Distance Learning

Last updated June 12, 2020  4:00 pm

Distance Learning





Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Dear Faculty,

Today, the campus remains open; faculty are not required to report to work but may come to campus to plan for remote work, gather materials or work on campus.

Faculty are preparing themselves and their students for distance learning classes, which start tomorrow. KCeL is offering a wide array of professional development in a virtual environment.  I have been inspired by the creative methods that faculty are using to work with their students and meet course learning outcomes. I am also pleased to share that the Library, the KCC Learning Center (all tutorials and academic support), ASAP, and Advisement are completing their plans to support students in a distance learning format and are updating their webpages accordingly. 

I am writing to briefly share aspects of our Academic Continuity plan related to governance, teaching evaluations and reappointments, proctoring of exams, and the availability of Open Educational Resources & Free Access to Commercial Books. 

Continuity of Shared Governance (suspension of in-person requirements to conduct business)

An important part of business and academic continuity is sustaining the work of our various shared governance structures and process.  Article 7 of the Public Officers Law, to the extent necessary, permits any public body to meet and take such actions authorized by the law without permitting in public in-person access to meetings and authorizes such meetings to be held remotely by conference call or similar service, provided that the public has the ability to view or listen to such proceedings and that such meetings are recorded and later transcribed. Additional guidance will be forthcoming for KCC’s plans.

Teaching Evaluations and Faculty Reappointments

As we convert to distance learning, the University is gathering questions coming from the field regarding contractual issues, including, among others, teaching observations and evaluations, the ability adequately evaluate adjuncts for three-year appointments, and meeting reappointment notification deadlines.  Please know that the University will work toward a negotiated agreement with the PSC, where required, on these matters — one that will meet the needs of both the faculty and the University as we navigate these difficult times.  We will keep you apprised with guidance on an ongoing basis.

Testing Options and efforts to Secure Proctoring of Distance Learning Exams

CIS is currently consulting with CIOs and Provosts about opportunities to procure a distance learning exam solution for proctoring services and share the licenses with the colleges.  Of course, specific requirements need to be developed in consultation with campus leaders.  We will do our best to identify solutions that can support the greatest common needs.  Questions remain as to whether this should be a centrally led effort of a campus-based effort. In addition, campus testing offices may be open if campuses are open during the final exam period and be able to administer University exams such as the CEAFE and CATW exams for developmental courses. Additional information will be forthcoming.

Open Educational Resources & Free Access to Commercial Books

Building on the Open Educational Resources initiative and also including CUNY library resources, the Office of Library Services website provides an index to digital resources that faculty may use in online/distance courses at zero cost to their students. Check the Continuity of Library Services page under the heading “Support for Online Instruction.” This site will be regularly updated. If you are aware of additional resources that should be added or if you have other questions or requests, please contact Ann Fiddler, Open Education Librarian, ann.fiddler@cuny.edu.

Akademos and Barnes & Noble have partnered with the digital platform VitalSource to offer free access to over 50,000 eBooks to its current customers to facilitate their move to online learning.  CUNY students at participating colleges can now access these materials by creating a VitalSource account at bookshelf.vitalsource.com using their cuny.edu email addresses.  Free access will last through the end of the Spring semester or until May 25th, whichever comes first.  More information is available at VitalSource Helps and the VitalSource help page



Joanne Russell, Ph.D.

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost