- Ask students not attend face-to-face classes for three weeks as part of a bridge to the end of the semester.
- The campus would be open and faculty and staff would continue to report for work, with social distancing as appropriate.
- The first week of the bridge would not involve coursework, but would instead involve planning by faculty and staff on how to complete the next two week’s of the bridge. Planning would include:
a. What are the accreditation requirements for different courses?
b. What faculty development do faculty need to create learning bridges for their students? The focus should be on clear, high-impact learning strategies that use the minimum digital technology necessary.
c. What are the options students can use to complete work away from campus and how can those options be enhanced?
d. Contacting every single student by email, phone, or text until they respond to set up an action plan. This would involve significant time on the part of faculty, but would have huge payoff because every single student would have a check in. Scripts, written by or in collaboration with faculty would be useful. “Hi, it’s professor X from Normandale, how are things? I want to let you know my plans to help ensure continuity of learning in this course. Plans. What questions do you have?” Many students will respond to email, some will need to be called. EVERY student needs a check-in.
e. What social support services need to be readjusted (food shelves, counseling) to service student needs?
f. Asking students what they need to succeed during the bridge period?
My fear is that my college and the MinnState system is too slow to plan a meaningful response and we’ll wait until there is widespread infection, and then cancel face-to-face course, telling instructors to immediately start teaching through the LMS. Building a bridge while trying to cross it seems. . . perilous.