- All undergraduate courses have transitioned from classroom instruction to remote learning mode. Remote instruction for undergraduate courses will continue for the duration of the semester, including final exams.
- The semester will proceed according to the undergraduate academic calendar, with courses concluding Tuesday, May 12 and final exams taking place as scheduled from May 13 through 19.
- Elon University School of Law will provide online instruction for the to begin the next trimester. Elon Law’s campus is Greensboro is temporarily closed.
- Elon School of Health Sciences: The DPT and PA programs will continue online learning through May 22. From May 26 through July 2, the programs will pursue “blended learning”, which will include continued online instruction for content/lecture and on-campus, rotating intensive skills labs and exams with small groups of students spread throughout the building. The programs will return to regular course instruction on July 6.
- Faculty members will have access to a series of upcoming training sessions and webinars to assist with the transition to online learning
- All non-essential university travel has been suspended until further notice. This includes alternative break trips and conference travel.
March 27: Update from the Office of Information Technology
As many of us are now adjusting to off-campus work environments, the Office of Information Technology (IT) continues to support faculty, staff and students. Below are insights into key services, resources and best practices that can aid you in adapting to remote work.
Teaching & Learning Technologies (TLT) Virtual Consultations
TLT is offering virtual consultations via Webex. These consultations allow for face-to-face discussion using video, screen sharing and other activities to assist faculty with remote learning. Schedule a consultation with TLT staff, who are available 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. In your request, please indicate several dates and times that work for you.
Technology Service Desk
If you need assistance with Moodle, Webex, Microsoft Office or other technology tools or services, please contact the Technology Service Desk at 336-278-5200 or visit the IT Self-Service Portal to report an issue or search help articles. Live chat is available as well from the portal.
Upcoming Training Opportunities
TLT continues to offer webinars to support the campus community based on emerging needs. Please regularly visit the Faculty Teaching Information and Employee Information pages on the university’s coronavirus (COVID-19) website for training opportunities. These pages also include recordings of past webinars, frequently asked questions, best practices and additional information related to remote work and learning.
Media Services Equipment Checkouts
Media Services is closed to walk-in traffic until Monday, April 20. As such, equipment checkouts must be arranged by reservation. To submit a request, email firstname.lastname@example.org and a staff member will contact you for additional details.
Should you need to checkout a laptop for remote work:
- Faculty should visit the Faculty Teaching Information page of the university’s coronavirus (COVID-19) website. Under Frequently Asked Questions, review “Who can I contact regarding hardware and software needs during the transition to online instruction?” for information.
- Staff must complete Elon’s temporary remote work request form, which initiates the process of an evaluation of your technology needs.
Computer Lab Access
Two computer labs are available for students – the Alamance 315 PC lab and Steers Pavilion Apple lab are accessible via card access from 6 a.m. – midnight. The facilities are cleaned regularly.
We look forward to assisting you,
Your Information Technology Team
March 26: Fall 2020 Registration Schedule Change
After careful consideration, the University has decided to alter the upcoming registration schedule for Fall 2020 classes. Students were notified of this change yesterday afternoon.
Registration still opens on April 14th as planned, but there are now two business days added between each registering class. While many offices are working remotely, this change allows students extra time to reach out to departmental chairs, advisors, or others within the Elon community with registration questions or requests. The revised schedule is available in OnTrack.
If you have any questions regarding this change, please email the Registrar’s Office at email@example.com.
Have a good day,
Assistant Registrar for Operations
March 23: Information about SPOTS, Tenure Policy and Office Hours
This message is for graduate and undergraduate teaching faculty.
A number of teaching faculty have raised questions around possible flexibility in reporting Spring 2020 Student Perceptions of Teaching (SPOTs); expectations for office hours during the period of online instruction; and the availability of a “stop-the-clock” option for probationary, tenure-track faculty as they navigate this disruptive semester.
The Provost, Academic Deans, and your Academic Council representatives have conferred about these topics and are providing the following information:
- Administration and Use of Student Perceptions of Teaching (SPOTs) in Spring 2020
All graduate and undergraduate teaching faculty will have flexibility in deciding if they wish to formally report Spring 2020 SPOTS (Student Perceptions of Teaching) in their 2020 Unit I’s.
Spring 2020 SPOTS will be administered as usual, giving all graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to share their perspectives about course instruction, as is our standing policy and a best practice.
Faculty will individually receive the results of these evaluations, as usual. However, because of the unique, disruptive context in which instruction is being delivered this Spring, faculty will not be required to formally report the results of the Spring 2020 SPOTs in their 2020 Unit I self-assessments. Chairs and deans will not review these assessment results unless faculty members provide express permission to do so.
2. Holding virtual, or remote, office hours during the Spring 2020 semester
It is expected that teaching faculty will continue to make themselves available weekly to their students during this period of online instruction. However, faculty are now urged to meet “remotely” or “virtually” with their students. In keeping with social distancing protocols, in-person contact should be avoided.
Thus, the University continues to abide by the spirit of the existing policy: “Faculty should make themselves available…for some portion of each week, though they may also elect to meet students elsewhere or through virtual means if an in-person meeting is not logistically workable. An office hour policy is not meant to relegate student-faculty interaction to only the classroom and faculty office, but to encourage ongoing, out-of-class interactions that extend the teaching and learning and enhance the intellectual climate of the campus” (X33N).
