Hello Centre Students,
Welcome to the second half of Spring Term 2020! Well soon anyway. Below are some notes to facilitate our mid-term transition to the rest of this Spring Term of remote learning.
Before diving in, I want to acknowledge the incredible stresses many of us have experienced, and continue to live through. Sudden life changes can disrupt sleep, important relationships, and how our brains function. Among many other things, learning is probably going to be harder for most of us these next few weeks. Please know that your professors and the staff here at Centre stand ready to help and encourage and persevere with you in making the rest of this Spring Term the best possible. Also, I recommend the attached “Strategies for Remote Learning Success,” which is also available on the Moodle COVID-19 Resource Page (here) under the Students tile. Now to dive in.
- Syllabi Updates
- Schedule Information: Class Sessions, Conflicts with Synchronous Events, and Final Exams from May 14-20
- Incompletes, Withdrawals, and Grief Policies
- Academic Integrity
- Intellectual Property, or DO NOT share Online Materials without Permission
- Academic Disability Accommodations
- Convocation System Adaptation for Spring 2020
- Grading System Adaptation for Spring 2020
- Some Last Thoughts
1. Syllabi Updates
During this extended Spring Break, your professors have redesigned courses to account for a Spring Term that is one week shorter and requires remote learning. They will share updated syllabi with you before or during your next class session next Monday, March 30th, or Tuesday, March 31st.
2. Schedule Information
a) Your Class Sessions
Remote learning provides diverse opportunities for class “meetings.” Some of your professors will offer asynchronous sessions (e.g., pre-recorded lectures or discussion boards that students may watch at any time), whereas synchronous work (e.g., live, real-time discussion boards or Zoom meetings) will occur during your regularly-scheduled class time on MWF or TR.
b) Conflicts with Synchronous Sessions
For some of you, synchronous communication may be impractical or impossible, because you are now living in a very different time zone or have limited access to technology at the designated time. If you will be unable to participate in a class synchronously, be in touch with your professor(s) right away so they can work with you to find good solutions.
c) Final Exams from May 14 – May 20
The original “final exam” schedule, available here, remains in effect. Some final assessment (such as a test, a paper, or a project) will be due during this scheduled final exam period. Details and expectations for this final will be shared by your professor.
We expect you to remain fully engaged in your coursework. This shift to remote learning does not change that expectation. However, it does broaden the way we define engagement. Your professors will keep track of attendance and participation, whether for synchronous or asynchronous sessions. They will expect you to communicate with them in a timely fashion, which will require you to check regularly (at least twice per day) for communications from your professors and, potentially, your classmates. If you run into a conflict and/or constraint that inhibits your participation, you must let your professors know right away!
4. Incompletes, Withdrawals, and Grief Policies
If you find yourself facing extreme life circumstances (such as serious illness, grief, or major family demands) that prevent you from completing your course requirements this term, please be in touch with me, Associate Dean Alex McAllister. Centre College has policies that may allow you to request an incomplete and/or withdrawal from some or all of your courses.
5. Academic Integrity
Honesty and integrity remain critically important, and we rely on you to maintain the standards of Centre College. The first three lines of our College Catalog’s official policies (here) state:
A high standard of academic honesty is expected of students in all phases of academic work and college life. Academic dishonesty in any form is a fundamental offense against the integrity of the entire academic community and is always a threat to the standards of the College and to the standing of every student. In taking tests and examinations, doing homework or laboratory work, and writing papers, students are expected to perform with honor.
Recall that faculty members are required to report any case of academic dishonesty, no matter how minor the infraction, to the Associate Dean. If you have any questions about how to cite sources, whether you can collaborate with others, or any other aspect of submitting work for evaluation, please ask your professor for clarification. At the end of this email, you will find related information that was sent to the faculty.
6. Intellectual Property, or DO NOT share Online Materials without Permission
Online lectures and other course materials are your professor’s intellectual property. No student is permitted to share via email, social media, or other methods, any lecture, discussion, recording, video, or other class material, in part or in its entirety, without the express written consent of the faculty member responsible for the course. Unauthorized dissemination of any class proceeding, lecture, and other material is strictly prohibited and will be cause for investigation and judicial action, which may result in a grade of “U” for an assignment or an entire course, and/or suspension from Centre College.
7. Academic Disability Accommodations
Students approved to receive special accommodations (e.g., additional time for tests) will continue to receive that accommodation to ensure they have an equal opportunity to learn. If you have such accommodations, please review them with your professors and contact Assistant Dean Mary Gulley if you have questions or concerns about how your accommodations will be met (firstname.lastname@example.org).
8. Convocation Credits for Spring 2020
Students who have completed at least THREE convocation credits prior to Spring Break have earned an A for CON 001. Students with fewer than three convocation credits have been enrolled in a new Moodle course “Spring Convocations,” and these students will complete alternative assignments (until they have three credits) to earn a grade of A. If you have more convocations to earn, Lisa Curlis will contact you by April 3rd with more information.
9. Grading System Adaptation for Spring 2020
In an effort to relieve anxiety and preserve equity during this change to remote learning, any student may opt in to being graded on a P/D/U basis in any of their courses up until the last day of classes. Because of the potential implications for graduate and professional school, graduation honors, GPA outcomes, and more, a decision to opt-in to P/D/U grading should be made carefully and ONLY after consulting your academic advisor. With regard to GPAs, "P" provides credit toward graduation, but does not change your overall GPA. The D and U act as they normally do, and negatively impact your overall GPA. You have some time to lock in a decision, therefore you should continue to strive for the highest possible A–U grade, while keeping in mind the option to select P/D/U at the end of the term. The Registrar, Thomas Manuel, will share more details with you by April 3rd.
10. Some Last Thoughts
In the midst of so many unprecedented changes in our academic and personal lives, please pay generous attention to taking care of yourself. When remote learning begins next week, we will all be learning in new ways, and it will challenge all of us. We ask from you the same thing that we’re asking from your professors: “Do your best.” And, our best in these challenging times might be different than our best last fall, or just a month back, but it will be good. I think we will all have some pretty striking memories of the Spring of 2020, and I am hopeful yours will include positive recollections of how your professors rallied to help you learn despite the challenges of Covid-19.
If you have questions or concerns, please be sure to contact your professors, your advisor, Assistant Dean Gulley, or me, and we will help you achieve the best possible outcomes for this term.
Take care my friends, and best wishes,