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NEST Bulletin, July 17, 2020

SVSU leading the way in safe return to students on campus

Tuesday session at SVSU believed to be the first in-person orientation at a Michigan public university this summer

SVSU welcomed a group of incoming freshmen to campus Tuesday, as they participated in the first SOAR orientation session of the season, marking the first organized student activity on campus since March. New students enthusiastically participated in the event aimed at readying them for the fall semester next month.

"I was absolutely thrilled with how well the Orientation team and students did with this," said Rachel Florence-Spaetzel, director of SVSU's Orientation Programs. "It showed that we can modify things for safety and still provide a great experience."

The students largely experienced SOAR in groups – no more than seven people in each – assigned according to their academic college. The small group structure allowed them to enter rooms without exceeding recommended capacity limits.

“For the incoming freshmen, this felt like we were giving them back some of what they lost from their senior year in high school,” Florence-Spaetzel said. “This offered a sliver of normalcy that felt so rejuvenating. It was a thrill to see the way they brought campus to life."

While there was a sense of normalcy, the Orientation team and participants followed strict safety guidelines as recommended by health experts. Everyone practiced social distancing and wore face coverings.

More SOAR sessions are planned throughout the coming weeks, including another event today (Friday).


New for Fall Orientation!

Students and parents will be getting something new during this year's orientation – the NEST Plan Guidebook, which contains helpful information and resources for a safe return to campus.

Return to Campus Booklet (8,387KB)

View from campus...

Melvin J. Zahnow Library, re-configured to practice social distancing, re-opened Monday, July 13.

Signage installed across campus helps provide visual guides that help students and the campus community best practice safety. In the above photo, floor signage provides directions for foot traffic in the Marketplace at Doan cafeteria. 

A visual glimpse of fall classrooms

SVSU Orientation leaders on Tuesday provided a sneak preview of how classrooms will look this fall.

After their work during the SOAR session, a group of the Orientation leaders participated in a photo session at two campus classrooms that have been modified to observe social distancing practices. They gathered in both a traditional classroom in the new Carmona College of Business building expansion as well as Banquet Hall A, which will be used to house the courses that feature the largest number of students.

With the exception of plexiglass that crews will begin to install next week, the classrooms were configured as they will appear when the fall semester begins.

Ron Portwine, SVSU’s associate vice president for Administration and Business Affairs and its chief business officer, was among the campus leaders who worked to reimagine campus spaces in a way that promotes Practice 5 safety guidelines.

“We have been working on this plan for a long time, and now we’re seeing how it looks with students here on campus,” Portwine said. “It’s exciting and provides an opportunity to receive student feedback on the changes we’ve made.”

Read the complete story about the facility preparations for fall semester as well as images of those campus settings.

Synchronous, Asynchronous: What do they mean?

As the fall semester approaches and faculty prepare unique syllabi that will accommodate in-classroom and virtual learning, students are being introduced to new terminology for how courses will be taught. It is important to understand the differences between synchronous learning and asynchronous learning.

Synchronous learning involves students engaging with course content and each other at the same time, either from the same or different locations. This can include in-person classes, watching real-time lectures on a computer, or working with a group of students on a class activity in person, through the computer, or some combination of the two.  With synchronous learning, real-time interaction, and discussion between the educator and student occur simultaneously and students must participate during scheduled times.

Asynchronous learning involves students engaging with the course content in different times and from different locations. Faculty will prepare course materials in advance, delivering them through platforms such as online discussion groups, pre-recorded lectures, videos and Canvas learning modules. Asynchronous learning allows students to revisit pre-recorded content as needed, and it provides increased schedule flexibility and accessibility.

Our faculty are committed to supporting students and providing them with an educational experience that meets their individual goals and learning styles. Instructors are preparing to adapt and utilize various synchronous and asynchronous teaching methods to provide much-needed flexibility for reduced classroom capacities and other safety protocols.

Practice 5 - Stay Engaged. Stay Safe.

Practice 5

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