Expectations, Software, Support and Training

Dear UVA Engineering Faculty,

Please read through the following information regarding expectations, recommended software, training for that software, and technical support as we prepare to take our courses online starting Thursday, March 19. In addition, please share this information with GTAs if your course has them.

Since the pause in instruction is only three days (3/16-3/18), UVA Engineering’s expectation is that faculty will complete their course requirements, acknowledging that some modifications may need to be made due to the online format. If you have not done so already, please reach out to the students enrolled in your course by 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, to give them information and instructions about how the course will proceed.

To support alternative instruction, the University has provided a teaching continuity website as a starting point, and UVA Engineering will provide additional training and support.

Please consider joining the following UVACollab site that is actively being developed for UVA Engineering faculty and GTAs:


This link, along with links to other important resources and novel coronavirus-related communications, will be available on this page that will be linked indefinitely from the “Trending News” section of the UVA Engineering homepage, engineering.virginia.edu.

Recommended Software:

  • UVACollab – This is the most important software for all of us to use for our courses. This learning management system is supported by UVA ITS and will provide a uniform portal for our students to access their course material. There are many tools available within Collab that can be used to share information as well as conduct tests and quizzes (see training below). If you have not used Collab previously, please begin the process immediately of creating a site for your course.
  • Panopto – This software can be accessed from within Collab and can be used to record lectures. There are a variety of ways this can be used that will be covered in our training sessions (see below for session information). Recording lectures will be important to allow for students who may have difficulty accessing high speed internet.
  • Zoom – This software is accessible from within Collab and can be used to hold online meetings. This is a good option for holding office hours and enabling discussion-based classes. With the appropriate hardware, Zoom can also record these sessions. This is a cloud-based system, and there is uncertainty around the ability of this system to handle the coming load. You may also want to direct your students to create their own Zoom accounts so they can use the software for team-based work (https://in.virginia.edu/zoomaccount).
  • Piazza – This software is accessible from Collab, and supports asynchronous discussions among students, faculty and GTAs.

Technical Support:

  • Issues with Software or Classroom Hardware – Please first contact your department’s local service provider (LSP).
  • Questions about Online Delivery Strategies – Michael Redwine, mr7va@virginia.edu, is the Educational Strategies Coordinator for Virginia Engineering Online (VEO).


Michael Redwine, mr7va@virginia.edu, will lead our training sessions and will also be available for assistance with teaching-related issues as we continue past March 19.


Mon. March 16th, Tues. March 17th, Weds. March 18th

MEC214 – instructors and GTAs are welcome to drop in and leave as needed

9am – 10am

Setting up your UVACollab Site

10am – 11am

Lecture Capture, Online Meetings, Office Hours

12pm – 1pm

Assignments, Tests, Student Presentations

1pm – 2pm

Grading and Proctoring


Finally, the following are faculty representatives on the UVA Engineering Continuity of Operations Committee:

Eric Anderson and Geoff Geise, ChE

Shannon Barker, BME

Aaron Bloomfield, CS

Lindsay Ivey-Burden, ESE

Peter Norton, STS

Stacie Pisano, APMA

Harry Powell, ECE

Natasha Smith, MAE

Leo Zhigilei, MSE

Please reach out to them for assistance as well. They have a list of faculty who have extensive experience with teaching in our online programs – we need everyone’s help to maximize chances of success.

We will continue to follow up with you actively over the coming days and weeks, and want to hear any questions or suggestions you have. If you hear from your students, as I imagine many of you will, please reassure them of our unwavering commitment to support them, and our resolve to ensure that their education will continue and their courses will be completed even in these challenging times. As President Ryan said, “We will make it through this together by supporting each other, thinking creatively, and staying connected even if physically separated.”

N. Scott Barker, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

UVA Engineering