SPRING 2021 PLAN:
With the Fall semester well underway, the College has announced the Spring calendar and plans. See our announcement on the Spring calendar. The College is prepared to welcome community members back to campus for the Spring semester with current safety precautions still in place and in accordance with current guidance from the State of New York. For questions and other communications related to the coming academic year and campus reopening, email COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org. Safety policies and protocols can be found here.
COVID-19: For Faculty and Staff
Employees of the College must adhere to health, social distancing and information requirements mandated by New York State.
Prior to Arrival on Campus
- It is the expectation of the College that employees who can continue to work from home will do so during this time. This reduces density on campus and reduces the number of people who must complete the processes below. Employees should return to campus ONLY if work must or should only be completed on campus. This is not a period to return to the office for the sake of returning.
- All Vice Presidents and supervisors must submit a schedule of employees who are returning to campus to Human Resources (Stephanie Carcano, Stephanie.Carcano@mville.edu) and to Campus Safety (Tony Herrmann, Anthony.Herrmann@mville.edu). Employees will not be permitted on campus unless they are on the schedule for that particular day. Supervisors must provide a weekly schedule to Human Resources and Campus Safety prior to the start of the work week.
- Employees must complete the screening questions on the CampusClear app each day they work on campus in accordance with the Screening and Compliance Policy. This only needs to be filled out on days where the employee physically comes to the campus. Employees who answer “yes” to any of the health questions must not come to the campus on that day.
- Employees who indicate on their health form that they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days, have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with symptoms/tested positive for COVID-19 must remain home and self-quarantine for 14 days.
Arriving on Campus
In accordance with state requirements, all employees and visitors arriving on campus through the front gate must stop and have their ID swiped by Campus Safety. The employee must give their ID card to the officer to have it swiped. The College has hand-held devices to speed up the process of swiping IDs at the front gate.
- The first time an employee returns to campus, they must go to the Campus Safety office in Spellman Hall to collect their College-provided set of washable and reusable masks. The College must provide masks to all employees at no cost, though employees may wear any acceptable mask or face covering.
Arriving at the Office
- Each office cannot have more than 50% of employees on campus at any one time during this period. This applies across units, even if employees have individual offices. For example, a department with four people should not have more than two employees on campus at any one time. A department with three people can only have one employee on campus at any one time.
- Each department must have a log where employees must register when they arrive and leave for the day. This is particularly important for offices that have employees that live on campus and will not be logged at the front gate by Campus Safety.
- If there are shared workspaces in a department, employees must ensure that all cleaning protocols for those workspaces have been completed prior to engaging in their work.
Supervisors and Managers – Cleaning and Attendance
- As noted above, prior to each work week, supervisors and managers must provide Human Resources and Campus Safety a schedule of employees with days each employee will be reporting to campus.
- Supervisors must identify shared workspaces and frequently touched surfaces, establish cleaning protocols, and log each cleaning between each shifts consistent with the College’s Cleaning and Disinfection Policy.
- The employees of each department are responsible for cleaning shared workspaces and commonly touched surfaces with approved cleaning products provided by the College. Supervisors who have questions about which spaces will be cleaned by College housekeeping staff should contact Facilities staff.
- Cleaning schedules and logs are not required for individual offices so long as those offices are used only by one assigned employee.
- Supervisors must evaluate their offices to ensure that office layouts and functions allow for employees and students/customers to be socially distanced (six feet of separation) or be separated by a physical barrier.
- Signage to promote social distancing and masks is being produced by the College. Supervisors should contact Facilities for signage and for assistance in posting signs in office areas.
- All social distancing and cleaning plans for each office/unit must be submitted to Human Resources (Stephanie Carano, Stephanie.Carcano@mville.edu) and the Chief Compliance Officer (Seann Kalagher, Seann.Kalagher@mville.edu). Cleaning logs will be maintained and stored by the supervisor.
