Here’s a look at some of the updates to Brock University’s COVID-19 response for Thursday, March 19:
As with campuses all across Ontario, the student residences at Brock are closing this week, and students are moving back to their family or permanent homes.
The deadline for students to leave residence is Thursday, March 19 at 6 p.m. and there has been very good co-operation from students, their families, University staff and volunteers as the move out continues.
International students living in residence who cannot return home due to extenuating circumstances will have a place in residence on campus and have been contacted.
Beginning Sunday, March 22, the North Service Desk in Earp Residence will be closed. The South Service Desk located in Lowenberger Residence will remain open 24/7.
DeCew and Lowenberger dining halls will close at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 19 and will operate from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 20. The Tim Horton’s Tower will close at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Starting Saturday, March 21 and until further notice, Lowenberger dining hall will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. as the only food option open on campus.
Public Health guidelines for self-monitoring and self-isolation
The Government of Canada has created a guideline to know the difference between self-monitoring, self-isolation and isolation for COVID-19. Their website includes details on symptoms and an easy-to-use graphic helping Canadians understand at what point they should self-monitor, self-isolate or go into full isolation.
Message to Deans from the Provost
Provost and Vice-President, Academic Greg Finn sent a memo to the Deans of Brock’s seven Faculties Wednesday about the transition to virtual or online learning starting with the resumption of Winter Term on Monday, March 23.
Among the key points:
- The duration of the academic term is not being impacted. Winter Term classes will end on April 3, and the exam period remains unchanged, running in an online-only form from April 8 to 23. Spring term to begin on May 4.
- All academic activities must be carried out virtually through online or alternate delivery methods. This applies to lectures, labs, seminars, tutorials, presentations, tests, exams, etc. There will be no face-to-face contact.
- Faculty are to communicate directly to students, either through Sakai or via class emails, prior to Monday, March 23, information regarding how the course will be completed, with identified adjustments to assessment types/weightings listed on the course syllabus.
- Students are not to be penalized for missed assessments that were due between March 13 and March 23.
Spring/Summer Term information
Brock University will continue its suspension of face-to-face classes and exams for both the upcoming Spring and Summer Terms. Faculty members will deliver all courses, tutorials, seminars and exams online. Students will receive further updates from their instructors closer to the start of the Spring Term.
Course start dates will remain as scheduled, with the Spring Term beginning May 4 and the summer term beginning July 13. The Goodman School of Business will be running its Master of Business Administration and Master of Accounting programs online from April 27 to July 17.
Work-from-home tips for Brock employees
As the Brock community transitions to working remotely, Brock’s Information Technology Services is highlighting some helpful tools available to ensure a smooth shift to this new way of working.
Staff, faculty and students are encouraged to use SharePoint to access Office 365, which includes OneDrive and Microsoft Teams. These applications will enable our community to virtually communicate and collaborate without face-to-face interactions effectively.
For more details about these tools, see this story in the Brock News.
In addition, Human Resources has created a Guide to Temporary Telecommuting Work Arrangements to assist in facilitating a successful transition to work-from-home arrangements. It can be find here.
Tips to keeping children occupied while they’re off school
Trying to get work done at home while keeping children occupied can be quite a challenge. Brock Professor of Educational Studies David Hutchison has compiled a list of suggested activities to keep kids busy and engaged while they’re away from school.
Library closure / Computer lab access
The James A. Gibson Library will be closed as of 5 p.m. Thursday, March 19 but online services will continue to be provided.
The Computer Commons (Fish Bowl) will remain open for use from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends, but the number of computers available will be reduced to 50 in line with Public Health recommendations.
The ITS Help Desk will be hosted in the Computer Commons during those hours. Questions can also be directed to email@example.com
CPI working to help make online transition easier
The Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI) is working to support Brock University instructors in moving their work to alternative forms and has compiled a list of suggestions for teaching and learning. These suggestions incorporate flexibility and individual accommodation in the delivery and assessment of courses.
For a full story about how CPI is helping to ease the transition to virtual learning for faculty and students, see this story in the Brock News.
Mental health supports available for students and employees
As Brock University transitions to online learning for students and many employees work from home, mental health support resources for members of the University community remain available.
Students can access mental health support over the telephone by calling Student Health Services at 905-688-5550 x3243, Community Addictions Services of Niagara at 905-684-1183, Good 2 Talk at 866-925-5454 or Morneau Shepell at 833-276-2533.
All employees can also access immediate support for mental health and other challenges through the Employee and Family Assistance Program, which has been made available to all current Brock employees as part of the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.