Over the past week, you've received several emails from various MCC administrators regarding the upcoming transition to online teaching as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. We realize that you may overwhelmed or confused, but know that you are not alone--this is a tough situation for everyone, including your students.
Below is an email that was sent by the Provost on March 13. It does a good job of summarizing the current situation and provides an overview of the steps that you can take to move forward with your transition to online instruction.
If you're confused about what steps you must take, please read this email from Provost Donald N. Ritzenhein, and then reach out to the Center for Teaching and Learning for further assistance.
Center for Teaching and Learning
CC-127 and SJ-120
March 13, 2020
To the faculty:
As you know, in response to the Governor’s call for colleges and universities to conduct classes online wherever feasible for the next 30 days, and recognizing the growing number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in our area, we have suspended face to face instruction through April 12. We are using the remainder of this week and all of next to work with you who are not currently teaching online to convert to some kind of remote delivery of instruction.
If you are already teaching online you should just continue. The pause this week and next only applies to face to face classes.
If you have been using Canvas to web enhance your onground classes, please work to expand its use so you can conduct class completely online for the next 30 days. Once you have converted lessons to online you may begin teaching them even before the end of our one week pause. You will want to be sure all your students know you are resuming instruction. We assume in most cases that students are already connecting to Canvas to upload assignments and perhaps even take quizzes or exams, so the conversion to all online even during the face to face pause should be feasible.
If you are not using Canvas now, a blank Canvas shell has been created for each of your classes. You can access the shell using the instructions below. If you already received training in how to use Canvas, feel free to start populating your blank Canvas shell. Alternatively, whether you’ve been trained in Canvas or not, you can send your first day handout to the CTL and they will create a core shell for you. Instructions for doing that were sent earlier this week, and are reproduced below.
I know if you have not been using Canvas in any capacity it’s for a reason. Even as demand for online instruction has grown, face to face interaction with students remains a fundamental method and philosophy of higher education. I recognize and appreciate your commitment to that modality of teaching. We are in a situation, however, where continuing face to face instruction is being halted because it places you, your students, and our community in jeopardy of contracting COVID-19. Our Center for Teaching and Learning is ready to work with you during this transition period to implement a type of remote instruction that will allow you to continue teaching, and your students continue learning, through this period, until face to face classes might be able to resume April 13. Please contact the Center to explore options for remote teaching including, but not limited to, the use of Canvas.
Thank you for your commitment to teaching and learning.
P.S. There are over 300 replies to my earlier emails and I’m working through those as quickly as I can. Should be caught up by the end of the weekend! In the meantime, as a British poster once put it, we should keep calm and carry on. Thanks.