Planning Guide for Faculty - University of Houston
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If the University determines that classes will meet online rather than in person there are some easy steps to take some of the stress out of working and teaching from off campus.

Bookmark the UIT GetHelp page for quick access to all the ways to reach IT Support.

Easy Steps for Success

Here are some easy steps you can do now:

  1. Go to AccessUH and log in with your CougarNet ID and password. AccessUH will tell you when your password will expire. If you can't log in or if your password is expiring in the near future go to the Password Reset Wizard  and reset your password.
  2. In AccessUH, click on the PASS icon ("") and update your contact information. The University may be sending you regular updates or instructions and you will need to make sure that we have the most current contact information.
  3. Click on the Canvas icon in AccessUH to make sure that you can get in and you see all your classes. Every UH class has a Canvas section set up so faculty can communicate with students.
  4. In AccessUH, click on the Microsoft 365 icon ("") to get access to the online version of Microsoft Office and get your free copies of Microsoft products. All faculty can download Microsoft products for free on their personal computer. If your computer is slow or you're out of storage you can use the web version of the Microsoft suite if you have an internet connection.
  5. Explore your options for storing and backing up data. UH makes available Microsoft OneDrive and Microsoft SharePoint for storing information in the cloud rather than on your PC. OneDrive functions like your personal hard drive but also allows you to share documents. SharePoint allows you to share documents and provides a joint calendar and communications. To learn more, please visit the - OneDrive for Business page
  6. Ensure that you have any specialized software that you need for teaching. AccessUH has a Software Download icon ("") that you can use to download some of the commonly used software titles. If you have other software that you use for your class, check with your department's technology team to see what your options are for using it at home.
  7. Review the on-campus resources you will need to access from home. If you need to retrieve files from on-campus servers or log into a remote computer, you will need to set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Go to the UIT VPN page  for instruction.
  8. When working off campus, be sure to keep your data secure and your computer safe. Getting hacked, losing your computer, or being locked out by Malware will set you back a long way. Take these steps to make sure you're secure: 
    • Update your anti-virus and anti-spyware software frequently.
    • Run a full scan on your computer once a week to detect any problems.
    • Report any suspicious activity on your computer to
    • Avoid giving others physical access to UH equipment.
    • Don't leave sensitive information unattended.
    • Logout before you walk away from your computer.

UIT Can Help

The IT Support Center (helpdesk) will remain open to support you even from off campus. The helpdesk will be answering phones, text messages, email, and responding to social media.

  1. The quickest and easiest way to get help is to call or text message the helpdesk at 713-743-1411.
  2. You can also get real time support through chat or you can send an email to and we'll get back to you ASAP.
  3. Follow UIT on social media for tips and hints to be successful and to see if there are any service disruptions that might interrupt classes: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
  4. For the latest information and the current status of all IT services including Canvas and Microsoft Office 365. 

Real Time Support for Faculty:

At the direction of the Provost, University Information Technology has activated Microsoft Teams for all faculty and created a Team of all faculty and Academic Support staff. This will provide a platform for training and a place for faculty to get support from peers and support staff.

Microsoft Teams is the true web conferencing application available from Microsoft. You can't make phone regular phone calls but for web meetings it is extremely robust. All University students, faculty and staff are licensed for MS Teams. MS Teams is the next evolution of collaboration by taking all the features of MS Skype for Business, SharePoint, Groups, OneDrive and others into one application that can access and organize recurring meetings for workgroups, present webinars for your peers, or manage projects in one easy to schedule and set up platform. As with Skype for Business, you use Outlook to invite anyone inside or outside the organization to collaborate via audio, video, instant messaging, and to work on documents in real time.

Teams is ideal for groups of collaborators that meet frequently to work on documents or to provide online training. It even allows meeting to be recorded and posted directly into Office 365 for later viewing. This allows it to be used as a recording option for live training sessions or to record course content from your desktop. It really needs to be experienced to be appreciated. Learn more about Microsoft Teams.