Week of April 6 - 10, 2020
I know that many of you are wondering about plans for commencement. Thank you for your patience as we determined how to give our students the celebration and recognition they so richly deserve.
To protect everyone’s health and well-being, we have decided to postpone the in-person Spring Commencement ceremony until Wednesday, Dec. 16, when we will hold a separate program to celebrate the achievements of our spring and summer graduates. This is in addition to the regularly scheduled Fall Commencement ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 17.
However, to recognize and honor the perseverance of the current graduating class, we will hold a virtual ceremony on Thursday, May 14, at 6 p.m. More information will be sent to your Tri-C email next week regarding this exciting virtual ceremony and how faculty can participate to personally congratulate our students.
Please take a moment to watch the video message that went out to students eligible for May graduation.
You can refer to the commencement website for more information on both ceremonies. I thank you all again for your continued creativity and flexibility in supporting our students. I look forward to seeing you virtually on May 14.
— Alex Johnson
Together, we’ve successfully completed another week of remote work and instruction! It hasn’t always been easy at times, but we’re all getting used to this new normal. Based upon the emails and outreach I have received from many of you, I know everyone has given their all to make the transition to remote learning as successful and as seamless as possible for students. We are still facing uncertainty in many ways, and we simply can’t know what the next few weeks may bring us in terms of the progress of COVID-19 and our state and local responses to these changes, but I am now more certain than ever that our Tri-C team will continue to work to overcome challenges we may face in the future, while continuing to focus on providing the highest quality education and support to our students and community. You all make me proud!
Many faculty have already completed the contractual minimum of 28 service credits for the current academic year, but we also understand there are faculty who had not done so prior to our facilities closing. The College recognizes and deeply appreciates that our faculty have provided a great deal of service in transitioning classes to remote delivery, responding to numerous student concerns and participating in a range of additional activities and projects as a part of our response to COVID-19. Based on our current circumstances, and after discussion with faculty leadership, we will be suspending the requirement to earn 28 service credits for Academic Year 19-20. We will simply suspend the completion and recording for the remaining part of this academic year, which would be through the end of spring term. We also realize, however, that summer and perhaps fall may also be impacted, but we will wait until later this summer to discuss this with faculty leadership and make a recommendation for Academic Year 20-21.
Our faculty development team has posted next week’s schedule of Faculty Forums for you to review: Faculty Forums: Week of April 13-17
Our OLAT team has reported the latest statistics on the use on some of our remote learning tools and our training sessions. We thank the OLAT team for all of their efforts in supporting the work below:
- Total number of video presentations created this week in Mediasite: 912
- Total number of presentations viewed this week in Mediasite: 17,233
- Total number of hours watched this week in Mediasite: 2,985 hours and 58 minutes
- 30 faculty finished Blackboard Boot Camp this week, bringing the total number of faculty participating in this training to 1,965 since the week of spring break.
We have received many questions and inquiries from students and faculty about 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 new P/NP option that will be available to students for the spring and summer 2020 terms to address the challenges created by COVID-19 and our conversion to remote delivery. Our new P/NP process allows students to petition to translate a final letter grade to P/NP. Faculty do not need to do anything differently. If a student chooses to pursue this option after final grades are submitted, they are given until the deadlines listed below to submit the petition through completing the petition form, which will be shared with students by the end of the semester. The petition will be reviewed by a College-wide team who will look for any financial aid implications and/or transfer and course/program requirements on a course by course basis before the request for P/NP is approved and processed. As you share this information with your students, please remind them that there are several exclusions from this new process including prerequisites and many department health career/nursing courses. There may also be limits to transfer applicability based on individual 4 year institutions. It is the responsibility of the students to research and consider these restraints. We expect to make an announcement to students next week.
|Spring 2020||Summer 2020|
|Date to withdraw with no record||Not applicable||June 9, 2020 for full-term and session J
June 22, 2020 for session L
July 13, 2020 for session K
|Date to withdraw with “W” grade||April 24, 2020 for full-term and second 8-week classes; all other parts of term not applicable
July 17, 2020 for full-term
|June 19, 2020 for session J
July 17, 2020 for session L
July 24, 2020 for session K
|Date to submit a petition to translate a letter grade to P/NP||July 17, 2020||October 5, 2020|
|Date to complete an Incomplete grade||October 4, 2020||October 4, 2020|
|Date to submit a petition to translate an original I grade to a P/NP||November 6, 2020||November 6, 2020|
This Good Friday, regardless of whether it has religious connotations or not for you, provides many of us with a foundation for and time of reflection. This foundation motivates us to continue to work together for the good of all, value the importance of family, friendship and collegiality, and inspires us to look for new beginnings in this time of uncertainty. I thank you for all you do, and I wish you a Happy Easter, Passover, or whatever you may seek to celebrate in your own way.
