Summer registration postponed

Weston Hopkins, Staff Writer

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the registration for the summer 2020 term, originally scheduled to open April 4, has now been reset to a tentative date. 

“Registration for summer will likely be April 20,” wrote Interim Vice President of Instruction Nancy Ybarra in an email. “Although that date is still tentative at this moment.”

The changing of the registration date was announced at the Academic Senate meeting Monday, March 23, which was held through Zoom.

“The official decision is still that we are on this plan [to be online] until April the 13th,” said Academic Senate President Josh Bearden. “I’m 99 percent sure that we’re probably going to be on this for the rest of the semester.”

A concern for many teachers that were planning on teaching summer classes is that they had planned to teach the course face-to-face. 

Now that the district is online for the foreseeable future, teachers who wish to instruct a summer class will have to submit their online course for review and approval. Though due to the circumstances, the process is being changed to accommodate the ongoing situation.

“The Curriculum Committee is in the process of scheduling an emergency meeting to approve it,” said Ybarra. “I think the intent is to simplify and streamline the online addendum, so it should actually make it easier for faculty to get approval to teach their courses online.”

A large concern for many teachers that participated during the meeting were students that didn’t have the technology to fruitfully learn in an online-only environment. Teachers will also need to be trained to be able to help students reach their full potential through online courses. 

The lack of technology isn’t an issue that can be completely addressed, but how to better help students while teaching online can be.

Foreign Language professor and member of the Distance Education committee Laurie Huffman announced at the meeting that the California Community College Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley has given access to the Online Education Initiative tools to LMC.

“That would include the Cranium Cafe, the NetTuto, and a new program called Ally that will help us with design and accessibility in our course content in Canvas.”

NetTutor is a service that LMC has been using for a while, but the other two are brand new to LMC.

According to the Cranium Cafe website(powered by ConexED) it, “is the first complete appointment scheduling, student kiosk, video meeting and reporting system designed specifically for higher education.”

Likewise, Ally is also an online resource meant to help students learn digitally. According to the Ally website, “Ally is a revolutionary product that integrates seamlessly into the learning management system and focuses on making digital course content more accessible.”

The next Academic Senate meeting will be held Monday, April 13, so stay tuned for updates as they are announced.