Fall 2020 - Spring 2021 Faculty Resources

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Welcome back! We have a challenging semester ahead, but together we will provide an engaging and effective learning environment for students. Minot State is known for its excellent faculty and personalized instruction and that will continue.

This page will be used to provide updates to faculty. Please review the information below, and keep in mind, the current situation is fluid, and some information may change. Thus, this page will be updated frequently.

The list of fall 2020 courses will be updated and posted on this page. This list includes the COVID capacity of each classroom so you can determine whether all students enrolled will fit in the room or whether you need to establish a rotation for which students attend in person and which ones attend remotely each day. This rotation must be included on your course syllabus. Please keep in mind, with 6-feet distancing, classroom capacity is about 1/4 to 1/3 of what it was previously. As a result, only a handful of rooms hold 20 or more students, and every instructor must be ready to teach using a HyFlex mode of delivery

Almost $600,000 of technology has been ordered and is being installed in classrooms. When complete, over 90 classrooms will support HyFlex delivery. Training will be provided to help instructors learn to use this technology, but more importantly and even more challenging, all instructors must rethink how they will teach and evaluate student learning when part of the class attends face-to-face and part of it attends remotely. These pedagogical changes will likely result in syllabus changes; start planning and making changes now so you are ready on August 24. 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Laurie Geller
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Fall 2020 Class Enrollments - August 10

Fall 2020 Class Enrollments by Department - July 23

Fall 2020 Class Enrollments - July 16

COVID-19 Symptoms and Self-Monitoring

According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms that vary in severity, and some may not exhibit any symptoms. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and may include one or more of the following:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as they learn more about COVID-19. 

Minot State strongly encourages the campus community to assess themselves for symptoms every day before coming to campus. Students, faculty and staff who have symptoms should:

  • Immediately contact their health care provider. For students, this will usually be Minot State Student Health located in the lower level of Lura Manor.
  • Students should stay home from classes and notify their faculty members
  • Faculty and staff are to immediately notify their supervisor and stay home from work.

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing is repeatedly mentioned by all health experts to be the single most important factor we can use in combating the spread of the virus. Therefore, it is paramount that everyone adheres to the 6-feet physical distancing guideline and respects the rights, privacy, and expectations of those in the campus and Minot communities.

Cloth Masks and Face Coverings

Please see the Masks/Face Coverings page.

Hand Washing

Hand washing is essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If soap and water are not available, you may also use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer dispensers are found in the hallways of Minot State buildings.

Testing and Contact Tracing

Plans are being finalized to provide testing opportunities for students, faculty, and staff members at or just prior to the start of the semester at no cost at a variety of locations across the state. Additional testing opportunities will likely be provided at a static site in Minot. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by the North Dakota Department of Health or First District Health Unit. Student Health does not contact positive cases. If an employee or a student is known to be positive or a close contact of a positive person, please contact the Student Health Clinic to assure appropriate measures are taken. Contact tracing is conducted by the North Dakota Department of Health or First District Health Unit.

Enhanced Cleaning Protocols

Custodial staff will increase disinfecting activities. They will continue to vacuum and empty trash daily and continue to wipe handrails, bathrooms, etc. They will also disinfect commonly used surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, etc. They will work to wipe classrooms and labs as often as practical, but please understand that resources will be limited and not every surface can be hit every day. As always, faculty and staff are responsible for their own desks, credenzas, tables, computer keyboards, etc. due to the sensitive nature of much of the materials that occupy those areas. Students are responsible for cleaning their own workspaces upon arrival to the classroom. Faculty are responsible for cleaning the workstation/podium area in a classroom when they enter the classroom to teach. Dispensers of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are located in the hallways of Minot State buildings for this purpose.

Please see the Masks/Face Coverings page.

Minot State is planning for courses to run the entire scheduled fall semester ending on December 18. In the event the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDOH), the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education (NDSBHE), or another state authority requires a transition to remote instruction during fall semester, classes will be converted to remote delivery.

Courses will be offered in various modes of instructional delivery, including face-to-face, hybrid, HyFlex, or fully online (asynchronous or synchronous) formats (see Mode of Instruction Definitions), with emphasis on offering the face-to-face experience as completely as possible while respecting CDC and other guidelines. Some courses may be converted to remote, HyFlex, or online instruction to accommodate faculty and classroom restrictions. Courses already scheduled for entirely online delivery will be unaffected.

A request to teach fall 2020 courses using an alternative delivery format will not have a negative effect on a faculty member’s annual evaluation or future employment options.

See the list of classrooms, their COVID capacity, and the technology installed in each one.

To allow for 6-feet physical distancing and to meet the needs of students with accommodations resulting from ADA-covered health concerns, all faculty teaching face-to-face must also be prepared to offer their course remotely for those students who cannot attend face-to-face. In addition, every instructor should be ready to switch to remote delivery if required by the North Dakota University System, University President, local, state or federal authorities. Faculty will work with students to access and use the tools and technologies that support a transition to remote learning if necessary during the semester. 

See Mode of Instruction Definitions.

See the list of classrooms, their COVID capacity, and the technology installed in each one.

Over 90 Minot State classrooms are being equipped with technology that allow faculty to deliver face-to-face and online instruction at the same time (i.e., HyFlex model). In some cases, students will rotate between face-to face and remote attendance to reduce classroom capacity due to distancing guidelines. The VPAA is working with the Registrar’s Office and department/division chairs to schedule rooms that will allow faculty to access and use these technologies. Faculty will also receive instructions and guidance to use these technologies prior to the start of the semester. A list of classrooms and their enrollment capacities and technologies is available here. The definitions of each mode of instruction, including HyFlex, are posted on the Registrar’s website.

