Dear Faculty Colleagues,
As you know from the President’s letter to the BC community, Boston College has made the decision to suspend all in-person instruction on campus in an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. While on-campus classes will not be held, faculty will be expected to teach students remotely. To allow students time to adjust to this decision and return home, all classes---with the exception of ongoing online classes---will be suspended effective at the end of teaching this evening (March 11). Remote instruction will begin on Thursday, March 19. Other University operations and services will continue for the remainder of the semester.
We realize that this is a significant disruption and imposes additional burdens on you and our students, but the need to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19 and maintain the health and well-being of our community remains our highest priority.
The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and your deans and department chairs have already sent you communication on ways to teach online or electronically. I ask all faculty, if you have not yet done so, to please contact a member of the CTE (firstname.lastname@example.org) or your deans or department chairs on ways to move your course content and requirements online or electronically. The CTE is offering training classes, live and online, to help you accomplish this: https://www.bc.edu/offices/cte/teaching/covid-19-preparations.html.
Each school has designated one or more individuals to serve as its contact person should you have questions regarding teaching remotely. Technology questions should be sent to the CTE or your school’s Technology Consultants (https://www.bc.edu/offices/its/depts/support/tci/tc/tclist.html). All other questions may be sent to your school contact listed below.
Carroll School of Management
Connell School of Nursing
Colleen Simonelli, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Program, email@example.com
Susan Kelly Weeder, Associate Dean for Graduate Program, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas Wahhab, Senior Technology Consultant, email@example.com
Lynch School of Education and Human Development
Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences
Gene McMahon, Associate Dean, firstname.lastname@example.org
Respective department chairs
Humanities Technology Consultants: Paul Emery and Fawn Herd, email@example.com
Sciences Technology Consultants: Howard White and Chris Cardosa, firstname.lastname@example.org
McGuinn Technology Consultants: Bob McColgan, email@example.com
St. Mary’s, Devlin, Robsham and Maloney TCs: Ken Porter, firstname.lastname@example.org
School of Social Work
School of Theology and Ministry
Woods College of Advancing Studies
Michelle Elias Bloomer, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Program, email@example.com
Tristan Johnson, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, Tristan.firstname.lastname@example.org
Ahmed Naim, Technology Consultant Supervisor, email@example.com
For future updates, please check periodically on the BC coronavirus web page (bc.edu/coronavirus). Additional information on effective remote teaching techniques can be found at the bottom of this email.
I am grateful to the many members of our university who have been working tirelessly to respond to the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19. We are going to get through this by working together and learning from each other. I thank you for your commitment to our students’ education.
Provost and Dean of Faculties
Technology for Teaching Remotely
The following strategies have been found effective:
- Many Canvas features commonly used to support face-to-face classes are also ideal for teaching remotely. See information on:
- Meet with students online in real time through Zoom, sharing screen, audio and video. If you are new to Zoom, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a Pro license. Please note: To allow other classes the opportunity to meet virtually if necessary, please schedule online exchanges only at times when your class would normally meet.
- Try Google Hangouts Meet for office hours.
- Use Panopto to record a narrated slide presentation that students can watch through Canvas.
- The larger the group, the larger the risk in relying solely on synchronous technologies that need to work for everyone in real time. Combined solutions are often best, for example record a brief lecture, then meet on Zoom for Q&A or set a prompt in a discussion board.
- For additional information, see the CTE’s Teaching Through Disruption resource.