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Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and recent government guidance, this option is no longer being offered by the institution.

What do I need to do at the beginning of each week?

Update your students.

Please communicate the following information in each announcement/video message:

  • What the class will be working on that week
  • When the class will be meeting together
  • Any links needed to access the class meetings (whether via Livestream or Zoom)
  • What assignments are due (and how to turn them in)
  • What lectures to watch, etc.

If you do a video message, you would mention the things above (including where to find any links). See the Faculty Training Site on Canvas for an example video. You can record the video in either Panopto or Zoom.

If you do an announcement, you would use Canvas. See below for an example announcement.

Livestreams will occur at your normal class time, but you may want to remind students that class will meet at the normal time. Students can simply click on the link to join the livestream. There will be a different link for each class meeting time. Alissa Rockney will be posting the relevant links for your class on the Modules page in Canvas, but it would be good to remind your students of the location of the link at the beginning of each week.

Example announcement

Dear students,

I hope you are all doing well!

Here's what you should be doing this week:

  • Livestream
    • Our livestream will be held during our regularly scheduled time. The link to the livestream session will be available in Modules.
  • Pre-recorded video:
    • Watch the pre-recorded video in Modules. This week, the video covers:
      • Topic 1
      • Topic 2
      • Etc.
  • Zoom Meeting:
    • Our weekly Zoom meeting this week will be on [insert date here]. The link is in Modules.
  • Quiz:
    • Take the quiz by [insert date here]
  • Reading:
    • Please read [insert reference to any readings due here]
  • Attendance and Discussion Forum (Livestream approach):
    • After you have attended the livestream, please record your attendance in the Attendance Document under Modules. You may need to click “Authorize” to access it; if so, please do so. Then, record your name under the appropriate class date).
    • Then, in the Discussion Forum on Canvas, write 2-3 key takeaways you had or questions you were left with. It is best to write these immediately after viewing the lecture. They must be submitted within one week of the regularly scheduled class meeting time.
  • Attendance and Discussion Forum (Zoom approach):
    • After you have participated in the lecture, mark that you did so in the online attendance roster (to do this, please click on the Attendance Document under Modules on your class’s Canvas site. You may need to click “Authorize” to access it; if so, please do so. Then, record your name under the appropriate class date).
    • Then, in the Discussion Forum on Canvas, write 2-3 key takeaways you had or questions you were left with. It is best to write these immediately after viewing the lecture. They must be submitted within one week of the regularly scheduled class meeting time.


OR (for hom/comm sections and practicum/internship groups; these do not require students to do the weekly takeaways)


  • After you have participated in the lecture, mark that you did so in the online attendance roster (to do this, please click on the Attendance Document under Modules on your class’s Canvas site. You may need to click “Authorize” to access it; if so, please do so. Then, record your name under the appropriate class date).
  • Attendance and Discussion Forum (pre-recorded + Zoom approach):
    • After you have viewed the lecture, go the Discussion Forum on Canvas and write 2-3 key takeaways you had or questions you were left with. It is best to write these immediately after viewing the lecture though they may be written anytime before the Zoom session.
    • After you have participated in the Zoom session, mark that you did so in the online attendance roster (to do this, please click on the Attendance Document under Modules on your class’s Canvas site. You may need to click “Authorize” to access it; if so, please do so. Then, record your name under the appropriate class date).

 

Blessings to you all,

How should I communicate these changes to my students?

The following provides you language that you can use. In terms of the opening paragraph, you should, of course, feel free to adapt as you wish. For the questions, however, please stick to the language provided so that we have consistency across classes. (In some cases, you will need to choose between options. These have been highlighted below with the word OR.)

Dear Student, 

As you know, the seminary is going from on-campus to online instruction after spring break. I know this is a loss for many, who came to St. Louis so that they could have an in-class experience. I know that it will also cause varying levels of frustration as we adapt to a new situation. We feel this loss and these frustrations too. The school sincerely hopes, however, that making this decision is an important step in loving our neighbor well and doing all we can to help stop the spread of Covid-19. Let us be praying for the Lord’s mercy on our own community and for his wisdom in doing what we can to love others well and to show the world the confidence in the midst of uncertainty and fear that comes to those who know and are known by a loving and sovereign God.

As for our class in particular, I wanted to try and answer a few immediate questions that might have already come to your mind.


How will we meet?

