Employee FAQs, Post-Thanksgiving Plans
Courses After Thanksgiving
Will the semester end early or transition to online after Thanksgiving?
The semester will end at the usual time, but there will be no in-person classes after the Thanksgiving break. After Thanksgiving, all classes and exams will be online only.
Why are classes moving online after Thanksgiving?
With health and safety as the top priority, UTA is moving classes online after Thanksgiving to avoid the possibility of students becoming COVID-19 positive during the break and then spreading the virus to their classmates upon their return.
Will final exams be in person or online?
Some courses with face-to-face components may require in-person examinations that will take place before Thanksgiving. Students should refer to their syllabus for each course for specific answers. All exams after Thanksgiving will be online. Students can contact the Student Access & Resource Center to request an accommodation.
Are all employees going to be working from home?
No. For faculty and staff, work will continue much in the same manners as it has this fall semester, even as our students are learning online. There will continue to be an emphasis on minimizing on-campus presence where possible and maximum utilization of telework, all in an effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Unit and department heads will make decisions about on-campus staffing levels, so please check with your supervisors.
Please remember to perform a daily health screening before coming to campus each day, and do not come to work if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
Will I have access to buildings on campus after Thanksgiving?
Academic and administrative buildings will be locked after the Thanksgiving holiday break with card swipe access available for faculty, staff and approved students. The exceptions are buildings that colleges/schools have requested stay unlocked for student access, buildings with open computer labs (see the “Computing and Computer Lab” section below) and other buildings, such as the Central Library, University Center, Commons and Davis Hall. Many of these buildings will be open limited hours.
The Office of Facilities Management will continue to be on campus up to the December semester break. During this time, facilities’ staff will be addressing routine and emergency work orders, cleaning and disinfecting buildings, renovating spaces, etc.
When will the University Center and Commons be open?
The University Center and Commons will operate on the following schedule after the break: 7 am - 9 pm Monday through Friday; 10 am - 9 pm Saturday and Sunday.
The Commons will close at 9 pm Sunday, Dec. 13, and will remain closed until 7 am, Jan. 15, 2021.
Will the Maverick Activities Center be open?
From Nov. 30 until Dec. 18, the Maverick Activities Center will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and noon to 8 p.m. on weekends. The MAC is closed Dec. 19-20. From Dec. 21-23, it is open from noon to 8 p.m. The MAC is closed from Dec. 24 through Jan. 3.
When will restaurants on campus be open?
From Nov. 29, through Dec. 18:
- Connections Café will be open 11 am to 1:30 pm Monday through Sunday for brunch and 5 to 8:30 pm Monday through Sunday for dinner.
- Breakfast will be at Starbucks in the University Center. Starbucks hours are 10:30 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday, with the breakfast meal exchange hours 7:30 to 10:30 am.
- Subway in the University Center will operate 10:30 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday.
- The Market in the University Center will operate 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm Fridays and 10 am to 3 pm weekends.
When will the UTA Bookstore and Starbucks be open?
The Bookstore will be open weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on weekends. The Starbucks there will be open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Will the Libraries be open after Thanksgiving?
Yes. Central Library will be open after we return from the Thanksgiving Break on Monday, Nov. 30. The hours up until final exams will be: Monday – Fri. 7 am - 9 pm, Saturday 10 am - 6 pm, and Sunday 1 pm - 9 pm.
We will have fewer seats available as we are renovating the second floor to enhance the quality of the space for students.
What are the Central Library hours during finals?
From Monday, Dec. 7, through Wednesday, Dec. 16, we will have extended final exams hours for Central Library: Monday - Fri 7 am - midnight, Saturday 7 am - 6 pm, Sunday 1 pm - midnight.
What Libraries resources will be available after Thanksgiving?
All currently available resources will continue to be available, including 24/7 chat during the semester, retrieval of print books during open Central Library hours, 24/7 access to online resources, online consultation services, and technology lending during open Central Library hours.
Will the Central Library hours be adjusted during holidays and class breaks in November and December?
Yes, there will be some library closures on campus holidays, and shortened hours after the end of final exams. Specific hours are posted at https://libraries.uta.edu/locations/cen. You can also see hours for other special services linked from that page.
What are the hours for pickup of items from FabLab after Thanksgiving?
Those hours are posted online at https://libraries.uta.edu/locations/fablab.
Who do I contact for computing help?
You may contact the Office of Information Technology (OIT) Help through this page: https://oit.uta.edu/support/index.php. The Help Desk hours are:
- Monday – Thursday 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM
- Friday – 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
- Saturday – Sunday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
You may also visit the Help Desk Main Office for walk-up support. It is located in the first floor lobby of the Central Library. The walk-up hours are below:
- Monday – Friday 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM
- Saturday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- Sunday -- 1:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Note that the hours for the online and in-person resources are effective from Nov. 28 through Dec. 16. They will be closed on Nov. 26 and 27. They will have limited remote support over winter break.
Preparing for Exams
Can I choose the date or time of my major exam before Thanksgiving break?
Faculty choosing this option must use the existing class day/time to administer the exam, as changes to this schedule may create conflicts for students. Faculty who plan to also offer final exams in addition to a major exam before Thanksgiving break are also asked to not change the day or time of the final exam. Please see the Registrar’s Schedule for Final Exams.
What proctoring tools can I use to administer a final exam?
The university has a number of tools available through Canvas. These include Respondus Lockdown Browser, which locks the computer screen so students cannot look at other sites during the exam, and Respondus Monitor, which records students during an exam.
What are best practices for administering final exams during a pandemic?
Many students have serious concerns about the lack of reliability of their internet connections and the impact of losing their connection during a proctored exam. Students, especially those who have children at home, have also reported feeling challenged to find a quiet space and uninterrupted time. We encourage you to consider no-tech or low-tech exams and avoid introducing new technology tools for major exams.
Some tools, such as Respondus Monitor, require a webcam, which some students do not have on their devices. Students without webcams can convert their smartphone cameras to webcams using the following links:
For Androids: https://www.digitalcitizen.life/turn-android-smartphone-webcam-windows
For iPhones: https://www.digitalcitizen.life/how-turn-iphone-ipad-webcam-windows-pc
Students will need to download both the application on their phone and the driver for their computer (Mac or Windows). For best results, students should plug their phones into their computers with a USB cable.
What happens if a student cannot take the exam and wishes to retake it?
Faculty are encouraged to develop policies for handling these scenarios that are consistent across the college/school. Flexibility is important in accommodating students that may fall sick, may be dropped due to poor internet connection or may face a family emergency.
What can faculty do to prepare students to successfully take major exams before Thanksgiving?
- Encourage students to identify a location where they can take the exam, preferably with access to a wired connection.
- UTA computer labs will be open and offer social distancing. Faculty should add instructions to the exam stating that if the student will be testing in a computer lab, a mask should be worn throughout the entire testing process, including during the pre-exam sequence.
- To further reduce the likelihood of issues, faculty should uncheck the box in the Monitor settings: “prevent students from starting the exam if face cannot be detected during Startup Sequence.
- If Respondus tools have not yet been used in the course, create a short practice exam requiring Lockdown Browser and Monitor so that students may test their systems and become familiar with the process. A brief tutorial is available for you to share.
- Encourage students to access review sessions and tutoring help by logging into the UTA Tutoring site, accessing the online tutoring by disciplinary area through the IDEAS Center, and considering offering extra credit or other incentives for students who access these services.
How do I get help for creating my exams in Canvas?