Dear Colleagues,

I want to let you know how proud I am of all the efforts that are going around the college to prepare for distance learning that begins March 23.

I’m hearing several departments are organizing “train the trainer” groups to assist each other in the technical and pedagogical challenges associated with teaching and advising remotely. There will be additional individualized training within VCEA next week to help you. More on this later. Please continue to reach out to one another and share your expertise – and your concerns. Together, we can do this!

As a reminder, Voiland College’s preferred method of online teaching is synchronous. Student learning benefits from scheduled activities. As instructors, we create a schedule to promote educational attainment of new knowledge and skills. While it is possible to learn a new subject independently (by watching videos, for example), few of us have the self-discipline to succeed. “Live” or “Real-Time” teaching via Zoom should be the method by which your online classes are taught.

As noted in yesterday’s announcement from David Cillay, Vice President for Academic Outreach and Innovation (AOI), WSU is providing more opportunities for our teaching faculty to brush up on their online instruction skills.

As part of their Emergency Toolkit for Distance Delivery, AOI is making available new resources to faculty on the Pullman campus during the week of spring break, March 16–20. Registration is not required.

Intro to Online Delivery and Blackboard: Trainings will be available Monday through Friday at 8 a.m., 12 noon, and 4 p.m. in Spark 102, Pullman Campus) and virtually. (Join the Zoom meeting here.)

You’ll learn to enable your Blackboard course space, connect with students synchronously via Zoom and record the session, create a Panopto recording and upload it to your Blackboard course space, and other strategies and tools for delivering content online. Registration is not required. For your convenience, here are the slides for this training (PDF).

Recording Laboratory Experiments: On a limited basis, AOI videographers are available to faculty to record lab demonstrations and other activities that are difficult to replicate online. This will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Scott Vik at 509-335-2105 or email to schedule a videographer.

AOI is also hosting Advanced Zoom Training next week: M, W, and F at 10 a.m. and T, TH at 2 p.m. – Will include polling tools, break out rooms and the Zoom white board. These trainings can be taken in Spark 102, or on zoom

Zoom Best Practices & Resources:
VCEA IT has gathered some helpful information on their website to further assist you with videoconferencing via Zoom, including:

Voiland College IT is available to assist with Zoom training and issues that may arrive during class- you can contact them at

Consult the AOI Guide for Students: This includes information from the student point of view about how to access courses through Blackboard We urge you to review this information because it may help you be more effective to see these activities from the students’ point of view.

In addition, Voiland College is organizing additional training opportunities in the near future to provide you with more clarity and support. Look for announcements next week from me.

I know there is a lot going on right now and it can be a lot to process. You can read my prior COVID19 letters on the Voiland College Faculty/Staff Web Page and I will continue to keep you informed as new information develops.

Look for updates on WSU’s response efforts at WSU’s COVID-19 website on a regular basis, and you can always send your questions to WSU’s dedicated COVID-19 email

Be Safe, Cougs!

Dean Mary Rezac's signature
Mary Rezac (she/her/hers)
Dean, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
Washington State University
Phone: 509-335-5593
Twitter: @VCEA_Dean