Office of the Provost
COVID-19 updates & resources
NAU is committed to our students’ success and to ensuring a successful completion of the spring semester.
We are implementing a number of measures to ensure we continue to deliver the high-quality education our students need to keep them on track for graduation, as well as focus on the health and safety of our NAU community. NAU has a long history of online education, and we will leverage that expertise to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19.
We understand that moving to digital, online, and remote instruction and learning can be novel to some and, as such, presents challenges and learning opportunities for both faculty and students. Keep up with the latest updates on our campus operations amid the evolving situation with COVID-19 and the latest tools and technology for online instruction on the Information and Technology Service’s COVID-19 preparation and information page.
Faculty needs for university equipment at home
If faculty need to use their university-issued equipment at home, please submit a home use of University equipment ticket with ITS. In the rare cases where there is a need to use classroom equipment at home, faculty will need to have their Dean email a request to Steve Burrell, CIO.
Information for international students & scholars
If you have international students, scholars or employees reaching out to you with questions or concerns about their immigration status or general questions related to their particular situation, please refer them to the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office.
ISSS is available through the following means:
Phone (928) 523-1520 (8:00am – 5:00pm AZ time)
Non-medical emergency 24/7
In U.S. and Canada: 1-800-285-3943 | Outside U.S. and Canada: 602-234-9105
Appointments are available 8AM to 5PM Monday – Friday via Zoom and can be scheduled by phone or email.
Provost COVID-19 Communications
March 18, 2020: Faculty Accordion Closed
Thank you for the work that you’ve done so far and for your continued patience as we move forward. Since sharing my message on Friday, March 13, the decision was made to extend courses to remote instruction through the end of the spring semester.
Please use the following link for faculty and student resources to successfully teach and learn remotely:
Faculty and Student Resources available here (this is also linked at the NAU COVID-19 site)
All classes will be delivered online and we need to ensure that they continue to be highly interactive and of high quality. Any exceptions to course delivery from online to on-ground must be approved by individual college deans with final approval from the Provost’s Office with a clear communication plan for those students. Rare exception requests will be vetted through the Provost’s office with awareness of student completion and accreditation criteria. If exception requests are approved, they may be rescinded if the situation changes (You will need to have a Plan B in place!)
As the President announced, the Flagstaff campus remains open at this time, thus local students will have access to adequate bandwidth and computer labs. Faculty are expected to accommodate the rare cases when a student does not have necessary technology.
We will continue to offer instructional design support to faculty for course content and delivery, including weekend and virtual hours. While the learning outcomes will not change, your flexibility and creativity on delivering the assessments and approach may need to be modified. Please consider designing assessments that do not require proctoring fee-for-services for our students. We understand there are challenges with proctoring and options for university-wide proctoring services remain under review.
Again, this is a unique and fluid situation. Please carefully evaluate your syllabus to ensure class policies are reviewed and changed to align with this new reality. Please be sure to have regular communications with clear expectations every week with your students or even more frequently if needed.
As shared in my most recent message, helpful resources to transition courses to online delivery. Specifically, the following resources are available for you.
- Information Technology Services, the Teaching & Learning Center, and NAU Online have launched an information site to help faculty add basic content and activities to Blackboard Learn along with recommendations for communication with students: www.nau.edu/remoteteaching
- Daily drop-in sessions are available for online and face-to-face to help faculty with Blackboard and Collaborate: https://in.nau.edu/its/blackboard-learn-training/ (includes evening and weekend support).
- ITS Support is available should you need assistance with Blackboard Learn, Collaborate, or other technologies: https://in.nau.edu/its/help/.
Please know that communications will continue to be posted via NAU’s COVID19 webpage (https://nau.edu/coronavirus/). The President’s Office will also continue to send regular communications to students, faculty, and staff.
Diane M. Stearns
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
March 18, 2020: Students Accordion Closed
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this fluid situation with the COVID-19 virus. As many of you all know already, NAU is utilizing online and remote instruction for the remainder of the 2020 Spring semester.
Please know that NAU is committed to your academic experience, and we are prepared to offer our normal high-quality online and onsite experiences as well as assistance during this time. Faculty will be contacting students directly to let them know what you can expect when classes resume on Monday, the 23rd.
For some of you, it may be your first time learning in this manner. If so, NAU has provided a helpful video about Blackboard (Bb Learn) as well as Bb Learn instructions with FAQs as a launching point and for support the following guidelines will also help you navigate the online and remote learning environment:
- Learning outcomes and expectations for your courses should not change. The difference is that much of the discipline-specific knowledge and information will be delivered by alternative means. Be sure you are reading actively, absorbing content, and comprehending the materials for your classes in the manner that best suits your learning style. That may mean that you recreate a distraction-free environment while you read and study, take the time to summarize your readings and materials in your own words, or find supplemental materials (Cline Library resources, Google Scholar, YouTube educational videos, etc.) to provide additional support for your learning.
- Check-in to your courses and NAU email often.As we all have learned from this experience, things can change from hour-to-hour and day-to-day. Log-in to your course shells a few times a day to keep up on the course and any new developments. Fully explore and engage in the features within your Bb Learn shells for your courses – be sure you read through everything. Engage in the tools and interactive features of Bb Learn by participating in chat groups (or see if you can start one on your own).
- Academic support services including Tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, Academic Peer Mentoring, the Math Achievement Program, and Academic Workshops will move online through Bb Learn Collaborate Ultra. Academic Peer Mentors are equipped to support your academic success, discuss Bb Learn, and how to work online. The Academic Success Center will offer a number of virtual appointments after spring break if you are interested in engaging in new academic learning strategies in an online learning environment.
- If you become ill and cannot participate in courses, please contact your faculty member and let them know what is happening. You can also access the Faculty Notification Request Formin the Office of the Dean of Students when a necessary absence, illness, or extenuating life event occurs. It is important to keep the lines of communication open and notify your instructors if your health situation changes. For the latest information on COVID-19 and health resources, please visit the NAU Coronavirus website, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Arizona Department of Health Services.
One last thing for now: Faculty are working very hard to translate a traditionally face-to-face learning environment to a remote and online one. Please be patient and don’t be afraid to reach out with questions. There are likely many more questions that will need to be addressed in the coming weeks. Faculty are getting frequent updates and instructions on all aspects of delivering quality remote and online instruction.
Thank you for all you are doing and stay safe and healthy.
Diane M. Stearns
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
The Office of the Provost provides resources, support, and leadership for academic faculty, staff, and programs to facilitate the development of teaching, learning, and research outcomes that reflect the university’s mission and values.
Northern Arizona University offers a unique balance of diversity, high-level research opportunities, and relationship-building between students and faculty. Our academic programs allow students and faculty to experience hands-on learning, creativity, and community involvement in a team-based environment where individuals can still thrive.