Supporting Students and an Update on Kaltura

This message was sent on Sept. 10 from Steve Cramer, vice provost for instructional continuity and academic affairs, to all faculty and instructors teaching this fall 2020, as well as deans, associate deans and department chairs.

With the shift to all remote instruction for the next two weeks and an increased number of students in isolation and quarantine, I want to make you aware of some additional guidance and resources to support your students. I also want to provide an update about Kaltura.

Supporting students – As an instructor you are a crucial source of support for students. Now more than ever students may look to you to provide assistance.

You can find information about academically supporting students on this Instructional Continuity webpage, including sample language for how to respond to a student who discloses they have tested positive for COVID-19, as well as this College of Letters & Science webpage. Keeping students engaged with your course – through synchronous course meetings, virtual office hours, and your caring and compassionate presence in your virtual course – helps to provide a personal contact, consistency and some measure of stability in these uncertain times.

Colleagues from the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement, Student Affairs, the Office of Undergraduate Advising and University Housing are partnering on two major student outreach efforts. In the next few days:

  • Every UW–Madison undergraduate student will be contacted by their academic advisor for a check-in, and to provide them with information about where to turn for support with specific concerns.
  • Every student currently in isolation or quarantine will be contacted by phone by a student support professional to check on their well-being and offer information about specific concerns.

A note about Kaltura – with more instructors using video and audio content to engage with students over the next two weeks, the intermittent issues with Kaltura MediaSpace and the Kaltura Canvas integration will likely be compounded.

The Learn@UW–Madison team has developed a KnowledgeBase document that identifies some temporary alternatives. In addition, lecture capture rooms remain available to you. We remain committed to communicating with Kaltura, monitoring the situation and seeking resolutions. For more regular status updates, refer to the university’s outages page.

Thank you for all you are doing to support instruction and your students during these challenging times.

Steve Cramer – Vice Provost for Instructional Continuity and Academic Affairs