Keep Teaching: Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve compiled some of the most common questions we are asked about multiple modalities and remote teaching. You may email us with additional questions.

Getting Started

What if I forgot my Merrimack password?

Please visit password.merrimack.edu to reset your password.

What if I forgot my Apple ID or need to create one?

Check the Apple Website for help.

Where can I find links to all of Merrimack’s Google services?

You can find MackApps here.

My device battery life is depleting quickly. What can I do?

Keep your device charged and plugged in while hosting your video calls.  Video can be a big battery drain.

Should I use the Blackboard app?

No. We recommend using the Chrome browser for easy and complete access to your course. 

What browser should I use?

We recommend the Chrome browser unless directed otherwise. Please be sure your browser is updated.

How can I scan and upload readings that are accessible to Blackboard Ultra?

Use Adobe Scan and Acrobat from your iPad. Download both apps and be sure to sign in using your Merrimack email - “click sign in with Google” when registering, then choose “school or business account” (as opposed to a personal account).  All Merrimack faculty have access to Adobe through Merrimack College. Then you can scan accessible documents and share them with students. Here is a helpful link to learn more.

Is there a way to work offline when using a mobile device?

Yes, you can enable Google Docs offline. If you are a Microsoft user you can work offline too. You can download articles, presentations, and scanned items directly to your computer saving them to your hard drive. If you are using an iPad you can find your downloads in “Documents”. If you use One Drive, check here. For Drop Box click here.

Student Engagement 

How do I encourage student engagement in the multimodal classroom?

  • Review your attendance and participation statements and make clear your expectations for engagement
    • How will your attendance policy read in a multimodal environment?
    • What does participation look like in a multimodal environment? How will it be assessed? 
  • Passionately explain why such engagement is important/valuable
  • Rediscover student introductions in the LMS having students upload text, audio, or video-based content
  • “Warm Call” students regularly (In other words, give students a heads up before calling on them. An example: Before class have students respond to a question related to the assigned readings and have them post to Blackboard. As you prepare for class, scan the questions. Email individual students and let them know you appreciated their insightful comment and would like them to share their thoughts with the class)
  • Use Think, Pair, Share as a form of active learning
  • Send emails to anyone that didn’t engage in the first session, expressing interest in hearing from them in the second
  • Use polls/shared documents/brief writing exercises/chat to help them draw out their ideas, then call on them to expand (this doesn’t feel as high pressure as a “pure” cold call).
  • Use group work before or during class to prime the discussion

How can we create a multimodal experience that promotes student engagement across modalities?

Consider a flipped class model by providing all information asynchronously online to everyone then bring half the class in each class period for activities, homework help, and questions. In addition to creating learning experiences for students needing to meet learning goals asynchronously, keep track of in-class learning activities such as questions asked or assign a student to do this and post to your LMS for the other half of the class not present.

How can I engage students with course content?

  • Design active learning experiences where you talk less and students engage more
  • Create, curate and engage through video - your creations, other experts, and student creations (89% of remote students find video and presentation tools “helpful or very helpful” for their learning)
  • Create audio voice-overs using Keynote, Powerpoint, Explain Everything, or Google Slides
  • Use Panopto to create interactive mini-lectures that can include quizzing and discussions (and are captioned) and lead to students “doing” something
  • Explore how engagement-driven mobile applications differ from information-driven ones. A few to consider: Google Suite, FlipGrid, Jamboard, Notability, Padlet, Socrative, Explain Everything, iMovie, Quizlet, Khan Academy, Calculators, news sources, Linkedin Learning, Due, Remind, MyStudyLife, TED, EasyBib
  • Open Educational Resources (OER) can enhance affordability (the McQuade staff can assist you with OER)
  • Several publishers currently integrate with Blackboard Ultra including McGraw Hill, Cengage, and Soomo (check with the CETL for other publisher integrations)
  • Caption all videos that you plan to show for accessibility of all learners

How do I promote student success through course design and faculty presence?

