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Keep Learning: A Guide to Academic Continuity at Salve Regina

Salve Regina is unwavering in our commitment to academic excellence. Though teaching and learning in a remote environment may be new to many of us, creatively evolving to meet the educational needs of our students is not.

Our goals in this period of disruption are to continue providing you with rigorous and engaging learning experiences, and to extend our student-centered community into the digital realm. We understand that you need support adapting to this temporary remote learning environment. This page provides a centralized location for those resources.

These extraordinary times call for us to fully live our mercy values of excellence, dignity, justice and service. This is a learning opportunity for all members of our community, and we encourage everyone to approach it with patience and generosity.

Academic Advising

Your faculty academic advisor continues to be available to you while you are away from campus. Please email your advisor to arrange a time to select courses and discuss your major, current challenges and future goals. Fall 2020 registration began the week of April 6. Please make sure you have discussed your plans with your faculty advisor. Students who have not yet selected a major should contact exploratory advisor Hannah Cazzetta with any advising questions.

Academic Support

We are committed to your academic success, even while you are away from campus. You have access to academic support remotely, including online tutoring via Smarthinking and virtual services from the Academic Center for Excellence and the Writing Center.

Smarthinking Online Tutoring

Smarthinking online tutoring is temporarily available in Canvas to provide additional academic support while you are away from campus. You can get 24/7 help from experienced tutors for most subjects, as well as skilled writing tutors. You can access Smarthinking from the navigational panel (left side of your homepage) on the Canvas page for each of your courses.  

Writing Center

The Writing Center is offering limited appointments with peer writing consultants online via WebEx. To request an appointment, complete the appointment request form.

Writing partners will continue to support you online. If you are enrolled in a course with a writing partner, you will receive an email from your partner with information about scheduling remote appointments.

Academic Center for Excellence (ACE)

The following academic support is available:

  • Subject tutoring: ACE is offering limited subject tutoring using its own peer tutors via WebEx. Course options may vary from the usual offerings. View current course offerings. You may also email to ask about tutoring for your course(s). To request a tutor, complete the request form or email ace@salve.edu. Instructions for connecting with your tutor online will be included in your appointment confirmation email.
  • Learning and studying strategies: Resources for test-preparation and test-taking, as well as learning strategies specifically related to online learning, are available on the ACE webpages. If you have specific questions about a particular type of learning activity or issue (test-taking hints, managing anxiety, staying on top of organization, etc.) email Dr. Susan Pratt.
  • English language learners: If you are a non-native speaker of English and have questions and concerns about academic English language development, email kiyomi.donnelly@salve.edu. If you are currently taking English for Academic Purposes courses (EAP104, EAP111 and EAP112), see your announcements in Canvas for more detailed information about remote learning assistance.  

Disability Accommodations

You will continue to receive the disability accommodations to which you are entitled during the remote learning period. In some cases, your accommodations may operate differently than what you may be used to (using your home computer's screen reader instead of ours, taking an exam online instead of on paper, etc.). Disability Services will contact you to discuss how the office will work with you and your professors to ensure that your access needs are being met.

Grade and Withdrawal Policies

You may choose to take your courses pass/fail this semester. You may make this choice until Friday, May 1, and we strongly encourage you to wait until that time to make this decision.

This option may or may not be appropriate for you. Students considering graduate or professional school application in select disciplines or students enrolled in majors that maintain accreditation (for example, nursing and education) may not benefit from this option. Therefore, you must consult with your academic advisor before selecting a course pass/fail. After consulting your academic advisor, you must submit a formal request to your professor by email to take a course pass/fail.

Learn more: Considerations for requesting pass/fail for spring 2020 courses

We have also extended the withdrawal date for each course to Friday, May 1. This change in policy is designed to provide you greater flexibility than we have established in our traditional learning environment. You will continue to request a withdrawal through the online form in Etrieve. Consult your advisor before withdrawing from a course, as it may delay your graduation.

Library and Research

McKillop Library staff are available to support you no matter where you are. Are you not sure how to get started with your research project? Having trouble finding sources for your topic? Questions about how to cite? Want to find reliable information about current events?

You can chat, email and videoconference with a librarian to get help. You have online access to hundreds of thousands of e-books and journal articles, as well as streaming videos, and you can request to have articles delivered via email through interlibrary loan. Get in touch with a librarian to help you find what you need more easily.

The library also has access to many new research resources, which are assembled at salve.libguides.com/covid-19 under "Spring 2020 E-resources."

Succeeding as a Remote Learner

The transition to remote learning might feel a bit daunting if you’ve never taken a class online. However, successful online learners rely on many of the same study skills and habits that you’re already accustomed to using in face-to-face classes. With preparation and the right mindset, remote learning can be very rewarding.

Treat online courses like face-to-face courses.

