By Nikayla Goddard, July 28 2020—
With the announcement that a majority of Fall 2020 classes would be conducted through online learning, the UCalgary Student Success Centre has ensured that students and teachers feel supported in their online learning environment, developing resources and workshops to aid people in their transition online.
Steve Mason, Manager, Learning Support Programs for the UCalgary Student Success Centre (SSC0, works most closely with the Centre’s Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) program, student success seminars and a lot of the event-based programs they run.
When asked how the SSC has changed its programming in light of COVID-19, Mason replied, “We’re still providing one-on-one appointments with students. We’re still running workshops as well. The main change is to the formats; we made that transition [online] back in March when everything first started happening with the courses being moved online at that point. Our services are running I would say just as we normally run them. Same services, but just a delivery mode that is more accessible to students in light of COVID.”
Some of the online resources being offered currently include how to get started with online learning, strategies for online learning success, how to stay motivated when working online and a variety of different free workshops and virtual study hall events students can attend. Mason also mentioned that a great resource is their virtual front desk, open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., which is an open Zoom call where a Student Success Centre staff member will answer questions via the chat function or by video, providing a constant drop-in function for students with questions.
As for Fall 2020, much of the programming will be offered online, and some things exclusively online, Mason explained.
“A lot of our programming we already made the decision to run it exclusively online, like our Peer Assisted Study Sessions […], mostly because the majority of classes that we support are being delivered with online lectures. If the lecture is online, we want to make sure we are just as available to students. Our one-on-one support for students, we are looking to still provide that service; what we do in person versus online will really come down to what the campus’ plan is for returning to work.”
Despite the move to online, one thing that Mason really wants folks to know is that they are still available and accessible.
“One sort of rule I like to follow is that there is no such thing as the wrong email, there is no such thing as the wrong reach-out,” said Mason. “Reach out to us, and if we aren’t the people who can directly answer what you’re working on, we’ll help you with your next steps. It’s always the right place to reach out to.”