As per the QQI Coronavirus COVID-19 Update (QQI, 2020) this document sets out the contingency plan to be adopted by Dorset College in the event of short to longer-term closure.
Dorset College Dublin has closely monitored the situation regarding COVID-19 and has followed the advice from the HSE and QQI to ensure the safety and welfare of our students and staff is to the forefront of all decisions.
We have fast-tracked our contingency plan due to the government mandated closure and we can advise you of the following:
All teaching and learning materials are made available to learners via Moodle.
All assessment requirements are detailed on Moodle.
All appropriate assessments are submitted electronically via Moodle (with inbuilt quality assurance by the use of Turnitin).
Learners can communicate with lecturers via Moodle or email and will be prompted by text message if Moodle usage is an issue.
Lecturers have the facility to create forums and quizzes (etc.) on Moodle as required.
Dorset College Moodle’s instance is cloud based therefore it is robust and can be supported off campus
Learners will be able to contact College staff via email and Moodle during the closure. Staff have, and will, keep learners updated through Moodle notifications and the various social media platforms as appropriate.
Staff and students have an Office 365 account which they can contact a tutor directly on and can act as a back up to Moodle i.e. if messenger is not working they can e mail a lecturer directly.
College staff will be able to contact the Senior Management via electronic means and mobile telephone in case of queries in the event that we require staff to work from home. This is not currently required unless requested by a member of staff.
Dorset College has ceased traditional contact classes from 6pm on 12th March and this restriction will continue up to and including 29th March or as mandated by the government. Synchronous delivery will commence on Saturday 14th March and all lectures will be recorded i.e. asynchronous and Moodle will house this for the rest of the academic year or longer if necessary.
Dorset College does not currently have a Policy on Blended Learning and we fast-tracked our purchase of Zoom this week. To support this we outsourced this development to Inneall Software Development Services who have also advised us to purchase and install an Amazon Bucket to ensure our files are backed up and to ensure seamless transition to synchronous and asynchronous delivery. This is being tested and piloted for full on -boarding on Monday 16th March at 9am.
We have a full-time dedicated member of staff for Student Information Systems – Manon Van Alphen who will manage all IT student queries such as logging on etc. A dedicated e mail address exists firstname.lastname@example.org where student can contact Manon directly.
Today, 13th March, we have scheduled a test for Zoom with our technical team (3 ICT professionals and our academic support staff). This will be a live training session and will involve all members of staff to ensure that once we launch on Monday for all lectures every member of staff will be trained in Zoom.
Tomorrow 14th March we are piloting Zoom for our Saturday classes and we have asked two lecturers (one ICT and one Business Lecturer) to pilot Zoom for their classes.
We will use the reading weeks as per our Academic Calendar (see Appendix 1) for face-to face revision in the event of re-opening the College on the 30th March. In the event of continued closure we would prepare exam revision sessions and embed them on Moodle for learners to use to aid their revision. Next week-16th March until the 20th March is a reading week for most of our programmes and this will enable us to trouble shoot any issues with Zoom.
The assessment strategy for each module will be reviewed. Any assessments which have a face-to-face element will be dealt with as follows:
Group work – Group work and collaboration will be facilitated through Office 365 where students have already been taught how to set up a document for collaboration. We can also set up the Group Work function on Moodle.
Presentations – will be facilitated through Zoom and if we have group presentations we will enable the function for a group meeting. We will also look at PowerPoint voiceover function-narrator function so we have a synchronous and asynchronous method of review as appropriate.
In Class Tests and Exams – will be cancelled and postponed until after the 29th March. Should the mandated closure continue thereafter we will look to the following options with the undertaking that all module learning outcomes will be assessed: Written assessments with a mandatory Viva Voce to ensure the veracity of the work or an oral exam if this enables us to reach all the learning outcomes.
Feedback – Plenary feedback can be posted to Moodle, marking rubrics are also now used which help clarify marks for learners. Individual feedback is already sent directly to the student through Moodle. If a student wants to speak to the lecturer about their feedback they can set up a meeting in Zoom.
Any learner who has medical evidence will be deferred from the relevant assessment(s) as per the QAM and QQI/government advice. The Senior Management Group for Dorset College will continue to monitor the situation related to COVID-19 on a frequent basis. The above arrangements will be continuously reviewed and the lines of communication between all employees and with learners will remain open. These arrangements were approved by a meeting of Academic Council on 13 March 2020 following consultation with our external examiners.