3.“Stopping the Clock” policy for faculty
Elon University’s current Faculty Handbook addresses questions faculty may have about their eligibility to “stop the clock” on the track towards promotion and tenure. It is a standing policy that probationary, tenure-track faculty have the option to request a one-year “stop-the-clock” extension in “exceptional circumstances,” which, for some, may include this period of novel coronavirus disruption (E34B). Under current circumstances, Elon is temporarily extending this stop-the-clock option to probationary, continuing- and lecture-track faculty, who may request a one-year extension to their continuance decision probationary period. Faculty electing to do so must first consult with their Department Chair and Dean, before submitting a request to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, who makes the final determination.
Thank you for your attention to these points of information. If you have questions, please contact your Department Chair and/or Academic Dean.
As always, you should contact your divisional or school Academic Council representative to communicate other questions and concerns, which will be shared with the two Academic Council representatives who continue to meet daily with the Emergency Operations Committee and with the Academic Affairs/COVID-19 Committee.
Aswani Volety and Catherine Chiang
March 22: Continuation of Belk Library services while the library building is closed to walk-in service
In response to the recent changes in the operation of campus facilities, below are some details of how the team in Belk Library will continue to partner to facilitate your teaching and scholarship remotely. If you have additional questions, please reach out to me or your liaison librarian.
Continuation of Belk Library services while the library building is closed to walk-in service:
Live chat via the library webpage will be operational:
Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, noon – 10 p.m.
Call the library at 336-278-6600, 8am – 5pm, Monday – Friday
Email your liaison librarian
Schedule an appointment (for a call or WebEx consultation)
Requests for borrowing items from our Print collections will be pulled each weekday.
- Requests for print materials can be made through the library webpage
- Click on Hold First Available Copy.
- Faculty and Staff – select Office Delivery for “purple bag” on-campus delivery, or Belk Library to schedule curb-side pick-up outside of Belk Library, M-F 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Students – your materials will be available for self-serve pick-up at the computer lab in Alamance 315 during the lab’s open hours (6 a.m. – midnight)
- Digital scans of portions of print books can be requested through Interlibrary Loan.
Accessing Library Resources from Off-Campus
Your colleagues in Belk Library have compiled a page to help you connect to materials from off-campus: http://elon.libguides.com/Belk_Off-Campus
Research guides are available to help you and your students find online resources to support your work.
Library instruction will transition to Moodle and WebEx, with liaison librarians continuing to work closely with teaching faculty to support the research and resource needs of those classes as needed. By prior arrangement, your liaison librarian can join your course via WebEx, join an asynchronous chat with the class, or prepare a guide to resources specific to a research assignment.
Faculty requests for purchase of new materials will be prioritized in e-format, if available. Please contact your liaison librarian with questions or requests. If you need assistance exploring the availability of e-materials required for your course, please reach out to your liaison librarians.
Interlibrary Loan of physical items has largely ceased across the country, but ILL of electronic materials continues depending upon availability. If items can be borrowed, they will be delivered via email.
Chat with a librarian (Ask us now box)
Email your liaison librarian
Schedule an appointment (for a call or WebEx consultation)
Call (M–F, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) at 336-278-6600
Joan D. Ruelle
Dean of the Carol Grotnes Belk Library
March 21: Pass/fail option for Spring 2020 Semester Undergraduate Courses
A collection of FAQs about the new policy is included in the FAQs section below.
In response to questions and concerns raised by Elon faculty, students, and staff due to the extraordinary circumstances in Spring 2020, over the past week, representatives from Academic Council have been working with the academic deans, the provost’s office, and other colleagues to consider options and to develop a plan that meets our students’ needs and that aligns with our academic commitments.
We are writing now to announce a new policy that will apply only to spring 2020 undergraduate courses. This policy was developed in close consultation with the Academic Standing Committee, and the Academic Council has expressed strong and united support for this policy.
Under this policy, Elon University undergraduate students may elect to take any or all of their spring 2020 semester courses pass/fail. If a student does not designate a course pass/fail, the student will receive a letter grade. The full policy is attached. Please review it carefully.
Please note, this policy does *not* make all undergraduate courses pass/fail, as some institutions have done. Instead, the decision to receive a letter grade or a pass/fail grade rests with the individual student for each of their courses.
This policy is based on three central pillars:
- Faculty expertise: Under this policy, faculty will continue to teach and grade how they see fit, drawing on their disciplinary and pedagogical expertise – and their relationships with students — to make decisions about how each course should unfold.
- Student agency: Under this policy, students have control over the form of their final grades for the semester. Students may elect to receive a letter grade or a pass/fail grade in each of their courses. The choice to designate any course pass/fail, and the responsibility for doing so, resides with the individual student.
- Institutional sustainability: Under this policy, the university can adapt existing academic practices and systems to meet the needs of students without creating an overwhelming burden on colleagues who must enact this policy.
We are grateful for the many colleagues who worked together diligently to craft this policy over the past week, and we appreciate your work through the remainder of the semester to help students navigate the dynamic situation facing all of us.