April 9, 2020 - A Message from the Provost - Trustee Check-ins, Recruitment and Placement Testing
Since we made the difficult decision to suspend face-to-face classes and move to a fully remote learning environment, I think all we have, at one time or another, found engaging in our normal communications and keeping our colleagues informed and up to date quite a challenge. Part of this process has been ensuring our Trustees remain as informed and engaged as possible. To make sure we continue to share important information with our Board, we have scheduled a series of check-in calls to make sure the Trustees are up to date on all the ways the College is responding to the current situation, and to explain all the innovative ways our faculty are supporting students, both through remote instruction and with the many other challenges that they are facing during this transition. I look forward to sharing the details of your hard work with our Trustees each week.
- As of today, 492 computers have been distributed to students with the help of the Foundation and our partners in the community.
- The College is continuing our summer and fall recruitment and admissions efforts around new and College Credit Plus students. One process in particular, placement testing, has provided us with an opportunity to work directly with the faculty in the areas of English, ESL and mathematics to create more flexible and nimble processes. We hope to share more details about these more accessible processes in light of the current remote environment in the very near future. We thank all of those working behind the scenes to support students with placement testing.
- As a part of our commitment to providing our students with the highest quality academic experience, our Learning & Engagement team has begun the process of rescheduling program review presentations via remote delivery. We thank our first presenters in this new format from ISET and Plant Science this week. Both did an amazing job.
April 8, 2020 - A Message from the Provost - ODHE News and Bookstore Information
We are making progress on many issues designed to make the transition to remote learning as easy as we can for students. All of your patience and efforts are truly making it possible for students to successfully continue their education this semester and into the summer so they are able to remain on track for completion or transfer. As a part of our continuing efforts, we have several important updates for you:
- We have received approval from the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) to offer our natural science labs virtually through the summer term. We are very happy to receive this approval.
- We also received word from ODHE guaranteeing students who receive a pass grade (C or better) for an OTM/TAG or other course taken during the spring or summer terms will have those courses transfer and be applied to their degrees. This is also very good news and allows us and other community colleges to pursue more flexible pass/no pass guidelines to support students through this period. A draft document containing revised guidelines was shared with faculty leadership last week and received good support. We expect to make this announcement to students more formally very soon as we are making sure we have a thoughtful process outlined. More information will be coming to you soon.
- Barnes & Noble campus bookstores will continue to remain closed, but remain ready to receive orders online through their website and mobile app, and will provide free shipping for all orders. Faculty can take advantage of First Day book adoptions for summer. Additionally, Barnes & Noble is extending the grace period for rental returns through the first week of fall classes and is not charging any students who are unable to return rented materials on their original due date. For more information, or should you have questions, please contact your campus B&N representative:
- I know many are awaiting official word on the summer term moving to remote delivery. We hope to have an announcement ready for you by either Friday of this week or Monday of next week.
Hope you all have power (or will have it back soon) after those torrential storms last night, and everyone still has a roof overhead. Thankful for the small things today that could be big things in the blink of eye. Take care everyone!
April 7, 2020 – A Message from the Provost – Training, PCs for Students, Care Team Cash, Final Exams and Student Accessibility Services
We are continuing our work to find ways we can adapt our processes and procedures to help students through these challenging times. With your help, we have been able to keep our focus on helping students complete this semester and continue their education this summer and in the fall. Some of our latest updates are listed below for you:
Our professional development team has scheduled another week of training and faculty forums for you to participate in. This week’s offerings can be found: Click here to view Faculty Forums: April 6-10
Our efforts to equip students who need technology continue, with 280 students receiving laptops to date. Additional computers will be distributed at our Metro Campus on Thursday. We realize there are still additional students lacking access to technology, and we are continuing to look for additional partners and funding to help those who need these resources.
We have finalized our remote process for students requesting the class attendance verification needed for them to receive unemployment benefits. Should a student request your help in verifying their class attendance for their unemployment claim, or need information on how this process works, please let them know:
- The student should email each of their faculty members requesting conformation of attendance for each course.
- Each faculty member will then directly email the individual student to indicate “yes, you are attending my class.”
- The student should forward the faculty attendance verification for each course to their campus Enrollment Center.
- Once received, the Enrollment Center will send a confirmation letter on Tri-C letterhead to the state unemployment agency.
- The Enrollment Center will also send the student an email confirmation that this letter has been sent to the unemployment agency.
We have been able to reinstitute our Care Team Cash program for students, and will continue to provide students with just-in-time funding to eliminate financial barriers they may be faced with this semester. We are waiving the one-time per year Care Team Cash award limit for students, so if a student received a Care Team Cash award prior to March 1st, they are eligible to receive a second award this semester. As we are not able to hand out the usual $100 Visa gift card, we will apply any Care Team Cash awarded in one of three ways:
- Directly to a student’s account for tuition;
- Directly to a student’s book account; or
- Issuing a student refund through direct deposit.
