Academic Bridge Committee Recommendations
- Chair, M.A. Venkataramanan, Vice Provost for Finance and Strategy
- Jeremy Allen, Interim Dean, Jacobs School of Music
- Jamsheed Choksy, Chair of Central Eurasian Studies, Hamilton Lugar School
- Andrea Ciccarelli, Dean, Hutton Honors College
- Dennis Groth, Dean of Luddy School and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
- Mike Courtney, Outreach and Engagement Librarian, IU Libraries
- Stephanie DeBoer, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Media School
- Vesna Dimitrieska, Research Scholar and Coordinator of Global Education Initiatives, School of Education
- Stacy Morrone, Associate Vice President for Learning Technologies, Education and UITS
- Michael Rushton, Professor, O’Neill School
- Ash Soni, Executive Associate Dean of Academic Programs, Kelley School of Business
- Rick Van Kooten, Executive Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
- Chris Viers, Associate Vice President for International Services, Office of the Vice President for International Affairs
The Academic Bridge Committee offers recommendations in response to its four charges:
- Ensure that online programming is available to admitted students who can’t come to campus because of visa or health issues; develop ongoing contingency plans for engagement.
- Evaluate online programming for ongoing students who might be prevented from returning, or where we might want to spread out density.
- Ensure that online programming is available for starting graduate students, who might not be able to come until later in the semester or second semester
- Ensure quality of all programming online.
The committee chose to focus on Scenario 2: Hybrid, since this mode of education would be necessary for its populations of interest—international students, health compromised students, and students with a low risk tolerance who are not able to come to campus—under any of the face-to-face scenarios. With slight changes, the recommendations could be easily adapted to a fully online scenario as well.
Recommendations for Admitted Undergraduate Students Unable to Come to Campus
To ensure that admitted undergraduate students begin their experience at Indiana University Bloomington feeling welcomed, supported, connected to the campus and its community, and positioned for academic and personal success, the committee offers the following recommendations:
- IUB should offer IFS-like courses immediately preceding the fall semester as a distinctive signature IUB experience for interested incoming undergraduate students. These opportunities may be online, F2F, or hybrid, and should provide engaging intellectual content that gives a first experience of learning how to learn at IUB and helps students become aware of relevant IUB learning resources. Ideally, they will be offered by every school. Most would be 1- to 2-week courses of 1-3 credits (included in fall tuition). Some academic units may also choose to offer noncredit experiences.
- To showcase an IUB academic experience for our incoming international students and others unable to come to campus, and to help secure their commitment to IUB, the campus should recruit some of its best faculty to offer fully online IFS-like courses. All class components should be available online in synchronous AND asynchronous formats.
- IUB should set a target goal that at least 50% of class experiences for incoming students are face-to-face. Assuming this is the target goal, faculty should provide accommodations for students who are not on campus to enable them to have educationally engaging online opportunities in place of the face-to-face learning activities (see Recommendation 8 below as well as Ensuring Quality Online Experiences below and recommendations from the Special Class Delivery Issues Committee). Flexibility should be provided to students who prefer online.
- OIS, the College, and VPUE should review IUB’s English language requirements and protocols for international students, to ensure that the process is welcoming, supportive in offering the English language resources students need to succeed, and aligned to be competitive among our BTAA and AAU peers.
- FYE, VPUE and academic units should offer social media platforms/tools to promote student social connections and develop undergraduate cohorts in a remote learning world.
Recommendations for Ongoing Students Prevented from Returning or to Reduce Density
To help returning student engage fully in intellectually fulfilling coursework, maintain connections with the academic community, and advance toward their academic goals, the committee strongly recommends the following:
- In order to reduce classroom density, academic units should ensure on-campus courses adhere to best practices in hybrid education, including the judicious use of in-class time for engaging activities and effective use of online elements (see Ensuring Quality Online Experiences below). For instance, a flipped classroom model should be strongly considered for lecture-based classes. Faculty and departments should be allowed to tailor classes and methodologies to the needs of their disciplines and curricular goals.
- Instructors should be encouraged to make advanced plans to accommodate on-campus students who become ill or must quarantine during the semester.
- Students who plan to be remote the entire semester should be encouraged when possible to enroll in fully online courses. If remote students need to enroll in hybrid courses, instructors should plan methods for engaging remote students in in-classroom aspects of the course (see Ensuring Quality discussion below).
- A Hybrid Flexible (HyFlex) Class model should be considered as an option. With HyFlex, students can choose to attend class face-to-face or online, synchronously or asynchronously. This approach provides flexibility to students who may not be able to attend class in person or participate synchronously. All general inventory and select department-controlled classrooms should be outfitted with the technology required to support the HyFlex model.
