IT Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center

IT Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center

What IT units can do to help

The IT Forum is working to source ideas and resources to help support campus and IT staff as the novel coronavirus has shaped a “new normal” for colleges and universities. Below you’ll find IT practices from your peer institutions and resources from the broader community. We hope to continue updating this resource as we speak with more of our IT partners across the coming weeks.

To discuss how your institution is handling the pandemic from an IT perspective and hear from your peers, consider participating in one of our virtual roundtable discussions

IT Support for the Remote Campus

Strategize your approach to IT support on campus by reviewing how other institutions are approaching the remote IT support model. Use peer examples to inspire your own creative approach. From building service portals to consulting services and online trainings, IT can support the remote campus in a variety of different ways.

WPI launched a one stop shop for services, communications, knowledge articles, tools, and applications in light of everyone making the transition to working and learning remotely. 

The University of Delaware’s created a FAQ page that provides an easy way for staff and faculty to get answers to their questions as they transition to remote learning and instruction. 

The University of Miami launched a page for remote access technologies that includes a checklist, quick links to prepare for remote work, and relevant information by user group. FAQs are included for topics such as zoom and remote access.

The University of Miami’s Distance Learning Institute is providing consultations for faculty to help leverage online technologies and teaching techniques to create engaging course experiences. In addition, the LIFE team along with University Libraries is helping faculty create alternative course materials and assignments.

The University of Miami is offering live training sessions and office hours via Zoom over the next few weeks. Training courses cover topics such as “Engaging with Students in an Online Course”, “Blackboard 101”, “Blackboard + Zoom”, “Blackboard Assessments”, and “Respondus Lockdown / Monitor”.

NYU developed a resource page for remote instruction that organizes information based on the task, associated tool(s), and relevant tutorial(s). They are also offering live virtual training courses on using Zoom and have produced guides to promote best practices for teaching remotely. 

Madison College conducted a survey to identify computer needs of students and staff. They then completed a computer inventory of all classroom and library computers to determine that they could ship ~300 computers to students and staff as needed.

IT Team Support

Support your own IT team while they transition to remote work by seeing what other institutions are doing to maintain communication, promote engagement, and increase productivity for their staff. Even though IT staff are comfortable using technology tools, the transition to being remote still poses challenges for everyone.

The service management team at the University of Delaware created a “duty roster” dashboard that facilitates a daily check in for all staff members where they can log if they are working that day and where they are working from. This provides a single resource for everyone to find contact information for the whole team.

Data-Driven Insights

Advance institutional goals by leveraging data to gain a deeper insight into what’s happening on campus and how the institution can best respond. IT is uniquely positioned to uncover critical information to help campus gain a better picture of how this situation is playing out across and beyond the campus community.

The service management and project management teams at the University of Delaware set up a service management framework within Team Dynamix to track and manage calls from the institutional call center, along with a new coronavirus email address. The resulting dashboard allows university leadership to understand the day by day concerns of faculty, staff, students, parents, and the community so that they can adjust their messaging and response accordingly. 

Cybersecurity Communication

Inform strategies to elevate security awareness for students, staff, faculty, and parents by reviewing peer communication practices. Educating and preparing campus users for a potential phishing attack is critical during this time.

WPI elevated security awareness by publishing an article titled “Phishing: Coronavirus Scams” as a way to warn and educate users on the likelihood of phishing attacks right now. The article includes tips to avoid email scans as well as relevant action items and resources. 

Trusted CI created a detailed list of security best practices for keeping data secure during COVID-19.

Stanford University released a mock email that serves as a COVID-19 phising example. They are likely to send a fake phising campaign using similar language as a test.

The University of Wisconsin, Madison released a short set of guidelines on how to prevent a COVID-19 phishing attack.

Vendor Management

Take advantage of discounted service offerings to utilize new technology tools and enable omnichannel communication with users. Many companies and service providers are offering reduced pricing or free periods for their services that can help make communication, instruction, and productivity more effective.   

EDUCAUSE published a list of companies offering discounted services to support higher education institutions transitioning online.

Related resources on this topic