Week of April 13 - 17, 2020
We traditionally gather together before Commencement for our Spring Convocation to celebrate our faculty and recognize all the work, innovation and achievements made during the academic year. As we won’t be able to be together in person, this year our team is creating a virtual spring 2020 Convocation program for Wednesday, May 13th. The goal of meeting virtually is to still give our faculty the opportunity to connect with their colleagues, conduct counterparts meetings and engage in professional development opportunities focused on teaching and learning online. Please watch your email for more information about how you can participate in this spring’s Convocation, and I am looking forward to joining you all that day to hear more about your experiences this semester.
We have been able to modify our Pass/No Pass procedure to allow students who are concerned about the impact moving to remote instruction this spring and summer will have on their final grade. Once students receive their earned semester grade, they will have the option to petition for conversion to Pass/No Pass grades. Now that students have the option to select Pass/No Pass instead of a letter grade, we are expecting that some students who may have withdrawn from a class may now reconsider their ability to finish this semester and want to re-register. As with any other student who would like to re-register for a class, the faculty member must give their permission to each student.
We recognize the tremendous effort it has taken to transition course material to teach remotely in such a short period of time. As we have made the decision to transition summer semester completely to remote learning, that means that there is more work to be done. If you are creating a course for this summer, please remember your class may be organized differently from that of your colleagues, and consider assisting students by including some guidance about how to navigate any online resources, especially for your Blackboard site, at the beginning of the course.
Summer office hours can again be held virtually as you have already been doing for this semester and since we’ve now moved to remote learning again for summer.
The Commencement ceremony is our chance to celebrate with our graduating students and their families and friends in recognition of their hard work and dedication in earning their degrees and credentials. While we can’t be there in person to congratulate each graduate this spring, faculty are able to submit a congratulatory video that will be incorporated into Tri-C’s virtual commencement ceremony on May 14th. You can submit a one minute video that will be archived on our graduation site for students to view and it may be featured as a part of our virtual celebration. Please visit https://www.tri-c.edu/commencement/faculty.html for information on how to submit your video. I hope you consider submitting a video to help our graduating students celebrate their educational achievements. We have heard so many students sing the praises of their faculty members during this time, and it would mean so much to them to see your smiling faces as we wish them the best.
Our OLAT team has provided a few statistics on the use of some of our online tools and resources from the week of April 8th – 15th:
- Blackboard Learn: Total number of active users in the system last 7 days (according to Google): 27,835
- Total number of presentations created this week: 743
- Total number of hours watched this week: 2762 hours 03 minutes
- Help desk use:
- Number of Cases Created: 74 Blackboard cases
- Number Cases Escalated from Level 1 & Internal to Level 2/3: 18
- CLE Support and Interactions: 185 interactions
- Offered Faculty Forum sessions with a total of 143 participants
As we come to the end of another remote week with more than our fill of headsets, voices with no faces, and sitting way too long, I wish you a weekend free from stress and anxiety and with a little more laughter and time with love ones, whether that be in person or virtually. Have a great weekend.
April 17, 2020 - Virtual Town Hall Links
April 16 - Dr. English: Blackboard Summer Courses
Given the recent decision to move all summer classes online, many courses originally scheduled as on-ground or blended will need to be redesigned.
We encourage you to begin this process now, and we strongly encourage you to use Blackboard (Bb) as your course management tool. Blackboard software is College-supported, fully integrated into our network and security protocols, and allows us to provide a uniform student experience.
Tri-C is fully accredited for online delivery, which provides us a directive to move beyond correspondence-type courses that were, for some of you, the only option for spring.
There are many resources available to assist you in your course redesign:
Blackboard Boot Camps
These boot camps are self-paced and can be completed within about three hours, though you will have up to a week to finish. A new session will begin each week through the end of July.
Please note: While this training used to be a requirement for all new Bb users, it has been waived for Spring and Summer 2020. However, participation is highly encouraged.
To register: Log in to my Tri-C space and go to the Employee tab. Click the TEC icon to find available training sessions. Each can accommodate up to 200 participants and is adjunct faculty stipend-eligible.
This guide provides multiple resources to assist you in creating and managing your Bb course site, such as online teaching tips, how to use Webex for teaching, online proctoring resources and information/links to other College support services (e.g., library, tutoring).
The CLEs offer instructional design and instructional technology expertise. Staff are available for 1x1 and small group appointments.
The OLAT team is available to assist you with Blackboard and other supported technologies, including Mediasite, ProctorU and more. Email email@example.com for assistance.
Expanded Help Desk Services
Weekly Faculty Forums
Offered through Faculty Development, these forums cover topics that range from strategies for discouraging plagiarism to yoga. See current listings here.
Lastly, while we hope you are not personally affected by COVID-19, it is prudent to consider how your course(s) might be covered if you become too ill to continue teaching. If you prefer a particular substitute, please share their name with your associate dean. While this does not guarantee a specific assignment, it does provide helpful information that may ease course transition. As in all cases in which a permanent substitute is assigned (and perhaps given access to a Bb course site), the original instructor maintains all legal and contractual intellectual property rights to their content.
