On Thursday, March 19, together we begin the new and unexpected chapter in our The University of Olivet journey – the transition to remote learning in response to the COVID-19 situation. We are confident that the OC Nation will navigate this path with understanding, compassion, responsibility and even a little humor during this challenging time.
Our goal is simple: to continue educating our students while limiting face-to-face interactions in an effort to keep our The University of Olivet family safe and healthy and to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This communication focuses on helping our students make the transition to remote learning go as smoothly as possible. Students received a similar message earlier this evening.
Remote learning begins this Thursday, March 19
Our faculty and staff are working diligently to move to a virtual learning environment. Remote learning means:
- Classes will be held through Blackboard and Zoom, a software linked in Blackboard that allows students to see and be seen in a virtual environment;
- Professors will email students with details on how each course will function remotely in Blackboard and Zoom;
- Students should keep the regular class times for their courses open and clear so if professors schedule Zoom class meetings students can join in;
- Students should check their Olivet email and Blackboard announcements regularly and frequently.
If a professor holds class through Zoom:
- It will be during the student’s normal class period;
- Professors will notify students through email or via Blackboard about Zoom meetings;
- Students will access Zoom through Blackboard or through an email invitation;
- Students do NOT need Zoom accounts to join these class meetings – just click the link provided.
- Although using a computer is better, students can join a Zoom meeting using only a cell phone;
- For directions on how to access Zoom classes, students should follow this link.
Before Thursday classes students should check technology and internet connection:
- Log into Blackboard and check each course.
- If a professor has included a Zoom classroom link on Blackboard, the student should make sure he or she can “enter” the Zoom classroom (see link above for directions).
- If students plan to use a phone for Zoom meetings, download the Zoom app now to be prepared for classes on Thursday.
- Students should check their Olivet email to make sure they know their professors’ plans.
We will all be working together during this period to keep everyone connected and successful. Students should reach out via email to professors for help with classes! The ITS team also can provide help with technology questions. ITS can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (269) 749-7666 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. M-F.
If a student finds out that they do not have the technology to confidently and regularly participate in remote classes, they should let us know now by completing this short online survey: CLICK HERE to complete the REMOTE LEARNING SURVEY. Students should not give up on their learning; students should not give up on themselves. We are here to help find solutions!
Regularly Check Email!
Students should check their Olivet email routinely – several times a day at least. Email is the primary way that we will communicate throughout this time. Do not assume once remote learning begins that there will be no longer be a need to check email. Important communications that will impact students directly will continue to be sent from the President and/or Provost. We ask that students take seriously the responsibility of checking email regularly.
We encourage students to take advantage of the remote tutoring opportunities available in the following subjects:
- Computer Science
To schedule a tutoring appointment, students should go to the myOlivet portal and select Tutoring in the Quick Links section. When scheduling an appointment, students will be able to upload documents for the tutor to review. If students have questions about tutoring, please contact Mr. Joey Shepherd at email@example.com .
Registration and Housing for Fall 2020 – Deadlines Are Extended
The deadlines to register for fall 2020 courses and for housing are being extended to allow students to focus on classes. Students should stay tuned and check their Olivet email for notice about registration for courses and housing.
We’re Here for You!
We understand this is a stressful and confusing time for students and their family. Olivet faculty, staff and coaches are all here to support students in any way needed during this time. We are available by email, phone or even video chat. And, be sure to stay connected with us by following The University of Olivet on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube – you never know who you might see!
Be Patient. Be Kind. Be Flexible.
We know there are still many unanswered questions. As decisions are made based upon information we receive from health authorities, we will notify students and parents. Know that any decision – as well as the timing for making our decisions – is made first and foremost with our students’ health and safety as the top priority.
Remember that even if you feel healthy, you may unknowingly be carrying the virus and could spread it to others. During this time, be sure to practice social distancing and good hygiene in order to protect yourself, your family, and others who might be at high risk for serious illness. And also remember that viruses do not target people from specific populations, ethnicities or racial backgrounds. Be an Olivetian and be sure to treat all people with respect and kindness during this time.
We ask the small number of students residing on campus to please be considerate of the many staff members who are here for the students and be responsible for words and actions when interacting with them. Remember that this is a stressful time for staff members, too.
Be patient, be kind and be flexible. We will get through this together.
This Thursday is the first official day of spring and the crocuses are beginning to bloom on campus. Let that serve as a reminder that we are stronger than we realize – we can make it through the winter and bloom beautifully! In fact, we can do anything we set our minds to – we are OLIVET!