Information on COVID-19 from the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences


Person using a laptop


In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the University of Northern Iowa is preparing to transition to online coursework for the duration of the spring semester, as well as the summer semester. To help ease this transition, the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences has created this webpage, dedicated to connecting our faculty with online instruction resources and technology support. It’s our goal to ease the burden on faculty members by providing a source for helpful information and tools. We look forward to working collaboratively with you to overcome challenges, discover new best practices, and ensure the continued success of our students, faculty and staff.

Please continue to monitor for additional updates.


Frequently Asked Questions

What information technology resources are available to employees?

Information Technology (IT) has created a detailed web site to support faculty and staff working remotely. Visit the Information Technology Remote Services and Support website for detailed information on how to provide lectures, discussions, meetings, testing and office hours virtually.

What technology tool should I use to replace face-to-face meetings?

Zoom is the perfect replacement when in person meetings are not an option. Conduct live meetings with others, share your screen and even record your session to share later. To learn how, visit the UNI eLearning Suite FAQ or view this 10 minute video.

What do I tell a student who has questions about their dorm closing?

Students should be out of the dorms by Monday, March 23. If a student can't or doesn't want to come back to campus to move their belongings, they can fill out the form, here, allowing UNI to store their belongings inside their room until they can be collected. If a student would like to stay on campus, they can fill out a form, here, for approval. Students who need access to facilities to collect belongings should contact their department head. See the Department of Residence website for more information.

What do I do if I don't have a webcam?

Currently, there are a limited number of Logitech webcams available for check out to CHAS faculty. Contact Associate Dean Jennifer Cooley ( to check one out. In addition, CHAS has ordered a large number of web cams for faculty, which will arrive on April 9. In the meantime, if you do not have access to a webcam and would like to be able to create videos for your teaching, there is a workaround! You may be able to tape lectures using your mobile phone (Apple or Android). There are a couple of basic, inexpensive tools that can enhance the quality of this method: 
1. A tripod for your phone: Here's an option.
2. A mic for your phone: Here's an option.
Tip: If you plan to distribute the videos you create via Blackboard (the online course platform UNI supports), it would be helpful to download the Panopto application on your phone (and the Blackboard app, too). Open Panopto and make your video in it so that you can distribute it via your course. Or, just make the video and send it out via email, or put it onto YouTube. 


Other Resources

Laptop checkout for faculty and staff: In light of the recent recommendation for all UNI employees to work remotely when possible, Information Technology (IT) has modified its laptop checkout process. Visit IT’s website, here, for more details. Call 319-273-5555 for more information.

Online teaching and learning tools: UNI has many tools available for you to teach remotely. Whether you're brand new to teaching using online tools or you've been doing it for years, the following links and resources have something for you. At UNI every course in the SIS is in our Blackboard Learn system so you can easily continue to teach your class even though you cannot physically be in your classroom. Students and faculty are encouraged to take advantage of the online resources available through the Rod Library, as well as the UNI Bookstore, which recently made more than 50,000 ebook titles available for free through May 25. The Learning Center at UNI continues to offer online resources, including assistance with writing and other student work.

Course planning: Follow the simple steps on UNI’s Academic Contingency Planning website for guidance. Consider the use of the Quality Matters (QM) Emergency Remote Instruction Checklist, nationally recognized, faculty-driven techniques to ensure the quality of online instruction. Also check out the Are you Prepared? Presentation given to CBA faculty on March 13, 2020, for more helpful information.

Free Zoom background for CHAS: We've created a free Zoom background for everyone in the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences. The background is available for download here. For instructions on how to add the background, click here


Below is a guide of tasks and tools for remote instruction

There is an online tool for just about any task. Check out the list below, and feel free to submit new task and tool suggestions to us.

Lectures (synchronous)Zoom or Panopto

Lectures (asynchronous, pre-recorded lectures)Panopto

Upload videos: Panopto (Upload a Video)

Discussions: Blackboard Learn - Discussions

Posting Course ContentBlackboard Learn (Word, PDFs, or other files) or Google Drive (Create Folder in Google Drive) or Google Drive (Share with Class Google Group)

Distributing Updates / Communication with your Class: Blackboard Learn (Announcements, Discussions or Send Email) or Google Apps for Education (Share with Class Google Groups) or MyUNIverse (Faculty Center)

Virtual Office HoursZoom or Google Apps for Education - Calendar Appointment Slots

Submitting PapersBlackboard Learn (Assignments tab) or TurnitIn

Quizzes/Tests: Blackboard Learn (Quizzes/Tests tab) 

Citrix Virtual Desktops (pilot program): > Request use of Citrix > Citrix Virtual Desktops Documentation > Citrix Application and Status Information

Document Cameras: Document cameras for check out are located in Sabin 103 and will require a UNI ID to access Sabin 103. After you pick up the document camera, please go to the following web page and fill out the Fixed Assets | Off-Campus Use Form.

Annotating/facilitating student discussion: is a tool that can be set up in Blackboard Learn, giving students and faculty the opportunity to annotate and interact with the text and each other. 


Tech Support

For immediate tech support, open a request in Service Hub and our support team will get to work on finding a solution.


Still have questions?

Specific questions or needing guidance? CHAS Associate Dean Jennifer Cooley can assist. Reach out at