March 11, 2020
Distance Learning Message to Graduate Students (from Kathleen Canning)

Dear Humanities Colleagues,
Yesterday, Interim Provost Matsuda provided a needs assessment survey to all instructors that will allow the university to provide resources that will allow us to deliver our on-campus courses remotely where necessary or appropriate. I strongly encourage you to complete and submit that survey immediately if you have not already done so.  Also, when responding to the survey, please take your own personal needs into consideration as well as those of your students. If you or a family member is in a high-risk group, remote classroom instruction using Zoom or Canvas will also be a good choice for you. 
Class cancelation this week provided the administration and faculty time to plan for a potential move to online instruction after Spring Break using Rice’s online teaching tools including Zoom, Canvas, and Kaltura. If you are teaching this semester and need information and/or instruction on using these tools, it is important that you attend the Humanities faculty training session on Friday, March 13 at 10:30 in the Kyle Morrow Room on the 3rd floor of Fondren Library.  Bring your laptop computer. If you need this training and it is impossible for you to attend this session, it will be possible to join remotely, so let Andrew Stefl ( know if that is necessary for you.
A Rice Online Learning course designer will be at that meeting to answer questions about course redesign and transitioning to remote delivery.  The online transition team members who will provide support will also be there. Eric Granquist (, Humanities’ Director of IT Workflow, will also be there and can provide additional support for our faculty during this transition.
Other universities around the country are already moving to online course delivery and you need to be ready to make that move immediately. We anticipate notification by Saturday, March 21 regarding the format for classes following spring break. Should we move to online teaching that week, you would need to tell your students on Sunday, March 22 how to join your online class.
If the full campus doesn’t go to full remote course delivery, you teach seminar course(s) around a table and you and/or class members self-identify as high risk and opt out of attending, let Andrew know now if it would it be helpful to have equipment that would allow in and out of class participants to communicate using tools that allow each one to see and respond as if in the room. 
The university is working on issues such as student’s remote access to adequate internet connections and other concerns and is preparing comprehensive information and FAQ resources for faculty, students and staff. We will be in touch again when there is more information to share.


Kathleen Canning