  • Create a faculty presence in the LMS that includes a picture, bio, and video introduction if possible (e.g. who you are and what drives your passion for your field
  • Design a “Start Here” module that includes information on the general workflow of your course; include a lead in to the course that inspires, connects, and/or engages; use video to explain how to navigate the course in all modalities
  • Organize your course by weeks, themes, modules or other intuitive structure
  • Create multiple ways for your students to get to know each other and interact
    • Include three discussion forums for 1) Introductions; 2) General Questions (Water Cooler), and 3) Content-based learning activities
    • Learn to use the breakout room features of Zoom or Collaborate to encourage collaboration among students
  • Create a plan to get to know your students by: 
    • Sending them a pre-course brief survey that includes the question: “Is there anything about you that you’d like to share with me so that I can best support you as a student?”
    • Using their names
    • Modeling sharing pronouns
    • Sending them a “Keep, Stop, Start” survey prior to midterm where you invite students to list one thing they want you to keep doing, one they want you to stop doing, and one they want you to start
  • Determine how you will hold office hours (76% of remote MC students find them valuable!). Will you use Zoom, Collaborate, Google Meet, Facetime?
  • Set up your grade book for the semester
  • Check the Water Cooler discussion forum daily
  • Respond to emails within 24 hours or inform the students if this cannot be accomplished
  • Provide feedback on assignments within one week of their submission or inform the students if this cannot be accomplished
  • Consider reviewing this quick CETL resource for Creating an Interactive Digital Environment and analytics for remote student engagement using the LMS

HyFlex 

What are the four fundamental values of the HyFlex model?

The hybrid flexible, or HyFlex, course format is an instructional approach that combines face-to-face (F2F) and online learning. HyFlex course design is built upon four fundamental values:

  1. Learner Choice: Provide meaningful alternative participation modes and enable students to choose between participation modes
  2. Equivalency: Provide learning activities in all participation modes which lead to equivalent learning outcomes
  3. Reusability: Utilize artifacts from learning activities in each participation mode as “learning objects’ for all students
  4. Accessibility: Equip students with technology skills and equitable access to all participation modes

To prepare for HyFlex modality, review the learning activities in your course and consider how you might facilitate learning in different modalities. Remember, all undergrads and faculty have iPad. Graduate students can use a device of choice (smartphone, tablet, laptop). 

Zoom: Basics

I’m having trouble with my Zoom connection. What should I do?

Because video consumes additional bandwidth and battery life,  you may need to connect with an ethernet cable. We also recommend you shut off video and work only in audio.

My device battery life is depleting quickly. What can I do?

Keep your device charged and plugged in while hosting your video calls.  Video can be a big battery drain.

I cannot connect my audio so others can hear me. What should I do?

Make sure that your “Mute” is toggled off. Be sure to share your audio when joining the meeting. 
In Zoom look to the menu at the bottom and tap “Join Audio”.
In Collaborate, follow the prompts and be sure to “allow audio” and “allow video” when joining a meeting.

I cannot hear others in the meeting. What should I do?

First verify that your speakers are plugged in, turned on, and turned up. Verify that the moderator is sharing sound and allowing others to share sound. Can others hear? Verify that your computer is set to use the correct output device and not muted. 
It is a good practice to test your audio prior to joining a meeting. Click here for Zoom instructions. Click here for Collaborate instructions.

How do I join a Zoom meeting and configure audio and video?

Where can I find instructions on how to use Zoom?

It is important to activate the Zoom Enterprise account through the link sent to your email. This link brings you to Zoom Enterprise, which has more features. This is essential as it allows for longer sessions, breakout rooms and other tools. Click on the links below and share instructions with your students if necessary.

How do I use virtual backgrounds?

Where can I watch your training videos on remote technologies?

Please go to our Keep Teaching webpage to watch our training videos.

How do I change the video layout in Zoom?

Should I provide transcripts and captions of audio and video? 

Yes. Doing so benefits not only students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, but those who are participating in classes in noisy locations, those who don’t have headphones, and those who might have English as their second language. 

