Important COVID-19 Update: Remote Instruction

By Jacqueline Huntoon, Provost Senior VP Academic Affairs

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

We are in the midst of a rapidly changing situation in the United States as a result of the spread of COVID-19. Per President Koubek’s email earlier today, we will not be teaching face-to-face in classrooms or laboratories.

Our intention is that remote instruction for some courses will begin on Monday, March 16, with all courses being offered remotely no later than Wednesday, March 18. This means that your students must hear from you about your plans for your courses no later than March 18. Remote instruction will continue through at least April 17.

I know that many people involved with instruction are already prepared to offer their courses remotely using multiple types of technologies. Others may need some assistance and support. Both IT and the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) are preparing to provide the support that everyone needs. Both groups can provide assistance online, by phone, or in person.

For those somewhat familiar with useful instructional technologies, https://www.mtu.edu/ctl/instructional-resources/canvas-continuity/ provides an online refresher. Your fellow faculty and staff are also great resources who may be able to provide assistance and information about strategies they have tested and found to be effective.

As you implement remote instruction, recognize that it will likely be impossible to cover all the information you would normally include during a semester. In addition, it will be challenging to offer students the same experience they would get on campus in many courses (including laboratory courses). Instructors are in the best position to know how to adjust their courses, and everyone should feel that they have wide latitude to make the necessary changes.

Michigan Tech’s faculty are known for their “can-do” attitude and I am certain that by working together, supporting one another, and sharing tips and best practices, we will provide students with the best possible education given the constraints of the current situation.

In order to ensure that IT and the CTL are aware of your needs and requests, I ask that you complete the survey available at https://forms.gle/fo6anxvRngUEm8uA7. An IT or CTL staff member will contact you as appropriate based on your responses. IT or CTL staff may also offer focused sessions on topics of particular interest (e.g., using Canvas). If you are a course coordinator, please talk with your instructional team to set expectations and coordinate requests for assistance so that neither IT nor the CTL are overburdened.

As the semester unfolds, please let your department chair or dean know if you are having problems or are ill. Your health is important. It will also be helpful if you can let your department chair or dean know if you are concerned about any individual students in your courses or research group.

Additional information and updates regarding Michigan Tech’s response to COVID-19 can be found at mtu.edu/covid-19. Also, feel free to email covid-19@mtu.edu with your questions. We will continue to act on the best information we have and keep you informed.

Sincerely, 

Jackie Huntoon
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


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