While in the Workplace
- Pursuant to the College’s Mask and Face Covering policy, masks or face coverings must be worn indoors at all times, with the following exceptions:
- The employee is alone inside an individual office
- The employee is seated and eating inside the College dining hall (when it opens for operation)
- Pursuant to the College’s Mask and Face Covering policy, masks or face coverings must be worn outdoors when social distancing (six feet of separation from others) is not possible.
- Employees must comply with all cleaning protocols and schedules assigned by the unit supervisor.
- There will be no in-person meetings at this time, and virtual tools will remain the venue for any such gatherings, regardless of the physical location of the employees.
- All lounge and meeting spaces will remain closed during this period of reopening.
- Employees are not permitted to share food or beverages.
- Food service is not currently operating on campus. Employees are encouraged to bring their own food. If an employee leaves campus for food, they must check-in with Campus Safety at the front gate once more when they return.
Visitors to Campus
- The names of all visitors must be submitted to Campus Safety at least one day in advance.
- During this period, visitors include but are not limited to contractors, outside service providers, prospective students and families, and business tenants of the College.
- All visitors must show a valid identification to Campus Safety in order to be logged and allowed entry to campus.
- Pursuant to state guidelines, mail and delivery drivers are not subject to the prior notice and logging requirements.
- Campus Safety will deny entry to visitors whose names have not been submitted in advance.
- The Provost’s Office will determine a schedule whereby faculty members may return to their offices to collect items needed to prepare for Fall semester classes.
- Faculty who wish to use their offices during this period must be scheduled in advance pursuant to the requirements for all employees detailed above. The 50% limit on employees includes faculty members.
- As stated above, work that can be done remotely, should continue. On-campus work should be limited to work that MUST be conducted on campus.
Questions and Concerns
- Questions and concerns related to these guidelines can be directed to Human Resources (Stephanie Carcano, Stephanie.Carcano@mville.edu) or the Chief Compliance Officer (Seann Kalagher, Seann.Kalagher@mville.edu).
- If employees, supervisors or offices are not in compliance with these directives, please contact Campus Safety, Human Resources or the Chief Compliance Officer.
These uncertain times can cause anxiety. There are resources available for faculty and staff who are in need of counseling services.
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP): If you would like to connect with a counselor at the EAP, call 1-800-252-4555. The service is confidential.
- Cigna: For those who participate in medical benefits through the College, our medical insurance provider, Cigna, has also set up a helpline for those dealing with stress, loss or another COVID-19 issue. If you need to reach their hotline – please call 1-866-912-1687. In addition, they have set up a dedicated website with resources here.
Information from Spring: Update from Interim Provost Louise Feroe for faculty, administration and staff.
To support on-line instruction we have prepared a range of resources to help faculty with their planning.
Recordings and presentation decks are in Blackboard.
Click on Communities > Center for Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship > Academic Continuity > Academic Continuity Guide > Presentations.
Please contact Bancha Srikacha if you need to be added to the CTLS Blackboard Community.
Decide whether you’d like to teach synchronously, or asynchronously.
Synchronous This is the format most similar to in-classroom teaching. Faculty can share presentation slides and documents, and converse with students in real time. The instructor and students can all see and hear each other at the same time.
In a synchronous class, the instructor and students would log into Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, the video conferencing system already built in to every Blackboard course. All members of the class would enter this online room at the same time, just as they would arrive to class. The instructor would present materials and moderate discussion as usual. This format is similar to a Zoom, or Skype call.
Aysnchronous In this format, the instructor provides resources and assignments in advance for students to complete at their own pace, but still adhering to deadlines the faculty member sets. This format is best when it would be difficult for faculty and students to meet even online at the same time. When choosing to teach asynchronously, a faculty member would in Blackboard, create a folder to act as an, “Emergency”, or “Make-up Module” to contain all the work for the class that would have met in person. Generally;
- Objectives – The pedagogical goals for the particular class, lesson, or unit.
