Teaching and Learning: Odds & Ends

Online Teaching Resources

As we all quickly become ‘experts’ in online teaching and learning, now would be a good time to check back with the https://keepteaching.ubc.ca/ site, which continues to improve and get populated. As well, https://lthub.ubc.ca/guides/all/ provides a very useful listing of all of the online tools that are available to you.

Online Teaching to Students Abroad

In general, we have found that most of the students abroad have decent connectivity and are able to readily access UBC’s online teaching tools (eg, Canvas seems to have very few issues). That said, if you are running a “high stakes” activity (eg, a final exam in Proctorio), we would recommend that you try a test run of the system (practice quiz) with some or all of your students before implementing it.

A special note about Proctorio – students must use Chrome as their browser, and they should follow the instructions contained within the attached Zip file (we will be sending this to students shortly, but feel free to make this available to them via email or on Canvas, and have them follow the “how to” instructions). If Proctorio does not work, there are other options available. For example, you can use a lockdown browser for non-proctored Canvas quizzes (https://lthub.ubc.ca/guides/lockdown-browser/), create a take home exam (open or closed book), or come up with alternative means of assessment.

Should you encounter any issues, your first point of contact is forestry.ithelp@ubc.ca.


If your course involves group classwork, please ensure that it can be done with groups working remotely, and try to communicate this important message to your students. We have had several instances of students coming into the Forest Sciences Centre to complete group work. Under no circumstances should a student be forced to come into the building (eg, to do a team project or give a presentation). We have sent a note to students explaining that, for all intents and purposes, the building is closed and they should not be working there (on occasion, there may be students there who have no other access to wireless internet, but should be working independently).

Academic Concessions

We are getting a lot of questions (from students and instructors) regarding the Withdrawal and Credit/D/Fail options that were enacted yesterday. If a student asks you about these options, please just direct them to an Advisor in Student Services, and perhaps let them know that it is in their best interest to complete the class and wait until the grades have been submitted to make this decision. If a student opts for a Credit/D/Fail standing prior to the end of the course, this should not change your teaching practice in any way, including how you submit student grades (in theory, you should not even know that they have done this). Again, Student Services will take care of the grade changes on the back end.

Student Assessment Repository

A suggestion was made to set up a secure repository where we can store grading information should any of us become too incapacitated to finish off our courses (and a substitute needs to pick it up). This has been set up, and I would encourage you to store your grades both locally and in the new, accessible secure directory (requires VPN to connect).

To obtain access to the secure directory, contact forestry.web@ubc.ca.

Summer Courses

Term 1 summer courses at UBC will be offered (but online). In all likelihood, so too will Term 2 summer courses, but this has not yet been confirmed. If you teach in the summer term, I will be chatting with you soon, if I haven’t already. There is still no indication of what is going to happen in the fall term (including fall field courses), but I will let you know as soon as I hear any word.


The Co-op Program at UBC (and Forestry) is still very much on for this summer. If you are interested, please see the attached Employer FAQs sheet prepared by our Co-op Team.

International Students

Many international students have concerns related to immigration and health insurance, and an FAQ sheet was sent to them today from UBC International Student Advising. Should you encounter an international student who is feeling anxious about these issues, please direct them to Student Services immediately.

The honesty pledge that I sent last week was based on one that is used in the Faculty of Science. Please feel free to use it or not, and/or to modify it in any way. Some of you may find the language of this pledge a little heavy-handed, so I would offer up a more Forestry-friendly version penned by Patrick Culbert for your consideration (used for an open-book exam):

We are taking this exam under unusual (awful) circumstances. We’re all in this together. It is important that this exam is fair to all students, and that no student has an unfair advantage.

With that in mind, please affirm the following:

I affirm that I will neither give assistance to, nor receive assistance from, another student during this exam.

  • True
  • False

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