Instructors must use Minot State-approved tools to support classes, including Blackboard as the common point of entry to course materials and Teams, Zoom, or Collaborate Ultra to facilitate synchronous remote participation. Electronic submission and return of assignments are highly encouraged whenever possible to maintain 6-feet physical distancing. Contact Sherie Saltveit or Doug Tiedman in the Office of Instructional Technology for assistance.

Instructors have the option of holding virtual office hours or holding in-person office hours if appropriate physical distancing can take place. Each unit should identify a conference space suitable for physical distancing for in-person meetings with students. Syllabi should also indicate a method for arranging virtual student meetings.

Similarly, faculty and staff advisors should make use of the dedicated physical-distanced meeting space in their unit and/or schedule appointments virtually via Teams, Zoom, or Collaborate Ultra.

Some faculty will require use of additional safety measures in the classroom. In addition to the campus-wide syllabus statement about mask use and physical distancing, faculty may add their own statement about additional classroom safety requirements and consequences of failure to follow these.

In courses for which remote participation is difficult (e.g., labs, music, art, etc.), faculty will develop and specify alternative arrangements in the syllabus when possible. If these arrangements are not possible, students should consult their advisors for assistance with scheduling.

Instructors who use HyFlex instruction must explain in their syllabi where students will access the course remotely, the rotation of students who access the course face-to-face and remotely (who will access each mode each day of the week), and any additional information needed.

If at some point during the semester Minot State must transition all courses to remote delivery, syllabi will be adjusted accordingly.

 

The following statements will be added to all Minot State syllabi.

Statement about Masks/Face Coverings:

Minot State students, faculty and staff are required to wear masks or face coverings in all academic settings except in those situations for which an exception has been granted.

If a student chooses not to wear a face covering in an area where it is required:

  1. The individual will be asked to comply with the policy. If the person refuses to comply, they will be asked to leave the space. If the person won’t comply or leave, MSU Security may be contacted if necessary at 701-500-2423.
  2. If an individual violates the face-covering policy a second time, they will again be asked to comply with the policy. If the person refuses to comply, they will be reported to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Please see the complete masks/face coverings policy for details, official exceptions, and administrative contact information for further questions.


Important Note Regarding Mobile Devices: 

You cannot successfully complete an online or remote course using only an iPad, iPhone, Android device, or tablet even if you are using the Blackboard mobile app. For example, certain courses contain assignments requiring the recording of presentations that can only be successfully completed with the use of a Windows or Mac OS desktop or laptop. The mobile app is designed for the convenience of receiving course announcements, sending and receiving course messages, and viewing grades.Students will NOT be able to complete an entire course using only the Blackboard mobile app. 

COVID-19 Attendance:
Students who do not physically attend class but are attending remotely (for various reasons) will not be counted as absent.

The fall 2020 semester will offer unique challenges to attendance. Students may attend class face-to-face some days and virtually on other days. Students with mild illness or in quarantine will be encouraged to attend class remotely. Courses with remote synchronous elements will require the same attendance as for the face-to-face elements.

Minot State considers students who attend remotely to be in attendance. This will be noted in all syllabi at Minot State University using Simple Syllabus.  In all cases, students should expect to dedicate and schedule the same amount of time to their classes in these formats as in previous semesters.

Students who must miss class for an extended period are expected to contact their instructors. They are also expected to contact the Vice President for Student Affairs and request an absence notification. 

We understand students might have questions about the upcoming semester, or they might want to make a request because they have a special circumstance in regards to classes, masks, remote learning, or other things. We want to respond to those requests quickly and efficiently.

In order to answer questions and respond to requests, students should complete the form found at this link prior to or at the start of the semester (the sooner the better). 

Requests, concerns, and questions will be sent to the appropriate University area and responses to those concerns and requests will be returned to the student in a timely manner. We appreciate your patience if you submit the form on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

All requests need to be initiated using this form. We are committed to providing prompt and caring responses to all students, and this form allows us to do that.

Please keep in mind, not all courses can be completed remotely due to their hands-on nature (e.g., nursing practicum) or due to the need to use equipment or materials only available on campus (e.g., most science labs). In these instances, the student should do the following:

  1. Talk with the faculty member responsible for the course. Faculty contact information is available on academic department pages and in the directory. Contact information of department/division chairs is located here

  2. Consider another section of the course. Many courses are available online. A student may be able to find the same course or another course that fits their desired method of delivery. Students should discuss course and program requirements with their academic advisor prior to making any changes.

  3. Seek an accommodation. If the student has a known disability, which may include health conditions that are considered high risk factors with COVID-19, the student may contact Access Services using the form above to determine whether formal academic accommodations are appropriate. Legal requirements, originating in ADA, and institutional procedures and policies will be adhered to for these health-related concerns.

  4. Drop the course. If arrangements cannot be made to meet the desired delivery method, students may elect to drop the course according to posted deadlines. Students should discuss course and program requirements with their academic advisors before dropping a course.

If a student is unable to physically attend class for a short period of time due to any illness or other issues, students are encouraged to:

  1. Contact their faculty member(s). If a student can engage in the course remotely, the student should do so. If the student cannot engage in the course remotely, the student should request arrangements that will allow them to continue in the course. Faculty contact information is available on academic department pages and in the directory. Contact information of department/division chairs is located here.

  2. Request an absence notification. For an extended illness, students should contact the Vice President for Student Affairs in addition to contacting their faculty members.

  3. Drop the course. If arrangements cannot be made for the student to continue in the course, the student may elect to drop the course or withdraw from all their courses according to posted deadlines. Students should discuss course and program requirements with their academic advisors before dropping a course or withdrawing from all courses.

Minot State has extended the suspension of university-sponsored international travel through December 31, 2020. Additionally, all domestic travel for university-sponsored activities must follow the normal protocol requiring approval by the appropriate Vice President before travel commences.