Dear Faculty –

As we move closer to finals during this quarter, I encourage everyone to take a few moments to do some additional check-ins with your students. For many students, the stay at home rules have gone longer than expected, and the impact of the pandemic on themselves, family members, and close friends has exceeded expectations. At the same time, I know that faculty have been under additional stresses and have had the similar experiences.

Among all the concerns we are hearing, undergraduates are looking for more communication and contact with faculty where possible. A major challenge for faculty, especially in larger classes, is that no matter how frequently you communicate through email, it will never match the live interactions between faculty and students that we are used to. Some suggestions that faculty and students have shared with us are leveraging the discussion boards in Canvas (which avoids the need to respond to multiple individual emails) and recording short, weekly update videos. For information and suggestions, please reach out to the DTEI staff ( or the Online Learning Research Center (


Michael Dennin

Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning

Dean, Division of Undergraduate Education