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Creative ways that the University was able to combat “Snowmageddon 2010”

15 Feb Posted by in Academics, Business | Comments Off on Creative ways that the University was able to combat “Snowmageddon 2010”

I thought colleagues would be interested in some of the ways various faculty used electronic facilities to keep classes going during our recent contretemps, quite apart from programs that were already on distance and were therefore undisrupted. We should probably get a sense of how widely faculty feel they can use interim methods of this sort, which could dramatically reduce our Angst about makeup days in future. Further planning on this will be forthcoming from ITU. As is clear from those who used technology to deliver courses, either fully or in part, there are opportunities and resources who can help guide the process for future planning.

While the following stories are of course anecdotal (and it is only a partial list), they provide a snapshot of some of the creative ways that the University was able to combat “Snowmageddon 2010.”

“MGMT 301, 317, and 318 sections are completely online this semester and haven’t had any disruption whatsoever. Because we have set it up so [students] have a week to participate in online discussions, we haven’t even had complaints about power outages – at least I haven’t.”
Dr. Paige Wolf, Associate Professor, Management

“I can attest that the [Distance Education} course has been working well over the snow period. I have not received any student complaint and was able to update the students via email and Blackboard about any due dates.”
Dr. Patrick Soleymani, Part-time Professor, Management

“On Wednesday afternoon, during the height of the storm, the CSS graduate course on Complexity Theory in the Social Sciences met at the regularly scheduled time (4:30 – 7:10 p.m.) in ‘Cyberia.’ Using the Skype teleconferencing and Blackboard from our laptops off campus, the students and I were able to discuss all of the assigned readings that were scheduled for that day, as well as explore additional course-related topics that came up during our lively three hour seminar discussion. We even discussed some potential research paper topics inspired by the storm, such as the consequences of power-law distributed snow storms on social complexity. It was very exciting and productive!”
Dr. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla, Professor, Computational Social Science

“. . .about a third of our English 302 faculty have been revising to create DE [Distance Education] assignments for their classes this past week. We’ve been sharing strategies online since Monday [February 8]. . . .My 302H students are doing three online exercises this weekend . . . to prep for a draft workshop on Tuesday.”
Dr. Shelley Reid, Associate Professor, English

“. . .I am working on ideas for creating a make-up class session via distance education. We already have the class’s PBworks website, and it will be fairly straight forward for me to do this if we are not going to have actual class time added back.”
Dr. Mark Thurston, Senior Fellwo, Consciousness & Transformation Center

“Bob Sims ran his STAT 350 and 344 classes – asking the in-room section students to attend online. He reported 20% to 35% attendance for the two courses. Ariela Sofer held some advising sessions which seemed to go OK. Dan Fleck reported that he used Elluminate for his CS classes this week – none of which is a distance section. Mark Pullen notified his students that he was running the class and had the in-room students join, or asked them to listen to recordings later.” Dr. Jonathan Goldman, Director, Computing Services

“Weekly course material is made available to students on Monday and it is due on Sunday night. My classes participated in the discussion board as usual and their assignments did not budge from their assigned due dates. Students viewed my recorded lectures at their convenience…Everyone is talking about falling behind in the schedule when we are staying on track in our NET courses.” Dr. Kammy Sanghara, Instructor, Applied Information Technology

“Across my 3 courses alone, about 30 students participated in my scheduled webinars this week – roughly 70% of all enrolled. This was the only multimedia* free option I could arrange on the fly (e.g., no GMU funds or procedures of which I am aware for rapid reservation and use of our Adobe Connect webinar license).”
Dr. Dann Sklarew, Associate Professor/Associate Director, PEREC