Update: March 12
As we transition for this time to fully online learning, I am certain that many students will have questions. While some of our students have taken an online course, many have not. The following FAQ may be helpful for experienced online learners and newbies. If you have a question not on this list, please send it to me. It might end up on our next FAQ!
Will there be regular class times?
No. Beginning March 16 no class will be in session during a regular, specific time. All classes will operate as our regular online courses always have. In edu-speak this is called “asynchronous,” that is, students will be able to access the course and complete work at their own times, subject to the due dates established by your professor. Some professors may incorporate live video conferencing or chat sessions (in edu-speak “synchronous”). These are always flexible to make sure that a student is not penalized just because he/she couldn’t be online at that particular moment.
How will class work, then?
When you sign into Malone Online Learning you will find a list of the courses in which you are enrolled. When you select a course, you will be taken to a page where you can access the syllabus, see assignments, and communicate with your professor and other members of the class. Using email and the “News Forum” located on the course front page, your professor will give clear instructions about what readings/viewings, activities, assignments, or exams will be done and when they will be due. You will be able to select any supplementary materials that you need to read or view from there.
Will there be live-streamed lectures for my courses?
There will not be regular lectures, although some professors will post videos of various lengths for you to view. Some professors may post power points traditionally used in their lectures or lecture notes. There will be a lot of messaging and emailing and you will receive lots of personal attention in your learning.
What if attendance is part of my grade?
Your professor will adjust the course grading policy so that attendance for this online period will not be a part of your grade. You still have to do the coursework, of course. It’s just that now you will have tremendous flexibility in your daily schedule.
How will exams be done?
Our Moodle system is tailor-made for online quizzes and exams. Exams may be converted to the online platform or your professor may elect a different form of testing or other assignment. Your professor will communicate with you about what will be due and when. All exams will be accessed and completed online. I expect that an all-time record number of Malone students will do exams in their pjs.
What if I don’t have a high-powered laptop?
Our online learning system does not require a high-powered laptop, or even a laptop for that matter. Although this would personally be tough for me, your courses can be completed on your smart phone if necessary. If you do not have any personal device, we will work with all students to provide the equipment needed to successfully complete your coursework. Most courses will not, but some may require additional software. Please email your professor with any concerns about access or equipment.
Will the computer labs be open on campus? The library? Lounges?
Yes. Yes. Yes. As long as students remain on campus these resources will continue to be made available.
What about the Cafeteria and Regula Café?
As long as students are on campus, AVI food services will continue as normal.
What about non-classroom learning like clinicals, internships, labs?
Internships, Clinicals, Practicums, etc. will continue, as long as our partners permit. Some adjustments may need to be made. Your professor will work directly with you in case the distance from home or any other factor creates a challenge for you.
We will employ a range of substitute activities for lab assignments, including things like video demonstrations and alternative assignments. Some labs may be postponed or cancelled altogether. Please communicate with your professor with any questions.
What about Band, Choir, Ensembles, etc.?
The Directors for Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Band, University Chorale and Amplified are considering best practices where students take ownership of their individual part learning and how best to arrange weekly Facetime (or another communication medium) meetings/sessions with the director. The goal is to perform this repertoire this semester if our situation at Malone allows us to do so. Other various kinds of performances and rehearsals may be cancelled, at the discretion of the director. Your director will be in contact with you within the next few days.
How about advising, other meetings with my professors, and tutoring?
Our academic functions such as student advising and tutoring will continue as planned, with the caveat that we will accommodate students to do all activities remotely. Lots of you may decide to do advising via phone and email rather than face to face.
I don’t know anything about Moodle! Help!
Our Director of Distance Learning, John Koshmider, will be providing all students with an online learning guide. It will be online, of course. You will also be directed to the Moodle Knowledge Base via the Malone Online Learning Portal with any questions. And, your professor will be your contact person for all questions, even if those questions get directed somewhere else.
What about our Service Learning Team? President Trump last night enacted a ban on visitors coming to the United States from Europe. Will our group currently doing a service learning project in Poland be able to come back?
The ban is on foreign nationals coming into the country from Europe (except the UK). This DOES NOT apply to United States citizens. Our group should be fine. Still, we’ve been in constant contact with the leadership of that group and have explored options for flying them back earlier than their scheduled time of departure on Saturday. That research shows that the safest plan is to adhere to our original plan, a Saturday departure. We will continue to monitor that situation.
In conclusion, because of who we are as an institution, I know that we will be exemplary among the colleges and universities who are facing the same challenges that we are. We are a strong community and we care, really care, about our students. Despite the challenging circumstances we will find creative ways to deliver quality personalized instruction. Not all universities will be able to do this well, but Malone is different. Never forget the scriptural promise: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” (2 Tim 1:7)
My prayers are with you all,