Drexel Gears Up for Remote Learning, Research; Campus Clearing Out
March 19, 2020
The following message was sent to the Drexel community on March 19.
Dear Students and Colleagues,
With most final exams completed by the end of the day, Drexel students and faculty are ramping up preparations for remote teaching and learning in the spring term, aided by professional staff from across the University working diligently to provide support — while preparations continue to close the campus to the public tomorrow.
The Online Learning Council Faculty Fellows today began a series of daily webinars aimed at sharpening skill levels in all aspects of remote teaching, ensuring that students will be fully engaged and challenged in their coursework. The Provost’s Office, which is providing resources for remote teaching and learning to faculty and students, offers the following general guidelines for spring courses that were to be delivered face-to-face but are now being delivered remotely.
- Students should expect that their remote courses in spring will be a mix of synchronous (i.e., course sessions that will be offered virtually to all registered students at the same time using tools like Zoom) and asynchronous engagement.
- While it is not required for courses to include synchronous engagement, it is highly encouraged. Any course sessions that are being delivered synchronously must be conducted during the originally scheduled time slot (Eastern Daylight Time).
- To accommodate students in widely varying time zones or who need other academic accommodations, all synchronously delivered content must be recorded and made available to students (i.e., posted to Blackboard). In keeping with current University policy, students are free to download and use these recordings for their own use but are prohibited from distributing them.
- To avoid course scheduling conflicts that may arise due to synchronous engagement, we will be following our normal registration process, which restricts students from registering for two classes during the same time slot.
- As always, faculty are required to provide office hours, which will now be conducted remotely (e.g., online, phone, etc.) and should be clearly listed in the course syllabus.
- While the Drexel Barnes & Noble store has been closed to the public, the bookstore will serve students in a remote capacity by fulfilling online orders and providing free ground shipping.
As for University research, the Office of Research & Innovation continues to take steps to ensure business continuity. The latest details can be found on the Research Enterprise Guidance website.
We are pleased to report that the move-out process for students is ahead of schedule, and Student Life is working to accommodate those students who have special circumstances and cannot return home. We expect a small percentage of students will need to stay on campus, many of them international students or those who live in domestic hot spots for the COVID-19 coronavirus.
As the University prepares to close to the public tomorrow, Drexel Business Services will temporarily operate weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. out of the Parking Services office in the General Services Building, 3300 Market Street. Starting Monday, March 23, the University City DragonCard Office also will operate from the Parking Office, while DragonCard offices at Queen Lane and Center City will close. For DragonCard information, please check the website, call 215.895.6095, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. More detailed information about University administrative operations going forward will be provided in a separate message to faculty and professional staff.
Please continue to monitor Drexel's Response to Coronavirus for updates, and utilize the CDC's prevention tips website. For general questions, please contact the Service Center, where representatives are available 24/7 at 215.703.2335.
Finally, we have raised approximately $125,000 to aid with students' emergency expenses, demonstrating once again the deep reservoir of goodwill for Drexel students that exists in our community. We are so grateful to each and every donor.
Thank you for your continued support and cooperation as we cope with the impact of the coronavirus, and for your patience and flexibility as we confront the challenges ahead.
Helen Y. Bowman
Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer
Paul E. Jensen
Interim Nina Henderson Provost