If you have questions about this policy, please contact your academic dean or the Academic Council (Academic Standing Committee).
Catherine Chiang, Chair of Academic Council and Professor of Accounting
Aswani Volety, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Biology
March 19: Learning Assistance information for online instruction period
I’m writing to provide details on how Learning Assistance will support your students once classes shift to remote instruction.
How will students make appointments? As of this morning, students can now make 1:1 appointments using our online scheduling system. This includes disciplines/courses tutored previously on a walk-in basis (ACC, CSC, ECO, MTH 151, PHY, and STS).
How will online tutoring sessions work? Tutors will hold synchronous tutoring sessions using Google Meet, which is accessible to students through their Elon email accounts. Instructions for booking an appointment and accessing a tutoring session can be found here. All scheduled sessions will be held on Elon time (EDT) regardless of where the tutor and tutee are located.
Will online tutoring be available for all courses/disciplines? While we hope to provide assistance in every subject/discipline that was supported before the transition to online instruction, there may be instances when we can’t meet this goal due to lack of internet access or insufficient bandwidth. We will do our best to satisfy the needs of all students, but we ask for your understanding if we can’t offer a service due to circumstances beyond our control.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Director of Learning Assistance
Koenigsberger Learning Center
March 18: March 19 faculty training moves online
The all-day Moving to Remote Learning training session scheduled for Thursday, March 19 has been moved online. Staff from Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT), the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL), Belk Library, the Koenigsberger Learning Center and Writing Across the University will offer a series of virtual Q&A sessions and consultations for Elon faculty, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. via Webex. See the “Training and Webinars” section below for details.
March 17: Updates from Belk Library as preparations for online learning continue
Dear Elon University Community,
Some information from Belk Library, as you move your courses online.
Physical Library Materials
Please keep any library materials you currently have checked out to be returned after normal academic operations resume. During the change of services in response to the public health crisis, we will waive all fees that might accrue on library materials. Our system will continue to auto-generate renewal notices on items that are currently checked out, please renew items online, call the library, or use the library chat function to request renewal of materials. Any materials checked out at this time, for all patrons, will have a due date set for the end of the Spring semester or later.
If you have library materials to pick up (either Belk materials or Interlibrary Loans), they will be available near the library service desk. To minimize face-to-face contact and the handling of materials, your library books will be available for self-serve pickup on a nearby book truck and are already checked out to you. ILL of physical items is expected to be greatly reduced at this time, but electronic ILLs will continue while libraries are operational.
If you wish to request items from Belk Library for pickup, please use the “hold first available copy” button in the library catalog. The item will be pulled from the shelf for you, checked out to you, and placed at the self-serve pickup location described above. If you retrieve materials from the stacks yourself, remember that we have a self-check machine available at the KLC entrance.
Accessing Library Resources from Off-Campus
Your colleagues in Belk Library have compiled a page to help you connect to materials from off-campus. http://elon.libguides.com/Belk_Off-Campus
Research guides are available to help you and your students find online resources to support your work.
Your Liaison Librarians
You can always contact your liaison librarian if you have any questions about Belk Library’s resources or services. During the period of online instruction, the librarians will be available to answer questions via email, chat, and phone. We are also making virtual research appointments with faculty and students by phone or WebEx. Find our contact information here: http://elon.libguides.com/prf.php
By prior arrangement, your liaison librarian can join your course via WebEx, join an asynchronous chat with the class, or prepare a guide to resources specific to a research assignment.
Belk Library Hours
Until restrictions on public gatherings are lifted, the library is open only to Phoenix Card holders.
To encourage greater social distancing, all group study rooms and classrooms are locked. We have observed that students tend to gather closely in those spaces, which we want to discourage. This will also allow environmental services to deep clean those rooms, and then remove them from their daily rotation.
Signs are on library tables in public spaces, and chairs have been reduced to encourage people to maintain distance. Please encourage these good practices for the general good.
Current library hours are posted on the library’s website at: http://elon.libcal.com/
Spring Break week:
Monday, March 16th, 8am – 6pm
Tuesday, March 17th, 8am – 6pm
Wednesday, March 18th, 8am – 6pm
Thursday, March 19th, 8am – 6pm
Friday, March 20th, CAMPUS CLOSED, ELON HOLIDAY
Saturday, March 21st, 9am – 1pm
Sunday, March 22nd, 12noon – 5pm, online chat only 5pm – 10pm
Online Instruction period: When online instruction begins, we will supplement the building’s open hours with live chat support.
