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Teaching Tips:

We hope that you all had a rich and rewarding first week of class – although we will settle for stable, coherent, and promising – and that you are finding that your hard work and preparation to adapt your courses this summer has paid off. If you participated in any of UNCG’s Adapt programming this summer, you probably encountered advice related to creating accessible content, but in case you missed that, today’s tips include some reminders about decisions and resources for accessibility as part of continuing to adapt your courses:

  • Accessible Text, Images, and Headings. As more and more of our content becomes shared digitally, it is important to remember the basics of creating accessible digital content. Size, spacing, color, font, and document type for text, as well as alternative text for images are all fundamental considerations for course slides, readings, handouts, etc. You will find that most commonly-used software – whether it is Microsoft, Google, or Canvas – come with pre-formatted tools with built-in order and hierarchy systems through Headings, which make it easier to navigate content. As with all accessibility tools, these decisions help everyone to navigate your content more easily, and it is particularly helpful for screen readers and other assistive technology. Check out the page on accessible online content from accessibility.uncg.edu.

  • Captioning and Note-taking. It can be important to provide synchronized text of spoken words and sounds for both pre-recorded and live content. Please note that, while live captioning may be a capability of software like Zoom, it is not automated and the feature requires that someone is adding those captions in real-time. Even if you do not have a student in your class requesting accommodations related to captioning or note-taking, it can be a helpful practice, especially for this semester, to set up a rotating set of note-takers for your course, in order to help account for unexpected changes and absences. If you have a need to support specific accommodations, then we encourage you to reach out to OARS.

  • Testing Changes. Social distancing demands have necessitated changes in how OARS facilitates exams, including limited time slots and room capacity. If you have any students who will need exam accommodations, take the time to review the new guidelines on their website and make sure that your students are aware of these changes as well.

We have robust resources available through accessibility.uncg.edu and the OARS office, so make sure that you take advantage of those, especially as circumstances continue to evolve in responses to COVID. We all are jugglers right now, as we try to keep all of the balls in the air for adapting to these circumstances, but there are also plenty of helping hands. Let us know if we can help point you in the right direction for available resources. We also ask that you consider filling out our Fall 2020 Teaching and Learning COVID Response Check-in Survey (more below), so that we can continue to provide the resources that you need most right now.

Check out more here: Past Teaching Tips

We need your input!

The UTLC will soon be building on the Teaching Tips format to include a podcast focused on more in-depth responses to the common questions and concerns faced by UNCG faculty. If you have something in mind that you want the UTLC to address, we invite you to send topics or specific questions to us at tio@uncg.edu, and stay tuned for the first episode of the podcast!

Library Tips

This semester, we add some tips from UNCG Libraries to our regularly scheduled programming! These tips are designed to help you better use the resources available through the libraries to achieve your teaching and learning goals. Did you know that UNCG’s Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) has an extensive online World War I Pamphlet Collection? As this month is the 101st anniversary of the United States’ involvement in the Great War, we would like to bring this collection to the forefront! These pamphlets were issued by governments of US allies and contain information ranging from first-hand accounts of wartime conditions, battle maps, photographs, and brochures that involve soldiers’ postwar rehabilitation efforts. These online primary sources are well suited for class projects that involve the history of World War I, government efforts to sway public opinion on the homefront to support the war, and the psychology of conflict. Please contact SCUA if you would like further information about how to incorporate this wonderful collection into your class curriculum.

Important opportunities are available!

URSCO Student Travel Grants

The Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Office has limited resources to support student travel to disseminate results of scholarly inquiry at conferences/exhibitions. Support can include costs of travel, room, board, and registration. The maximum request amount is $500. Requests are due by the 1st of each month, with award announcement by month’s end. Funds are distributed as a reimbursement upon the completion of travel and presentation.

Opportunities for faculty in the Office of Research and Engagement

Click here for a list of deadlines, events, and upcoming workshops with the Office of Research and Engagement.