IWS will keep this page updated with the latest information about how the virtual campus/hybrid on-campus session for June 2020 will work.
⊕ How can IWS do an intensive session online?
IWS will use a “virtual campus” in order to convene the June 2020 intensive session. As you know, this move is not only unprecedented in the history of our school, but also a complicated endeavor requiring numerous decisions and details. This event will be academically rigorous and spiritually formative as you would expect from IWS. While nearly every institution in ABHE and ATS is moving to online instruction, IWS is committed to doing so in a way that is “uniquely IWS.” We are not just aiming to make the best of a bad situation, but to make something great.
Chaplain Nancy Nethercott will oversee Morning Chapel, which will be delivered by live stream. We expect to keep the basic format, including music. A live congregation consisting mainly of local staff will participate. Faculty will adapt courses to fit a new “semi-syncronous” model combining presentations (recorded about a day ahead of time) with live video conferencing. Following the session, courses will proceed as they usually do.
For questions about your specific courses (which are now open in Canvas) please contact your professors. For bigger-picture questions, please contact the appropriate IWS staff member or the IWS office.
⊕ What does 'semi-synchronous delivery' mean?
Some portions of the course will be conducted with students and faculty participating together at the same time, as though everyone is in the same place. Some portions of the course will be delivered with videos recorded ahead of time and watched within a window of time. Students will complete the portions of the course prior to and following the intensive asynchronously—on their own schedules (within syllabus due dates, of course).
⊕ What can students expect the virtual classroom to be like?
The IWS board, administration and faculty are working hard to ensure we replicate the IWS on-campus experience. The intensive will still take place during the scheduled dates of June 10-17. You will attend chapel, view presentations from your instructors, and participate real-time in exercises and discussions with your professors, classmates, and even students outside your class. Faculty are adapting their courses for this new model. Demos and tutorials will be provided as the new semester approaches. The total amount of “in-class time” will be the same as if you we were gathered physically in Jacksonville. Dr. Dinelle Frankland, Academic Dean, offers her description of the expected experience here
⊕ What are the operating requirements to participate in the virtual classroom?
This list will be updated when the software decision is finalized, but when you enroll in June you will need to have at least the following:
- A computer, tablet, and/or phone
- Internet access
- For how long? You will need to be able to attend chapel, participate in the live meetings of your course, and to download course materials for each day’s viewing. Students will have the option to download presentations to watch offline and then jump online again for real time interaction.
- Headphones or earphones to prevent feedback
- A microphone (built into a laptop, phone or tablet is fine)
- Time! Students must be prepared to treat June 10-17 as if they were away from their home contexts. The virtual classroom will require each student’s full attention just as if they were on campus. Avoid multitasking.
⊕ How will IWS handle students in different time zones?
We are working on the best way to deal with our timezone differences in order to deliver the optimal experience for each class. We will have more details by mid-May.
⊕ I'm not tech savvy—how will IWS mitigate technical difficulties?
The Technical Services team will be putting together help guides and tutorials as well as conducting technical “check-ins” for students and faculty in advance of the session, to help identify potential problems ahead of time. We will have an expanded team on call during the intensive. We are committed to doing what it takes to make this work well!
All students currently working on a June 2020 practicum may halt that work for the time being. We are considering several ways to move forward with practicum. Kent Walters and Doug Curry will be giving you more specifics in early April.
⊕ What technology exactly will be used? What do students and faculty need to do?
Sam Horowitz, Dinelle Frankland, and others are evaluating specific platforms. Nothing is finalized yet. We will explain what’s required over the next few weeks. Additional technical support staff will be available during the intensive session, and we will put procedures in place to ensure things are working ahead of time.
⊕ What about the current (January '20) semester?
Students who cannot meet the existing deadlines need to contact their instructors and Mark Murray
as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
⊕ Is Graduation canceled?
No, but Commencement has been postponed. Please see this page
for updated information about graduation.
⊕ Did IWS consider cancelling the June 2020 session?
IWS is committed to the mission of the school and to our students’ education. The COVID-19 Response Team felt that cancelling the session would be an abandonment of both. The semi-synchronous virtual campus will allow for students to stay on track with their degree programs, to maintain interactions with faculty and cohorts (often in real time), and to continue to experience many elements of the unique IWS ethos without sacrificing any academic rigor.
⊕ Did IWS consider postponing the June 2020 session?
The options for postponement were limited by such exigencies as our faculty’s teaching obligations elsewhere, our host church’s other scheduled events throughout the rest of the summer, and the required length of an IWS semester. Given the uncertainty surrounding the global trajectory of COVID-19, the Response Team was not confident that postponing the June session would guarantee an on-campus session could still occur any time in 2020. We also needed to leave our students, faculty, and staff enough time to adequately prepare; had we waited too long, an online option may not have been possible at all.