March 20, 2020
As we return to learning next week, we will be guided by two overarching principles. First, we are committed to offering academic excellence to our students even in the face of unexpected change. Second, we will operate with empathy and flexibility, recognizing that the pandemic has created unforeseen challenges for students and teachers alike. We will all need patience, understanding, and support as we transition to a fully online environment.
- For the Spring 2020 semester, we are enacting an important change to our Grading Policy on the Norman Campus (and Norman Campus programs in Tulsa). Effective immediately, all undergraduate and graduate students will be permitted (but not required) to convert any courses to pass/no-pass grading; the College of Law is currently developing a grading policy appropriate to its programs. All courses for which students receive passing (P) grades will count toward degree requirements, which overrides some departmental or college policies. At the end of the semester, all faculty will submit letter grades to the Registrar’s office. Students will have 7 days after the date on which final grades are posted to elect pass/no-pass grading. In recognition that each course’s learning experience will be different, there is no limit on the number of courses students can convert to pass/no-pass grading. Students can make the decision on a course-by-course basis. At the undergraduate level, all grades of D or better in a course would convert to P (Pass). At the graduate level, all grades of C or better in a course for which students elect the pass/no-pass grade will convert to P (Pass). We are working through the logistical details of this process right now, and further guidance about how to elect the pass/no-pass option will be communicated to you in the coming weeks. It will be important that students consider the possible implications of electing the pass/no-pass option (e.g., on admission to graduate programs or external competitions), and our academic advisors are ready to assist students in exploring their best options. Details will be available on http://www.ou.edu/learnanywhere.
- Effective immediately, the date to submit a withdrawal for an automatic grade of W for undergraduate students will be postponed to April 17. We believe that this additional week to make a decision concerning withdrawing from a course will reduce stress and provide more time to receive information to make a wise decision about withdrawing from a course.
- To be ready for remote instruction starting Monday, please review “The Keys to Success” and other information on http://www.ou.edu/learnanywhere/keys-to-success
- As soon as possible, download any software you may need in your courses (http://www.ou.edu/learnanywhere/instructional-technology).
The University offers downloadable versions of MATLAB, Mathematica, SPSS, and a number of other key software programs for students. Additionally, Adobe has offered student Adobe Creative Cloud free for 30 days (https://itscnorman.ou.edu/askit/adobe-student-access/).
- As soon as possible, log into Canvas from home (https://learn.ou.edu/)
This will verify that you have sufficient access to work on Canvas away from campus. Check your messages and update your notification preferences. Please check your email multiple times per day. Communication is essential to success.
- As soon as possible, log into Zoom (https://oklahoma.zoom.us/)
Zoom accounts are created at your first login using your OUNetID and password. All students have access to a basic account. Familiarize yourself with Zoom by setting up a meeting with a peer. Make sure to check your audio and video in Zoom. If you have trouble accessing Zoom video at your home, please let your instructor know and contact 325-HELP for further assistance.
- If you need technology support, call (405) 325-HELP (4357) or visit http://needhelp.ou.edu
We have asked the faculty that they be flexible during this time. Due to the change to online instruction, you should expect that your instructors will make some modifications to their courses and syllabi. They will clearly communicate these to you. Faculty may modify assignments and due dates. Faculty have been informed that they can either continue in real time (synchronous) instruction at the scheduled class time, or may move to a more flexible asynchronous mode of instruction.
We are all in this transition together. We are all adapting to new technologies and new modes of interacting. Our OU culture of respect, positivity, and care for each other will serve us well. I am proud of how everyone in our community is coming together to rise to this challenge. Thank you.
Senior Vice President and Provost
Professor of Classics and Letters
University of Oklahoma