Level 2.5 Faculty Operations
Department heads are encouraged to group faculty who are experienced and expert in the virtual learning environment with faculty who are less so to capitalize on their collective knowledge and skill in PAWS and Digital Learning. Additionally, the Digital Learning Department is providing training on the College’s Learning Management System (LMS), also known as PAWS.
The Teaching Academy staff will provide training that addresses best practices for moving on-campus teaching and learning practices to the online environment using video lecture replacement tools Microsoft Teams and Screencast-O-matic. Digital Learning will provide training on a third video option that operates within PAWS.
For those faculty unaccustomed to online instruction, this will involve not just rethinking how we have done things in the past, but also learning new skills and preparing and presenting materials, tests and assignments in a completely new way.
Courses that are already fully online will continue as normal. However, given the general nature of the unprecedented situation in which we find ourselves, please be flexible with students, particularly regarding assignment deadlines.
For clarity, typical face-to-face lecture-only courses will be fully online. All sections of courses have a course shell in place. If the course already has an online version, Digital Learning is working to copy the online course content into all other sections. In cases where no online version of the course exists, faculty should be working to move instruction online. This should include having lectures online, (recorded or in real-time, making assignment submissions in PAWS, tests and quizzes in PAWS, and lecture notes, course content, etc.). This is the heaviest lift for you and your efforts are appreciated!
In cases where the labs are not able to be completed during the regular semester calendar, College policy allows the option of awarding an “I” grade for the student. Please work with your department chair and dean in cases where this may occur.
Federal requirements dictate that all online material is accessible. This includes any lecture offered real-time and/or recorded for later use. Digital Learning and the Teaching Academy can provide assistance with any materials during the scheduled training times next week.
As a reminder, accommodations from the Office of Student Disability Services are required regardless of delivery method. Academic Affairs will collaborate with Student Affairs to provide faculty accessibility guidance and support.
An additional accessibility concern is the digital divide. For students lacking computers, mobile devices or reliable internet service necessary to perform the requirements of the online modality, all campuses and sites except Millington Center will remain open to provide students access to over 300 workstations within labs to perform their academic requirements. The Somerville Site’s hours of operation at the discretion of The University of Tennessee at Martin and are subject to change. We will provide information on scheduling changes in the coronavirus section of the Southwest website.
- Clinicals: Clinicals will continue as normal. If or when clinical sites have been declared closed to students, the pursuit to locate another site will take place or the attempt to move towards a simulation-oriented experience will be employed. Faculty should work with the department chair and dean on specific case-by-case issues.
- Internships, practicums, and field observation: Students in internships or field observations will continue to attend those experiences, unless the employer or site no longer accepts students. Faculty, please work with displaced interns to help these students complete any requirements in alternative means. For education majors in field observations, the academic department will issue waiver letters for students unable to complete hours.
Southwest campuses and locations are closed indefinitely. However, you can hold virtual department meetings using Microsoft Teams, conference calls, etc. Please work with your department chair and dean regarding any telecommuting. Information Technology Services has telecommuting information resources available at
- There are three academic audits remaining for this spring. They will be virtual and faculty will begin working with the IR office to accommodate that modality.
- The College has already informed the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) of our intent to enact the Emergency Temporary Relocation of Instruction.
- If you have a programmatic accreditation, please seek updates on guidance they are giving regarding requirements in our current COVID19 world. Communicate those updates with your chair and dean.
We are Here to Help
Contact Digital Learning at firstname.lastname@example.org or 901-333-4612.
General Faculty Assistance
Contact your department chair.