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Educational Continuity for Staff


For information on our campus's response to the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit the Emergency Preparedness website.

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This page outlines methods that allow for University business to continue in the event that staff must work remotely or campus is closed. These methods are in alignment with UC Merced Human Resources COVID-19 Employee Guidance published March 17, 2020.

Here we provide strategies, tools, and resources to facilitate remote work and collaboration. Each link will take you to resources to help you get set up with that particular activity or tool.

Information and resources listed here will continue to be updated as the campus works to provide additional tools, resources, and strategies. Last update: March 17, 2020 4:00 pm

Note: As you prepare for online/remote work, please be aware of increased cybersecurity threats disguised as information about COVID-19.


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Make Plans Proactively

 

Work with your business unit to ensure that you have the resources, tools, and equipment necessary to work remotely for a period of weeks.

Sign up for emergency alerts

 

Stay appraised of the situation and sign up to receive alerts from Emergency Management via text message and email:

Signing Up for UCM Alert Emergency Notifications

Coordinate with your businesss unit

 

Work with your business unit to agree on remote business practices such the various ways in which you will be accessible, collaboration methods, work priorities, contingency plans, etc. This will ensure that you are well-prepared for effective remote work and collaboration. 

Familiarize yourself with available technologies and resources

 

There are a number of technologies that can be utilized to facilitate effective remote work and collaboration. In Strategies and Digital Tools below, you will find guides that will help you set up and prepare to use these tools.

  • Office 365 is the primary suite of tools that allows for the creation of various work documents, access to campus email, and communication and collaboration. 
  • Box is a cloud-based file storage and sharing system that allows access to your files across devices.
  • Zoom is a videoconferencing service that enables synchronous online individual or group meetings.
  • VoIP is a internet phone service that allows users to receive calls via a desktop or mobile app. 
  • Teams is a Microsoft platform that allows for group collaboration and communication. 

Below, we list OIT's recommended equipment to facilitate online instruction and meetings. Before purchasing individually, faculty should reach out the Dean's Office in their school. Individual schools may have already made purchases or be managing purchase of equipment for their faculty. Schools are also best suited to help faculty with individual purchases of these items.


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1. Set Up A New Remote Work Station: Basics 

Ensure that you have what you need to effectively work remotely: computer, monitor, internet connection, phone line, and access to your 2-Factor Authentication devices. If you will be working on a different computer or device, you may need to install Office 365 applications.

Office 365 with Skype for Business

Office Apps for Mobile Devices

2. Access Your Files & File-Share: Box 

If you will be accessing your files via a different computer while you are remote, you may want to download Box Drive and enable key files for offline access.

Learn more about Box via these resources, then install Box Drive below:

3. Remote Meetings & Collaboration: Zoom

Zoom is a videoconferencing service that enables synchronous online individual or group meetings. 

4. Make and Receive Calls: VoIP (existing customers)

For information about VoIP setup and troubleshooting, please refer to OIT's VoIP Technical Resources page.

5. Access Secure Campus Resources: VPN

The campus Virtual Private Network (VPN) service allows UC Merced users a secure, encrypted connection back to the campus network from remote locations. VPN should be used when accessing secure campus resources that require it, but is not necessary for everyday activities like checking email.

 

6. Manage Group Work, Meetings, and Collaboration: Teams

Teams brings together chat (IM or Instant Message), online meetings, calling, file management, and a project workspace all into one solution, making it easier for users to communicate and collaborate.

Teams is licensed and available for all UC Merced active students, faculty, and staff. If you’re new to Teams, there are two ways access the application. You may either use it online as part of Office 365 or you may download and install it (recommended).

 To get started with Teams, access the resources below:


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Check the OIT Status

OIT publishes up-to-the minute information about campus-wide problems and outages on our Twitter page. Don't have Twitter? Check out the feed on the front page of the OIT website.

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