  • For class discussions, have students participate in the collaborative production of notes or live-type discussion notes in a shared Google document.
  • For live sessions: YouTube offer automatic captioning that, while imperfect, can increase access. 
  • For offline, recorded sessions: Zoom does not offer live-captioning, but captions are available if a Zoom session is recorded and viewed later. Panopto video service imports auto captions. 
  • Provide narrations of the material you’re presenting on the screen (for example, describing a diagram, chart, or photograph) for students who are blind, have difficulty reading on a computer screen, or who are otherwise unable to view the video or slides.

Should I record my online sessions?

Yes. Recordings can be downloaded to your computer and are then available to post for those students who cannot attend due to illness, time zone differentiations, etc. Additionally, recording sessions will assist us in documenting hours of instructional time necessary for external accreditors. Zoom and Collaborate all record.

What is Zoombombing?

Zoombombing is a new form of trolling in which an unwanted or unwelcome participant uses Zoom’s screensharing feature to interrupt and disrupt meetings and classes. Please visit our Zoombombing Resources page for more information. 

Can I still see my students when I am screensharing on Zoom?

Yes, you can! Go to this link for more information. 

Do I need to obtain written consent from my students to record on Zoom or Collaborate?

Online Class Recordings Including Only the Professor

A recording of an online class that contains only the professor:

  1. does not require student consent and
  2. can be made available as a reasonable accommodation (or otherwise as necessary).

If the recording (either by video or audio) includes only the professor (and the professor has consented to the recording), there are no legal implications that would require students in the course to consent to the recording. If a recording includes only the professor, it is not a student record and FERPA does not limit its use. Additionally, Massachusetts state law would not prohibit the professor from recording him/herself and distributing the recording to students in the course who require it as a reasonable accommodation. 

Online Class Recordings Including Professor and Student Participation

A recording of an online class that contains the professor and student participation:

  1. does not require student consent and
  2. can be made available to those students enrolled in the course who are entitled to it as a reasonable accommodation (or otherwise, if necessary).

If the recording includes student participation, FERPA does not limit or prevent its use and does not require obtaining consent as long as the recording is made available only to those students enrolled in the course. Additionally, student consent to the recording of their participation in the class is not required under Massachusetts law, specifically the Massachusetts Wiretap Act. The recording of the course, including student participation, is not being made in “secret” as both the students and the professor have actual knowledge of the recording. 

How can I share my Zoom recordings in Blackboard?

After you launch Zoom, you will see a record button. There is an arrow next to the record button. Pushing the button gives you two choices: Record to Cloud or Record to Computer. Select Record to Cloud. As soon as your meeting has ended, your video will begin rendering. You will be able to get a shareable link on Zoom.us - My Account - Recordings. This is the link you should place in your Blackboard class.  

What are Zoom whiteboard features?

The whiteboard feature allows everyone to edit at the same time. It is activated when you screen share. It takes some getting used to but is a nice tool to have for spontaneous sharing

Can I still use Team Based Learning (TBL) in my remote classroom?

While we are encouraging faculty to “keep things simple” during this time of disruption, you could use the break out rooms in Zoom and Collaborate for the purposes of group and team-based work.

Zoom: Advanced

How do I facilitate breakout rooms on Zoom or Collaborate?

Divide students into small groups of 3-4 students using the Breakout Room function on Zoom or Collaborate. You can randomly group students by choosing the “automatic” option to place them in breakout rooms, or you can put them in specific groups using the “manual” function (you select certain users for each room). Then, you can move into the rooms and float between them to check in on the discussions and answer questions.

Tip: Students can create co-constructed products demonstrating their learning using Google docs or other collaborative tools.

How do I encourage my students to think, pair up and share ideas in Zoom or Collaborate?

While in a Zoom/Collaborate class, provide a prompt and pair students up. Have them use the private chat function to discuss their answers, and then share out in the whole group.

I want to 1) bring remote students using Zoom, 2) record my instruction, and 3) use my iPad for class activities (document sharing, whiteboard, collaboration). How do I do this?

