Fall Classes

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Minot State faculty and staff are excited to welcome students back to campus for fall semester 2020. Everyone is working to create an engaging and effective learning environment while implementing multiple strategies to reduce risk in the Minot State and Minot communities. Staff in our Information Technology Center are working to install technology in classrooms to reduce the number of students in class face-to-face, while still allowing students to join virtually. Thus, classes may look different, but they will still meet during their regularly scheduled times, and in some cases, students may rotate when they attend face-to-face and when they attend virtually. If you have questions about classes, please don't hesitate to let me know. 

See you this August!

Laurie Geller
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Laurie.Geller@minotstateu.edu 

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.

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.

Instructors will email students prior to the start of classes with instructions about who should attend in-person and who should attend remotely, if necessary.

Check out this video to see what a HyFlex classroom looks like.

Classrooms have been evaluated and rearranged to facilitate CDC’s distancing guidelines. To maintain six feet between individuals, some desks in classrooms will be removed or marked to remain vacant during the class session. Enrollment, format, and location of some courses are being adjusted to implement physical distancing guidelines and access to technology. Each room will have a posted diagram to ensure furniture remains properly spaced.

Instructors will email students prior to the start of classes with instructions about who should attend in-person and who should attend remotely, if necessary.

Check out this video to see what a HyFlex classroom looks like.

Minot State may use some spaces across campus that are not normally used for classroom instruction, particularly for those classes that have large enrollments that cannot be accommodated in their originally assigned classroom. Possible spaces include: Ann Nicole Nelson Hall, Aleshire Theater, and the Wellness Center Multi-Activity Court.

Some spaces, such as labs, clinics, and music facilities, require special protocols to ensure safety and distancing. 6-feet spacing will be used “when feasible,” as suggested by CDC guidelines. In select environments, physical barriers or other arrangements may by required. Faculty will use CDC and discipline-specific guidelines to develop specific protocols for safety and health-risk reduction in such spaces. Furniture arrangement and protocols will be posted in each space.

Office Hours: 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.

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

All students and faculty should exit the classroom before the following class enters. Congregating in the hallways is discouraged. Faculty and staff may ask groups of individuals to maintain physical distancing around their offices. Signage will be placed in hallways to remind people of physical distancing expectations.

Information Technology staff are working hard to make computer labs safe and accessible for all students regardless of delivery mode. Students attending remotely will be able to access computers and software in Minot State computer labs. See Remote Computer Access at this linkContact IT staff for assistance.

When students need to access courses remotely, it is their responsibility to ensure they have reliable access to technology to complete coursework or they must work with Information Technology to gain access to technology that can be used at another location. The following statement will be added to all syllabi:

Important note regarding mobile devices: You cannot successfully complete an online 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.

We understand you might have questions about the upcoming semester, or you might want to make a request because you 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, please 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.