Following are just some of the ways in which the faculty, staff and students of the University of Maine have worked tirelessly to make our university as accessible as possible during the coronavirus pandemic:
Student Accessibility Services launched a podcast called Exam Cheerleader to support students during the COVID-19 crisis. The recordings provide the virtual support for students, particularly impacting their ability to be successful on tests:
First-Year Programs have scheduled phone/zoom meetings with each Making the Grade student to continue one-to-one support.
Services for nontraditional and commuting students, veterans, LGBTQ+ and multicultural students have continued online to provide resources, support and access.
The Division of Lifelong Learning Tutor Program and TRIO Student Support Services have transitioned services to a virtual environment and will continue to provide small group and drop-in tutoring services via Zoom for the remainder of the semester.
The Math Lab, a drop-in center for help with mathematics and statistics courses, is using Zoom and a virtual whiteboard. Math MLAs are working remotely with students in the classes they are supporting.
School of Computing and Information Science lecturer Chris Dufour has worked with Computer Science TAs, MLAs and lab monitors to transform the Computer Science drop-in student support computer lab into an online resource using Discord, a chat tool usually used by gamers. The Discord-based online help center has a set of channels where students can drop in for one-on-one or small group support. The goal is to help retain the supportive, social atmosphere the physical lab once provided.
The UMaine Writing Center has supported face-to-face tutorials since 1978, and online tutorials since 2016. The Writing Center team is trained in online literacy and offers synchronous peer-tutoring (i.e.: virtual face-to-face consultations in real time) with professionally trained UMaine student tutors.
UMaine and UMM student-teachers are teaching online in collaboration with their cooperating teachers. In addition, on March 26, Asa Adams Elementary School teachers, including a number of UMaine alumni and current student-teachers, organized a teacher parade for students. It was a three-hour drive through the streets.
Accessibility Support Services has interacted with over 500 faculty teaching students with disabilities to discuss changes to online class formats, inquire if faculty need support or assistance setting up accommodations for remote instruction and helping with the transition to online instruction. Staff also have maintained contact with many students with accommodations or in need of support.
Fogler Library is supporting the research and learning community. Among its resources:
- Research and reference support: Every academic program has a subject librarian who can provide research support to students and faculty. Subject librarians are available through online chat, email, and Zoom.
- Daily open research sessions: Reference librarians are hosting open research sessions on Zoom every weekday from noon-2 p.m. EDT
- Borrowing print books: UMaine patrons can have print books from Fogler’s collection mailed to their current home or campus address.
- Laptop and device loans: UMaine patrons can pick up laptops and technology from Fogler and borrow those items until May 8.
- Online resources: Fogler Library provides access to millions of online resources that UMaine patrons can access from anywhere with an internet connection.
- New online resources: We’ve set up access to several new online resources that publishers have made available to us temporarily (in response to the coronavirus pandemic).
- Interlibrary Loan: We’re scanning journal articles and book chapters for patrons, and we’re providing physical books where possible.