Getting Ready for Spring Courses


Hope Fitzgerald and Justin Greenlee

A&S Learning Design & Technology

Hello, all. You are surely in the thick of preparations for spring courses: corresponding with students, the Student Disability Access Center, maybe the UVA Bookstores, coordinating with TAs, creating your course sites, troubleshooting technology, readying lectures and activities, and thinking about how best to frame the first day of class. Here are a few reminders and resources as you get ready.

Course site

Keep your Collab site simple and easy to navigate. The UVACollab team (collab-support [at] virginia [dot] edu) can help with site creation, troubleshooting, setup, and more. Bonus: they are also available to students who need assistance!


Make an appointment to visit your classroom on Grounds with a UVA Classrooms team member, if it fits your mode of instruction. They can walk you through available technology including mics, multiple screens, video conferencing, and lecture capture software (classrooms [at] virginia [dot] edu). Tip: invite someone to join you in a Zoom or Teams meeting so you get a feel for working with remote students in a new space.


Make changes to your syllabus to acknowledge the difficult and uncertain times we live in, including a global health crisis and an ongoing, unfinished movement for racial justice. Explore sample syllabus language and questions for reflection from UVA’s Center for Teaching Excellence.


Explore new activities to incorporate into your online, blended, or in-person courses. A few links:

— “A&S LDT In-Person Teaching Activities with Remote Students

— The crowd-sourced list “Teaching Tools: Active Learning while Physically Distancing,” managed by faculty and staff at LSU    

— “Active Learning in Hybrid and Physically Distanced Classrooms” by Derek Bruff, director of the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching

— Work with UVA Library staff to incorporate digitized course materials, as needed

— Remind yourself of UVA policies and communications related to COVID-19

Problems? Keep these help resources close at hand.

— For immediate help with passwords and UVA accounts, contact the UVA Help Desk at (434) 924-4357 or via live chat on their website.

— For immediate help with classroom technology, contact UVA Classrooms Support at (434) 982-4586 or classrooms [at] virginia [dot] edu.

— For help with UVA Collab use: collab-support [at] virginia [dot] edu

— If you are a UVA faculty member, lecturer, instructor of record, or GTA, contact your department’s Learning Service Provider (directory behind Netbadge)

Student help resources (not exhaustive but a good place to start)

Send us an email if you are not sure where to go and we will point you in the right direction! You can find us at learningdesign [at] virginia [dot] edu and via our sign-up for consultations on the LDT website.

Leave a Comment