I hope you are all keeping healthy and taking care of yourselves! I attended a meeting yesterday where I learned a little bit more about what to expect for this semester, though there is still a lot we don’t know. I’ll  post updates here with the category Online course updates as I learn more. Please continue to check the OpenLab frequently as things are still changing pretty quickly. This is a weird situation and we’ll just all do our best!

Some logistics
  • Classes are cancelled until next Wednesday. Classes will resume online starting next Thursday. This means that our next class meeting (online) is Monday, March 23.
  • I will try to keep as close to our original schedule as possible, though it’s already out of date. I’ll let you know when there are changes.
  • You will need to be “present” during our official class meetings at our normal times, Monday and Wednesday 8:00-9:40am. I’ll let you know what “present” means.
  • I’ll be experimenting with different video conferencing software for our class meetings. It may take some time before we figure out what works best for us, but I’m considering free options only (like Zoom or Google Hangouts, but there’s an interesting option built into Blackboard too). You’ll need a quiet place, a computer and webcam, and internet access during class times so start thinking now how you’ll set things up. It’s possible that if all you have is your smartphone, this will be enough. Please let me know over email if this will be a problem for you and we’ll work something out.
  • I’ll hold virtual office hours at the usual time (Mondays and Wednesdays 9:40 to 10:40am).
  • We don’t know yet how final exams will be impacted. There’s a chance they’ll still be given in person, but we will just have to wait and see how the college and university decide to handle this.
  • We don’t know yet if the drop date, which was set for April 1, will change.
  • We don’t know yet if we’ll have to make up the two classes we’re missing next week. (Sometimes if we miss a class for a snow day or something, we make it up at the end of the semester.)
  • The tutoring centers are investigating ways to offer online tutoring.
  • You all know that I’m not a fan of email! But email will become more important now that we’re not meeting face to face. If you have a question for me that is not private, you are probably not the only one with that question. Please post it on the OpenLab either as its own post or as a comment on one of my posts. If you have a question for me that is private, please send me an email with “MAT 1575” in the subject line. I will try to respond within 24 hours (except on weekends).
Upcoming important dates

These dates and details may change, I just wanted to let you know now what I currently think will work.

  • Next Wednesday, March 18, we will hold a practice class meeting at 8am. I’ll post instructions for this on Monday or Tuesday. We’ll use this practice class meeting to discuss anything we need to discuss, including logistics or any math questions you have. This is the time to resolve all technical difficulties so that we can hold our first class as normal on Monday, March 23.
  • Test #2 is postponed. I don’t know the details yet, but for now I think we will try to have Test #2 on Monday, March 30. I’ll let you know!
  • Due dates for assignments currently in progress have been postponed.
    • Test #1 Solutions are now due Sunday, March 22
    • Test #2 Review is now due Friday, March 25
    • Webwork Improper Integrals is now due on Tuesday, March 24
    • Webwork Taylor Polynomials is now due on Sunday, March 29
  • I would like to give Quiz #5 (which you were supposed to take next Wednesday) online on Wednesday, March 25. I’ll let you know how this will work.
  • I have already posted details about what we were supposed to go over in class next Monday, March 16. Early next week, I will post details about what we were supposed to go over in class next Wednesday, March 18. Please read the links and watch the videos in these posts before class on Monday, March 23. If you have questions about these topics or the corresponding Webwork sets, we can discuss them during our first official online class meeting.

I’d like to stick as close to the original grading scheme as possible, but some things may need to change. You are still expected to earn participation points by

  • participating in OpenLab discussions,
  • participating in the Webwork question-answer forum using the Ask for help button in Webwork,
  • attending virtual office hours,
  • attending online tutoring (once it starts).

I know many of you were already struggling to stay engaged during our 8am lessons. It could end up being an even grater challenge for you now that we won’t be seeing each other in person. If you make a decision now about how you will remain engaged (like scheduling time outside of class time that you will work on your lessons and homework) then I think you’ll be able to turn it around and succeed in the class in this new way. Please let me know if you have any questions!