The BCIT COVID-19 Emergency Operations Committee, with members representing functions across the Institute including Academic programs, has been working to develop a plan to transition BCIT’s applied educational programming to remote learning. Given the hands-on and practical nature of BCIT’s unique and industry-based programming, this transition has been complex and multi-faceted. It will begin this week, as outlined below.
Given BCIT’s complexity, this transition will occur on an as-possible basis to ensure our students’ academic goals are respected, our technology is available and effective and — most importantly — that we protect the ongoing health and wellbeing of our community during this unprecedented pandemic situation.
The Provincial Health Officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control continue to advise that the threat to residents of B.C. and Canada is low, and so this is a voluntary and proactive measure.
We understand that this is a significant change in our program delivery and there will be questions and details to be determined as this rolls out. We ask for and appreciate your patience as we deliver on this transition in this rapidly evolving situation. I’d like to thank everyone working on this transition for your commitment and extraordinary efforts. Instructions for students, faculty and staff are below and will be supplemented over time.
Instructions for students
Full-Time Technology Programs
We will begin by transitioning many of our full-time programs to online classes effective Wednesday, March 18. To facilitate this transition, full-time program classes will be suspended for two days on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17. Students in these programs should not come to class on Monday or Tuesday and will receive instructions for online learning to begin on Wednesday.
We have also suspended all part-time studies programs, and will ensure that current part-time studies students will still have an opportunity to complete courses they are currently enrolled in through revisions to assessment practices. Details for current part-time students will be provided by email in the coming days. Those enrolled in future part-time studies programs will also receive information directly as determined in the coming weeks.
At this time, accrediting bodies are assessing alternate delivery of trades courses as an option. We will be cancelling related classes on Monday and Tuesday while we assess the need to delay, cancel or have an alternative delivery method for these courses. Students will receive an email from their Chief Instructor on next steps before Wednesday.
Instructions for faculty and staff
Faculty members will hear directly from their Dean or Associate Dean regarding instructions for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding through this significant transition.
Full-time Technology Programs
All scheduled classes for Monday and Tuesday will be cancelled to allow transition and preparation time to bring courses into an online format. As of Wednesday, please be prepared to communicate with students through the learning hub and provide an overview of how the remainder of the course will be delivered. The Learning and Teaching Centre are developing resources and will work to support faculty through this transition.
All face-to-face classes scheduled in the Winter 2020 part-time studies term are suspended. Recognizing that there are two to three weeks left in most of these courses, part-time studies faculty will be asked to review learning outcomes achieved to date and assess what alterations can be made to enable a final course grade to be issued. We will communicate with you separately regarding possible options, which may include online final examinations, altering the weighting of assessment components or substituting an alternate assessment for the final exam.
Faculty who have accepted contracts to teach in the Spring/Summer 2020 term will receive communication in the coming weeks regarding delivery plans for those courses.
Where we have part-time studies courses delivered during the day in a cohort or similar format and which are not ending in the next few weeks, we will work with you to move the course delivery online as with full-time technology programs.
At this time, accrediting bodies are assessing alternate delivery of trades courses as an option. We will be cancelling related classes on Monday and Tuesday while we assess the need to delay, cancel or have an alternative delivery method for these courses. Instructors should expect a communication from their Associate Dean regarding next steps for the coming week.
Campuses will remain open as operations and support services will continue. The EOC is also developing a contingency plan to enable staff and services in feasible functions to work remotely should that become necessary. In the meantime, staff will work onsite as usual.
We will continue to provide updates to students, faculty and staff directly by email and on our bcit.ca/breakingnews webpage.
– Kathy Kinloch, President, BCIT