Transition to Online Classes at UBC


Please be aware that UBC will be transitioning to online classes beginning Monday, March 16.

I realize that a transition like this on such short notice will be challenging. I believe that the first step should be to formulate a plan for moving as many resources online as possible and communicating this plan to your students as soon as you can (using the usual means of making announcements in your class). It is perfectly reasonable to expect that the next class meeting (or two) might need to be cancelled in order to facilitate planning time before resuming the course.

I would like to stress that our goal here is to ensure that students are taught the materials that they were meant to learn, and that they are assessed fairly. Modes of instruction and assessment can take on several forms, and we are absolutely open to you exploring new and unique ways of delivering materials (online or otherwise). Should you find that aspects of your course are not conducive to online learning (for example, labs), please get in touch with me and we will try to come up with a workable solution.

That said, I would also encourage you to use the resources available to you, and suggest that you start with the link below, which provides a series of short instructions and guides to support core teaching and assessment activities:

Given that we do not have instructional support in our Faculty, please feel free to take advantage of the services provided by the Learning Technologies Hub at CTLT:

Phone: 604.827.4775

Lastly, I’m certain that there will be missteps along the way, and ask you to approach this unique situation with patience and openness. We are fortunate to have such stellar teaching in the Faculty of Forestry, and are very grateful for your professionalism, dedication to our students, and willingness to make it work.

Senate Policy V-130 (Content and Distribution of Course Syllabi) states the following:


a. Should the course instructor wish to make a material change to the syllabus after the last day by which students are permitted to drop the course without receiving a ‘W’ on the transcript, the course instructor must explain the rationale to the class. The course instructor must ensure that registered students have access to the changed details in a revised and dated version of the syllabus and should send electronic communication to students to alert them that a change has been made.

b. Any student who sees the change to the syllabus as detrimental to their academic progress is entitled to discuss the case with the course instructor and seek a resolution. Where student and instructor cannot agree, students are encouraged to take their protest to the head of the department concerned and then to the dean of the faculty responsible for the course in accordance with the Academic Calendar regulations on protests for academic standings.

Again, this is an extraordinary situation, but if you make changes to the way grades are assessed, please be as transparent as you can with your students by letting them know about the changes, and by considering any feedback that you may receive with respect to these changes.

If you have any question or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.



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