The management team of Dawson College and many employees have been working very hard to find solutions to salvage the Winter 2020 Semester for our students.
The College has been closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic since March 13 and is currently slated to re-open May 1. Meanwhile classes must resume before May 1 to ensure students can complete the semester.
Online Response Team
An Online Response Team has been formed and is being coordinated by Dean of Academic Initiatives Raymond Bourgeois.
“Our mandate is clear: provide support to teachers to resume as many classes as possible online,” Ray said. “We are taking an incremental approach and aiming to get one group of classes up online on Monday, March 30. Then we will evaluate and troubleshoot. As we gain experience and understand where support is most needed, we will continue going online program by program and class by class.”
The Online Response Team consists of 17 employees from the Office of Academic Development, Information Systems and Technology, Academic Administration, Academic Systems, Faculty, Quality Assurance and Planning, and Communications. SALTISE is also part of the team and bringing in a wide network of resources.
Critical week ahead
Much work has already been done and this week is critical for getting classes up and running online next week.
“We are trying to be as practical and simple as possible to meet our goal,” Ray said. “Our IST Team has come up with an in-house solution of using a combination of Moodle, a Learning Management System, and Zoom, a video conferencing platform. The teachers who are already using other technologies and platforms supported by the college are welcome to carry on. For everyone else who is just beginning, we are opting for one simple solution.”
Live or on-demand classes
Teachers will be able to teach online “live” as they would in a classroom at the same time as originally scheduled or they will be able to record their online class for on-demand viewing by their students.
“We recognize that not all teachers and classes will be able to go online,” Ray acknowledged. “However we will get as many classes as possible online. We will have to see how the weeks ahead develop, but we may offer a short intensive semester in the summer. The next challenge lays in finding ways to meet laboratory and clinical competencies, as well as finding a suitable means of evaluating student work in a controlled environment.”
Resources coming soon
Students will be given a guide for joining classes online. Resources for teachers are being curated and developed, and will be available this week on the Faculty Hub. The site will change as new resources are added, so be sure to check regularly! Teachers wishing to consult resources right now can go to IST’s resources overview page.