Message sent March 12, 2020, from Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Learning and Success Jonathan Eldridge
Dear College of Marin Faculty:
Thank you for working so quickly to prepare to temporarily teach remotely. Please ensure you are prepared to teach remotely beginning Monday, March 23—the first day of instruction after spring break. The College will make an official decision on temporary remote instruction no later than Wednesday, March 18, but at this point it is likely all credit and non-credit courses will be held remotely beginning at that time. You should be prepared to continue remote instruction through the end of March at a minimum, with a real possibility of remote instruction continuing into April.
If you have class session(s) remaining before the start of spring break you may test your capabilities now, once you complete the preparation steps outlined below. Again, please ensure all items on this list are completed in preparation for temporary remote instruction after spring break. Additional items relating to campus services and access have been added to the FAQ section below, so please also read that carefully.
Again, thank you for your commitment to our students and thinking creatively and positively during this rapidly changing and unnerving time.
As noted in my previous message, in order to be fully prepared to ensure instructional continuity, ALL faculty need to take the following steps:
1. Finalize a communication plan with your students before spring break.
2. Survey your students to determine if your plan for instructional continuity poses any obstacles (for example, we know 1,700 of our students access the portal/Canvas with their phones) and does that plan include support for students with accommodations? Be sensitive to student access issues, which includes protecting privacy for students as you conduct your survey (we do not want to ‘out’ any students in front of their peers who may have particular issues, limitations, or needs).
4. Only use District-supported technology tools (Canvas, Zoom, VoiceThread, Turnitin, MyCOM email, and other academic technology) to ensure students’ privacy.
6. Download Zoom (confernow.org) on to your local device at conferzoom.org; Zoom can be used for telephone calls in addition to video meeting:
a. functionality (you can also record your Zoom meetings and send the audio links out to students)
b. Here is a link to a Zoom Recorded Training from CCC Tech Connect.
c. Here are instructions on how to integrate your ConferZoom account with Canvas
7. Schedule an appointment with Stacey Lince, instructional designer, should you need assistance with your content in Canvas.
8. Ensure at least one week of course content is ready for remote instruction. Be prepared to use multiple methods to meet student needs. For example, this may include posting content to
Canvas but also having telephone conferences with individual students who may not be able to access the content.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will faculty be able to access their offices and/or classrooms if we move to remote instruction?
• Yes. Faculty can prepare materials and teach from their offices and/or classrooms. Work with your dean if you have questions about access.
Is it accurate to say the College is closed if we move to remote instruction?
• NO. The College will remain open and while some services/access may be modified, staff will be available to help meet faculty and student needs.
What are students being told at this point?
• Students are being told to check their MyCOM portal over the break, but that it is likely their courses will temporarily be delivered remotely after spring break. They are also being told their faculty will communicate with them about how remote instruction will take place once that determination is made.
Do I have to use Zoom in Canvas, or can I use something else, like Skype?
• Yes, you must use Zoom. It is too complicated for students to be expected to know and remember multiple platforms and our ability to support technical issues beyond our core platforms will be limited.
Do students have access to Zoom?
• Yes. Zoom is integrated into Canvas and students with a MyCOM account have access to Canvas.
If the College suspends in-person instruction but then resumes it, may I continue delivering course instruction remotely?
• Unless your course is already Board-approved for hybrid/online delivery modes and you have been trained to meet the OEI rubric standards as set forth in AP 4105 (http://policies.marin.edu/sites/policies/files/AP4105-DistanceEducation.pdf), NO. Please plan to resume face-to-face instruction when the College campuses open. We will request temporary approval from the Chancellor’s Office to deliver instruction remotely only during the closure period. Beyond that timeframe, we are not approved for blanket, online instruction. This is a stop-gap measure to ensure instructional continuity during unprecedented circumstances.
If I need help, will anyone be able to assist me?
• Yes. We plan to be working remotely in the event of the closure and will be available to assist you by email, phone, and Zoom. Please also consult with your colleagues, many of whom have experience with Canvas, Zoom, and related technology. Your dean can refer you to colleagues if you are not sure who may be able to help. Your dean will also be available to assist you remotely via email, phone, and Zoom during any suspension of in-person instruction.