Coronavirus (COVID-19) update – September 1, 2020

Live 2020

Dear members of the McGill community:

The Fall semester is upon us, and it promises to be unlike any other in McGill history. Thank you to all faculty and staff for all your hard work in planning a rewarding learning experience for all our students, whether they will be joining us on our campuses, or engaging virtually from around the world. Thanks as well to all the students who participated in last week’s Town Hall. It was great to see so much engagement and so many great questions about the Fall semester.  If you weren’t able to attend, you can now watch a recording of the session.

Below is the latest information to help everyone have a successful and productive Fall semester.

Resources for students

Consult this page for essential information, including general and student-specific health guidelines. I would also like to remind you that any informal student gatherings, be they indoor or outdoor, must be limited to no more than 10 people while respecting physical distancing measures.

Many Student Services are now offering in-person as well as remote appointments and support. Take a look at their webpage for a full list and more information.

The new Remote Student Life website has a wealth of information on services and resources available remotely, as well as links to what is open on campus.  Make sure you also check myCourses, McGill’s learning management system, throughout the week for instructions on how to access your classes remotely and other important information from your instructors. New to myCourses? Check out these tips for students and this handy user manual.

Although you will not be required to be on campus this semester, some of your classes may have optional in-person teaching activities, which will be complemented with a remote alternative so you can fully participate in your class from home. These in-person activities will mostly occur in Teaching Hubs. Your instructor will communicate with you if your class has an in-person teaching activity—if you don’t hear from your instructor on this topic, your class will not have an in-person teaching activity.

If you are a graduate student with questions about your research or courses, you can check out this FAQ website, and also be sure to communicate with your research supervisor, or direct questions to your Graduate Program Director.

IT support

Virtual IT walk-in support is available from Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Appointments will be given at 20-minute intervals. You can book sessions with an agent and connect via webcam on MS Teams.

Shuttle bus

The shuttle bus between the downtown and Macdonald campuses is available for students who are taking courses on both campuses, and for faculty and staff who have administrative or academic university-related business on both campuses. Please note that due to the Quebec government’s COVID physical distancing requirements for transportation, the passenger capacity on each shuttle bus is a maximum of 12 seated passengers. Before riding, please familiarize yourself with other modifications to how the bus operates.

Zoom accounts

McGill students, faculty, Course Lecturers, TAs, and other staff involved in teaching activities will automatically receive licensed Zoom accounts for the 2020-2021 academic year. These licensed accounts:

  • remove the 40-minute time limit
  • allow sessions to have up to 300 participants
  • include features such as breakout rooms and polling

There is no action required on your part; when the final integration is complete, your license will be automatically upgraded when logging in to the program using your McGill credentials on the web or in the app. Please note that you may need to log out of Zoom and then log in again to activate the new license.

Instructors teaching classes larger than 300 will have their accounts automatically upgraded to larger sizes to allow all students to join the (virtual) classroom before the start of term.

Zoom is only one of a suite of Web-conferencing tools available to the community, and is currently available for teaching and collaborative learning. For non-teaching purposes, all staff (including faculty, course lecturers, TA and others) are asked to use MS Teams and Cisco Webex. This Zoom institutional license has been acquired in collaboration with IT and Procurement Services.

I wish you all the best in your studies and work this semester.

Sincerely,

Fabrice Labeau
Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning), on behalf of the Emergency Operations Centre

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