Monday, March 23rd, 8am – 6pm, online chat only 6pm – 10pm
Tuesday, March 24th, 8am – 6pm, online chat only 6pm – 10pm
Wednesday, March 25th, 8am – 6pm, online chat only 6pm – 10pm
Thursday, March 26th, 8am – 6pm, online chat only 6pm – 10pm
Friday, March 27th, 8am – 6pm
Saturday, March 28th, 9am – 1pm
Sunday, March 29th, 12noon – 5pm, online chat only 5pm – 10pm
Monday, March 30th, 8am – 6pm, online chat only 6pm – 10pm
Tuesday, March 31st, 8am – 6pm, online chat only 6pm – 10pm
Wednesday, April 1st, 8am – 6pm, online chat only 6pm – 10pm
Thursday, April 2nd, 8am – 6pm, online chat only 6pm – 10pm
Friday, April 3rd, 8am – 6pm
Saturday, April 4th, 9am – 1pm
Sunday, April 5th, 10am – open all night (resume normal hours)
Call the library during open hours at: 336-278-6600
Chat with a librarian (Ask us now box): https://www.elon.edu/library
Email your liaison librarian: http://www.elon.edu/u/library/services/liaison-program/
Schedule an appointment (for a call or WebEx consultation): https://www.elon.edu/library
Joan D. Ruelle
Dean of the Carol Grotnes Belk Library
March 17: Information for faculty from Disabilities Resources
We know that you all are frantically working to revise your courses so that you can move to the distance-learning format in just a few days. As you are making your plans, we wanted to provide faculty with guidance regarding how to work with our students in this new format, as well as best practices for accessibility considerations. While no one expects this to be an easy or perfect transition, we hope that the information we share will prove helpful during this difficult time.
We expect our students to reach out to us in the event that they run into difficulties with accommodations; they have been instructed to send their concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as they are aware of them. It is possible that some of their current accommodations are not necessary or appropriate with the new format. It is also possible that they need additional accommodations in order to address accessibility issues that they have not had before. Students have received information about how to request additional accommodations and they will be issued a new accommodation letter after these are approved. If you are concerned about any accessibility-related concern, please reach out to us as well.
We have created a list of frequently asked questions for teaching faculty, which is posted on our website on the “Information for faculty” page. We will be adding information to this list as we receive new information from you all about your concerns. We encourage you to visit the faculty page of our website, as we will post current information on a regular basis. Additionally, below is a short list of accessibility best practices, which might prove helpful during your planning. We will reach out to you when we become aware of specific student concerns as well, so that we can strategize with you to address those concerns.
We encourage each of you to communicate with your students and with us about concerns regarding accessibility. Flexibility and patience will be critical as we work through this new situation together.
We appreciate your continued communication and support during this unprecedented time.
Best practices for accessibility
1. Keep in mind that tests written directly in Moodle have been problematic in the past, as those tests may not then work with screen reader and other accessibility software. Writing your test in Word, and then uploading to Moodle, is suggested.
2. Avoiding the use of scanned and uploaded chapters should be avoided if at all possible. These documents, which are really images and not “real” PDFs, will not be accessible for certain students, and will require significant remediation from our office if required.
3. Please consider providing your own lecture notes for all students to use. This will take some of the pressure from our current note takers, especially those who have difficulty with internet access.
4. Most meeting platforms, including WebEx, allows for the recording of in-class discussions, demonstrations, etc. Do consider making these available for student use as well.
5. Consider whether synchronous instruction will meet the needs of all of your students. Certainly, there may be those who are in a distant time zone, who may not be able to join you because of the time difference. Other students may have health or other disability-related concerns that might make this difficult as well.
March 16: Message from Provost Aswani Volety on online teaching expectations
Dear faculty colleagues,
I appreciate your calm professionalism, your flexibility, and your unwavering commitment to your students and their learning in light of the current global crisis. In this evolving situation, our university community is confidently depending upon you. It is too soon to tell what our next steps will be when we close out the two-week span of online courses we have announced. In the meantime, I applaud the efforts of faculty, staff, and administrators in sharing best practices for online learning.
If you are inexperienced at online learning, your colleagues are a great source of advice and ideas, and members of the academic support staff in Teaching and Learning Technologies are working tirelessly to support your work and connect you with the resources you need.
But there is no expectation that you must implement extra technology – added bells and whistles – at a time like this. Occam’s Razor – the simplest solution is often the best – is important to apply as you enter a possibly very brief stretch in which you switch to teaching online at a time when everyone is under stress. In the spirit of this truism, a teacher in Thailand, Alison Yang, created a helpful infographic that has gone viral – “Online Teaching: Do This, Not That.” I encourage you to study this excellent advice and take it to heart. (see the attachment). Please use the initial period to ramp up the online instruction, recognizing that it may not be perfect. Use your best judgment in delivering the curricular content to the best of your ability.
Also, please keep in mind copyright issues when transitioning courses to remote instruction. I have included links below to copyright resources that have been recently compiled by the ARL-University Intellectual Property Officers.
In addition, please refer to the following Elon policies:
Students who are suddenly thrust into a situation in which they are forced to complete their education in an out-of-school environment must overcome many challenges. This list of thoughtful online teaching tips is a useful guide. Recognizing that some students are more adept at taking online classes and that some disciplines may be more amenable to online format than others, I urge your flexibility in dealing with student concerns.
In the days and weeks ahead, a spirit of calm resolve will be essential. Please take the time to care for yourself. Students will be understandably anxious and watching us carefully for signs of hope and reassurance. I thank you for the crucial role you will play as we search for a path back to normalcy.
March 16: Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning shares resources for remote learning
Dear teaching colleagues,
I hope this finds you safe and healthy this spring break. It’s an uncertain time, but there are many sources of support available in our Elon community and in the broader higher education community. Seeing the ways people are sharing resources and ideas has been an encouraging reminder about human generosity and connection, even remotely.