To Zoom in all students, face to face and remote (all students see each other):

  1. Log into Zoom with your iPad (stand available to capture live events)
  2. Connect your lapel microphone to the iPad
  3. All students log into Zoom using iPad or laptop - with no audio
  4. Designate 1 student to monitor the chat
  5. Share your screen in Zoom
  6. Airplay your iPad screen to the projector/TV
  7. Hit record and begin your lesson

To Zoom in remote students only (in-class students see remote students):

  1. Log into Zoom with your iPad (stand available to capture live events)
  2. Connect your lapel microphone to the iPad
  3. Designate 1 student to log into their Zoom account (no audio) and monitor the chat
  4. Share your screen in Zoom
  5. Airplay your iPad screen to the projector/TV
  6. Hit record and begin your lesson

I want to 1) bring remote students using Zoom, 2) record my instruction, and 3) use the laptop/PC for class activities (document sharing, whiteboard, collaboration). How do I do this?

To Zoom in all students, face to face and remote (all students see each other):

  1. Log into Zoom with the classroom laptop or PC
  2. Connect your lapel microphone to the laptop or PC
  3. All students log into Zoom - with no audio
  4. Designate 1 student to monitor the chat
  5. Share your screen on Zoom
  6. Project your screen to the projector/TV
  7. Hit record and begin your lesson

To Zoom in Remote Students Only (in-class students see remote students):

  1. Log into Zoom with the classroom laptop or PC
  2. Connect your lapel microphone to the laptop or PC
  3. Designate 1 student to log into Zoom (no audio) and monitor the chat
  4. Share your screen on Zoom
  5. Project your content to the projector/TV
  6. Record and begin your lesson

To Zoom in remote students (remote students can see the classroom):

  1. Log into Zoom with the classroom laptop/desktop
  2. Log into Zoom with your iPad (and place in stand pointing outward towards class, visual for remote students)
  3. Designate 1 student to log into Zoom (no audio) and monitor the chat
  4. Share your screen on Zoom
  5. Airplay your screen to the projector/TV
  6. Record and begin your lesson

I want to 1) bring remote students using Zoom, and 2) record my instruction of writing on the whiteboard. How do I do this?

You will need two devices, both logged into Zoom, for this solution. Decide the focus of your instruction and do the following:

  • Place the iPad in the stand
  • Position the iPad and stand about 4 feet away from where you will be whiteboarding
  • Check your range of capture, defining the 4 parameters and stay within those lines
  • Be sure to use new black markers and check for glare.

Second, connect your devices:

  1. Log into Zoom with the classroom laptop/desktop
  2. Log into Zoom with your iPad in stand (see positioning instructions above)
  3. Connect your lapel microphone to the iPad
  4. Designate 1 student to log into Zoom with their account (no audio) and monitor the chat
  5. Hit record on the laptop and begin your lesson

Collaborate

How do I facilitate breakout rooms on Zoom or Collaborate?

Divide students into small groups of 3-4 students using the Breakout Room function on Zoom or Collaborate. You can randomly group students by choosing the “automatic” option to place them in breakout rooms, or you can put them in specific groups using the “manual” function (you select certain users for each room). Then, you can move into the rooms and float between them to check in on the discussions and answer questions.

Tip: Students can create co-constructed products demonstrating their learning using Google docs or other collaborative tools.

How do I encourage my students to think, pair up and share ideas in Zoom or Collaborate?

While in a Zoom/Collaborate class, provide a prompt and pair students up. Have them use the private chat function to discuss their answers, and then share out in the whole group.

I want to 1) bring remote students using Collaborate, 2) record my instruction, and 3) use my iPad for class activities (document sharing, whiteboard, collaboration). How do I do this?

To Collaborate in all students, face to face and remote (all will be present):

  1. Open a Chrome browser and login to Blackboard
  2. Access your Collaborate link with your iPad (if prompted to open in Safari, do so) (iPad stand available to capture live events)
  3. Connect your lapel microphone to the iPad
  4. All students log into Collaborate using iPad or laptop - with no audio
  5. Designate 1 student to monitor the chat
  6. Share your screen or files
  7. Airplay your iPad screen to the projector/TV
  8. Hit record and begin your lesson

To Collaborate in remote students only (in-class students see remote students):

  1. Open a Chrome browser and log into Blackboard
  2. Access your Collaborate link with your iPad (if prompted to open in Safari, do so) (stand available to capture live events)
  3. Connect your lapel microphone to the iPad
  4. Designate 1 student to log into their Collaborate account (no audio) and monitor the chat
  5. Share your screen or files
  6. Airplay your iPad screen to the projector/TV
  7. Hit record and begin your lesson

I cannot connect my audio so others can hear me. What should I do?

