This message is a reminder about Advisement Day, which remains scheduled for March 31st.
Advisement Day will only be conducted virtually, with no face-to-face meetings. Advisement Day, especially during this time of uncertainty, is an opportunity to create a sense of community and continuity with our students. As with past practice, courses are not intended to be held on Advisement Day.
Faculty Senate is currently in review of temporarily suspending the grading policy for the spring 2020 term, to provide students the opportunity to self-select the Credit/No-Credit (CR/NC) option at the individual course-level. Advisement information will be located here, regarding CR/NC, as that decision is determined. The decision will be made no later than March 30, 2020.
For those programs that conduct a large-group informational session, a couple of software options are available for holding those events virtually. Microsoft Teams can be accessed via a browser (teams.microsoft.com) or via the App installed through the Software Center. Microsoft Teams allows for sharing documents, asking real-time questions, facilitating video and/or audio interaction, and has a chat feature. Collaborate Ultra is also available as a tool and allows you to use a whiteboard, share files and applications, and create breakout rooms for small group activities and discussions. Individual questions about using Teams or Collaborate Ultra can be answered via a Helpdesk ticket (firstname.lastname@example.org). Virtual training for both options are available through LIT on the training space.
Quick tech tips for group advisement sessions using Teams:
- Try out the technology prior to using it. Holding an initial Teams session with a colleague will allow you to be confident in your ability to deliver the session to a large group.
- Ask everyone in the event to mute their microphone unless they are speaking. If participants are using microphones to ask questions, ask each person to speak directly into the microphone. Additionally, if people wear headphones or earbuds with a microphone, that can cut down on background noise or the need for muting.
- Make any documents that will be needed for the advisement session available in the Team site. These can be uploaded to the “Files” tab.
In addition, individual, virtual advising sessions still need to be held on advisement day or as otherwise normally done in the department or program. These sessions can be conducted by phone, chat, email, Microsoft Teams, or other methods that work for the advisor and the student.
Quick tips for individual advisement sessions:
- Please continue to use what has worked for you in the past regarding conversations with students about courses, careers, and other appropriate topics. Work with Department Chairs and Program Directors to address Internship/Co-op/Field Experience enrollment questions specific to spring and summer 2020 semesters.
- Please reassure students that we are doing everything possible to ensure the continuity of their educational experience. Let them know we are glad they are a UW-Stout student. Encourage them to review UW-Stout’s COVID-19 website for regular updates. There is a section specifically for students on the site. Don’t hesitate to remind them that we are all going through this together, as is the entire nation and world.
- Encourage students to consider summer session, if that would help with their timely degree completion, but make students aware that summer courses will all be conducted by alternative means of delivery. No decision has been made yet about whether any changes will need to be made to the traditional delivery of courses in the fall.
- This link from the National Academic Advising Association has some additional information about online advisement.
- Finally, consider how this might be an opportunity to check-in on students, and connect with them on a personal level. These past few weeks will have felt very isolating, and the chance to interact with an individual in a mentorship capacity could be quite helpful towards improving their overall well-being.