This semester, classes at Manhattanville college will be taking place in a variety of formats combining the traditional on-campus classroom, hybrid classes, and fully online ones. See below for details on what to expect, and how to get ready.
The pivot to hyflex, hybrid, and remote classes presents a huge shift in teaching and learning for both faculty and students. This new model presents a large and fundamental change for our entire community. Faculty, staff, and students are all adjusting to the new circumstances as best as possible. In these times, it is important to exercise patience with both others, and yourself!
The traditional in-person, on-campus, in-class experience. Contnuing this semester, classrooms will be set up for social distancing. Faculty may also be using technology in the classroom to stream the class discussion to students participating online remotely. Students even in class may be asked to log into course platforms to interact with them.
Faculty and students will not be face to face in the classroom. The teaching and learning will take place via interaction and activities that will be either self-paced (asynchronous), or in real-time via video conferencing tool (synchronous). Courses will be predominantly in Blackboard. See below for more details.
Unlike onsite classes, there are no meeting times for an asynchronous online course. Students log into Blackboard to complete the readings and other texts, post to discussion boards, and work on assignments at their own pace, per the deadlines on the syllabus.
These sessions occur via real-time video conferencing tool using platforms such as Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom. At minimum, a microphone and speakers will be required. A webcam may also be necessary. Check your syllabus or contact your instructor for the meeting schedule, and other details. Also feel free to explore these mobile apps to participate via smartphone; Collaborate, Teams, and Zoom.
A hybrid course is one in which class will take place on campus at some times, and online at others. This online instruction may be asynchronous or synchronous as described above.
In a hyflex class, some students are in the classroom, and some students are logged in online remotely. The instructor uses technology to live stream the lecture, discussion, and other activities in the classroom to those participating online.
What format will my classes be in? Onsite? Online? Hybrid?
Check with Student Planning for your course format, hybrid, or online. Additionally, please keep an eye on your Manhattanville e-mail for communication from your course instructor.
How can I get ready for my hyflex, hybrid, or online course?
If this is your first class at Manhattanville, activate your Manhattanville e-mail via these steps, Setup Email. Check your e-mail regularly to receive messages from your professor about the course. Also, please use only your Manhattanville e-mail for school business.
In the days before your course starts, check your Manhattanville e-mail for a Blackboard Announcement from your professor on how to get started with the course. You may need to purchase any necessary books, media, order supplies, or set up accounts.
Try out the tech
Your online course materials will predominantly be on our learning management system, Blackboard. Be sure you’re able to log in.
Find your courses, assignments, and other important communications about your classes.
Explore the College’s Office 365 apps. In addition to e-mail, check out Calendar, To-Do, and Planner to stay organized. Microsoft Teams, and OneNote are also powerful collaboration and organizational tools. Need to create a survey? Try Microsoft Forms for an easy, web-based way to distribute your form and summarize results. Microsoft also offers Sway as an online animated presentation tool. You can log into all of these with your Manhattanville e-mail credentials.
Most classes meeting synchronously use Blackboard Collaborate. This tool, featured in every Blackboard course, allows professors and students to interact via video, audio, text chat, shared files, and more. Check out the tips below for the best class experience.
Log in a few minutes early to squash any technical bugs. This will allow you to make sure you’re in the right room, and that your mic and camera are working correct. You may also be able to use the time to chat with your professor or other students in the class.
Log in with the appropriate browser for your operating system;
If you experience poor Internet bandwidth during your session, close any unnecessary tabs and apps, especially those playing streaming media (Spotify, Netflix, YouTube, etc.) This will also help you stay focused on the class! If you continue to experience bandwidth problems, turn off your video.
Students are encouraged to turn on their cameras during class. This contributes to your social presence in the session, helping everyone put a face to the name.
When not speaking though, be sure to mute your microphone! This prevents any background noise from your area being transmitted into the session, preventing distractions. Just be sure to turn it back on when it’s your turn to speak!
Are hyflex, hybrid, or online courses easier than onsite ones?
Hyflex, hybrid, or online courses feature the same readings and assignments as their fully onsite counterpart. The amount of time you will spend in hyflex, hybrid, or online classes completing readings, participating in discussions, and working on assignments should be about the same as those in the traditional experience.
How they differ though is that hybrid courses have fewer, and fully online ones have no, in-person class meetings. The same goes for students in hyflex courses joining remotely. Be sure to mind the due dates provided by your instructor. With the possibility of not having to physically hand in papers, it can be difficult to keep track of deadlines.
Considering the demands of part-time jobs, travel plans, family care, and other obligations, it is especially important to be able to make time for hyflex, hybrid, and online coursework. Remember that these course formats require the same amount of work as a fully onsite course. Only now, that same number of work hours will be delivered via a mix of in-class and online, or fully online instruction.
Faculty will be holding all office hours remotely. Contact your professor for details.
How do I log in to the online portion of my classes?
If your course is hybrid or online, or if you are joining a hyflex class remotely, you will need to log into the learning management system of that professor’s choice. Confirm which of the ones below they’ll be using, and visit the links to learn how to log in.
How can I prepare for hyflex, hybrid, or online courses?
With courses taking place both on-site and online, it can be easy to lose track of class schedules and due dates.
Examine your syllabi carefully and determine when you’ll be on campus for class, or when you’ll be online. Within online weeks, note when the work will be self-paced (asynchronous), or when you will have to log on to a video conference (Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, etc.) at a certain day and time. If you know you will be working in different spaces, keep everything in bag or other case; pens/pencils, notebooks, textbooks, folders, laptop, device chargers, etc. Consider this your mobile office.
