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Center for Teaching Excellence

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Welcome Letter

Dear Conference Attendees,

On behalf of the planning committee for the Virtual Teaching Conference at the University of South Carolina, I am honored to welcome you to Columbia, South Carolina for the Virtual Teaching Conference next week (March 8-10). We are pleased to have representatives from numerous institutions bringing together research on the use of virtual technologies in higher education and practical applications of these tools that are in use in classrooms. The University of South Carolina takes great pride in hosting educationally productive and inspiring conferences that create meaningful connections between presenters and attendees. This letter includes pertinent information about conference logistics.

Conference Hotel

The official hotel for the conference is the Courtyard Columbia Downtown at USC (630 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201). Parking is free for hotel guests. A parking pass will be provided to you when you check into the hotel.

Baseball Game

The University of South Carolina will play Cornell University on March 8th at 1:00pm (note the change in the game time from 1:30pm to 1:00pm) at Founders Park (431 Williams St, Columbia, SC 29201). If you are a local conference and have not picked up your ticket or if you are not a local attendee, a conference representative will provide you a ticket in the lobby of Courtyard Columbia Downtown at USC at 12:00pm. If you do not pick up your ticket by 12:10pm, you will need to pick up your ticket from Will Call at Founders Park. Your ticket will be available at Will Call by 12:45pm.

A shuttle will pick up attendees who signed up for the baseball game at the Courtyard Columbia Downtown at USC at 12:15pm. The shuttle will depart from Founders Park at the conclusion of the game. If you wish to drive to the game, the parking fee is $5 or $10 depending on the parking location. More information about parking for the baseball game can be found on the Game Day Parking Information webpage. South Carolina Athletics has a clear bag policy to provide a safer environment and more expedited entry for fans. Review the clear bag policy website for a list of approved and prohibited bags.

The shuttle will drop you off at the corner of Wheat Street and Williams Street. You will enter Founders Park at Gate 1. The group seats are located in section OF1, rows 4 and 5. The shuttle will pick you up at the conclusion of the game at the drop off location.


The reception will take place at the Courtyard Columbia Downtown at USC on March 8 in the Lexington Meeting Room. The reception will start at 6pm. A local jazz band, Dick Goodwin Music, will provide entertainment at the reception. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and a hosted bar will be provided. One of the keynote speakers, Giovanni Castillo, will speak at 7pm.


The sponsors of the Virtual Teaching Conference feel that this will be a dynamic event that’s worthy of documenting on video. We will have a videographer capturing conference highlights to create a highlights reel that will be made available to all attendees. If you have any objection to being videotaped, you’re encouraged to politely let the videographer know and they will avoid capturing your image on camera.

Location of Conference Sessions

The conference will take place at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications on the campus of the University of South Carolina (800 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29201). The conference sessions will run from 9am-5:30pm on Monday, March 9 and 8:30am-4:30pm on Tuesday, March 10. Transportation will be provided to and from to the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and the official hotel. You will meet a conference representative in the lobby of the hotel. The shuttle will depart from the Courtyard Columbia Downtown at USC at 8:30am and will depart from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at 5:45pm on Monday. The shuttle will depart from the Courtyard Columbia Downtown at USC at 8am and will depart from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at 4:45pm on Tuesday.

Participatory Plenary

The conference will conclude with a session that is designed to get everyone involved in drawing lessons and actions from the presentations. This “Participatory Plenary” session will give everyone in attendance a chance to participate, and we hope that this session will enhance the utility of what you’ve learned at the conference.

Parking for Conference Sessions

Bull Street Garage 

Parking is available in the Bull Street Garage - located at 611 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29208. The Bull Street Garage is located near the Russell House University Union (approximately 1.5 blocks from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications). Visitor parking is available on Levels 4G and above at a cost of $1 per hour. There is a $15 charge for lost tickets. Pay options include: Credit Card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover), Cash, Check, Carolina Cash, Google Pay and Apple Pay).

Parking Meters

There are parking meters located around the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. You have the option of depositing coins into the meter or using the Passport Parking app. When using the app, only enter letters and numbers for your license tag number.

  1. The meter will display the amount of time given corresponding to the amount of coins deposited
  2. You may not re-feed the meter, i.e., you may not stay at a meter longer than the maximum time allowed. The maximum time is shown by the color of the meter: o Blue meters, 5 to 10 hours o Green Meters, 2 hours o Silver Meters, 1 hour o Red Meters, 30 Minutes
  3. You may not park in the metered space for longer than the maximum time limit displayed on the meter.
  4. Upon reaching the expired time, you must move your vehicle.

Guidebook App

The University of South Carolina has gone mobile, using the popular app Guidebook to share information on the conference with attendees. To download the Guidebook app, find the app on the Google Play store or iOS App Store. When you have found it, tap to download and install the Guidebook app. Tap the Find Guides magnifying glass icon at the bottom of your screen. Type in the name of the guide, UofSC Virtual Teaching, in the search box. Then tap to download and open the guide.

Daylight Savings Time

Please remember that Daylight Savings Time starts at 2am Sunday, March 8—if you’re traveling Sunday, this will definitely affect your schedule!

Again, we look forward to you joining us at the Virtual Teaching Conference next week! If you have questions, please contact me at or 803-777-8276.


 Augie Grant Signature

Augie Grant
Conference Chair and Director, Center for Teaching Excellence

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.