- Materials – Lecture notes from instructor, readings, presentations, videos, podcasts, etc. § Participation – A shared space such as a discussion forum for the faculty member to post a prompt, and have the students respond both to the instructor, and each other.
- Assignment – A deliverable from students which summatively demonstrates their accomplishment of the objectives stated above.
Aim to provide enough materials and activities to match the amount of in-class seat time. If your class meets twice a week, a module should contain at least 1:15 hours to complete. If once a week, 2:30 hours. If class will be suspended for an extended period of time, you may break up a unit into smaller pieces, each due across shorter periods of time.
If you are still trying to figure out how exactly you will teach online, here is a simplified approach adapted from Luke Waltzer, the Director at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Center for Teaching and Learning:
- Keep in mind that for most students, this is their first experience of online learning as well. They are possibly a little afraid and worried. Their lives have also been disrupted. They also don’t know how to do this either. But we will all get through this together.
- Send students clear, bulleted email with things to do & resources. You can email your class from Blackboard (Your Course -> Tools -> Send Email) or from Colleague Self Service (Web Advisor -> Faculty (ServiceHub) -> Faculty -> Select Course -> Roster -> Email All).
- Determine and share times when they can connect. Perhaps you will purposefully be on email at that time and reply quickly at least with a short note so everyone feels engaged. Save the longer emails for follow-up. You can also use O365 Chat, Blackboard Collaborate or a tool the entire class agrees on (just don’t overload the student with too many new apps or tools).
- Initially suggest low pressure assignments (three Blackboard discussion forum posts per week, two short essays via email, an art work critique per week, etc), but perhaps don’t require them at first. Once the class gets into the swing of things start requiring it and return to grading as usual.
- Collect work via email, save into folders on your computer
- Perhaps name folders sp20/coursename/studentname
- Send suggested methods for how they can connect with one another. This might be email, create a list of college email addresses and share. Some of them may already use chat or Instagram (yes really) to communicate. If they do let them. Make clear that you may not be on those platforms but that you will be available on email.
- Check in via email 2x a week with each individual student. It can be surprising how lonely on-line learning can be.
If you can do more than this, great!
Anything more is heroic.
Bancha Srikacha and Jim Russell will continue to provide other suggestions as we help you explore online learning. Also don’t forget that your department chairs and peers have great suggestions and can serve as additional resources.
With Presentation Slides:
- Open Collaborate Ultra as above.
- Turn on your microphone and camera via the buttons at the bottom.
- On the bottom right, click the purple button, Collaborate Panel.
- At the bottom of the Panel, click the third button, Share Content
- Click, Share Files > Add a File.
- Browse your computer for your presentation, and click Open.
- Select the presentation and click, Share Now.
- Click on the desired slide (likely the first one), and it will appear on screen.
- At the top left, click the three horizontal lines for the Session Menu
- Click, Record
- Begin speaking!
- Click, Stop Recording, when complete.
The file will then appear in the Collaborate page in our Blackboard site. This may take over 30 minutes, depending on the length of your recording.
- Click the menu on the top left, then, Recordings.
- You may download the recording for upload to the appropriate place in your course, or direct students to Collaborate > Recordings.
Video only (“talking head”)
- Launch the Camera app.
- On the right side, set to Take Video.
- Click record. You’re on!
- Launch the Photo Booth app.
- Set to Video
- Click record. Begin your lecture!
- Then in Blackboard, visit your course, and upload the recorded video via Build Content > Video.
If scanning documents for upload to Blackboard, if using the Library scanners, please select, Searchable PDF. This will enable screen readers used by students with visual impairments to read the document.
If assigning videos to watch, try to select those with captions available. Generally, those obtained via the Library collections, such as Kanopy, and Films on Demand, will feature them. TED Talks, and other professionally produced media are also more likely to have them. n.b. - Kanopy videos take a few business days to activate. Please plan ahead for required class viewing needs. For further details, please visit the Center for Student Accommodations' Faculty Resource page.
