Week of March 30 - April 3, 2020
March 30, 2020 - A Message from the Provost - Extension of Remote Operations, Summer Modality and IT Technical Resources
This morning, the College made the decision to extend our remote operations until Friday, May 1. This means that, with very few public safety and plant operations exceptions, all staff and faculty will continue to work remotely and access to all Tri-C facilities will remain restricted. The decision to extend remote operations aligns with Governor DeWine’s extension of Ohio’s stay at home order through May 1.
Additionally, we are continuing our work with faculty leadership around making a decision about the modality of summer semester, which will be made no later than May 1st. We encourage you to visit this site for general information about the virus, Tri-C’s ongoing response, and guidance for students, faculty and staff. Thank you for all your efforts as we continue to make decisions that best keep our students, faculty and students as safe as possible while doing our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus for the safety of our entire community.
- With the decision to move all learning to remote delivery through the end of spring semester, the College will not be able to have its normal, on-ground finals week (May 4th – 10th) for full-term classes. Instead we encourage you to consider online finals or authentic assessments (see this link for ideas: https://citl.indiana.edu/teaching-resources/assessing-student-learning/alternatives-traditional-exams-papers/index.html). It is also unclear at this time if we will be able to provide any campus testing services due to the extended Stay At Home order. If at some point, we are able to open our campuses for in-person proctoring, the Testing Centers will not have the capacity to serve all classes therefore the priority will be to serve students that do not have access to technology or require accommodations. In addition, there will be no on-campus, full class testing during final exam week. All active courses are to be completed remotely. Please plan accordingly and share information about your finals with your students. The College will communicate to students that they are not to come to campus for final exams and that their instructors will be in touch with alternative exam plans.
- ITS has created two technical resources for faculty to help you with your use of WebEx and other video conferencing systems. You can find both on the IT Service Catalog on their COVID-19 page: https://itservices.tri-c.edu/covid-19/.
- The first link is "Securing your Video Conference Sessions", which focuses on steps to help secure Webex Meetings conferences, but also provides some links to information for our faculty using Zoom.
- The second link is "Getting Started with Webex Training", which provides some initial information about getting started for faculty unfamiliar with WebEx.
- Please also remember that ITS encourages individual faculty to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org so that they can provide hands-on assistance for anyone who would like to move over to this platform.
- Note that any session recordings in Webex Training CANNOT be uploaded to Mediasite due to the recording format used in Webex Training. ITS wants to make that clear to faculty, especially since we do not want someone to switch from Meetings to Training and then not be able to upload a recording to Mediasite. If uploading a recording to Mediasite is part of a faculty member's goal, then they should stay with Webex Meetings.
- I hope you are all able to join the President’s Virtual Town Hall today at 3:30 pm. You can Livestream the broadcast here to hear:
- Updates from Tri-C President Alex Johnson
- Strategies for effective teleworking
- Human Resources FAQ
- Tips for managing stress and anxiety
Should you be unable to view the Town Hall live, it will be recorded and posted for you to view on this website.
As we wrap up another week of work and home life integrated like never before, take a few minutes to enjoy the sunshine, spend time with family and pets, binge on your new favorite show, or treat yourself to a little online shopping (my personal fav) as we take stock of the little things in life we enjoy that we sometimes take for granted. Thank you for all you do doesn’t seem sufficient any longer, but I’ll say it again anyway. You’re appreciated. Enjoy your weekend!
April 2, 2020 - A Message from the Provost - Webex guide, Retention, Distance Learning Stats
Our faculty continue to be a tremendous source of support and encouragement for our students who may be anxious, lost, or confused during this transition to remote learning. I am also aware that many of you have personally provided comfort and guidance by reaching out to individual students, which has likely made the difference between a student continuing this semester or withdrawing. I was reminded recently by a faculty member that our students are not the only ones feeling stressed and isolated. Being physically distant from our colleagues has taken away our ability to stop by someone’s office to ask for advice, easily share thoughts and ideas, and find a colleague to lean on when faced with a difficult situation or problem. Looking for that friendly face is a challenge when you don’t actually see anyone anymore. During this time when we are all working remotely together, please don’t forget to rely on your colleagues when you need help, have questions, or just even someone to connect with. Check on colleagues you haven’t heard from in a while just to let them know you’re thinking of them. Everyone doesn’t have a support system or family at home to rely on. Everyone doesn’t respond to this new reality in the same way. It takes a little more effort in this day of remote everything, but in order to support students, we have to support each other.
A few updates below:
- Our OLAT and CLE teams created a WebEx faculty user guide to provide our faculty with additional information on the ways they can use WebEx as an instructional platform, which is attached.
- As a reminder, please forward the names and S numbers of students who have either not logged into Blackboard or who have not been participating in your class to your associate dean or dean’s office. We are working on a robust campaign to retain spring students before they may become frustrated and consider stopping out and to also connect with students who have withdrawn. In both cases, we want to assist students so they are successful now and are registering for summer and/or fall classes. Our associate deans and and enrollment team members are reaching out to these students to assist them in whatever way we can.
