I feel overwhelmed by the amount of technology I feel like I’m supposed to understand right now. Can you help me?

Important note: You do not need to use an arsenal of educational technology to run a successful remote class. Start with the technology you might feel most familiar with, such as email, use this website as a general resource, and feel free to Contact Us.

Additionally, if you are not comfortable using online resources, or if it is impractical to go online because of over-usage, consider completing your classes using the following ideas:

  • Assign your students a research paper; ask them to email you and each other drafts. Ask them to comment on at least two student papers and ask them to submit their own work to you with a cover letter. Assign as many drafts as seems beneficial.
  • Ask students to write for 20 minutes a day on an assigned text and share those reflections with you.
  • Ask students to keep a daily journal.

Am I required to run synchronous/live sessions?

CUNY guidance says that offer live sessions, such as by Zoom, if your course is listed as having meeting times. How and to what extent you use technology and hold live/synchronous meetings is up to you. If you have some listed, please hold synchronous meetings during your original class time (though you don’t have to for all of it). If you do not have synchronous times listed, you may still hold a class meeting that would be optional for students. They could make up missed meetings by viewing a recording and confirming they watched it, for example. Here’s a template for a “Missed Meeting Form” using Google Forms—but you might do this by email, or somewhere else.

What should I do if a student is not responding to my correspondence or joining my live course sessions?

Make sure you have used every contact method you’ve established with your students (and collect their phone numbers). If they are not replying to any modes of contact, including email, phone, and otherwise—contact us. Note that it may take time for the student to reestablish contact with you if their priorities have shifted to care of self or others, relocation, or isolation/quarantine.

How should I change my attendance and grading policies?

The Coronavirus situation has large-scale systemic impacts on people’s movements and abilities to access technology. Please be be flexible with your students. Reach out to them if they do not come to a synchronous meeting, as you are able to budget your time. Provide multiple ways students can catch up with what’s going on in the course (shared notes, peer groups, a Blackboard or Blogs@Baruch page, or other communication technology—for more information visit Keeping in Touch with Your Students).

What should I do if a parent/guardian/relative contacts me asking for my student’s information?

Per FERPA law, please protect the privacy of adult students. This means that parents/guardians/relatives are not permitted to contact instructors for access to their child’s academic records without the child’s written permission.

Who can help me with my individual class needs and technology concerns?

The Baruch Center for Teaching and Learning is the hub for preparing instructors to teach on a Distance Learning model. It also manages Blogs@Baruch and Vocat, and can field questions on these platforms.

The Baruch Computing and Technology Center (BCTC) handles technical questions on several fronts, as opposed to the CTL’s blend of tech and pedagogy. BCTC handles questions about Blackboard and Zoom, for example. Email BCTC with any questions at helpdesk@baruch.cuny.edu.