April 4, 2020
Dear BCCC Faculty and Staff:
Thank you all for the steady pace and going the extra mile to keep our students first and central to the BCCC mission. I continue to receive great examples from faculty and staff who find creative solutions for making online learning better and more effective for our students. Examples include a faculty member who provided a test review for math using Zoom joined by 80 students. Another faculty member utilized Top Hat which is a remote learning platform that helps faculty build engaging courses (BCCC has free access to Top Hat through the end of the semester). And, a staff member from Student Affairs hosted a virtual happy hour with student support and wellness services. We want to hear and tell more - - share your #WeAreBCCC stories and photos along with ideas on how to support our community at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I shared previously, E-learning is developing Advanced Canvas and other trainings that are now available. Advanced Canvas will include video conferencing and advising, creating modules, recording and uploading videos and other important trainings to get the most out of Canvas. Deans and Associate Deans will provide additional information. At the same time, we will also be offering more Canvas training for our students so that everyone can optimize the online experience. Please contact the IT Helpdesk at email@example.com or your supervisor if you run into any issues while teaching or working online.
Software and Tools:
Clearly, faculty and students have asked for software tools to complement online teaching and learning. As difficult as this crisis period will be in our evolution, no doubt it will also serve as a catalyst to develop online and classroom programs that will not have the dividing lines of the past. I believe that BCCC will be among those institutions that will emerge stronger as we unite across all areas to “develop the pedagogical and administrative” vision and tools to realign and reshape our operations. For example, working with Deans and Associate Deans, Vice President Jones has been vigilant in moving the online needle and the shift has prompted the following new software (and, this is just the beginning):
- DocuCare – will provide universal simulation for all nursing and practical nursing courses.
- Shadow Health – will allow for simulations for Nursing and Practical Nursing courses for Mental Health and Leadership.
- VSim Scenario – will support Nursing Fundamentals, Medical Surgical, OB and PEDS and Mental Health.
- Respondus Monitor and Lockdown Browser – Canvas plug-ins will allow faculty to conduct proctored exams in our Allied Health Science programs and in our Math courses.
What will prove to be the largest scale technology change for BCCC is our recent work with the Maryland Department of Information Technology (DoIT) the result of which has positioned the College, even under the confinement of teleworking, to remain on track for releasing the Request for Proposals (RFP) for an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Led by the CIO, Stephan Byam, this will be a huge milestone for the transformation of our student information system, financial management system and human resource information system. More about the ERP will be shared this week.
Virtual Town Hall:
On Wednesday, April 8 at noon, I will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall for all BCCC employees. This will be an opportunity for you to ask questions and share ideas about how to further support our students. I will send a separate email with information and a link to register. You will be able to join via Zoom by video or audio. I look forward to engaging with everyone.
Finally, I’m very happy to report that our student who had tested positive for COVID-19 is doing well and resting comfortably at home.
I hope our faculty had a restful Spring Break. We know there is a great deal of heavy lifting ahead as we push the envelope to change what has been enormously disruptive to technologically progressive. We look forward to seeing the faculty and students back online this coming week. Stay well, engaged, and continue to stay close to home!
Debra L. McCurdy, PhD