This class will be livestreamed at its regular time. A link will be posted in Modules ahead of time.  


How do I virtually “attend”?

A link will be posted under Modules for each lecture.


How do I ask questions during an online meeting?

You may email questions to an address I will either post to Canvas or provide at the beginning of each session. I will try to stop every 15-20 minutes to respond to 1-3 questions.


OR


You may email questions to an address I will either post to Canvas or provide at the beginning of each session. I will take some time at the end of class to respond to questions sent in.


After I have attended, what next?  

After you have viewed the lecture, mark that you did so in the online attendance roster (to do this, please click on the Attendance Document under Modules on your class’s Canvas site. You may need to click “Authorize” to gain access. Then, record your name under the appropriate class date). Then, in the Discussion Forum on Canvas, write 2-3 key takeaways you had or questions you were left with. It is best to write these immediately after viewing the lecture. They must be submitted within one week of the regularly scheduled class meeting time.


What if I cannot attend?

Any live online sessions will take place during our regularly scheduled class time and attendance during that time is normally required. We do realize, however, that Covid-19 has led to the disruption of some student schedules (due to changes in work hours, the need to care for children at home, etc.). If this is true for you, then you have permission to watch the session at your earliest convenience after the class has taken place, but please try to watch the class before the next scheduled class meeting. (The link to the recording of the class is the same as the link to the livestream class session; this is available under the Modules tab in Canvas. With livestream sessions, this may take up to one business day.) Once you have watched the class, follow the above instructions for marking your attendance in the online class roster and for writing down 2-3 takeaways/questions in the Discussion Forum.


How do I turn assignments in?

I will enable assignments to be turned in via Canvas.


Are you still having office hours?

Absolutely! I will be meeting with students via Zoom. You may sign up using this Calendly link: __INSERT LINK__. I will then send you a Zoom link for our meeting time.


Can I meet in groups with other students?

You may meet in groups with other students via Zoom only. You can sign up for a free account with Zoom at zoom.us. A free Zoom account allows you to meet with several other folks, but it has a time limit of 40 minutes. This is a great way to meet with other students “outside of class,” as it were.

What MUST I do at the beginning of each class?

Show up at least ten minutes early and make sure that everything is working. To do this, put on the mic, plug in your computer and put up a PowerPoint (if you are using one), and then have one student who is watching the livestream text or call you to confirm they can hear and see you. (Choose this student ahead of time.)

Additionally, please wash your hands when you arrive, use hand sanitizer after touching the mic/HDMI cord/touching your face, and wash your hands before you leave.

Once it is time for class to begin, be sure to read through the document on the lectern, which gives instructions to the students about how to send in questions.

Can I have people with me in the classroom?

At this point, the school thinks it best to assume that each of us has Coronavirus and everyone we meet has it as well. For this reason, professors doing livestream may have no more than 2 people in the class and may only have members of their household in the class (no students).

Lecturing to an empty class can be a challenge for many. Along with having 1-2 members of your household present, you may also want to tape pictures of student’s faces on the back wall (or even in the chairs in which the student usually sits). One of our profs taking this approach is printing off pictures of a range of ages and backgrounds to remind himself to speak to the different types of students in class.

How do I field questions?

Since students will not be able to interact with you as they do in Zoom, you have one of several options:

If someone is sitting in class with you, have students email questions to them and ask that person to summarize the questions and choose the best ones. You can stop every so often to ask that person to share any questions to that point.

If someone is not in the room with you, you can accomplish the same goal by having your TA watching the livestream and being the person who receives the questions. They would then send you a summary of the questions. Some profs might want to consider those questions every 20-30 minutes. Others might want to go for 55 minutes and then stop for questions. Do what works best for you.

Professors could also have students email or text directly to the professor. This is probably a last resort since it puts the burden on the prof to try and sort through questions on the spot.

How do I make the livestream link available to my students?

You do not need to. Alissa Rockney will be uploading the links in Modules. The students can use this link to watch the livestream and also to watch the recording of the livestream. (Note: the recording of the livestream might not be available until the next business day.)

Other considerations

Please do not put any phone numbers or email addresses on the board, since these will be forever recorded in the videos and we do not want future generations of students to have your (or your TA’s) person information.

How do I use Zoom?

Using Zoom

How do I use Calendly?

Using Calendly

How do I use Canvas?

Using Canvas


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