Information about Finals Week (May 4-10 for full-term classes) and End of Term Exams:
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 for full-term classes. With the anticipated increase in demand for proctored testing, OLAT is investigating other options for finals. One of the options is called ProctorU Review+. This option allows artificial intelligence (AI) to ascertain the student’s identity and begin recording the exam. The recording is monitored first by AI and then a human being, especially if AI has noticed some sort of irregularity (i.e. cheating). The time frame for scheduling an exam using this service is currently at three days out. OLAT is encouraging use of this option to help spread out demand over the peak exam period. Other options include the use of alternative assessments, the use of WebEx or Mediasite to self-proctor and Blackboard assessments without proctoring. Please refer to the attached document for guidance in assessing student learning with suggestions for alternative assessments and Blackboard best practices (or see this link for more alternative assessment ideas).
Student Accessibility Services (SAS) continues to provide an array of services to faculty and students remotely through video conferencing, telephone and email. The SAS team has created and posted information on their services for both faculty and students.
- To view the faculty FAQs from SAS, visit this site: SAS Faculty FAQs
- To view the student FAQs from SAS, visit this site: SAS Student FAQs
Lastly, we are working with faculty leaders on a variety of topics including creative options for assessment testing in this remote environment, Pass/No Pass options for students, discussing the implications of moving the summer semester to remote delivery and others. There are many implications to students and faculty with each of these, and all issues require thoughtful deliberations. I appreciate your patience as we work through issues of access and support for you and our students and make decisions for the future. We will have updates for you on these topics and others over the next few days and weeks. As always, if you have questions, concerns or just need to vent, please let me know.
April 7, 2020 - Update on Finals Week Delivery
As mentioned by the Provost, 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. It is also unclear at this time if the college will be able to provide any campus testing services due to the extended Stay At Home order. If at some point, the college is able to open the 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.
In light of the changes to finals week, we
- Ask that you help us by completing a survey if you need proctoring for final exams and
- Review some suggestions about assessing student learning for final exams
Survey: Please respond by Friday, April 10, 2020.
If you see the need to have your exams proctored, please complete the proctoring survey available here. This brief survey asks for your proctoring preferences, as well as for your course enrollments. The information will be exceedingly helpful to us and ProctorU.
Guidance/suggestions about assessing student learning for final exams
- Attached is a document on “Guidance for Assessing Student Learning for Final Exams” that outlines strategies for finals.
- Additionally, we wanted to share some additional information about Proctor U. Tri-C utilizes a service called Proctor U to supervise proctored exams. Currently, live proctors manage the administration and recording of exams. We are one of 900 + institutions to use this service. As you can imagine, ProctorU has been very busy. Our demand alone has increased over five times during the second half of March. The last week of the semester will be extremely busy for Proctor U as well as our students. Currently, the scheduling of exams with ProctorU is eight days out, but we expect that time frame to lengthen as the end of the term approaches.
- With the increasing demands for proctored testing increases, we are investigating other options. One of the options is called ProctorU Review+. This option allows artificial intelligence (AI) to ascertain the student’s identity and begin the exam recording. The recording is monitored by AI and then a human being, especially if AI has noticed some sort of irregularity (i. e. cheating) The time frame for scheduling an exam of this type of service is currently at three days out. We are hopeful that this option would be utilized to help spread out demand over this peak exam period. Other options include the use of alternative assessments, the use of WebEx or Mediasite to self-proctor and Blackboard assessments without proctoring. Please refer to the attached for guidance in assessing student learning with suggestions for alternative assessments and Blackboard best practices (or see this link for more alternative assessment ideas).
Thank you in advance for your assistance in completing the survey to help us better prepare and gauge the amount of proctoring that will be taking place over the coming weeks. Please complete the proctoring survey available here.
April 6, 2020 – President’s Virtual Town Hall COVID -19 Update
Thank you to the 2,100+ employees who joined us Friday for Dr. Johnson’s Virtual Town Hall. If you missed it, or want to revisit it, see the links and presentations below.
Watch the town hall for employees here
Watch the town hall for students here
Employee town hall presentations:
Anxiety and Stress Management During the COVID-19 Crisis (Kate Vodicka)
Human Resources FAQ (Lillian Welch)
Working Together While Working Remotely (Barry Royko)
April 6, 2020 – A Video Message from the Provost
I hope you had the opportunity to join the virtual faculty and staff Town Hall last Friday afternoon. Over 2,100 individuals tuned in to watch presentations on topics such as working from home effectively, issues related to human resources, and how to manage stress and anxiety during this time. Dr. Johnson and the executive team also answered questions from those watching live. If you missed the broadcast on Friday, it was recorded and posted here for you to watch: View the Town Hall You can also continue to submit any questions you may have about Tri-C’s ongoing response to the coronavirus to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For today’s newsletter, I wanted to share a video with you: Video For Our Faculty
April 6, 2020 – A Message from the VP of Learning and Engagement – Finals Week
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 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 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.