UCF’s Fall Semester After Hurricane Irma

While the recovery from Hurricane Irma continues, our focus remains on providing our students and faculty and staff members the resources and support needed when classes resume on Monday, Sept. 18.

UCF will not extend its academic calendar for the fall semester. Most of the decisions about how to prioritize learning and continuity of instruction are best made at the faculty, department, or college levels. Our central academic affairs units are here to support you with resources and services to help make up for lost instructional time and create the best student learning outcomes.

If your course schedule or learning outcomes need to be adjusted for the remainder of the semester, then you will need to create and distribute a modified syllabus by Friday, Sept. 22. Because the syllabus is the agreement upon which academic and grade appeals are based, any restructured deadlines and expectations should be quickly and clearly communicated with students.

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning and Center for Distributed Learning (CDL) have resources and will provide individual consultations with an emphasis on how to prioritize course goals and adjust your syllabus. When you update your syllabus, it needs to be submitted to your college dean’s office by Friday, Oct. 6.

Additional recommendations, resources, and points of contact to support you are below.

— Consider recording a series of supplemental mini-lectures to cover material and bridge critical content gaps. The Faculty Center and CDL are available to help you determine the best ways to present course material in manageable modules and distribute supplemental course materials during the remaining 10 weeks of the semester. 

CDL’s video production team (Video@CDL) can help convert and host faculty-created videos regardless of modality this semester via CDL’s Vimeo Pro hosting service. Hosting on this centralized service is recommended to better support faculty use of video, especially vis-à-vis student accessibility accommodations. For guidance in recording mini-lecture videos and to submit your video(s) for hosting, please visit: https://ucf.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9mjb1W1vwfO3aYZ 

Additionally, the Office of Instructional Resources can provide technology support space for faculty who want to pursue this option at UCF’s main and regional locations.

— Coordinate clinical experiences, internships, and practicums with departments to ensure students meet the minimum outcomes and hours for these courses.

— If you need to add time for labs or studio, please work with your college scheduler on exploring alternatives, including weekends. If you pursue weekend options, please do not schedule before Sept. 30 to allow time for planning and notifications.

— Leverage Webcourses@UCF (Canvas) to facilitate student-to-student interaction. CDL is available to help facilitate this approach conceptually and technically.

— Please remember that some of our students are in the National Guard and are responding to communities in need. These students will be returning to campus on varying schedules, depending on the deployment area and the severity of the impact from the hurricane. Our policy is to extend flexible accommodations to these students to help them meet their educational goals once they return. Other students may have extenuating circumstances due to the storm, and we encourage faculty members to work with their deans and chairs to discuss specific cases in question.

For all students, UCF has pushed back its grade forgiveness and withdrawal deadline one week to Monday, Nov. 6. UCF’s Academic Services office will assist with questions or cases of student withdrawal or related issues. To discuss the extended grade forgiveness and withdrawal deadline, contact Academic Services by phone at 407-823-2691 or email acadserv@ucf.edu.

For more information on the resources from the Faculty Center, call 407-823-3544 or email fctl@ucf.edu. You also can visit the Faculty Center in Classroom Building I, Room 207.

Beginning Monday, Sept. 18, CDL will be holding office hours in the Faculty Center, and instructional designers will be reaching out to faculty teaching online to provide further support.

Finally, thank you for your commitment to supporting each other and our students in this difficult time. While I know many of you are still without power or are dealing with damage to your homes or helping friends and loved ones, we appreciate your compassion. And, we are here to help you make the best of this fall semester.