Published: April 1, 2020 By

As students resume classes after spring break, we want to help them succeed in this tumultuous semester

Thank you for your tireless work in transitioning to remote teaching. Our faculty’s collective ability to do so in recent weeks has been nothing short of an inspiration.   

As students resume classes after spring break, we want to help them succeed in this tumultuous semester. Many of them are reeling from significant disruptions—including hasty and unplanned relocations, lost jobs, new responsibilities (such as caring for others at home) and potential sickness. In addition, many suffer growing anxiety due to COVID-19 and the faltering economy. Given the challenges facing our students, we must all teach with understanding, compassion and kindness.

James White

At the of the page: 2018 Aerials over CU Boulder and surrounding Boulder area. (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado) Above: James W.C. White

It is heartening that so many faculty and staff have spent so much time researching, trying and implementing what are, to most of us, new ideas for remote education. Over the next couple of months, we will be collecting these great ideas and then sharing them with the college community. So, we welcome your ideas—feel free to send them to  

To get us started, here are some ideas that I’ve heard recently that I’d like to pass along.

  • Please be mindful that students are scattered across time zones and that synchronous participation may be challenging.
  • Provide as much flexibility as possible in assignments, forms of participation and due dates.
  • Make students partners in their education by collecting feedback on what they find most effective.
  • Treat yourself with the same generosity you extend to students. No solutions will be perfect in turbulent times.

Additionally, we've seen reports that Zoom classroom sessions on other campuses have been disrupted by unauthorized participants who share offensive material. Here are some recommended tips for using Zoom for meetings and classes, while maintaining security measures:

  • Don’t post Zoom URLs in public spaces. Not Twitter, not forums, not open. Share only with meeting attendees.
  • Use Advanced Settings to ensure that Who can share? Is set to Host Only.
  • Don’t use a Personal Meeting ID for Zoom meetings. These are easy to find and hack. The default Zoom Meeting IDs are randomized, and difficult to find and hack.
  • Use Require Meeting Password to be doubly careful. Include the password with the Zoom URL when sending invitations.
  • Use the Waiting Room feature to control who enters your Zoom. 
  • Use Advanced Settings to disable file transfer. 
  • Lock the meeting after it starts. Look under Participants at the bottom of the Zoom window.  You can lock the door here.

Faculty make our college and university great. Together, in partnership with our students and staff, we will weather this storm.


James W.C. White


Interim Dean

College of Arts and Sciences