Make sure that your “Mute” is toggled off. Be sure to share your audio when joining the meeting. 
In Zoom look to the menu at the bottom and tap “Join Audio”.
In Collaborate, follow the prompts and be sure to “allow audio” and “allow video” when joining a meeting.

I cannot hear others in the meeting. What should I do?

First verify that your speakers are plugged in, turned on, and turned up. Verify that the moderator is sharing sound and allowing others to share sound. Can others hear? Verify that your computer is set to use the correct output device and not muted. 
It is a good practice to test your audio prior to joining a meeting. Click here for Zoom instructions. Click here for Collaborate instructions.

Where can I watch your training videos on remote technologies?

Please go to our Keep Teaching webpage to watch our training videos.

Where can I find instructions on how to use Blackboard Collaborate?

Click on the links below and share instructions with all of your students. Ask all participants to review and test their computers and volume ahead of time. Zoom and Collaborate can deplete battery life quickly. Remember to keep devices charged and updated.

Should I record my online sessions?

Yes. Recordings can be downloaded to your computer and are then available to post for those students who cannot attend due to illness, time zone differentiations, etc. Additionally, recording sessions will assist us in documenting hours of instructional time necessary for external accreditors. Zoom and Collaborate all record.

Do I need to obtain written consent from my students to record on Zoom or Collaborate?

Online Class Recordings Including Only the Professor

A recording of an online class that contains only the professor:

  1. does not require student consent and
  2. can be made available as a reasonable accommodation (or otherwise as necessary).

If the recording (either by video or audio) includes only the professor (and the professor has consented to the recording), there are no legal implications that would require students in the course to consent to the recording. If a recording includes only the professor, it is not a student record and FERPA does not limit its use. Additionally, Massachusetts state law would not prohibit the professor from recording him/herself and distributing the recording to students in the course who require it as a reasonable accommodation. 

Online Class Recordings Including Professor and Student Participation

A recording of an online class that contains the professor and student participation:

  1. does not require student consent and
  2. can be made available to those students enrolled in the course who are entitled to it as a reasonable accommodation (or otherwise, if necessary).

If the recording includes student participation, FERPA does not limit or prevent its use and does not require obtaining consent as long as the recording is made available only to those students enrolled in the course. Additionally, student consent to the recording of their participation in the class is not required under Massachusetts law, specifically the Massachusetts Wiretap Act. The recording of the course, including student participation, is not being made in “secret” as both the students and the professor have actual knowledge of the recording. 

How can I share my Collaborate session in Blackboard?

Students can check for recordings in the Details and Actions section of the course homepage. Click the three dots to the right of Blackboard Collaborate to view all recordings. You can also email or post the link as well.

What are Collaborate whiteboard features?

The whiteboard feature allows everyone to edit at the same time. It is activated when you screen share. It takes some getting used to but is a nice tool to have for spontaneous sharing

Can I still use Team Based Learning (TBL) in my remote classroom?

While we are encouraging faculty to “keep things simple” during this time of disruption, you could use the break out rooms in Zoom and Collaborate for the purposes of group and team-based work.

Panopto

Where can I watch your training videos on remote technologies?

Please go to our Keep Teaching webpage to watch our training videos.

Should I provide transcripts and captions of audio and video? 

Yes. Doing so benefits not only students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, but those who are participating in classes in noisy locations, those who don’t have headphones, and those who might have English as their second language. 

  • For class discussions, have students participate in the collaborative production of notes or live-type discussion notes in a shared Google document.
  • For live sessions: YouTube offer automatic captioning that, while imperfect, can increase access. 
  • For offline, recorded sessions: Zoom does not offer live-captioning, but captions are available if a Zoom session is recorded and viewed later. Panopto video service imports auto captions. 
  • Provide narrations of the material you’re presenting on the screen (for example, describing a diagram, chart, or photograph) for students who are blind, have difficulty reading on a computer screen, or who are otherwise unable to view the video or slides.