As you plan how you will pivot to remote teaching after the break, I wanted to share a reminder about university resources and a few helpful general guides to moving your face-to-face class online.
In addition to the Faculty Resources for Remote Teaching Guide off the COVID-19 site, TLT is hosting a series of helpful online training sessions (find out times and topics here) via Webex, and a drop-in session in Belk Library, later this week.
These live, online sessions will help you dive deeper into Moodle and Webex, and will be recorded for viewing on demand. Join each session from your computer at elon.webex.com/meet/tlt.
Other helpful strategies and models in these general guides:
- Inside Higher Ed, “Preparing to Move Online Quickly”: This article emphasizes principles (like “Standardize, templatize, systematize”) to simplify focus in the rush to move courses online
- Chronicle of Higher Ed, “How to Teach Online”: If you’ve never taught online, this article may be a useful introduction to some basics and some myths
- Connecticut College’s teaching-focused 11 Things to Consider when Moving Your Course Online
- Please do a bad job of putting your courses online: A tongue-in-cheek title for a blog post discussing the very real barriers to education that students may experience, and the very real need for us to keep expectations authentic and simple
- Tips for those New to being Online Learners: A resource potentially to share your students, most of whom haven’t taken multiple online courses simultaneously, and some of whom may have never had an online course.
A crowd-sourced Google spreadsheet of online teaching resources, searchable by discipline and topic
- Collection of online teaching resources. To make it manageable, you can use search by discipline or topic.
We are continuing to add resources and examples from Elon faculty to the CATL page, Supporting learning during times of disruption, as well.
To discuss ways you can shift activities, assignments, experiential learning or other aspects of your course for remote learning, schedule a consultation with CATL by emailing email@example.com or call 336-278-5100 to set up an in-person, phone or WebEx conversation. Please indicate in your request what format you’d prefer, along with the dates and times you’re available.
We’re here to support you and help you problem-solve or to find resources.
Deandra and the CATL team
Assistant Provost and Director, Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
Professor of English
March 13: The Writing Center will open in an online capacity March 23
The Writing Center will be open for remote consultations with students beginning March 23. Students can make appointments as usual via http://elon.mywconline.com and meet with a consultant virtually. Appointments will be available at the center’s usual hours and all appointments will be scheduled for Eastern Standard Time. More information will be available on the Center for Writing Excellence website.
March 12: Guidance on upcoming advising period during online learning mode
Students are advised to stay in touch with faculty when online learning commences after Spring Break and to regularly check email and Moodle. Both students and faculty have access to the same information about degree audits and the smart catalog. With those resources at hand, students and faculty can have advising discussions by phone, email or WebEx.
Frequently Asked Questions
NewWhat is the deadline for probationary faculty members to request a one-year "stop the clock'?
Probationary faculty members (tenure track, lecturer track and continuing track) can request a one-year “stop the clock.” The deadline to do so is May 29, 2020.
Those interested in doing so should send the request to their dean and cc the department chair. Each dean will confirm approval of the request.
NewFAQs about the pass/fail option for Spring 2020 undergraduate courses
WHAT IS THE NEW POLICY?
You can read the full policy here. Please read it carefully. This policy only applies to Elon undergraduates and only to the spring 2020 semester.
HOW WAS THIS EMERGENCY POLICY DEVELOPED?
In response to questions and concerns raised by Elon faculty, students, and staff due to the extraordinary circumstances in Spring 2020, representatives from Academic Council have been working with the Academic Standing Committee, the academic deans, the provost’s office, and other colleagues to consider options and to develop a plan that meets our students’ needs and that aligns with our academic commitments.
WHY DOES ELON HAVE A NEW PASS/FAIL OPTION?
Elon’s faculty and administration created this policy in response to the extraordinary circumstances of the spring 2020 semester. This policy is designed to allow students to make decisions about final grades that meet their own goals while still maintaining Elon’s academic standards. Under this policy, students have control over the form of their final grades for the semester. Students may elect to receive a letter grade or a pass/fail grade in each of their courses. The choice to designate any course pass/fail, and the responsibility for doing so, resides with the individual student.
DOES THIS MEAN ALL UNDERGRADUATE COURSES ARE PASS/FAIL?
No. The decision to receive a letter grade or a pass/fail grade rests with the individual undergraduate student for each of their courses. If a student chooses to formally designate a course or several courses pass/fail, then only those courses will be graded pass/fail. If a student decides to take no action regarding one or more courses, those courses will receive a letter grade just like every other semester.
WHICH LETTER GRADES WILL COUNT AS A PASS AND AS A FAIL?
“Pass” is defined as performance at the level of “C” or higher as a final course grade. Any grade below the level of a C will be defined as “fail” meaning that a C- and any D or F level grades will be considered “fail” under this policy.
HOW DOES THIS POLICY IMPACT THE WAY I TEACH AND GRADE MY COURSES?
This policy should not influence your teaching or grading this semester. Keep teaching the way you plan to teach, keep giving students graded and ungraded feedback as you intend, and maintain your academic standards. The only time this policy needs to shape your behavior is when you submit final grades; at that point, you will translate your letter grades into “pass” or “fail” for students – and only for students — who designated your course pass/fail.
