Connecting with Students
Recently, the Department of Education (DOE) provided broad approval to institutions to use online technologies to accommodate students on a temporary basis. Please keep in mind that distance learning does not require the use of sophisticated equipment, learning management systems or online platforms. To meet the Department’s requirements for providing distance education, an institution must communicate to students through one of several types of technology, including email, and instructors must initiate substantive communication with students, either individually or collectively, on a regular basis. In other words, an instructor could use email to provide instructional materials to students enrolled in his or her class, use chat features to communicate with students, set up conference calls to facilitate group conversations, engage in email exchanges or require students to submit work electronically that the instructor will evaluate.
A high priority for us at this time is to ensure that students are able to complete the semester. Be adaptable and find a way. We have seen good examples that include using teleconferencing to hold classes much like face-to-face, calling students by telephone and holding lectures, and faculty shifting to an asynchronous format for their classes in Moodle. We have seen the old-school application of creating a take-home exam and sending it to students via U.S. mail when they are in locations without internet access. Kudos to all those who have been able to “think outside the box” and find ways to deliver course content. While I know that some students just want to finish and be done with it, we all know that what they learn will matter in the long-run.
When advising students, please note that a W or an Incomplete, while not lowering their GPA, could still affect their TOPS, scholarship and/or financial aid eligibility. We recommend that students check with Student Central (337-475-5065 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to determine their best course of action in those circumstances. Staff in the offices of financial aid, scholarships, registrar, international programs and freshman advising are available during regular business hours.
Unfortunately with chrome books the Respondus lockdown browser does not work. Most of the Dual Enrollment students also have chrome books so faculty members have been self proctoring those exams using Microsoft Teams meeting or Zoom Meeting. The other option is to use ProctorU but there are costs associated with using that product that can range between $5 to over $100 per student per exam, depending on how the exam is set up and if it needs a live proctor. To help faculty who have students with Chromebooks or other tablets, mobile phones, etc. duplicate their exams on Moodle and then restrict that duplicated exam to other students. Then the faculty member sends the student a Teams meeting or a Zoom meeting link to join. The faculty member then live proctors the exam and observes students taking the test.