What is the Panopto video platform and Merrimack’s Panopto terms of use?

One of the key online communication technologies available to Merrimack College faculty and students to assist in maintaining continuity of education during remote teaching and learning is the Panopto Video Platform (“Panopto”). Panopto is a video hosting service that faculty and students can use to record and upload lectures, narrated slide presentations and other content.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 virus necessitating a transition from on-campus to online learning at Merrimack College, all students will be granted access and permitted to create and upload content using the Panopto platform during the remainder of the spring 2020 academic semester.

All students creating and uploading content in Panopto are bound by Merrimack College policies, including the Acceptable Use Policy for Technology in the Student Handbook, as well as Panopto’s Terms of Service.

Merrimack faculty must instruct students on this policy and post the language below inside their Blackboard or Google Classroom shell.

Faculty are responsible for ensuring that any and all content created and uploaded by students in their courses complies with Merrimack College policies and Panopto’s Terms of Service. 

Acceptable Use Policy (to be posted)

  • DO use Panopto to:
    • Upload course-related work
    • Build unique content and collaborate with peers.
  • Do NOT Use Panopto to:
    • Upload content that is illegal in any way
    • Store files for personal or commercial reasons that are not affiliated with Merrimack College
    • Upload content that is not meant to be shared publicly, or content that could “go viral”
    • Post content that is hateful, derogatory or otherwise harmful

Merrimack College has the right to remove student content from Panopto if it is deemed to violate any policies set forth by Merrimack College or Panopto’s Terms of Service. Content that is hateful, derogatory or violates Merrimack College’s Student Handbook, or other policies or procedures is not permitted and will be subject to further action. Faculty are directed to the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning’s (CETL) Continuity of Education website for more information on Panopto.

How do I record my powerpoint lectures with voice and post them for students to watch?

  • You can do this using Panopto, on a PC or a Mac
  • Steps to add narration to your PowerPoint
  • Steps to add narration to your Keynote

I want my students to record videos. Should they use Panopto?

Students can now use Panopto. All students creating and uploading content in Panopto are bound by Merrimack College policies, including the Acceptable Use Policy for Technology in the Student Handbook, as well as Panopto’s Terms of Service.

Merrimack faculty must instruct students on this policy and post the language below inside their Blackboard or Google Classroom shell.

Faculty are responsible for ensuring that any and all content created and uploaded by students in their courses complies with Merrimack College policies and Panopto’s Terms of Service. 

Acceptable Use Policy (to be posted)

  • DO use Panopto to:
    • Upload course-related work
    • Build unique content and collaborate with peers.
  • Do NOT Use Panopto to:
    • Upload content that is illegal in any way
    • Store files for personal or commercial reasons that are not affiliated with Merrimack College
    • Upload content that is not meant to be shared publicly, or content that could “go viral”
    • Post content that is hateful, derogatory or otherwise harmful

Merrimack College has the right to remove student content from Panopto if it is deemed to violate any policies set forth by Merrimack College or Panopto’s Terms of Service. Content that is hateful, derogatory or violates Merrimack College’s Student Handbook, or other policies or procedures is not permitted and will be subject to further action. Faculty are directed to the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning’s (CETL) Continuity of Education website for more information on Panopto.

Assessment

What are best practices for designing and delivering assessments (formative and summative)?

  • Map all activities and assignments to the course learning outcomes
  • Set deadlines for major assignments and exams at the beginning of the semester and try to stick to them
  • Provide clear instructions for each assignment. Be transparent about how students will be graded (i.e., use a rubric) and what mastery looks like place these instructions in the weekly course modules. 
  • Consider using the same assessments for all modalities
  • Write exam questions that align with your daily objectives. If you come up with a good question that doesn’t match one of your stated objectives, you have misalignment. Skip that question this semester and use it next semester, after you have revised your objectives.
  • Provide feedback in a timely manner; communicate with students your timeline (e.g. 24 hours for email, daily Water Cooler check, one week for assignments etc.) 
  • Create ample opportunities for low stakes (formative) assessments, providing immediate feedback 
  • Incorporate TTQs (typical test questions) into your learning activities 
  • Solicit immediate feedback when possible using Socrative, Poll Everywhere, or Kahoot
  • Use Blackboard built-in features for tests and quizzes
  • Here are a few tech resources on assessment in Blackboard Ultra:
  • Use Respondus Lockdown Browser (built in) or Safe Assign (built-in similarity checker)
    • The CETL can teach faculty how to successfully prepare, test, and use these tools successfully. 