WILL THIS POLICY MEAN I WILL NEED TO TALK INDIVIDUALLY ABOUT GRADES WITH EVERY STUDENT?
Students will have questions about their grades as this unusual semester unfolds. This policy probably will mean that more students will seek your advice about grades as they make their decisions about whether to designate a course pass/fail. However, if you make your feedback and grades available to students in an ongoing way, you might be able give them the information they need without extra consultations. If you post ongoing grades on Moodle, for example, students will know where they stand toward the end of the semester and can make the right choice for themselves. For example, if a student sees they have an A or B+, then they probably will want to stick with traditional grading in the course. However, if a student who would normally expect an A or B sees that they are in the C range, they may then want to designate the course pass/fail so as not to negatively affect their GPA.
WHEN WILL STUDENTS DESIGNATE A COURSE PASS/FAIL?
A student may elect to designate one or more spring 2020 semester courses pass/fail at any point from April 27, 2020, through May 19, 2020 (the last day of final exams).
WHAT HAPPENS IF A STUDENT DOES NOT DESIGNATE A COURSE PASS/FAIL?
If a student does not designate a course pass/fail, the student will receive a letter grade in that course as happens in typical semesters.
HOW WILL STUDENTS DESIGNATE A COURSE PASS/FAIL?
A simple online tool is being developed to allow undergraduates to designate courses pass/fail. That form will be online and all undergraduates will be emailed directions for its use by April 27. Faculty will be contacted well before April 27 to explain how the tool will work. Thanks to the Academic Standing Committee and the University Curriculum Committee for offering guidance on how to manage this process.
HOW WILL THIS WORK WHEN I SUBMIT FINAL GRADES?
Faculty should calculate their final grades as they ordinarily would. After calculating final grades, faculty should check their record of students who have requested a pass/fail designation, and adjust their grades accordingly before submitting the grades in OnTrack.
WHY ARE FACULTY ENTERING PASS/FAIL GRADES RATHER THAN THE REGISTRAR DOING THIS?
Two reasons: (1) This approach aligns with Elon’s educational philosophy by having faculty and students work together to navigate this extraordinary semester. Students will have the responsibility of communicating with their professor to make a change to pass/fail, opening one more opportunity for productive student-faculty interactions. (2) This policy creates additional work for faculty including communicating with students about pass/fail designations and also translating some letter grades into pass/fail before submitting final grades in Ontrack. This additional work comes at a particularly busy time for faculty at the end of the semester. That additional burden is unfortunate, but centralizing this process in the Registrar’s office would cut faculty out of an important student decision about their course and also would require the Registrar’s office to make each pass/fail designation by hand for each individual student, an undertaking that quickly reaches an overwhelming scale if thousands of students designate one or more courses pass/fail.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY DEPARTMENT, MAJOR, OR SCHOOL HAS SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS REGARDING LETTER GRADES?
Faculty should work together to identify special requirements and then to communicate their expectations and advice to students. Since students cannot designate a course pass/fail until April 27, faculty have three weeks to make these decisions and then to communicate with students about their recommendations. However, the choice to designate any course pass/fail, and the responsibility for doing so, resides with the individual student.
HOW SHOULD I ADDRESS THIS POLICY WITH MY ADVISEES?
When talking with advisees, ask them if they have questions about the pass/fail option. Offer guidance about what choices make the most sense for each student’s situation and goals, knowing that – as with other aspects of advising – the student ultimately is responsible for their own decisions. You might want to consult the student FAQ page on this policy because it includes details about GPAs and other questions students might have.
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS POLICY FOR STUDENTS IN SPECIAL POPULATIONS/PROGRAMS?
Students in special populations, such as student-athletes, and in special programs, such as fellows, should seek guidance from their advisors and program directors at Elon about the implications of this policy for their particular situations and academic goals.
Who can I contact regarding hardware and software needs during the transition to online instruction?
As faculty move courses to an online environment, needs may emerge for software, hardware, and online information resources.
With the exception of computer needs, all faculty should initially see if their need can be met by existing campus resources:
- Visit the “Software Access for Remote Learning” section of Elon’s coronavirus website. (Select software applications offered in Elon’s computer labs may be available for download or virtual access due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This list is growing as companies respond to needs.)
- Browse the IT Self-Service Portal or call the Technology Service Desk at 336.278.5200.
- Contact their Belk Library Liaison, as some needs may be met through existing library resources, including LinkedIn Learning or through Open Educational Resources.
- Law School faculty should work with Kolton Wade.
For computer needs and/or needs that cannot be met through existing resources, all faculty should contact their School Dean.
- If the need can be met through the School Dean, the faculty member will be instructed on purchasing procedures.
- Loaner laptops must be initially approved through the School Dean, and then the faculty member should submit their request through the IT Self-Service Portal. The faculty member must attach a copy of the email from the Dean that indicates support. (IT will respond with information about our ability to meet the need. Please note that specific platform requests may not be able to be fulfilled, if loaner laptop inventory runs low.)
- If the need cannot be met through their School Dean, all faculty can request funding through the Academic Technology Committee (ATC). ATC has temporarily shifted the purpose of their funds, beyond the current scope of “evaluating technology for its ability to enhance a course or courses,” to support faculty for needs related to software, hardware, and content delivery in the online environment. The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, Belk Library, and Information Technology have partnered with ATC to contribute additional funds, beyond the original IT allocation, to support faculty during this time of transition.
