Student Online Guide
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Classes resume Monday, March 30
Students will hear from each of their faculty regarding the process for moving forward in each of their classes. Faculty have worked quickly to adapt courses to be delivered remotely, and this may mean changes to learning outcomes, assignments, and syllabi. Faculty will communicate all of that with you. You will need to be flexible and generous with faculty who are working under tight deadlines and the same kind of general stress. They will also be flexible and generous with you.
One of the most important elements of remote learning is communication. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to easily chat after class or stop by faculty offices anymore, so staying in communication and checking remote communication sites regularly is essential. Please plan to check your BVU email and Canvas at least daily, perhaps even more often in order to remain up to date on academic progress and expectations.
Each of your faculty are making decisions about how to best deliver learning remotely in their classes. You will receive communication and guidance from faculty members about how their particular class will proceed. Most faculty are planning to deliver content either synchronously or asynchronously or some combination of the two. Here’s what that means:
- Synchronous: This means some or all class meetings are in real-time, virtually, usually through a video conferencing tool like Zoom.
- Asynchronous: This means no real-time content. Instead, faculty assign work to students to be done on their own time and submitted for assessment. This is usually done through a learning management system like Canvas where assignments, discussions, quizzes, etc. can be posted and completed. If you’ve ever taken a fully online course, this is the format.
Your faculty will let you know what the expectations are for each of your classes. If there is a synchronous component, it will occur during what had been your regular class time. If that poses problems for you, please work with your faculty who can provide alternatives.
Canvas and Zoom
Canvas is our current learning management tool at BVU. You probably already have lots of familiarity with it from your face-to-face classes. It is used to support education by having a location online where materials are placed, and students and instructors can interact. If you need help with Canvas, you can access this Getting Started page for student Canvas users.
Zoom is a video conferencing platform tool at BVU. It is a great tool for providing synchronous interactions between faculty and students over a distance. Faculty may use it for courses and/or advising while we are working remotely. They will provide you with a link to any session they are holding, and you will simply click on it to join. If you need help getting started in Zoom, you can access this short video introduction to Zoom created by Dr. Wind Goodfriend.
Due to the increasing popularity of Zoom, some classes are experiencing issues with “ZoomBombing,” when an uninvited participant joins a Zoom meeting and is disruptive. To combat this disruption, we are asking you to download Zoom on your primary device and log into it with your BVU account by Tuesday, April 14, 2020 by following these steps.
This page contains course delivery and academic information. Other student resources
In addition to your faculty, BVU in general is working to ensure that you have access to many of the same academic support opportunities that you did when you were on campus. Here are some important options for you to consider.
The BVU Bookstore has partnered with RedShelf and is offering students access to free e-books. For more information on e-books or free online shipping, visit the BVU campus bookstore’s website.
Students will continue to have access to academic tutoring available through the Center for Academic Excellence. You can continue to sign up for online tutoring appointments through Navigate. If you have any difficulties, you can email Donna Musel at email@example.com.
The BVU Library is open virtually and the librarians are available online. Email, text and chat channels are open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until March 29. Beginning on March 30 they will offer those services until 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday evening for student convenience. Librarians have access to Zoom accounts so that they can interact with individual students for research assistance by appointment. Access to the print collection is difficult when students are off-campus, but librarians have the ability to scan things or send them out through the mail if an electronic equivalent cannot be found.
Here are the best ways to reach the library:
P/F Grading Options - IMPORTANT UPDATE
To help support students in this transition, the deadline for changing to P/F grading has been moved back to May 1, 2020. The P/F limit has also been waived for students this term, which means you can opt to take as many courses P/F as you wish. All classes, even ones that previously could not be taken P/F, may be taken P/F this semester (only). You must work with your advisor to make your decisions about switching to P/F in any of your courses. Remember, you may need letter grades for graduate or professional school, or to return to good academic standing, or to reach a 2.0 CGPA for graduation.
Internet Access Options
We know reliable internet access is critical. Many Internet service providers are offering free or reduced-cost options at this time. Depending on your location and your internet service provider, there may be some options for discounted internet access should you wish to pursue any. As always, be sure you work with the company to understand details. Here are the options we know of as of March 25, 2020:
- AT&T: For the next 60 days, AT&T is making all of its public Wi-Fi hotspots open for free access by anyone. AT&T does not have a hotspot map but has provided instructions for locating their hotspots online.
- Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100MBPS.
- Comcast: Comcast is now offering an “Internet Essentials” package that provides 60 days of free service and a $9.95 per-month plan after that time. Comcast is also making all of its Wi-Fi hotspots available for free public use and has provided instructions and a map for connecting to this free service. Access to Comcast Wi-Fi is now open across hundreds of locations in the east-central Indiana region.
- Sprint and T-Mobile are allowing existing customers unlimited smartphone data and an additional 20GB of tethering and hotspot data for the next 60 days.
- Verizon has automatically added 15GB of free high-speed data to existing customers.
- Mediacom is also offering some options for families and students. You can visit their site to explore their various options.
- Long Lines has offered to provide 60 days free unlimited Internet. This offer is good in all communities Long Lines directly serves, wherever they have available network resources. There is no obligation to keep their service at the end of the 60 days, and no charges for installation (or anything associated with this connection). If you would like to request service, please call Long Lines' customer care line at 712.271.4000.
Advising & Registration
On Thursday March 18, 2020 the registrar, Steph Wilhelm, sent you an email regarding registration timeline changes. Below is the new timeline for registration.
- Honors Program Students: March 31
- Seniors and Juniors: April 1-5
- Sophomores: April 6-12
- First year students: April 13-19
- Special: April 20
You can reach out to your academic advisor via email, phone, or text if you would like to set up an appointment to discuss your course plans and get signed up for classes next fall. Your advisors will be reaching out to you as well to begin the fall registration process.
Online & Hybrid Students
Please refer to the links below for the latest updates regarding our community college partners' COVID-19 protocol.
- Des Moines Area Community College
- Indian Hills Community College
- Iowa Central Community College
- Iowa Lakes Community College
- Iowa Western Community College
- Marshalltown Community College
- North Iowa Area Community College
- Southeastern Community College
- Southwestern Community College
- Western Iowa Tech Community College
At this time, we strongly urge all online and hybrid students to follow the CDC's social distancing recommendations. Instead of visiting site locations, please call 712.749.1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions, concerns, or advisement needs.
Based on social distancing recommended by the CDC, BVU has canceled all University-sponsored events and events hosted at the University through June 30.
Buena Vista University's commencement ceremonies will be held on Oct 11, 2020, on the Sunday of the 2020 BVU Homecoming celebration. We look forward to making this an unforgettable event for our graduates!Commencement Information