Student Access to Technology/Class Materials

How do I know if my students have access to the technology they need, including equipment, internet and software?

Ask your students.  Have students express their needs to you privately or in such a way that does not induce discomfort. Use this information to tailor the pedagogy and technology choices to best meet the needs of all students.

How will I know if my students have challenges accessing the technology I choose?

Whenever possible, offer flexibility or alternatives to students, especially when access is an issue. If you have any questions, contact the Academic Success Center at asc@merrimack.edu

Mental Health & Wellness/Student Support

How can I promote student wellness and share student support services?

  • Create a plan to get to know your students by:
    • Sending them a pre-course brief survey that includes the question: “Is there anything about you that you’d like to share with me so that I can best support you as a student?”
    • Using their names
    • Modeling sharing pronouns
    • Sending them a “Keep, Stop, Start” survey prior to midterm where you invite students to list one thing they want you to keep doing, one they want you to stop doing, and one they want you to start
  • Create a “Student Resources” folder toward the top of your course. In it, include every resource students could possibly need for your course, including the ASC, McQuade library, Tutoring, Hamel Health, recommended apps, etc.  
  • Create with your students student-centered classroom norms and etiquette at the beginning of the semester
  • Be patient and model kindness
  • Acknowledge difficult times
  • Check in with students who do not show up for synchronous meetings and do not submit work on time
  • Celebrate achievements and student work
  • Laugh with your students and be vulnerable
  • Take a vested interest in your students’ lives outside of campus
  • Place resources for support where they are easily accessed by students in multiple places (syllabus, folder, or for individual assignments)
  • Asking students for their feedback is one of the easiest ways to modify and improve course content (e.g. two-weeks into the course and at midterm)
  • Encourage students to complete an end of the semester evaluation

How can my students access mental health and counseling services?

Counseling services from our staff at Hamel Health will be available to students for teletherapy services beginning, Monday, March 23. Please call Hamel at 978-837-5441 to schedule an appointment via Zoom. 

Please review our Mental Health and Wellness Resources page for additional information. 

Any concerns you have about students can also be directed to:

  1. Sean Condon at condonj@merrimack.edu or 978-837-5599 

  2. Peter Ellard at ellardp@merrimack.edu or 978-837-5755

  3. officeoftheprovost@merrimack.edu 

  4. ASC@Merrimack.edu 

  5. taskforce@merrimack.edu 

How can I submit CARE Reports?

The CARE Team at Merrimack College is dedicated to the health and success of each student academically, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. The purpose of the team is to identify and develop a plan for those students that may be experiencing more than ordinary issues and may need a member of the campus community to check-in or offer assistance in some way. The CARE Team utilizes a vast network of faculty and staff from across campus and identifies the key people who are best served to help students problem solve and succeed.

Our CARE reporting system is up and running as usual. Please file a CARE report on any student about whom you are concerned. In this remote learning environment, this will especially include students who are disengaged or who appear to have “disappeared” from your course interaction.

Learn More

Submit a CARE Report 

Experiential Learning

How might I provide an alternative experience to the actual hands-on lab and address same learning objectives?

Laboratory learning experiences are designed to help students master a task, observe a phenomenon, dissect or manipulate a specimen, create computer programs, design experiments, or do a variety of other activities to help address course learning objectives. The thought of replacing this real-life experience with an online replacement may not be the best scenario, but under certain circumstances, there are some reasonable replacement options.

My course has experiential components. How do I plan for this in a virtual environment?

Some courses have essential components that may be challenging to replicate in an online environment. Many courses require students to engage in community-based fieldwork in specialized settings. In these cases, faculty should think creatively with their disciplinary colleagues whether elements of these activities can be adapted under the circumstances, alternative activities could be offered using virtual tools, or certain activities may need to be postponed until the campus returns to standard operation.

