The following is an email that was sent to Loyola undergraduate and graduate students on Thursday, March 12, 2020.
Subject: A Message for Students from the Provost - Transition to Online Courses
Our university is focused on maintaining operations and academic continuity while we hold paramount your safety and that of our entire community. We recognize that these are uncertain times, and this can seem unsettling. We want you to know that your well-being and our commitment to Loyola’s academic mission is guiding our decision-making. We are making several adjustments to support your continued academic success.
We know that you and your families are impacted by the university’s decision to send you home and to convert our face-to-face courses to online courses while you are off-campus. We expect that you are busy moving back home today and tomorrow morning. Once you settle in at home, please log-in to your Loyola email regularly (at least two times daily) to monitor messages from the University. As a general rule, log-in to your Moodle courses each day to keep up-to-date with announcements and course assignments.
On Wednesday, March 18th, classes will begin online. Follow your faculty member’s instructions for each course. Online courses that occur synchronously (meaning, the faculty member and the students are participating at the same time), will be conducted at the regularly scheduled Eastern time of your course. Several of those course meetings may be offered through Zoom, and you will log in to the Zoom “meeting” via the link your instructor sends you. We know that the transition to online courses may be new for many of you. Please be patient with yourself. Here are some tips about learning online from off-campus:
Devices and Internet
- Plan to use a desktop, laptop, or large tablet to access Moodle and complete your coursework.
- If possible, use a device with video and audio capabilities.
- If you have concerns about the technology you need to complete your work online, please see the FAQ page.
- High-speed internet will be useful for most courses.
- If your Wi-Fi internet connection gets spotty—don’t panic. Try to reset by unplugging your modem and router for 1-2 minutes, then plug them back in, and if necessary, restart your computer so that the internet connection is restored.
Preparation for Online Learning at Loyola
- The Office of Digital Teaching and Learning offers a Student Support Page that includes a Moodle Orientation and information about Panopto, VoiceThread, and Zoom web conferencing.
- You can prepare for learning online by exploring each course in Moodle.
- Identify all activities and assignments and their associated due dates.
- Create a planner that outlines your courses and associated course work for each (readings, assignments, etc.).
- Create a calendar to help you schedule your school, home, and social commitments and responsibilities.
- Create or locate an environment conducive to studying and completing your course work.
Academic Support Services
Many academic student support offices will have resources online for you by Wednesday, March 18th. We will maintain an FAQ page for you with information about these resources, but here are a few to consider using while you are off-campus:
- Undergraduate course registration for Fall 2020 classes will proceed as scheduled, with students registering for courses via WebAdvisor on their assigned registration day and time. Students can view their registration date and time on WebAdvisor. WebAdvisor registration closes at 4 p.m. Students are still required to obtain electronic permission to register from their faculty advisor.
- More information about registration, including for students who are currently abroad, is included on the FAQ page. The most up-to-date information can be found from the Academic Advising and Support Center (AASC), on their website. For additional information AASC can be reached by email or by phone at 410-617-5050.
- Undergraduate course withdrawal deadline for Spring 2020 courses is Friday, March 27, at 5 p.m. Please see many more details about adjustments to this process on the FAQ page or go to the AASC website for the most up-to-date information.
- Library: Students and faculty will continue to have remote access to the library. Reference Chat will still be available online 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.
- Tutoring: The Study plans to use GoBoard as our online tutoring platform and Zoom as a backup platform. Students and Loyola tutors can meet online (similar to Skype) and have a regular session. The GoBoard platform includes screensharing, video and audio capabilities, and a math keyboard, so students from all disciplines should still be able to have a productive session. Students will still log onto TutorTrac (https://www.loyola.edu/department/the-study/tutoring/peer) to make an appointment and we will follow up with an email containing the URL to the GoBoard site. Students experiencing technical difficulties should contact Blake Lubinski (email@example.com).
- Time management coaching and academic coaching: The coaches and the Director of The Study will meet with students via Skype or Zoom for virtual sessions. The Director can also work with students via email or phone, should that be a preferred method. Students can register for these services at https://www.loyola.edu/department/the-study/coaching-services or by contacting Molly Fredette (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Academic Success Workshops: Students can register for a workshop at https://www.loyola.edu/department/the-study/study-skills/workshops. Depending on the number of registrants, students will meet with the Director of The Study via Zoom or GoBoard.
- Writing Center assistance: The Writing Center will offer synchronous online tutoring beginning on Wednesday, March 18. Tutors will conduct real-time 45-minute Zoom conferences with students. Students will still be able to schedule appointments via TutorTrac per normal. Please also check the center’s website (https://www.loyola.edu/department/writing-center) for up-to-date information.
I hope you will use all the resources we can make available to you. We will continue to work through challenges, as a community, to help you continue your academic studies with as little interruption as possible. Our university is devoted to your learning and growth. I join the many here who are praying for your health, safety, and academic success.
Amanda M. Thomas, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs