Google Classroom to Transition to Online: A COVID-19 Response

By Davin K. Kubota

Davin Kubota, after surveying his classes, sent the following announcement to his students in preparation for the University of Hawaii’s move to online instruction for all classes beginning 23 March 2020, the day after spring recess. He also suggests ways to personally cope with the pandemic. -Editor

Based on your survey responses, here is what’s going to go down from March 23 to …? (I’m not sure UH President David Lassner will let us come back to school on April 13 if the coronavirus is still out of control in Hawai’i).

1. GoogleClassroom remains the core source of information and coursework upload.

2. Zoom will be used to accommodate those students who wish to live-conference with me virtually. My online office hours will be scheduled from 10 am to 1 pm Monday through Thursday. I will create signups for Office Hours accordingly. (Discord has too many privacy concerns.)

3. Attendance online will not be taken. You will be responsible for checking GoogleClassroom for applicable lectures and PDFs. Class will be conducted asynchronously rather than synchronously, freeing up your time but making you responsible for doing your work at your own pace and at your own time. Revisions, too, should be addressed at your own pace and with my commentary. (I may decide to remove attendance altogether as a grading criterion. Those of you who showed up regularly until now will likely receive bonuses. I need to check with my department chair to see if I can do this.) 

4. Lectures will be uploaded and streamed on GoogleClassroom via Loom. I will be taping my online lectures and posting them for each unit. Please decide whether or not these resources are useful.

5. The amount of work will not decrease or increase because, even before COVID-19 struck, I deliberately lessened class workload over time. Instead, I will probably offer bonus (extra-credit) assignments so that COVID-19 can also be a teaching moment rather than something that scares you.

6. Email and texting (XXX) XXX-XXXX remain options for those of you who require more privacy.

7. I recommend, highly, that you stay home and assist in flattening the curve of infected individuals. Since the vast majority of you indicated that you have “decent” wireless and cellphones/computers, there is no reason for you to go to the library or StudyHub. Also, I do not think you should expose yourself or your family to the virus (there’s no way to know if it is on campus). Also, I do believe that the cafeteria will be closed and food options will become very limited.

8. Create your own daily schedule and routine. I plan on trying to exercise at home (Ring Fit, Zumba, and stretching) from 7 am to 9 am, eat breakfast, and then, after my virtual Office Hours, grade your work or play Nintendo Switch or swim in my pool. I also plan on doing yoga and meditating to deal with the stress of a global pandemic.

9. If you read a college-level novel/nonfiction book during this break and do a 1-page analysis about it (on any topic you want), I will give you 50 points HW bonus since I don’t want your brain to rot. If you need book recommendations, I have hundreds. (Maybe avoid reading about viral pandemics?)

10. Keep calm and carry on. Sure, you don’t want to go out and get coughed on, but please remember, we are in this together. Everything I taught you is now useful and relevant: using internal locus of control to manage what you can, not caving in to your fear but using your logic and passion to know exactly what you need to do even in stressful times.

11. Stay safe and be well. Wash your hands. Maintain a safe distance from others who are sneezing or coughing.

Links
Zoom
Zoom: Joining a Meeting
Online Student’s Manual for Success
Dr. Virus Prescribes
COVID-19 Daily Schedule

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