COVID-19 Statistics Employee Resources

Technology Support and Resources

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Technical Questions and Support

April 14: for Instructors

This is a reminder that students are not in best conditions to learn online. Please:

  • Build flexibility in all aspects of course delivery and consider special circumstances,
  • Continue to communicate often with your students, and to seek feedback about any potential concerns
  • Campus will soon provide details about Examity, an online proctoring system. If you choose to use it, do so with flexibility for students. Some might not have the hardware to use this system, for instance.
  • Look out and care for “ghost” students, that is, students who have yet to come back to your class after the move to online instruction. Here is one way to do it via Canvas:
      • You can evaluate student engagement with Canvas by going to the People tabs then filter by “Student” roles. You will see each student, listed with the date of their last activity on Canvas. One way to find students whose engagement might have suddenly dropped off is to click on the name of the first student, then click “Analytics”. This will show a chart of the student’s CANVAS activity overtime. In the top right is a tool for moving to a different student
      • You can also go right to the Analytics function by editing your course’s URL along these lines:  This provides a list of students that  you can order by Page Views, Participations, etc.
    • If you find that a student hasn’t engaged and you know the student, or if your TA knows the student, please consider reaching out gently with a non-threatening email to ask if you can help.
    • If that doesn’t feel right or if the student doesn’t email back, please consider filing a “Student of Concern” report: . One of the reasons to file a report is “missing classes or irregular attendance”.

March 31: for Instructors & TAs - Tips & Ideas from Q&A Session

  • Now is a good time to check in with your students, to see how they are adjusting to your online teaching, and to diagnose any problems early on. For example, you could send them a quick survey with 2-3 questions, like: “How do you watch lectures: live on BB ultra / watch the recordings afterward / I can’t watch them (e.g. internet issues)” or “Do you have suggestions to improve online lectures / discussions / office hours”. There are many easy platforms to set up a survey. Google forms is one: (you have a google account via your UW-Madison). Canvas is another: click on Quizzes > +Quiz then select “ungraded survey” as the Quiz Type. You can make submissions anonymous. It will go to all your students automatically.
  • If you want to check how many students watched your recorded lecture: Kaltura lets you see the total number of views. BB ultra doesn’t have this feature.
  • If students tell you that they can’t view or download your recording: check For example, Kaltura’s servers crashed on 3/26, but were back online 45 minutes later.
  • In BB ultra, add a picture to your profile, and ask your students to do the same. It brings some “face-to-face” and community feeling back into the virtual classroom, and it’s low bandwidth. Go to settings and click on the cartoon face to upload a picture.
  • Exams: you can set an exam as a Canvas assignment, include a link to a file uploaded in your Canvas “Files” and set the due date. Your exam file can be set to be visible to students within a specific time window (click on the green check to “unpublish” your file or to set the availability window). We can set different due dates for different (groups of) students, such as to provide accommodations recommended by the MacBurney center.
  • OBS software ( can capture your webcam and your computer screen at the same time, then you can upload those videos to canvas. It supports live streaming with all popular platforms (youtube, twitch, facebook, etc.) as well as recording. OBS is really easy to setup and use, it works on all platforms, and Bi Cheng Wu is willing to help people with it. See here for a screenshot from one of his recorded discussion video.

March 26: for Instructors and TAs

Click the link for more information on each topic.

DoIT just released great guides, covering more general topics, worth skimming through.

March 23: for Instructors and TAs

  • DoIT has some loaner equipment if anyone needs a camera, ipad etc. If interested, call the helpdesk to request one right away, as quantities are limited. If DoIT does not have what you need, we could start a “community sharing” project, where those of us with extra unused equipment could lend them to other department members. Let us know!


March 18: for Instructors and TAs, tips & ideas from Q&A session

March 17: for Instructors and TAs, tips & ideas

Click the link for more information on each topic.

Policy Support and Documents

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Policy Questions and Support

As we make the transition to online instruction and online student support services for the remainder of the semester, questions regarding campus policies and student concerns may arise. The policy support team is available to help guide and inform students and instructors of ongoing policy changes throughout this transition and for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester.

If you or your students have questions or concerns and you are unsure of where to find an answer, please contact the policy support team and we can help look into the issue. To contact the policy support team, please email


Contingency Plan for Instructional Coverage and Submitting Grades

Statistics Warrant Request Process

We are working with the Graduate School to provide an online option for submitting warrant forms after completion of preliminary examinations, dissertations, and thesis defenses. The following instructions are a temporary solution, with a long-term, fully electronic solution coming soon.

  1. Student requests the warrant from John Schuppel via email at
  2. John will work with the requestor to complete the online form.
  3. John emails the form to the Graduate School.
  4. The Graduate School will let John know when the request is approved.
  5. After the request is approved via email by the Grad School, John will create the PDF and then send it to the Student’s Advisor (with the assessment form for PhD defense, if applicable.)
  6. After the prelim or dissertation defense, the warrant electronic file should be circulated among committee members to collect signatures on a single PDF. Committee members can use the Fill and Sign function in Adobe Acrobat or Reader.
  7. After the Committee has signed the documents and sent the PDF back to John (and Assessment for PhD defense, if applicable). John will send the PDF to the appropriate people for the last signatures (Chair and/or Minor Advisor)
  8. Finally, after signatures have been collected, John will upload the document by filling the Prelim Warrant Submission Form. (For preliminary exam warrants)
  9. In the case of doctoral degree completion, John will provide the signed form to the student. The student will then upload the form to the ETD site when they pay their deposit. (This is also the current process.)