Recommendations for Beginning Graduate Students Prevented from Returning or to Reduce Density
To integrate graduate students into the academic life of their discipline, help them develop connections with both faculty and other graduate students, and maintain their enthusiasm for the opportunities that graduate studies at IUB will present, the committee recommends the following:
- Academic units should ensure graduate courses adhere to best practices in hybrid and online education (see Ensuring Quality discussion below), while allowing schools and faculty to tailor classes and methodologies to the needs of their disciplines and graduate studies. In some instances, a class may be more appropriately taught fully online, such as when the class is comprised of a significant number of international students unable to come to campus.
- Academic units should engage graduate students through our partner institutions or Gateway facilities where a critical mass of students reside.
- To continue to foster student interest in coming to IUB, graduate programs are encouraged to offer attractive engagement opportunities for when students are able to come to campus. For example, a) Luddy is developing a 1-credit, transcriptable internship program where companies/partners reserve a slot to have graduate students work on an IT development projects next summer, b) Kelley’s offers a practicum that engages 15-20 MBA/MSIS students in IU projects.
Recommendations for Ensuring Quality Online Experiences
To ensure that we offer the quality of education that students have come to expect from Indiana University Bloomington—even when the format of that education changes—the Committee strongly recommends the following:
- Academic units should strongly encourage all instructors (i.e., faculty of all ranks and graduate students) participate in intensive training in effective online pedagogy, such as Teaching Online Preparation Series (TOPS), or School of Education’s 10-hour training.
- Academic units may require faculty new to online or hybrid education to participate in this or a similar training.
- Academic units are strongly encouraged to require participation of graduate student instructors, with provision to waive training for experienced and effective instructors.
- CITL, VPFAA, and academic units should provide faculty and AIs with a menu of online tools, resources and services, including:
- KeepingTeaching website
- Information Literacy Online Toolkit for instructors—a multi-campus initiative led by IUB librarians
- Modules and webinars by topic and cohort needs (e.g., discussion-based, labs, case studies, lecture, hybrid courses, etc.)
- Individual review of the IU Online Faculty Starter Kit
- Quality Matters rubric and consultations
- Canvas templates for essential class elements for online and hybrid courses
- Consultation with CITL and UITS eLearning Design and Services (eDS) instructional designers
- Academic units should ensure that their faculty meet the following minimum online standards, such as:
- Use of Canvas as the learning management platform for all online and hybrid courses
- Use of technology and equipment resources best suited to meeting instructional needs and curricular goals (see Academic: Special Class Delivery Issues report for requirements)
- Recorded lectures
- Asynchronous opportunities for students unable to be on campus, in a different time zone, or with internet connection issues
- Closed captioning of lectures, wherever possible (Note: Kaltura has an automated closed captioning transcript which can be edited for more precision.)
- Continue to explore the best way to administer exams and other assessments in hybrid and online formats based on course assessment goals. While preserving the integrity of the exam system, instructors should make reasonable accommodations for students taking exams in different time zones, students with internet access challenges, etc.
- Academic units, in collaboration with the IU Office of Online Education, will develop a strategy for proctored exams in time for fall courses.
- Academic units should enlist faculty with online experience to mentor faculty new to online teaching. Faculty mentors may be found within the academic unit or through the IU Faculty Academy on Excellent in Teaching (FACET).
- Academic units should ensure that graduate students with instructional responsibilities have full access to technical support and the technologies required to fulfill their responsibilities.
- Working in partnership with IU Studios and CITL, VPFAA, the Graduate School, and academic units should develop a messaging campaign encouraging use of the training series, webinars, Quality Matters, consultation services, and other online resources. Separate messaging campaigns should be designed for faculty and graduate students.
- The Committee recommends (#2 above) that IUB set a target goal that at least 50% of class experiences for incoming students be face-to-face. While the Committee believes this is an appropriate aspiration, it may not be feasible given public health guidance to reduce exposure for both students and faculty as well as student and faculty comfort levels with face-to-face teaching and learning. The Committee suggests that the Restart Committee, the Personnel Committee, and the Executive Group consider the 50% target in the context of these other factors.
- The Hy-flex model (#8) can accommodate students’ preferred learning modality yet may raise new issues for deans and faculty to consider. For instance, should students be able to move seamlessly between attending F2F or remotely, or should there be a deadline for them to decide which modality they choose (barring illness that may require a change)? If a class ends up with only a few students attending F2F, should faculty be able to change to remote only instruction?
The recommendations outlined above should allow Indiana University Bloomington to begin the Fall semester under a hybrid scenario. Most of the suggestions will be appropriate for a fully online scenario as well (assuming appropriate revisions are made to courses to reflect best practices in fully online education). These recommendations are subject to modification based on guidance from the Restart Committee, and the Academic Bridge Committee members stand ready to reconvene to provide additional input as needed.