I hope each of you – and every member of your family – is safe, well-supplied, and taking social distancing precautions to prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus.
Events have evolved rapidly since we last met. Some universities have already been practicing remote learning for a week or more now, and faculty and students have been sharing their experiences. We have learned quite a bit about the challenges of continuing learning during a pandemic.
One of the most important takeaways from these early weeks of remote learning is that both students and faculty need flexibility to determine their work flow in order to cope with their new realities. I understand that you or I may need to care for sick family members, have obligations to children or siblings, have inconsistent access to the internet, be living in different time zones, be coping with difficult interpersonal situations, be stressed out by the news and local happenings (or just have “helpers” like Sylvie who like to sit on your laptop while you work).
The Plan to Hold Class Live via Zoom is Cancelled
Because of this shared need for flexibility, I no longer think that holding online meetings during our regularly scheduled class time via Zoom is the best strategy for continuing our College Reading & Writing II course.
To be clear, you are NOT required to attend class by joining a Zoom meeting every M, W, and F at 10 am Eastern time.
So What’s Going to Happen?
Online Office Hours
I will hold online office hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10 am. Join my office hours via a Zoom meeting link that I’ll post on the course website. I’ll hold my first office hour this coming Monday, March 23. I hope to see you then.
These office hours are optional, but please use these hours to learn more about assignments, get help, troubleshoot problems with access to materials, or just to check in.
You can also send me an email. Expect a reply within 24 hours.
Between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm (Eastern time), you can call me on my Google Voice number (sent to you in an email on March 19, 2020).
Each Monday morning about 7 am, I will post the complete set of reading, writing, and discussion assignments due for the week on the Remote Learning Calendar page of our course website. Look for the first set of assignments to be posted Monday, March 23.
Some assignments will be due by Thursday at midnight (your local time); others will be due by Sunday at midnight (your local time).
You’ll submit some assignments by posting them on your ePortfolio (be sure to categorize them with ENG 123!). Other assignments will be submitted by replying to posts on our class website. Still other assignments will ask you interact with your peers in an online discussion forum hosted on our class website.
The Very Real Challenge of Managing the Homework
I think it’s important to recognize the realities that this shift to online learning is happening very quickly on a crisis basis. None of us expected to be finishing our course in this modality and many of you are new to learning online.
One of the biggest challenges for students new to online learning is managing and scheduling the workload. It will come as no surprise to anyone that many of us have faced the challenge of completing homework on time for most of the academic year.
I think some of the low homework completion rate comes from a belief that the real work on the paper starts the night before the draft is due.
To help you commit to the weekly assignments, we will not be writing a larger formal paper for Paper 3. We can develop fluency in all of the course learning outcomes by writing frequent short informal pieces of writing.
So, once we’re done revising Paper 2, the informal writing you do each week will be how you demonstrate fluency in the course learning outcomes and earn your grade.
It will be important for you to keep up and submit your work each week.
If events in your life change, making it impossible for you submit work one week, please be in touch to make arrangements.