April 16, 2020 - Dr. English: Pass/No Pass Grades
We have received many questions from students and faculty regarding Pass/No Pass (P/NP) grades. After a great deal of research, and assurances from the Ohio Department of Higher Education, we are pleased to announce a temporary P/NP option that addresses the challenges created by COVID-19 and our conversion to remote delivery.
The P/NP process for Spring and Summer 2020 allows students to petition to convert a final letter grade to P/NP. Faculty need not do anything differently. If a student chooses to pursue this option after final grades are submitted, they will have until the deadlines listed below to submit a petition form. Currently in development, this form will be available to students by the end of spring semester.
A Collegewide team will review the submissions, looking for any financial aid implications and/or transfer and course/program requirements on a course-by-course basis and discussing possible ramifications before approving and processing each request.
As you share this information with your students, please remind them that there are several exclusions from this new process, including prerequisites and many health career/nursing courses. There may also be limits to transfer applicability to individual four-year institutions. It is the students’ responsibility to research and consider these restraints.
Students may apply up to 12 college-level credits of P/NP grades to their degree requirements. An announcement will be shared with students this week.
April 14, 2020 – A Message from the Provost – Virtual Town Hall, Blackboard Course Sites, eCommunication Stats
If you are able, please join Dr. Johnson for the upcoming Virtual Town hall this Thursday, April 16th at 3:30 pm by using this link: Livestream the broadcast here You can also send in any questions you may have in advance of the Town Hall by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Online Learning & Technology staff is ready to help you prepare for your summer online courses.
If you have not already done so, please request your summer term Blackboard course site(s) by Wednesday, May 13th. You can request your site(s) by going to the Faculty Resource Tools area of the Blackboard Institution page and clicking on the Course Site Request link. The directions take you through setting up a site.
If you do not request your site by May 13th, your Blackboard site(s) will be created for you using the OLAT Continuity Template and will be available to you by Monday, May 18th.
As in the past, students will be loaded into your course site 1½ days before the course start date. However, students will not see the contents of the site until the start date of the term.
Regardless of the way your site is created, remember the best way to copy course content is by using the Course Copy tool under Packages and Utilities. For reference, or to see how you can copy spring ‘20 content to your summer ‘20 site, refer to the Tuesday Tidbit here: Tuesday Tidbit
Should you have questions, concerns, or need assistance, please contact email@example.com.
Our Access and Completion team has compiled statistics on the use of some of our virtual support services for the month of March for you to review:
Phone Reports: 10,275 calls were routed through 987-6000 with phone calls beginning routing to Tri-C 24/7 at 2:00pm on March 23rd.
Tri-C 24/7: assisted 2,253 students, with the Tri-C Escalations Team assisting with 356 escalated student questions.
Live Chat: 2,116 chat requests came in for the month of March, compared to 1,110 chats in March, 2019.
- During March, eight new departments were added to Live Chat and over 100 new users were added to assist with student questions.
Ask TRI-C: Ask TRI-C answered 8,248 questions, up from 6,239 questions in March, 2019.
- The top question was “How do I access my Tri-C email account?“
Financial Aid TV (FATV): FATV had 261 visitors during March, up from 237 visitors in March 2019.
- The top video viewed was “What is the FAFSA?” What is FAFSA FATV
eCommunications: 77 eCommunications were sent to students, with an additional 49 text messages and 38 robo call campaigns.
Based upon the increase in the number of student inquires and use of communication tools, it’s obvious that our students are engaged and seeking information and assistance. As always, if you have students with questions or needs above and beyond what you can provide within the context of your course, please don’t hesitate to refer them to your dean’s office, enrollment center, or me for follow up.
April 13, 2020 – A Message from the Provost – Summer Session
As was announced earlier today, the College has made the decision that all summer session classes will be held online this year, which affects all of our classes scheduled from May 26th through August 2nd. The shift to remote learning for all of our summer classes is a part of our ongoing efforts to adapt to challenges created by the COVID-19 situation, keeping our faculty, staff and students safe, while allowing students to continue progressing toward graduation.
Students are also receiving messages that our summer session courses will be held by remote instruction. A student who originally enrolled in face-to-face or hybrid courses will soon see those same courses changed to online on their schedule by Wednesday morning. No action needs to be taken by the faculty member or dean. Additionally, each student will receive an email and a personal phone call making them aware of this change and connecting them to needed services through virtual counseling appointments or other resources that can help them transition to remote learning. Because we understand that many students had not planned on taking online courses this summer, we are waiving the $10 per-credit-hour fee typically charged for online courses to minimize student expenses during this transition.
Online instruction offers the best option for a safe, consistent academic experience for summer given the uncertainties created by COVID-19 restrictions. The College has made this decision in advance of our original May 1 deadline to provide clarity for Tri-C students planning their studies and to allow faculty teaching this summer additional time for preparation. We understand that this transition will have implications for our faculty assigned summer classes. More information will be forthcoming soon.
Just a reminder, Town Halls have been scheduled this week for students and staff and faculty. You’ll be receiving an email with more information and the link to watch this week. If you’re able, mark your calendars to join the Faculty and Staff Town Hall this Thursday from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm.