UE Pandemic Response






When the pandemic of 2020 began, the University of California, Riverside (UCR) was immediately focused on how to create a sense of community and how to ensure first-generation students were supported in a new, virtual environment. UCR transitioned rapidly to an online learning environment, and based on local and state circumstances, we transitioned online in March 2020 and are planned to continue to remain remote through September 2021. Prior to the pandemic, UCR had very few online courses, our students had little experience with online campus course environments and services, and our infrastructure through which to support students outside in-person interactions were both aging and inconsistent. At the start of the pandemic, UCR launched a series of First-Gen Chats, listening sessions, and social hours, via video chats for feedback and socialization. These sessions quickly informed the campus on how to adapt our structures and services, which areas were of critical need, and where we were falling short in supporting students. Out of these sessions and other efforts, we grew three new supports and services for students: ScottyBot, AskUCR, and Campus Collective, along with online learning support for teachers and students (Keep Teaching and Keep Learning), and a new campus-wide communication collaboration tool, Slack