March 17, 2020
Dear Howard University Students,
Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as Howard University has been working tirelessly to respond to the growing spread of the COVID-19 global pandemic. We have been responding to rapidly changing conditions and circumstances, and it has resulted in understandable anxiety and uncertainty. As we continue to respond to assure the safety of our students and community, we will keep you updated and abreast of the latest information. I want to especially thank the faculty who have been making extraordinary efforts to ensure your continued success, particularly during Spring Break.
As you are aware, we are moving instruction to an online and remote environment. As we transition teaching from the traditional face-to-face teaching process to an online and remote method of instruction, we are aware that this will be a significant transition for many of our students. We want you to continue to be successful, and will be implementing a number of processes to assure your success. A significant number of faculty have already been certified to provide instruction online. Additionally, we have been providing training last week, and this week to assist faculty in the transition. We will continue to provide additional support to faculty, to assure that our students receive the high quality education that you deserve.
Blackboard will continue to be the primary Learning Management System (LMS) through this process, and faculty will also be using a variety of software to facilitate your learning. These may include Zoom®, Tegrity®, Google® Twen®, and other products. Your faculty member will be communicating with you shortly to provide additional instruction regarding your courses. In order for you to receive the greatest benefit from online instruction, please note the following guidance;
- Students will be expected to attend classes online during the regularly scheduled class times. We will encourage faculty to be flexible regarding attendance and examination policies for any students who may be ill.
- Participate honestly and fully as you will get out of your education what you put into it. Faculty may be recording attendance, and modifying processes to promote as much engagement as possible.
- Students who requested, and received accommodations will continue to receive them, as much as possible, in an online environment. This is also being communicated to the faculty and Deans.
- Treat an online course like a face-to-face course. Meaning, you will need to have the discipline to participate fully, and show up.
- Hold yourself accountable – set goals that you will follow, be organized, proactive, and self aware.
- Practice time management. You will have additional flexibility with your schedule, but have to be disciplined to participate in classes and study appropriately.
- Create a regular study space and stay organized. Establishing a regular routine will aid in your continued success.
- Eliminate distractions. This might be social media, streaming services, or other impediments to your concentration.
- Understand your learning style – figure out how you learn best.
- Participate actively in the courses.
- Leverage your network of friends, classmates, faculty, and other peers that can help you to be successful.
We understand that these are challenging times for you, our community, our nation, and the world. Please take care of yourselves, and your families. It will be critical that we maintain our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health to overcome this latest adversity. Your health and safety are important to the university – and impact the decisions that are being made institutionally.
We are a resilient community of scholars, and we will get through this challenge together. Best wishes, and God bless.
Excellence in Truth and Service,
Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph.D., R.Ph.
Provost and Chief Academic Officer