I have concerns about course materials that I created being posted online.
With the shift to online instruction, Elon faculty may choose to post written and/or recorded materials online that they typically would not post. It is important for all members of our community to recognize that Elon University has an Intellectual Property Policy and a policy for Recording Video and Audio, Streaming Video and Audio, or Photography in Classes and that these policies apply to all instructional contexts, including online teaching.
Elon will move from in-person to online classes for undergraduates after Spring Break. What are the details?
All undergraduate courses will transition from classroom instruction to online learning mode following Spring Break. Students will continue their classes online beginning March 23 as directed by their faculty members.
Current plans are to resume normal classroom instruction on Monday, April 20.
For details on School of Law operations, visit the Greensboro Campus Information page. Information about School of Health Sciences operations can be found here. Students in other graduate programs will receive further information from their faculty members.
I am a faculty member - where can I access resources and support for shifting learning online?
Visit the Faculty Resources for Remote Learning page. On this page, you’ll find helpful tips for getting started, best practices for a successful transition, a guide to technology tools and services and a list of valuable campus resources.
In addition, a number of training opportunities are being offered. Visit the Technology website for a full list of offerings.
How do I teach a lab, studio, or field-based course online?
Some courses have essential components that may be challenging to replicate in an online environment. In these cases, faculty should think creatively with their disciplinary colleagues whether elements of these activities can be adapted under the circumstances, alternative activities could be offered using virtual tools, or the learning goals for the course could be modified under these extraordinary circumstances.
Will online instruction be at the same time as my in-person classes?
This depends. All online instruction happening synchronously or in real-time should occur during the regularly scheduled time (Eastern) that your on-campus class meets at Elon. If students are located in a different time zone, they will need to plan accordingly. In many cases, faculty may plan asynchronous classwork to make it easier for everyone to access and manage course content, discussion forums or assignments at different times. After you have determined whether a synchronous or asynchronous (or a hybrid) format is most conducive to learning in your course, communicate to students how and when your course will proceed online.
I am running a search for a vacant faculty or staff position - how will this affect campus visits?
Campus visits for interviews are considered essential travel and part of maintaining ongoing operations of the university. You may, however, anticipate potential disruption in candidates’ ability to/comfort with traveling. Search committees should continue processes as planned, as much as possible.
updatedDoes the shift to online instruction change deadlines for withdrawals, incompletes, etc.?
The new withdrawal deadline is April 6 and the incomplete deadline has been extended to May 20. The full academic calendar can be found online here.
Training and Webinars
Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) will offer a series of training sessions and one-on-one consultations to help you quickly prepare to teach online. While there are a number of technology resources available, we recommend focusing on Moodle and Webex as primary tools for remote learning to minimize potential challenges during this time.
This week, TLT will offer virtual training sessions focused on helping staff and faculty maintain communication, collaboration and connection with their departments while working remotely, and strategies for faculty to consider when designing or modifying assessment questions.
Learn more below and visit elon.webex.com/meet/tlt to join each session. No registration is required. All sessions will be recorded for later viewing and available on this page.
Thursday, March 26
Remote Work in Microsoft Teams
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Online via Webex
Hosted online via Webex, this session provides an overview of using Microsoft Teams for remote work. We’ll discuss communication features of the tool and strategies to help you maintain work processes and productivity while working remotely. We’ll explore how to use various elements including private and group chat, shared files and live meetings with screen sharing. This session will include a 30-minute overview followed by a Q&A period. Visit elon.webex.com/meet/tlt to join the session. No registration is required.
Designing Pedagogically Sound Assessment Questions: Collaborate & Modify
12:20 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.
Online via Webex
The Provost’s Office and TLT will co-host the second part of a series focused on designing pedagogically sound assessments and incorporating technology tools to support student learning. Paul Miller, Assistant Provost for Academic Operations and Communications and Professor of Exercise Science; Katie King, Associate Professor of Psychology; Will Schreiber, Assistant Professor of Psychology; Kyle Altmann, Associate Professor of Physics and Faculty Fellow for Technology; and Michael Vaughn, Instructional Technologist, will facilitate this session focused on designing or modifying assessments using question construction techniques and the Moodle Quiz tool. Expert advice, individual consultations and guidance will be provided during the hour as faculty collaborate, evaluate and modify their assessments. Faculty will have the opportunity to work on the development of tests, quizzes and assignments that will be administered in-person or online. Visit elon.webex.com/meet/tlt to join the session. No registration is required.
Previous Trainings and Webinars
View details and recordings of previous trainings and webinars below.
March 13: Moving to remote learning (in-person session)
Moving to Remote Learning
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Belk Library 113
Need space, time and support to prepare your course for remote learning – along with food and snacks to help sustain you? Join staff from TLT, the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL), Belk Library, the Koenigsberger Learning Center and the Writing Center for dedicated planning sessions. Together, we’ll answer your questions, share best practices, demonstrate effective uses of Moodle and Webex, and help you create materials, assemble activities and brainstorm opportunities for asynchronous and synchronous learning. Stay as long as you’d like or come and go throughout the day.
