” have been completed for their courses at this time.

If there are still lessons that need to be done, faculty and instructors can look at online teaching methods, such as emailing students with course content, posting slides or lecture notes online, uploading video content, and/or using online learning platforms, at their discretion. In terms of assessing whether lessons, faculty and instructors can:

  • Change the weighting of assignments/tests to determine a final grade.
  • Assess any remaining final projects, essays, assignments, etc. that do not require in-person delivery or attendance.
  • Add a new assessment component.
  • Determine an alternative means of assessment to an in-person final exam (contact [email protected] if you are considering administering a final exam online through CourseSpaces).

“Along with other universities, governments and institutions around the world, the University of Victoria is planning and responding to the global progression of the COVID-19 virus,” Cassels said in a statement.

Cassels said the university is following the province’s advice on social distancing and large gatherings while making sure students can finish the term.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Friday it is now mandatory for all gatherings and events with 250 people or more to be cancelled.

Faculty and instructors are asked to communicate their plans for completing courses and assessment to their students and chair or director by Thursday, March 19, 2020. Resources for teaching can be found on the UVic website here. 

University services

The university is still open. For example, research laboratories, administrative offices, campus services, libraries and recreation facilities are all open but services and times may be changed going forward. Additionally, university residences and food services remain open, and other key services, including campus security, will continue for students remaining in residence.

“We know these decisions will require some adjustments, and I thank all members of the university community for your patience, flexibility and cooperation during these extraordinary times. I also want to reassure you that we will continue to provide updated information as it is available. In the weeks ahead, our focus will remain on the health and well-being of our community and our students’ academic success,” Cassels said.

The latest information is updated on the university’s website at www.uvic.ca/covid-19/.


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