The Northern Marianas College has suspended face-to-face classes yesterday on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota in an effort to counter the three positive COVID-19 cases in Guam.
Majority of face-to-face classes will transition to online platforms on Wednesday, March 18. The remaining classes will transition by March 23.
According to an email statement from Frankie Eliptico, NMC interim president, NMC has collaborators from all different levels of the community, that include administrators, faculty members, department chairs, and students, in developing a course contingency plan to begin the transition of face-to-face classes to an online platform.
The college will be utilizing Moodle, a private website with online courses for educators [and trainers] to carry out learning goals, with Zoom, which is a video conferencing program that allows multiple participants, features.
“We recognize that not all instructional content can be transitioned quickly or easily to an online environment, and we are identifying alternative plans for those courses or elements of courses,” Eliptico stated.
Eliptico also acknowledged that some instructors and students may need additional assistance in accessing online content, which is why virtual drills will be conducted within the campus community with the use of combined features with Moodle and Zoom.
The drills are intended to enhance and expand student technological skills in the use of online and virtual learning platforms and to establish a smooth transition to an online virtual format.
Instructions on how this will take place and virtual drills schedule were sent yesterday, March 16, 2020.
Virtual drills are scheduled to occur between Wednesday, March 18, 2020 and March 25, 2020, with varying schedules depending on students’ current course scheduled meeting time.
More information about this transition to online will be shared by the leaders of NMC’s Learning and Student Success Division.
According to a statement, all other NMC employees who are not team members, department heads and department chairpersons, did not report to work yesterday.
The University of Guam has also suspended all face-to-face classes yesterday after the confirmed cases were announced last March 15.
“I ask that the UOG community practice strict social distance (6 ft. of distance from other people) and hygiene practices– not just for themselves and our fellow Tritons, but for the sake of the elderly and those with compromised immune sentences,” said Thomas Krise, president of UOG, in a statement.
Kirse mentioned that the UOG community and Tritons are helping with this critical situation and to act in “solidarity and compassion” in order to help everyone overcome this health emergency.