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Message from Provost regarding Remote Instruction and Instructional Technology

Dear Faculty & Students,

As you are now aware, the Governor of New Jersey implemented Executive Order 107 on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Directives included in this order require Ramapo College to revise our plans.

Please note the following important updates, which pertain to coursework delivery and instructional support for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester:

  • No in-person, on-campus classes or labs will be held for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester at Ramapo College. All instruction and learning will occur from off campus locations through a variety of instructional technologies, which faculty have selected based on the needs of their courses.

Students who are unfamiliar with or need a refresher on the technologies that are used by their instructors should visit the College’s Instructional Design Center (IDC) to access the schedule for remote workshops, as well as training videos and user guides. Virtual drop-in office hours are also available as noted on the IDC website for anyone who would prefer to work one-on-one with an IDC staff member.

  • The computer workstation space located in the Library that was to be made available for Ramapo faculty and students is no longer permitted. From this point forward, faculty and students will have to deliver and complete all coursework, respectively, from off-campus locations.

I wholeheartedly understand that many of us are not thrilled with how our Spring semester unfolded, and a number of us may be a bit anxious about the required and somewhat abrupt transition to “remote coursework delivery” and “remote learning.” Please know that we are here to support and guide you in your efforts to continue to make academic progress.

The College’s Information Technology Services (ITS) Helpdesk staff can help virtually troubleshoot common computer hardware and software issues, and the Instructional Design Center staff is well-prepared to provide remote help to those of you who need assistance with instructional technologies.

To better understand how things are going in this new learning environment, I will be sending a survey in the near future and look forward to receiving your valuable responses that will be used to guide continuous improvement. In addition, since I have received several requests from faculty and students to adopt a pass/fail grading scheme for this atypical semester, please know that this idea is being discussed and is under consideration. I expect that a decision will be made and communicated soon.

On a personal note, I sincerely hope that all of you are navigating these extraordinary circumstances we are living through as well as possible. The quick-changing nature of the COVID-19 situation brings to mind the words of Scottish poet Robert Burns: “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” When the environment changes so rapidly, it may be challenging for us to feel settled or stable. Please make sure that you reach out for help should you need it. Ramapo College will continue to offer to our students Counseling and Health Services albeit remotely.

While staying off our beautiful, welcoming campus and staying away from colleagues, classmates, and friends may be very difficult for many of us, it also allows us to do our part to prevent community spread of COVID-19 and to “flatten the curve.” I, for one, much appreciate your efforts to protect our community.

Sincerely,

Dr. Susan Gaulden
Interim Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs