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COVID-19: Updates and Resources



Faculty FAQ for Online Learning

 

Has MSU Denver moved classes online? What about Summer courses?

All Spring courses are now online, and 96.4% of students have logged into their new remote courses. Faculty are the experts in their discipline, and should determine how best to use technology to enable students to complete their coursework and communicate their plan directly to students enrolled in their courses. 

MSU Denver has also decided to move as many Summer courses as possible online: 

  • All classes in Maymester (May 26-June 6), the eight-week summer term (June 8-Aug. 1) and the first five-week summer term (May 26-June 27) will move to online formats. 
  • The second five-week summer term will include online courses (June 29-Aug. 1) and some face-to-face courses (July 6-Aug. 8). The face-to-face course offerings will be reserved for classes that rely heavily on labs and field experience, with our hope being that some in-person instruction will be available by that time. 
  • If you are currently enrolled in a face-to-face course, it will be modified to an online course. In some cases, the online course may be synchronous, meaning that the dates and times for your course will not change but instead those class meetings will happen virtually. 

   

What is the first step I should take to get my course online? 

Some faculty have experience teaching online, but many do not and it can be an intimidating learning curve. MSU Denver has built training and support resources with the new-to-online faculty member in mind.  

First, visit www.msudenver.edu/ctld/ready/ and complete the self-directed three step training to bring your course online. If you want deeper or more specific information, review information under the “Ready to Learn More?” heading on the same webpage.  

For Summer courses, please consult with your department chair the level of instructional design support you would like to receive.  

 

If I need more support, where should I go? 

Completing the self-directed training should be first, then attend virtual trainings with information to join available at the bottom of www.msudenver.edu/ctld/ready/. Additional questions related to instructional training will be answered by calling the Faculty Ready Support Line at 303-615-0800. 

  

I followed the self-directed training and attended the virtual session, and I’m ready to do more. Are there more in-depth resources for online faculty? 

Yes, there are, and this page www.msudenver.edu/ctld/ready/ready-to-learn/ grows everyday on numerous topics, including:  

  

My students are requesting specifics around how I plan to offer my courses remotely. Do you have advice? 

  1. msudenver.edu/ctld/ready/has a student communication template that includes many teaching formats, tools, and applicable policies that will be useful to prepare students to succeed in your new online course. Use this template to customize a message for your unique learning environment. Keep what is applicable, delete what is not. 

  

How should I continue my lab/studio/field experience/physical education/other course with instructional activities that are difficult or impossible to move online? 

Faculty interested in simulations as replacements to in-person labs or learning activities, please review  the MSU Denver list of hands-on experiences and simulations here docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1yZF1RWAShODA-9lfMmKrO9YG54UKbyvDC5pYQCTkSfo/edit?usp=sharing 

  

I will have students who have never taken an online course or don’t feel prepared to succeed. What should I do? 

They are far from alone. We know approximately half of existing students have completed an online class at MSU Denver, which means half have not. Students new to online learning should visit www.msudenver.edu/technology/onlineready/ to get acclimated.  

Please continue to be flexible and empathetic to your students as many prefer in-person instruction. However, we want to ensure their academic progress and that they reach their personal and professional goals after graduation.  

  

Some students may only have a cell phone. Is that enough? 

It’s likely. The training you receive through  www.msudenver.edu/ctld/ready/ creates a learning experience that can be accomplished through a cell phone. Students, and you, can access Blackboard through either the Student or Faculty/Staff Hub on your browser or by downloading the Blackboard app. And while a cell phone maybe enough, using a laptop or tablet will be far easier. 

  

They may not even have a laptop or tablet…or wifi or wired access for that matter. Any suggestions? 

As faculty will likely need to provide this direction to many students, it is recommended you place this prominently in your online course. Some may not have wifi, a large number have a cellular plan. Those with a plan that allows for their cell to serve as a hotspot should research how to use this functionality (also known as wifi tethering), which connects any computer or tablet they have to the internet through their cellular plan. Know this may cost extra so have them review their plan or contact their cell provider. 

Comcast’s Internet Essentials program is also offering 60 days of free internet at https://www.internetessentials.com/ to low-income customers. 

In addition, all Xfinity WiFi Hotspots are now open to everyone on “xfinitywifi." Hotspots can be found around town if you are out for essential needs, and from your neighbors’ Home Hotspots. Non-Xfinity subscribers need to accept Terms and Conditions to access the network and repeat when requested to continue to receive free unlimited access. To find a hotspot, check the location map at wifi.xfinity.com or download the Xfinity WiFi Hotspots app from the App Store or Google Play. 

If you don’t have a personal device other than a cell phone, the hotspot option doesn’t work, and you’ve tried using your cell phone for class but it isn’t working, visit www.msudenver.edu/technology/hardwareservices/ or call 303-352-7548 to request use of a loaned device. Note that these resources are limited and will be provided to those in greatest need. 

 

Can I hold office hours remotely? Will academic departments remain open? 

Faculty who are teaching remotely may advise remotely and should connect with department chairs on specific considerations. Virtual office hours include more than answering student emails. Please take phone calls and use Teams or other collaboration tools for real time audio/video drop-in advising. Learn how to create a Teams link to send to a student at www.msudenver.edu/ctld/ready/.  

 

ProctorU doesn’t work for me. What do you recommend?  

Many exams and quizzes are currently paper-based and are not easily migrated online. As faculty adapt their course from in-person delivery, some expectations on the delivery of assessments likely need to adapt as well; however, this should not compromise your ability to determine student comprehension through exams. Four principles apply when considering how to retain the integrity of your exam or quiz: 1) adapt your exam so that working in groups is allowable, 2) provide individual students questions that unique to them, 3) ensure the time window requires them to be very prepared to move quickly through answers, and 4) use a proctoring tool if necessary.  

  

If ProctorU https://sites.msudenver.edu/etc/proctoring-and-authentication/ doesn’t work for automated-proctoring, and Microsoft Teams can also be used by following these instructions:  

  • Add your students to a new “Team” using their email in Microsoft Teams. 
  • Require all students to join the exam in the same time block as the in-person course. 
  • Instruct them it is required to have their webcams on (you should as well), and that they should be alone in the room.  
  • Share the test in Teams as a Word, Excel, SPSS, PDF, etc. or even as a clear picture taken from your phone. 
  • At the end of the time window, have them share their exams back to you through email or just to you in Teams.  
  • Compile the files, review the work, grade, and share results back to individual students.   

  

What is Microsoft Teams? 

Teams is a collaboration tool in the Microsoft 365 Suite that is free to MSU Denver faculty, students, and staff. In it you can chat, share documents and links, place calls, and setup real time video meetings or classes. Common use cases include:  


 


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