- We are continuing to track and monitor use of our distance learning resources, and I wanted to share with you a few of the amazing statistics about use of Blackboard, Mediasite and participation in our Faculty Forums for the week of March 18-25:
- Blackboard LMS:
- Total number of logons/active users over semester: 164,940
- Number of courses in Blackboard overall in Spring 2020: 4902
- Total number of active users in the system last 7 days (according to Google): 29,935
- Average number of times the user spends per logon (Session Duration): 12m:55s
- Total number of views this week: 16,332
- Total number of presentations created this week: 972
- Total number of faculty in Mediasite: 1,391
- Total number of presentations in Mediasite: 15,691
- Number of Tickets created: 238 Bb Cases
- Number Helpdesk Tickets escalated from Level 1 & Internal to Level 2/3: 86
- BlackBoard Boot Camp:
- To date - 22 faculty/staff have successfully completed since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Faculty Forums:
- Total internal (Tri-C lead) Faculty Forums offered: 27
- Total participants March 23-27: 207
- Blackboard LMS:
Lastly, and if you have time, check out the Staff & Faculty Virtual Townhall scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. https://livestream.com/tri-c/staffandfaculty432020
March 31, 2020 - A Message from the Provost - PCs for People, Student Emergency Fund, Bookstore and Summer Session
As you may know, yesterday Governor DeWine extended the order to Ohio’s K-12 schools until May 1. We expect to see more modifications and clarifications of guidelines affecting higher education announced over the coming days and weeks. We continue to be in contact with the state and other agencies such as the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Ohio Association of Community Colleges so we can provide the latest information and developments to our faculty and staff. Our team also continues its work on your behalf at all levels of government to ensure we have the resources you need to support students and ensure students do not face additional barriers to completion, graduation and transfer.
- Please mark your calendars for the faculty and staff virtual Town Hall scheduled this Friday, April 3rd at 3:30 p.m. You will be receiving an email with additional instructions on how to view the presentation later in the week.
- Through the financial assistance of our Foundation and the hard work of our partner PCs for People, the College was able to distribute 120 laptops last week to students in need of technology to complete their courses this semester. We have another 80 to distribute this week. The Foundation is also partnering with RET3 in the hopes of gaining another 300 laptops for distribution this week as we still have a wait list of students in need. We continue to look for additional ways to provide resources to our students.
- Our financial aid office continues its work with students in need of funding through our Student Emergency Fund program, and so far has granted 195 emergency fund requests since we moved to remote instruction. Students may be eligible for financial awards up to $450 to assist with unforeseen financial challenges, with requests being processed in two days on average. Should you have a student in emergency financial need, please direct them here to apply for emergency funding: Short Term Emergency Fund
- Barnes & Noble will resume processing all student book and supply web orders beginning on Monday March 30th. To provide additional support to students, Barnes and Noble will not be charging any shipping fees for students ordering books and materials for home delivery. For more information about online book ordering, visit: Bookstore
- We are in contact with faculty leadership to discuss the many issues involved in making the decision as to whether summer semester classes will remain in their currently scheduled modality or whether we will make the decision to convert summer semester classes to remote instruction. As I indicated in an earlier email, we will make that decision no later than May 1st. With the assistance of Lindsay English, we will be convening a group of administrators and faculty, including Jeff Tuma and Andy Pegman, to identify potential issues and solutions as we work to make this important decision before our deadline of May 1, 2020.
Lastly, I’ve heard from many of you as you’ve sent me questions, challenges, prayers, jokes and poems. I have appreciated and empathized with each one of them. Each of us faces obstacles beyond what we do at the College, and as challenging as all of this is, we are faced with the overwhelming magnitude of this unprecedented life and death situation that surrounds us and our families and friends. It can be immobilizing. Please know that valuing our faculty, staff and students and having everyone’s best interests at heart, not just as a Tri-C community but as people with families and friends, is key to every decision and step forward we make. We are definitely in this together and you give me as much strength as I try to give you. Thank you.
March 30, 2020 - A Message from the Provost - Faculty Forums and Upcoming Town Hall
While I am sure many of you spent significant time working on courses and communicating with students over the weekend, I hope you were able to take some time to rest and recharge. We’ve accomplished a great deal in a very short time frame, and we have to remember to also take care of ourselves so that we can be here for our students and each other. As we begin another week of working remotely, I want to continue to provide you with the latest information that we have to keep you updated.
- Our faculty development team has finalized another week of faculty forums. Again, these workshops are intended to provide faculty access to training tools that can be used for online learning and teaching. Additionally, you can join a share session to virtually get together to discuss challenges and solutions in this new virtual learning environment. A listing of this week’s forms can be found here: Click here to view Faculty Forums: March 30 – April 3
- A Town Hall for faculty and staff is currently being schedule for the end of this week. Please look for an email that will have the specific date, time and access details shortly.
- Lastly, just a reminder that we are hearing from students that some are struggling with the change to remote instruction. Just as it has been an adjustment for all of us, please recognize there is an adjustment for students too. We’ve heard some great stories from both faculty and students and how you are working together to overcome obstacles. We appreciate all you do to help students be successful, and I know they appreciate it as well.
I'll be back in touch as I have more information to share.