March 16: Moodle: Overview & Basic Tools
Monday, March 16
9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
This session is geared towards faculty who want to become familiar with tools in Moodle and use them for online learning. During this virtual session, TLT will demonstrate how you can post documents, add a link to a video, create assignments and set-up Moodle forums for classroom discussions. In addition, we will examine how students can continue to submit work through the Moodle Assignment tool and share best practices.
March 16: Webex: Hold Virtual Office Hours or Class Live
Monday, March 16
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Designed for faculty who want to host or record live classes or meetings, this session will delve into Webex features and offer best practices for using the tool. You’ll learn more about how to connect and schedule one-on-one meetings with students, hold office hours, record lectures, bring experts into your virtual classroom, chat, use the whiteboard, and share your screen with colleagues and students. Webex is a browser-based platform that does not require any special software.
March 17: A Deeper Dive into Moodle Tools
Tuesday, March 17
9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
If you’re a faculty member that already uses Moodle, join us in exploring time-saving tools for online learning. TLT will show you how to create quizzes, add feedback to your quizzes and use Moodle Gradebook. Tips and best practices also will be shared.
March 17: Webex: Record a Lecture or Introduce a Topic with Video
Tuesday, March 17
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Learn how you can use Webex to record your lectures or guest presentations for your students to watch at a later time. You’ll learn how to use the tool’s video features and also how to add those recordings to Moodle. We’ll also explore how you can schedule live meetings with students, chat, use the whiteboard or share your screen, hold office hours and other features.
March 19: Moving to Remote Learning (online session)
Moving to Remote Learning
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Online via Webex
Staff from Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT), the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL), Belk Library, the Koenigsberger Learning Center and Writing Across the University will offer a series of virtual Q&A sessions and consultations for Elon faculty, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. via Webex.
These sessions offer faculty an opportunity to ask questions about teaching online as we near the conclusion of Spring Break and start of remote classes on Monday, March 23. Get help structuring your course, hear best practices or brainstorm strategies for asynchronous and synchronous learning. Both undergraduate and graduate faculty are welcome to attend.
Explore the schedule of Q&A sessions below and visit elon.webex.com/meet/tlt to join each session. Registration is not required. To request a one-on-one online consultation via Webex, contact each department as directed below:
Academic Advising – Call 336-278-6500
Disabilities Resources – Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Belk Library – Email email@example.com
CATL – Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336-278-5100
TLT – Submit a request
Writing Across the University – Email email@example.com or call 336-278-5842
Virtual Training Sessions via Webex
Session I – Academic Advising, 9 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Ask questions and learn more about registration advising processes, OnTrack features and the degree audit.
Session II – Disabilities Resources, 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Efforts to accommodate qualified students with disabilities remain a critical component of instruction as we transition to remote learning. We’ll answer your questions about best practices for offering exams remotely, things to avoid when uploading assignments and materials to Moodle, optimal ways to share lecture notes, options to record in-class activities and whether synchronous instruction will meet the needs of all of your students.
Session III – Belk Library, 11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Bring your questions about library resources to this session. We’ll discuss how to add streaming video content to Moodle, explore student access to library databases and e-books while off-campus and share details about ways Elon librarians can support your remote course.
Session IV – CATL, 1 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various content delivery approaches for remote learning. Staff will answer your questions about strategies for converting face-to-face activities to online activities to achieve your learning goals, sequencing content and activities to achieve learning objectives and ways to encourage student engagement with peers and course content.
Session V – TLT, 2 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Are you ready to start your remote courses? Staff is on-hand to answer your questions and offer best practices related to Moodle and Webex as you prepare yourself and your students for remote learning. We’ll also share additional resources.
Session VI – Writing Across the University, 3 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Using, assigning and assessing writing from a distance can be challenging. To answer your questions, we’ll focus on how to implement your existing writing assignments (including scaffolding writing assignments, organizing peer-response, collecting student writing, providing feedback and evaluating writing) and ways to use writing-to-learn to support student learning and interaction.
Virtual Consultations with TLT
If you’d like additional help getting started with Moodle and Webex and crafting a remote learning plan for your course, schedule a consultation with TLT staff. As the university is adopting social distancing measures and asking community members to alter their personal interactions with others, TLT will only offer virtual consultations beginning Monday, March 23. Virtual consultations via Webex allow staff to continue face-to-face discussion using video, screen sharing and other activities to assist faculty with remote learning. In your request, please indicate specific dates and times that you are available.
Virtual Consultations with CATL
To discuss ways you can shift activities, assignments, experiential learning or other aspects of your course for remote learning, schedule a consultation with CATL by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336-278-5100 to set up a phone or virtual Webex conversation. Please indicate in your request what format you’d prefer, along with the dates and times you’re available.
We’re here to support you in any way possible. Additional training sessions will be offered as needed, with updates provided on the Elon Technology training page. Visit Elon’s faculty resources for remote learning page for more information. If you have questions or experience technology-related issues, please contact the Technology Service Desk at 336-278-5200.
Contact the TLT Team
Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) staff are available to discuss the many options for making your course more accessible out of the classroom. Schedule a consultation or call us at (336) 278-5006.