Students completing lost class hours with Saturday classes and additional online content

Category:  News
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 at 5:41 PM
Students completing lost class hours with Saturday classes and additional online content by Macala Leigey

Since the end of the state-wide faculty union strike, life at the 14 Pennsylvania state system universities has returned to normal, with the exception of students having to make up class time that was lost during the three-day strike.

“There are expectations from our regional accreditor, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), that credit hours earned correspond to a certain amount of instruction. At a minimum, we must be able to demonstrate that all course learning objections are met for each course,” said Edinboro University’s Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Michael Hannan.

Hannan continued, “In the case of the strike, the withholding of instructional time was a deliberate action — unlike a weather event — and so we are under more direct scrutiny from MSCHE, and potentially other financial aid auditors, to demonstrate that students received instruction for the full course.”

Hannan also shared that, as a result of the strike, the faculty union and state system came to an understanding that instructional time, and other professionally inclined time, such as office hours, must be made up by faculty members.

“As part of the settlement of the strike, a ‘Memorandum Of Understanding’ was developed between the state system and the faculty union indicating that instructional and other time was to be made up by the faculty,” Hannan said.

He continued, “Each of the 14 universities received guidance from the state system office regarding how that time could be made up and how it should be documented, and that guidance was followed in developing our plan here at Edinboro.”

At Edinboro University, each faculty member has the option of Saturday classes, synchronous and recorded content on D2L, or asynchronous material on D2L as methods of making up missed class time.

The Saturday make up classes are scheduled for Nov. 12, Nov. 19 and Dec. 3. For the synchronous or asynchronous D2L content, faculty will develop online lesson plans for the individual course.

One hundred minutes must be completed for classes that were missed on Oct. 19 and Oct. 21; 75 minutes for courses missed on Oct. 20; and 150 minutes for “one-day-a- week” evening classes missed on any day during the strike.

Regardless of what make-up method professors choose, students have to be included in making the final decision, and faculty members must communicate in writing (to students) how instructional time will be made up.

“The students in your classes must be engaged in coming to a solution for making up missed instructional time. For instance, if your plan is to reschedule a class meeting for a Saturday, your students must be in agreement that they are available on that date; for those who are not, they will need to be provided an alternate means of obtaining the instruction,” stated Hannan in an email sent to faculty about the class make-up process.

Faculty members and students have until Nov. 10 to come to a consensus about what make up method they plan to implement for that individual course.

“In terms of what options faculty have chose, I don’t have that information at this point since the faculty are sending their plans directly to their deans,” Hannan said.

Hannan also shared how faculty members teaching online courses are to go about making up missed class time.

“For those teaching online courses, you will need to document how your modules or schedule of assignments will be modified to ensure that all course competencies and student learning outcomes will be accomplished in the reduced number of days,” stated the email to faculty.

The extra class time and additional online class content will not affect students’ Thanksgiving break, the December graduation, or the length of this semester.

“Both the university administration and faculty want to ensure that students receive a quality education here at Edinboro. So beyond the requirements to make up this time to satisfy needs of our accrediting bodies, it is important that we ensure that students receive the full education that they paid for,” Hannan said.

He continued, “I apologize in advance if some of the rescheduling of instructional time creates inconveniences for the students, but ensuring the integrity of their education here at Edinboro is important and I hope they are understanding.”

Edinboro University Director of Communications Jeffrey Hileman also commented on the making up of class time.

“This is the students’ education that they have paid for and the competencies and learning objectives for which they will earn credit toward their degrees. We’re committed to ensuring that students receive a complete, quality educational experience in the classes they’ve enrolled in this semester regardless of the extraordinary circumstances we’ve just experienced.” 

Macala Leigey is the news editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: strike, apscuf, passhe

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