March 12: Instructional Support and Technology Needs Assessment

Dear Faculty,

As you know, an announcement was made yesterday that CalArts is suspending all in-person classes, activities, and performances between Wednesday, March 11 through Sunday, March 22. Please do not begin teaching remotely until Monday, March 23. Please do contact your students to let them know you will be reaching out to them next week with details about how your class will proceed.  

Through this week and next we will begin the move to remote forms of instruction—including telephonic, online, and web-based instruction—to begin Monday, March 23, 2020. We anticipate returning to face-to-face classes by April 13, however we will update the community as the situation evolves. 

The intention behind this decision is to protect the community by limiting social contact. It is for the faculty's and students' safety and health that we limit one on one or group contact. Please do not meet with your class or individual students on or off campus during this period.

To Do Now:

  • In order to assess the faculty’s needs around technology and training we are asking you to answer a brief form about your technology resources and comfort level with a few online tools. A link to that form is here: Please complete the brief form by end of the day tomorrow, Friday, March 13, so that we can plan next week for training and resources. 

We know this is a stressful time and we ask you to care for yourselves during this process. We are aware  that reconfiguring your course will, in many cases, be complicated. Remember that you are not looking to replicate the in person experience, but to provide as much of the classroom content as is possible in this context. We realize not all courses will easily convert to remote learning; but we ask you to think creatively. Don’t worry about perfection. Our goal here is educational continuity.  

To assist in that transition we have prepared some documents to help you adapt your syllabus or course to a remote teaching situation. Attached you will find An Instructional Continuity Guide that can help to lead you through how to think through adapting the in person teaching you do to a remote context.

We are not expecting you to already have facility with remote learning; we will be offering training modules for Learn LMS and Zoom online and in person starting next week. Expect more resources and information to come tomorrow, Friday, March 13.

Finally, we have created an email that goes to an academic support team: You can use this to ask ANY questions about the resources, platforms, or approaches to remote teaching and learning.  The support team (which consists of members of the Provost Office, the Director of Faculty Affairs and the Online Learning team) will keep track of these questions and make sure to find you the resources you need.

Thank you for your resourcefulness as we navigate this situation as it evolves, and most importantly for your ongoing commitment to our students.


Tracie Costantino

Lee Anne Schmitt
Director of Faculty Affairs