Undergraduate Technology Assistants: Supporting Online Instruction

To facilitate online instruction in 2020-21, a new role called Undergraduate Technology Assistants (UTA) has been established by Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. UTAs will be trained by the Poorvu Center to serve as a technological resource for faculty teaching remotely. By helping our faculty, UTAs themselves will gain valuable experience and contribute to a successful teaching and learning environment.

Faculty requests for UTA support have referenced some needs that are out of scope for the intended UTA role. Example responsibilities are listed to clarify expectations about how UTAs will be equipped to support online and hybrid instruction this fall. UTAs should not exceed more than five hours of work per course per week. We invite instructors and UTAs with questions about specific tasks to contact us.

IN SCOPE

  • Ongoing:
    • Meet regularly with the instructor of record to discuss solutions to general issues that arise in remote instruction
    • Make suggestions about Canvas site elements from the perspective of a student taking the course to ensure that materials are well organized and easy to find
    • Help ensure that live Zoom session recordings are available in the course media library
    • Assist students in course with basic technology issues, referring to other resources when necessary
  • Prior to live Zoom sessions:
    • Work with faculty to ensure that session links are created and distributed
    • Help instructors create files to pre-assign breakout rooms
    • Help instructors set up polls to use during class
  • During live Zoom sessions:
    • Monitor chat discussions
    • Note hands raised
    • Manage breakout rooms (will require temporary “Host” role)
    • Assist with screen-sharing

OUT OF SCOPE

  • General technical assistance with third-party platforms outside of Canvas and Zoom
  • Assistance with campus classroom technology for in-person teaching
  • Assistance with use of specialized software such as RStudio, Mathematica, etc. from the Yale Software Library
  • Assistance creating asynchronous lecture videos
  • Editing closed caption transcripts of live video sessions
    • The time required for this task would likely exceed the 5 hours/week allotted for UTA appointments, and may require disciplinary knowledge. Please contact the Poorvu Center to discuss editing caption transcripts.
  • Grading
  • Creating film clips for student viewing or arranging for virtual film screenings