This video, Faculty: Creating a test in Blackboard 9.1, details how to create a test in your Blackboard site
Syllabus - Continuity Statement
To prepare your students for remote class, start by adding a Continuity Statement in your syllabus. This is language that sets the expectation that even though class will not be meeting, that students will still be accountable for participation and assignments.
Sample language for Continuity Statements for both synchronous and asynchronous formats are below. If you’ll be adding one mid-semester, take advantage of being able to meet in-classroom to bring it to students’ attention, and review it.
Synchronous - “In the event of a campus closure, weather delay, instructor absence, etc., we will meet in Collaborate Ultra, the video conferencing platform built into our class on Blackboard. There, we will be discussing, reviewing, and sharing online instead of in our usual classroom. Attendance at this session will count the same as that for our in-class sessions.
On the day of the cancelations, please check your e-mail for a Blackboard Announcement from me regarding details. There will be readings, a discussion forum, and a written assignment. This work will count towards your final grade, and are not optional.”
Use the Announcement tool on or prior to class cancellation to formally remind of and direct students to either Collaborate, or the continuity module you have left for them on Blackboard. Provide any relevant details necessary to the situation, such as due date, where to find the necessary materials, directions to Collaborate Ultra, etc.
Synchronous - “As campus is closed today, we will be holding our class on Collaborate Ultra, as stated in the Contigency Statement on the syllabus. During our regular meeting time, log into Collaborate Ultra:
- Launch Chrome if you are using Windows, Firefox if you are using Mac OS.
- Log into your course in Blackboard.
- In the left-hand menu, click on Tools > Collaborate Ultra
- Click, Course Room > Join Course Room
On the day of the cancellations, please check your e-mail for a Blackboard Announcement from me regarding login details."
Asynchronous - “a campus closure, weather delay, instructor absence, etc. students are still expected to complete the assignments provided in Blackboard.
log into our course on Blackboard, and go to Tools > Collaborate Ultra. Click Course Room > Join Course Room.
Once inside, I’ll be speaking for a bit, and leading the discussion as we would in person. As originally planned, we'll be …"
Asynchronous - “Though campus is closed today, please visit the continuity module in our Blackboard class. There, you will find notes from me, readings and other media, a discussion board, and an assignment.
Discussion Board Guidelines: Click, Create Thread, and post a reply of no less than X words. You must also provide thoughtful replies to at least two of your classmates.
Completing the assignment, and participating in the discussion is mandatory, and is part of your participation and attendance grade.
In the event of class cancellations due to college closure, or planned instructor absence (conference travel, jury duty, medical, etc.), faculty can still teach students remotely. The College’s instructional technology provides a variety of tools for faculty to engage with students, provide them with materials, collect assignments, etc. The following are suggestions to enable you to continue class by providing students with a structured experience in Blackboard.
What other tools are there?
The Instructional Technology page on the CTLS website serves as a directory of sorts regarding the College’s suite of tools around engagement, assessment, multimedia, etc.
Preparing throughout the Semester
It is suggested that these tools and techniques be used throughout the semester to allow both faculty and students to familiarize themselves with these methods. In the event of an unexpected class cancellation, having this instructional design in place will reduce the rush of having to develop these areas while in difficult circumstances. As such these preparatory measures are recommended;
Beginning of the semester
During the semester
Use the Assignment tool, and continually post grades in Blackboard Grade Center
Discussion boards, as appropriate
- Use Collaborate Ultra for low-stakes conversations, such as office hours
- There will be no international business travel and no non-essential business travel for employees. Essential travel should be reviewed by unit directors, such as deans and vice presidents.
- Regarding personal travel, we ask that members of our community avoid travel to a foreign country designated as Risk Level 3 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and avoid U.S. regions that the CDC has designated high risk.
- If you do travel to a high-risk region, either internationally or domestically, you must notify Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) at 914-323-5245. Before being permitted again on campus, you will be asked to observe the 14-day quarantine recommended by the New York State Department of Health or provide documentation from a health care provider that you are authorized to return to school or work.