Always consult with your department Chair or Dean when making decisions that may affect accreditation or a students’ ability to successfully complete the course.

Accessibility Services

How can I ensure my students’ accessibility accommodations are supported?

Merrimack will continue to support all students who are signed up with the ASO. We have already communicated with these students. The expectation is that all current accommodations will continue - with some changes to adjust for the remote learning environment. The ASO will have a revised procedure for the Testing Center as it will be necessary to be in direct support of the students and their instructors. If you have questions about a specific student, please email the ASO at accessibilityservices@merrimack.edu 

More Information for Faculty 

How can I ensure materials are accessible and mobile-friendly?

PDFs are generally more accessible for students with disabilities who may rely on screen-readers. PDFs adapt to different devices and cell phones more readily than other formats. 

Library/Research Services

What if I need help from a McQuade librarian on a research assignment?

McQuade Library offers “Ask a Librarian” and virtual research assistance services through https://www.merrimack.edu/library/contact.php. Feel free to email a librarian at or set up an appointment at https://mcquade.youcanbook.me/. Once you set up an appointment, a librarian will reach out to you and figure out the best way to meet with you (via Zoom, Google Hangouts, phone call, etc.)

You can also Instant message chat with a McQuade librarian. On the library’s homepage, enter your question in the chatbox and a McQuade Librarian (not an automated bot) will respond in between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. at night. 


I am a faculty member and need help with a class I am teaching, or with research support. How can I get help?

Reach out to your library liaison and she will respond as quickly as possible to any email requests. If you need help right away, chat with the librarian on duty via the library’s website or send an email to mcquade@merrimack.edu. Services for faculty are located at http://libguides.merrimack.edu/faculty_resources

Tutoring

What tutoring services are available to my students?

Writing Center Support

The Writing Center operates both face-to-face and online consultations. All appointments for both types of interaction can be scheduled through merrimack.mywconline.com. A waiting list will be made available via WCOnline for students who wish to drop in, but this practice is discouraged in the current climate. Preview this video to learn how to access WCOnline. If you have questions or concerns about access, please email writingcenter@merrimack.edu.

Tutoring & Math Center Support

The Tutoring & Math Center operates both face-to-face and on Blackboard. Students may meet with tutors in a socially-distant, college, state, and CDC approved one-to-one session by appointment. For virtual, drop-in assistance, students may log into Blackboard. All students in STEM courses have been given access to the Tutoring & Math Center Blackboard page, titled “Tutoring & Math Center Online Tutoring”. Visit our website or email MathCenter@Merrimack.edu for more information.

Campus-wide Tutoring Support

Campus-wide tutoring will continue using a variety of media. Some tutoring will occur in Zoom or Blackboard, while additional tutoring may occur in socially-distant, college, state, and CDC approved one-to-one sessions in the Tutoring & Math Center or other campus locations. The Campus-wide Tutoring Calendar, will be continuously updated. If you have specific questions about tutorial offerings, please email tutoring@merrimack.edu.

Study Partners

The Study Partners Program will use the same online intake process as in years past, located on our website. Meetings will be held either in Zoom or in socially-distant, college, state, and CDC approved one-to-one sessions in the Tutoring & Math Center. If you have questions about Study Partners, please email mathcenter@merrimack.edu.

Troubleshooting Audio

I cannot connect my audio so others can hear me. What should I do?

Make sure that your “Mute” is toggled off. Be sure to share your audio when joining the meeting. 
In Zoom look to the menu at the bottom and tap “Join Audio”.
In Collaborate, follow the prompts and be sure to “allow audio” and “allow video” when joining a meeting.

I cannot hear others in the meeting. What should I do?

First verify that your speakers are plugged in, turned on, and turned up. Verify that the moderator is sharing sound and allowing others to share sound. Can others hear? Verify that your computer is set to use the correct output device and not muted. 
It is a good practice to test your audio prior to joining a meeting. Click here for Zoom instructions. Click here for Collaborate instructions.