Figure out when assignments are due. These can include due dates for readings, videos, PowerPoint files, papers, discussion board posts, tests and quizzes, etc. Make a note of what can be handed in through Blackboard versus what should be submitted in class.
Create a work schedule! Designate a place in your home, and if you’re sharing a computer, coordinate time if necessary. Perhaps communicate different needs for time and space to do asynchronous work, versus the need for greater privacy for class video chats. If you need to care for relatives, discuss with your family on how to work that in. Consider posting a physical schedule in the home to keep coordinate everyone’s needs around space, time, and technology.
To help with your own academic planning, experiment with paper calendars, notebooks, or online calendars if you haven’t already. Manhattanville offers Outlook Calendar as part of its Office 365 subscription.
Online class participation - Synchronous
If you’ll be joining your class via video conference, participate via hand raising, text chat, polling activities, etc., heeding your instructor’s guidelines. They want to hear from you! However, be sure to mute your mic before entering the room. This prevents ambient sound from your location from being heard in the class. Simply turn on your mic when it’s your turn to speak. Turn on your webcam if you feel comfortable doing so." Synchronous rooms also have text chat functions you can use to make additional comments and ask questions. Your instructor will let you know how they will be incorporating this feature into the class discussion.
Show up on time as you would in on-campus classes. Close apps and windows that may distract you from fully paying attention.
Even if the synchronous class is recorded, attend as best as you can. Though slides, conversation, and text chat are captured, watching a recording will not provide the optimal opportunity for you to ask questions and contribute to the discussion.
Online class participation - Asynchronous
Class participation may be required in asynchronous classes, as well! Find out if the course will be using discussion boards, blogs, journals, or other tools.
If your course has online discussion forums, post to them early and often, per the instructors directions. Read the professor’s question carefully, and make sure your response addresses all the points. Make yourself known in the space. Commenting on classmates’ posts is key to making the most of the discussion. Demonstrate to the professor that you are present and engaged with the class. As with an onsite experience, learning is a social process, and is best done with others.
Enjoy the discussion forums, as they are designed to cultivate new ideas and directions in thinking. But also consider them formal academic spaces. “Speak” in them as you would in class. Mind your audience and remember that the professor is grading your contributions to the conversation.
Also be sure to check your Manhattanville e-mail regularly. This will be the main method your professors will be using to communicate important updates to the class. It can be a very important way of keeping up with the class.
Read assignment instructions carefully. If you have questions, see if your course has a Q&A forum, or contact the instructor directly. Heed the stated deadlines. In some cases, assignments may not be available after they are due. Your instructor may also require a certain file format such as .doc, or .pdf. If so, be sure not to submit things like links to Google Docs, or Mac OS Pages files.
Hyflex, hybrid, and online courses take discipline to stay on top of. Though the online portions can be self-paced, designate time for working on the readings, activities, discussions, and assignments. Set yourself up for success by creating a structure that fits with your schedule to spend quality time on the course. Recognize the need to be independent. Unlike the regularly occurring meetings of an onsite course to help orient the student, a hybrid/online class does not have the same type of physical presence to make sure you stay on track with the material.
Course sites are available prior to start of semester, but check your Manhattanville e-mail prior to course launch though for Announcements from professors regarding information about obtaining readings, and other materials.
How do I get the readings?
Readings and other materials may take the form of print books for purchase, electronic textbooks for purchase, files uploaded by the instructor, online films available for free via the Manhattanville Library, YouTube videos, or movies available in the commercial market (Netflix, Prime Video, etc.). Your instructor will provide information on how to obtain these resources. Check your course’s syllabus for details.
How do I hand in assignments?
You will generally submit work via the Assignments tool in Blackboard. This video, Blackboard: Submit Assignment, illustrates how to do so. But please check your syllabus for the specifics for your course regarding where and how assignments should be submitted.
How do I see my grades?
Grades will be visible in your Blackboard course under, My Grades.
You will only be able to see your own grades.
Can I access my course on my phone?
Blackboard's mobile application allows you to conveniently view upcoming assignments and notifications, as well as check grades, which can all be found in your Activity Stream tab. You may download it for Android, iOS, or Windows here; Blackboard App for Students.
Under the Courses tab you’re able to browse through your current and past enrolled courses. Click on a course and you’ll be brought to a page that shows your course grade, lets you know if there are any upcoming due dates, and allows you to view course materials, all on one screen.
The Grades tab allows you to quickly browse your overall scores for all your classes. Once you’ve clicked on a course, you can scroll through and see the breakdown of each assignments grade. You can also click on a specific assignment where you have the option of reviewing what you submitted and the professor’s comments if applicable.
The Due Dates tab shows you both a calendar and a day-by-day break down of all upcoming assignments. You can click on the assignment to learn more information such as number of attempts, due date, and maximum possible score. Unfortunately, you can’t upload assignments onto Blackboard Mobile, and clicking the “Start Attempt” button will direct you to the Blackboard Website.
Note when your professors’ office hours are, and which technology they’re using. Faculty members will only be meeting with students remotely in Fall 2020. Find out if they’ll be using Collaborate, Teams, phone, etc.
There are many groups on campus who are here to support you in your studies. Consult the list below for questions you may have:
The course syllabus will state contact information that your instructor has shared such as e-mail address, phone number, etc. Faculty also offer office hours that take place online, through Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, or other platforms. Check your syllabus for details. Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing tool that allows users to participate in video, audio, and text chat. Contact your professor to set up an appointment.