WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., March 17, 2020 — Like most colleges and universities, West Liberty University suspended face-to-face classes this week in response to the growing threat of COVID-19.
WLU extended its regularly scheduled spring break by an additional week through March 20 so that the faculty and campus could prepare for the alternative learning format that will begin on Monday, March 23 for all in-seat classes.
Normally scheduled online classes continued with no interruption.
“Everything is being done with the safety and care of our campus community in mind. We want to deliver the best education possible during this emergency and are committed to making sure our students complete their classes as planned,” said Provost Brian Crawford, who serves as WLU’s chief academic office.
“We are grateful for our students patience and our faculty’s willingness to adapt during this unprecedented situation.”
The change from traditional classroom instruction to alternative learning formats means that faculty is spending time learning how to deliver class content in a safer way during the crisis. WLU’s Office of eLearning is ready to help.
“There are lots of questions of course but overall it’s going well,” said Lucy Gray Kefauver, director of Distance Education. “We are having a total of 15 sessions this week for faculty to learn and ask their questions about how to teach during this emergency. But the students are the important ones and we are here to make sure that the education they expect will be delivered.”
Faculty can access information and training sessions by Webex everyday at noon or in person at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. in Main Hall Room 226.
Content delivery via technology is a big change for faculty and students but the important thing is that interaction still takes place, according to Kefauver.
“The Higher Learning Commission requires that distance learning includes student to teacher and student to student interaction. We are helping the faculty this week to up their skills and make sure they are communicating clearly with students,” she said.
Some of the online delivery methods include Zoom video conferencing, Skype, discussion boards and Webex videoconferencing.
“So far, so good,” she said.
WLU also is working with its IT Services Department to support students who may need more help during this time.
The Office of eLearning is located on the first floor of Main Hall and Kefauver can be reached at 304.336.8378.
For complete information on WLU’s response to the COVID-19 crisis during this national emergency, please visit westliberty.edu/news where updates will be posted as needed.