Important Department Updates

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April 16 - Spring 2020 Final Exams

Important dates for spring 2020 final exams are:

  • May 2: Student study and review; no classes or exams may be scheduled.
  • April 18-May 1: No final exams or other comprehensive final projects or activities may be scheduled during these 2 weeks prior to final exam week.
  • Thursday, May 14th, 11:59 pm: deadline for submitting Spring 2020 final grades.

Students may elect the COVID-19 SD/UD grading option May 9th-May 22nd. Submitting final grades by the deadline of Thursday, May 14th, 11:59 pm is very important this semester.

Please review

Examity and Turnitin

  • Examity is an online proctoring software for high stakes exams.  It is available to all instructors and students in credit-based courses.
  • Turnitin is an academic integrity tool that is integrated with Canvas at UW-Madison. Instructors can enable Turnitin on assignments to quickly get feedback on whether and how student submissions match a comparison set of materials.

There is a wealth of information on theCampus Continuity of Instruction site.  New information gets added to the site regularly, including Quick Guides.

April 14 - Virtual Department Meeting at 12:40pm

We will use BB Collaboration for Tuesday’s department meeting. You may access the meeting via this web link.

March 20 - Instructors: COI Actions Required (Read process doc & plan for colleague coverage)

  • Please read COI Team’s message entitled “Stat COI Updates – Time Sensitive”
  • COI Team developed a plan to continue instruction, in case instructors become sick. The full description is attached (see email), including your point of contact about your course(s). Please review. The COI team also welcomes your feedback on this process. Below is a summary of immediate action items for instructors, most of which are due Monday 3/23 11:59pm (see email). This is a very tight deadline, because we do not know when instructors might need this yet we must get ready beforehand.
  • We are seeking volunteers from our faculty and instructional staff (lecturers and VAPs, but not LSAs) to back up Cecile, Derek, and Nick, as course contacts in the attached document (see email). Please let them know if you are willing and able to help.

March 19 - Faculty: Actions Required (Request approval to conduct research on campus)

  • Please read Associate Dean Jennifer Noyes’ email entitled “Fw: L&S Message: Another Update – Research – TIME SENSITIVE”
  • Email your request for approval to conduct essential on-going, on-campus research to Jun Z.

March 18 - Instructors: COI Actions Required (Read Dean's messages & communicate with your students)

  • Please read Interim Dean Wilcots’ messages in email entitled “FW: L&S E-Mail: COI Message for All Instructors – TIME SENSITIVE”
  • By Friday March 20, 2020: All instructors should e-mail students enrolled in their courses with details about the alternate delivery method(s) they have adopted for their courses.
  • Please coordinate action for courses that have TAs, if needed.

March 18 - All Employees: Guidelines

  • Yesterday, Chancellor Blank announced alternate delivery of course from Mar 23 through the end of the spring semester, including final exams. Beginning today, campus will take steps so that the only employees (including graduate student employees) physically working on campus are those needed to deliver essential services that cannot be done via telecommuting. This will be in effect until further notice.
  • To the best of our present knowledge, this means you should work from home as much as possible when carrying out your job duties (e.g. teaching your course remotely, advising/mentoring students online, processing grant applications), but that you may come to campus as needed to carry out these activities (e.g. to video capture lecture or use document cameras). Of course, we expect when on campus that you exercise as much social distancing/isolation as possible.
  • In addition, all of our administrative offices, including advising, IT, admin, will be closed starting today (Mar 18) until further notice. Please contact our administrative staff via email if you have any request or question. Please also help make sure that office doors and entrances to cubicle areas are locked at all times.
  • All Instructors: L&S asked that you please make known to your students by this Friday (Mar 20) how you will teach and communicate with them after they return from the spring break. Please also be alert for email messages from the department about continuation of instruction (COI) and your important role in this as the semester progresses.

March 16 - Support Staff (Admit, IT, Student Services): Actions Required (Plan for telecommuting)

  • Please work out a telecommunicating plan with the department.
  • Point of contact: Dan for Admin & IT, Sara for Student Services.

March 15 - All Employees (Faculty, Staff, Grad Assistants): Guidelines

  • Please continue to follow the campus plan and response web page.
  • Chancellor Rebecca Blank, L&S Interim Dean Eric Wilcots, VCRGE Steve Ackerman, UHS Executive Director Jake Baggott, and other campus leaders are working hard with their teams on our behalf and keeping us posted. Please read their email announcements.
  • Campus HR is also working hard to provide more clarity about policies and guidelines for employees. More info is expected this coming week.
  • For all instruction related activities, the department’s continuity of instruction (COI) team will be in touch with instructors and TAs in separate emails. Please watch for those emails as well.

March 12 - Instructors: Continuity of Instruction (COI) Team & Guidelines

  • COI team composition with backups in parenthesis: Alissa (Sara), Brian (CSL), Cecile (Laura), Derek (Jun S), Jun Z (Bret)
  • Starting after spring break (Mar 23), classes, discussions, office hours, assessment, grading all need to be done online.
  • All instructors and TAs are responsible to continue their teaching duties and provide alternate delivery.
  • Student services like the learning center and student advising will also continue through alternate delivery, and will be even more vital to help students succeed.
  • If you are interested to see what some online tools for teaching look like or how they work, please block off Wed 3/18 10-noon, during which we will provide demos of some online tools, and share tips & ideas. If you have expertise with some tools that you like, please join us to share your ideas.
  • Throughout the rest of the semester, maintain frequent communication with your students.
  • For now: we recommend that you send a simple message such as “stay tuned, check email during spring break”. After you have your online plans figured out and after you communicate with your TA(s) (if any), then follow-up with your students to make sure that all of them are aware of what will be expected of them, if there any changes in midterm dates/format, or any change in assessment or grading. Make sure to first communicate with your TAs, to provide consistent messaging to your students.