March 12, 2020
As President Mearns mentioned in his email last evening, we will suspend all in-person classes for the duration of the Spring semester. In-person classes will be replaced with virtual instruction and other alternative learning options. I am writing to provide you with additional information.
This level of transition may require us to take action in phases. Please use the following guidelines:
- The majority of our courses should be able to transition by Monday, March 16, as stated by the President. Our largest classes will transition as top priority. Smaller classes with hands-on learning may require more time to transition.
- I expect the rest of our courses to transition fully to either online instruction or to other alternative learning options by March 23.
- We will make exceptions for courses that can only be taught in-person. These will need to be approved by the dean and me with clear justification as to why they cannot transition to an alternative modality.
- It is vital that we pay attention to and meet all U.S. Department of Education and accreditation requirements as we make this transition. I encourage academic departments to work with their college deans on program specific licensing and accreditation issues.
I also advise all faculty to consult with their department chairs to identify alternative learning options. Online and Strategic Learning
can assist you with making content available remotely, and you may use Canvas to receive papers and other assignments.
Teaching during times of potential disruption requires creative and flexible thinking about how instructors can support students in achieving essential core course learning objectives. While this transition process may feel unfamiliar and even frustrating, please be patient and make use of all of our available resources. Above all, stay focused on making sure students are comfortable, communicate clearly and frequently with students, and keep a close eye on the overall course learning goals. What is most important is meeting the learning goals of the course. I recommend you read “Pedagogy in Times of Disruption” at bsu.edu/coronavirus
. You will also find information, updates, and answers to questions you or your students may have.
At this time, we are not directing students to leave our campus, and University services and offices will remain open. A separate message will be going out to parents and families of students at Burris Laboratory School and the Indiana Academy.
Let me emphasize that, as of this moment, we are not aware of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Ball State. In the event students or employees share that they may have been exposed to the virus, remember that we still must follow the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). This means that we must not share student and employee medical information with others. If a COVID-19 case is confirmed, the Indiana State Department of Health and/or Health Center staff will notify anyone who may be affected.
Thanks for your continued dedication to our students and our University. I am confident we can effectively address these challenges together.