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FAQ for MSU Denver Students on Online Courses

Due to the impact of COVID-19, all in-person classes at MSU Denver are in the process of moving exclusively to online instruction, as noted by President Davidson. Although the campus remains open at this time, courses are required to be taught online starting March 30. Some instructors are moving instruction online earlier than this date. Should the campus close, instruction and student support will continue through the remainder of the semester.

Covid-19 Precautions Online Classes FAQ for Students

Has MSU Denver moved classes online?

Yes. The MSU Denver campus remains open, as of now, but all courses are required to be taught online starting March 30, the day after spring break. In structors may begin moving their classes online before that date to help minimize the physical presence of faculty and students on campus. Since each individual class may transition to all online at varying times (but still no later than March 30), please
check Blackboard and your University email frequently to ensure that you have the most up-to-date plan for each of the classes that you are enrolled in.

Will physical labs be used once courses are moved online March 30? How will my lab/studio/physical education/other course with instructional activities that can’t be moved online be affected?

While each class is different, faculty and staff are exploring options to use simulations as replacements to in-person labs or learning activities where possible. Faculty and staff may also choose to offer open lab time in their respective areas on an opt-in basis while the campus is open, meaning this is not required but could be an option. Again, NO student will be required to come to campus for any course
or lab session. If a department decides to utilize open labs, MSU Denver and AHEC representatives will activate unique cleaning protocols for these spaces.

I am currently in an internship, clinical, or fieldwork course. How will the March 30 move to online delivery impact these courses?

If internship and field-placement sites are open, students may continue their internships. If internship and field-placement sites close or restrict student interns’ work, students should consult with their faculty member or academic program for guidance, in accordance with guidance from the department’s/discipline’s accrediting body.   Teacher Education clinical experience students have already received a separate communication from the School of Education or College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.  The MSU Denver Classroom to Career Hub is ready to support any student, faculty member or community member with questions about how to manage these work-based learning/experiential learning opportunities. 

I have never taken an online course and I don’t feel prepared to succeed. What should I do?

You 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. Also, please continue to be flexible and empathetic to your instructors as many, like you, prefer in-person instruction. However, we want to ensure your academic progress and help you reach your personal and professional goals after graduation the best way that we can. 

I only have a cell phone. Is that enough?

It is likely your cell phone will be enough. The training that faculty and staff has received is designed to move your course online in a
way that all assignments and instruction can be done through a cell phone. You can access Blackboard through either the Student 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. 

What if I don’t have a laptop or tablet...or wifi or wired access for that matter. Any suggestions?

Even though you may not have wifi, you may be able to access wifi or a hotspot through your 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. Please note that this may cost extra, so be sure to review your plan or contact your cell provider.

Comcast is also offering 60 days of free internet to low-income customers who live in a Comcast service area. Check Comcast’s Internet Essentials program for more information and to see if you qualify.

Will campus computer labs remain open?

No. With most buildings closed as of 3/17 and shared computing resources being a risk to spread infection, we will unfortunately be closing all campus computer labs for the duration of the health crisis. 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. 

What is the best way to contact faculty and staff who support my classes, learning, and enrollment?

While Campus is open, you can proceed as normal and visit the office’s website for the most efficient way to make an appointment or get in touch with a representative. Should this change, staff will be available via phone and email as usual and specific offices will post on their websites how they may support students via virtual collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams.

Will academic departments remain open after March 30? Will I be able to schedule office hours?

It is recommended that you touch base with faculty and staff before making a visit to campus, as those that are working remotely may not be in their office. While academic departments will remain open as long as the campus is open, virtual office hours can be scheduled, as well. Meetings can take place via phone calls, Microsoft Teams or other collaboration tools for real-time audio/video drop-in advising.

Will learning support services like Academic Advising, the Access Center, Supplemental Instruction, the Testing Center, the Tutoring Center, and the Writing Center remain open for in-person use after March 30?

Academic Advising – As long as campus remains open, there will be academic advisors available for in-person advising. Drop-in advising will be limited by demand with some staff working remotely, so students should call ahead or schedule an appointment. Students can schedule appointments online through the Student Hub by clicking on the “Get Advising” block, or call the appropriate contact number
on the “How to Find My Advisor” sheet available here. Remote advisors are trained to advise students in multiple ways including over the phone, email and using virtual tools such as Microsoft Teams

Access Center – Given the unique support provided by the Access Center, it will continue to administer accommodated exams on campus.
As long as campus remains open, the Access Center will consider any individual student request to come to campus to take exams in the Center on a case-by-case basis.

Supplemental Instruction – SupplementalInstructional (SI) will continue to support the same courses and is transitioning to offer collaborative group study SI Sessions all online by March 30. Students can view the online SI Session schedule by visiting the SI website.
Students, faculty and staff should email questions to si@msudenver.edu.

Testing Center – The Testing Center will continue support for exam proctoring until March 27. Look for communication from instructors on
how they plan to proctor exams after March 27 or in the event the campus closes sooner than March 27th.

Tutoring Center – The Tutoring Center will continue to follow normal business hours beyond March 30 as long as the campus remains open. Tutors are implementing virtual tutoring through Microsoft Teams; in-person, phone, and Teams appointments can be scheduled by visiting the Tutoring Center website, emailing tutoring@msudenver.edu, or calling 303-615-1919. Due to the need for 24/7 student tutoring, TutorMe –a new online tool originally slated for a fall release – is immediately available to students for free. It can be found in Blackboard under “Learning Support Services” and by visiting the Tutoring Center website.

Writing Center – The Writing Center will expand access to existing online synchronous tutoring and will continue to support call-in tutoring.  Students can make appointments by visiting the Writing Center website.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams or Teams is a collaboration tool in the Microsoft 365 Suite that is free to all 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. A more comprehensive guide to Teams for uses like creating a team, chat functionality, and scheduling meeting is available at  https://www.msudenver.edu/technology/onlineready/teams/.


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