March 15, 2020
Dear Main Campus Students,
Welcome back from Spring Break! You may not be returning to our physical classrooms, but we are still excited to invite you back to Post through our virtual classrooms. We have been working diligently over the last week to modify our main campus course curricula and design so that they are ready to be offered to you virtually through Bb Collaborate.
So what can you expect when classes resume tomorrow?
Accessing Your Classes
Starting tomorrow (Monday, March 16), you will access all your main campus classes using Bb Collaborate, a web conferencing tool that allows students and instructors to share files, applications, and use a virtual whiteboard. Prior to each class meeting, your instructor will post an announcement in your course that includes a link to join the Bb Collaborate class session. Remember, your classes will continue to meet at their regularly-scheduled times (eastern-standard time). If you encounter any issues while trying access Bb Collaborate, first, let your instructor know. Then email CollaborateHelp@post.edu with your name, phone number, and the issue you are having. This email address goes directly to our IT associates who will respond to your concern as soon as they can (usually within 24 hours)
Virtual Classroom Etiquette
Although some of you may have experience with virtual meetings, for many of you this will be the first time you use a web conferencing tool to meet with a large group of people. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Join the class using the link your instructor has provided in your Bb course announcements a few minutes early. This will allow you to troubleshoot any microphone or video issues on your end before class starts.
- Use your computer’s camera to participate in the class using video. This will mean you should plan to login to class dressed the way you would dress when you attend your physical classroom. Please attend class from a location with minimal disruption in your background.
- Mute your microphone when you are not talking. The ambient noise from your computer will come across very loud to the other participants.
- Be aware that the class session is being recorded to share with those who are unable to attend due to technology issues.
- Be prepared for the first class meeting to be a little rough as we all learn to use this technology in the classroom setting. I promise it will get smoother!
- Review the Tips for Being a Virtual Learner blog from our Center for Academic Success.
Your main campus classes will continue to meet virtually at their regularly-scheduled times. In alignment with our Main Campus Attendance Policy, you are expected to attend all virtual class meeting using Bb Collaborate. As I shared in my March 12 message to you, we have modified our Attendance Policy slightly to better align with virtual class meetings:
- Students are expected to attend all virtual Bb Collaborate sessions, which will be held at their regularly-scheduled class time. If they are unable to attend a virtual class, they must discuss it with their instructor before class.
- Students are expected to attend the Bb Collaborate session via video on their computer or device.
- If students are only able to attend via audio due to technology or streaming limitations at their location, they must inform their instructor of this limitation.
Technology or Access Limitations
If your off-campus location does not provide you with the technology or Wi-Fi access necessary to attend your classes virtually, please contact your instructor ASAP. They will work with you to keep you on track with your course material and ensure that the alternative means of participation in class is documented as attendance. In addition, Post has a limited number of computers that we have set aside to loan to main campus students who do not have access to a computer at home. Please contact your instructor or Advisor to learn more about this.
Laboratory, Art, and other Experiential Courses
At Post, we do have a small number of main campus courses that do not easily lend themselves to the virtual classroom. These courses include lab courses, art studio courses, and other courses based heavily in experiential learning. Our faculty have been working diligently to identify how we can continue to offer these courses virtually and still assure that the courses effectively meet the learning outcomes that are defined for each course. When these courses meet virtually this week, your instructor will share the plan for the course.
Internship or Practicum Courses
Approximately 25 students are currently enrolled in an internship or practicum course. We are aware that many internship and practicum sites are closing. If you are currently enrolled in an internship or practicum course, please contact your instructor; we are handling each student’s situation on an individual basis.
Virtual Academic Resources
Absolutely ALL of your academic support services will continue to be available to you while your courses are offered virtually:
- The Center for Academic Success will remain open for professional and peer tutoring via phone and video chat, and our Writing Specialist will continue to review all emailed papers. The Center can be reached at CAS@post.edu or 203-596-4686. In addition, our online tutoring service, TutorMe, will continue to be available 24/7.
- The University Library will remain open to support your research needs. The Librarians can be reached at 203 596-4560 or email@example.com. In addition, our library databases and services are already online on the Blackboard library tab, and our A to Z database list of links including online services and open resources is available here.
- The Center for Career and Professional Development will remain open and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203 828-2989.
- Campus Advising will remain open and available to you through phone or email. Registration for Fall 2020 will continue virtually next week. Your advisor will be in touch with you to schedule and confirm your meeting time as a phone call. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com and any advisor can assist!
As a reminder, all campus events and activities have been cancelled through March 30. Our Athletic conference, the CACC, has cancelled all athletic competition for the remainder of the academic year. In addition, the Honors Program Regional Conference in Albany has been cancelled.
I know that right now it feels like so much in our lives is being cancelled in order to allow for social distancing and protection this practice can provide from this virus. And yes, it stinks. No, let’s be real… it completely sucks. But there are many important aspects of our lives that cannot be cancelled. Friendships and relationships are not cancelled. Phone calls and FaceTime to connect with loves ones are not cancelled. Delicious food (especially the stuff that is not so good for us!) is not cancelled. Getting outside for a hike, a walk, or a bike ride is not cancelled. And I can personally assure you that LEARNING IS NOT CANCELLED!
Please remember that all of us at Post care deeply about you and your success. It feels crazy right now, but we will get through this together! We are looking forward to having you back in our virtual classrooms for this next adventure in learning at Post University. Welcome back!
All my best,