Online courses often allow for more flexibility in terms of when and where you do the work, but the amount of work is the same as it would be for an in-person course. To be successful online, you have to be present and put in the same amount of effort. Here are some helpful habits:

  • Stay updated on your coursework.
  • Log on to Canvas and your email early and often.
  • Ask questions and provide feedback as appropriate.
  • Utilize online office hours and remote academic support just as you would on campus.
  • Build relationships with classmates and professors

Establish daily and weekly schedules.

Some of your courses may hold live sessions at your typical class time, while others may have assignments that you can do at your own pace. To stay on track, make a schedule at the beginning of the week and review it daily for any changes. The more you plan ahead, the more likely you are to stay focused, avoid procrastination and accomplish necessary tasks. Here are a few time management tips:

  • Block off time for class meetings, online assignments, course readings, watching lectures or other videos and completing other work your course requires. If you have a job or other obligations, schedule those plans in your calendar too.
  • Though paper planners work well for some people, using a calendar synced with your mobile device allows you to set reminders and alerts.
  • Even if your course does not meet at scheduled time, it may help to do coursework when you would typically meet in order to stay on track.
  • Include time on your calendar for activities that keep you mentally and physically healthy. By planning time to video chat with friends, use social media or go outside for a walk, you are less likely to get distracted during times you’ve set aside for coursework.

Identify your time bandits and plan around them.

Time bandits steal your time when you need it most. If you’ve ever picked up your phone and lost an hour on social media, you’ve met a time bandit. Time bandits often disguise themselves in appealing packages: friendly conversations, doting pets or well-meaning siblings. When everyone in your household is working from home, this can be especially challenging. Identify your own time bandits in advance and make a plan to avoid them.

Create a dedicated study space and keep it organized.

Find a quiet space without distractions and turn off your phone while working on coursework. Having a dedicated place to work will help you create a routine. This helps your brain switch into study-mode faster.

  • Make sure your study space has access to internet with the minimum bandwidth required for your classes.
  • Gather your books and materials before you start to study.
  • Have headphones handy for remote meetings or discussions.
  • Be attentive to what’s in the background of your workspace during virtual meetings.

Prepare for the unexpected.

Even with the best plan, some features may not function as planned. Create work in an offline document then upload so you have a copy. Consider downloading a course app for your device. Log in to synchronous courses earlier than the posted time should there be any disruptions in access. Notify your professor of any concerns you may have.

Ask for help if you need it.

Moving to a remote learning environment will be different for everyone. You may have learning styles or methods for self-regulated study. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need additional study skills or content support, subject tutors, Writing Center consultants and ACE staff are happy to help identify study strategies that work best for you. Additionally, check out ACE’s learning and study strategies webpage for resources to help you succeed online.

Your Virtual Classroom

Communicating With Your Professors

We understand you have many questions and perhaps a little anxiety about transitioning to remote learning. Your professors have communicated with you to answer to the following questions about each of your courses:

  • How will my professor communicate with me and the class (Canvas or email)?
  • Where will my virtual classroom take place (Canvas, WebEx, etc.)?
  • When will we meet? Will it be synchronous (virtual class meetings during your normally scheduled class times), or asynchronous (virtual assignments, discussions and quizzes take place at your own pace with structured deadlines).
  • What does my professor expect from me in terms of participation/engagement in the course? 
  • What if I need to meet with my professor one-on-one? How will he/she hold office hours?   

Confirm that you have Canvas notifications enabled, learn about Canvas announcements and check your Salve Regina email account regularly.

What Does Remote Learning Look Like?

Your professors have been empowered to adapt their courses to help you meet the intended learning outcomes. We have asked professors to communicate with their department chairs and others about their revised plans. Salve Regina is supporting your professors as they move their classes online to ensure you receive the highest quality academic experience possible.

Each of your courses may operate differently. Common approaches to online learning include:

Synchronous virtual classes: Professors may hold classes at the same day and time that your class would normally meet on campus. Remember that classes are scheduled in the Eastern time zone, so if you are off campus in a different time zone that would cause significant scheduling problems, communicate with your professor right away to work out an appropriate plan.

Synchronous classes could meet via a web conferencing platform like WebEx. Synchronous classes might also take place on Canvas in the form of live chatting or livestreamed lectures. Because each professor will develop a plan that is unique to your class, he/she may incorporate other methods that require your live participation at your regularly scheduled course time.

Asynchronous virtual classes: Professors may use Canvas or other platforms to organize learning experiences you can complete at your own pace and at a convenient time. Though this sort of learning environment allows for flexibility, self-paced instruction still includes regular deadlines for assignments. Professors usually curate learning materials and activities including video lessons or lectures, reading assignments, discussions, quizzes and other activities.

Both synchronous and asynchronous experiences have unique advantages and challenges. Communication with your professors about anticipated technical or other challenges is key. Planning ahead, using time-management tools and getting organized can help you thrive in either environment.