Distance Learning Training and Resources for Educators

#1. Instructional Delivery – How does CCC continue with its instruction if a catastrophic event occurs?

#2. Delivery of Student Support in case of an emergency.

#3. How would CCC schedule courses and do book orders in case if any type of catastrophic event?

#4. How would CCC post grades and get/give access to student records?

When commenting to one of these 4 concerns please put the # of the issue you are addressing at the beginning of your posted comment.

Click to Download Instructional Continuity Plan

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Comments on: "Continuity of Instruction Plan Brianstorm" (27)

  1. #1. I believe we are going to have to rely on some type of communications technology in order to seamlessly move forward with instruction so Blackboard, Moodle, instant messaging, skype and possibly even texting may have to be relied upon to give instruction and directions for accomplishing course goals and objectives.

  2. #1 & #4 – We also may want to consider going to private systems back-up company for all critical college files like Carbonite – there are many companies out there that do this and are affordable. Just a thought.

    • Laurie Freshwater said:

      Does Blackboard provide backup server space? What would the cost be if they do? Would the NCCCS assume the cost of this? This is a system-wide issue and needs to be addressed by the NCCCS.

  3. Ken Martin said:

    On #1
    We need to first look at to what level this disaster is. My disaster may not have the same definition as your disaster. For example, is a server down, is a building down, is the network connectivity down, is a building destroyed, is the campus gone, etc. Each one of these will require a different response. The good new is this is covered in the Business Continuity Plan which is available on the web server under your employee login.

    As for using a service like Carbonite, yes they do exist but keep in mind there is a little more to it then just backing up a file (and they are not cheap). True recovery will need the ability to bring up multiple servers not just file recovery. This will involve the necessity to have server snapshot capabilities especially for a server that is updated frequently like BlackBoard. That will require a fast connection to a remote site and a lot of storage.

  4. Jo Ann Cannon said:

    #2 – I strongly believe that all syllabi should contain a statement concerning building closure, catastrophic events, etc. to notify students of our plan.

  5. Jo Ann Cannon said:

    #3 – In the event of a hurricane, etc., classes would probably need to be scheduled off campus. I wonder if the National Guard building (across from the hospital) would allow use of that facility; churches are another option; the Carteret County Recreation building could also be considered.

  6. Jo Ann Cannon said:

    #1 – Working with another college (as we discussed) as our true recovery (as Ken stated) could be a cheaper way to go. I am not sure.

  7. Good points Ken and thanks for the reminder about the Business Continuity plan. Ok so what are we looking at $$$$ wise for this to happen?

    “True recovery will need the ability to bring up multiple servers not just file recovery. This will involve the necessity to have server snapshot capabilities especially for a server that is updated frequently like BlackBoard. That will require a fast connection to a remote site and a lot of storage.”

    • Ken Martin said:

      Right now I can’t meet my backup window for current servers so it is hard for me to imagine that there will be money available for a world class disaster recovery system any time soon.

      I am having a conference call on 2/24 with a company that does remote server backups so I will have a better idea then of the cost.

      To me a stepped approach makes sense. We need to take care of the identifiable problems on campus first in that we need storage for disc to disc backup and I have to be able to buy tapes and a sufficient amount of tape backup units. Next we could look into duplicating out storage to another building on campus or as I suggested at the first meeting, use the Western Carteret Library as a repository for data backups.

  8. I must have been logged into the Title 3 blog. I’m not Don, but for some reason his photo popped up when I responded to Ken. I agree with your Jo Ann and feel like we need to have a detailed statement on ALL CCC syllabi addressing these issues – good idea about the NG Armory as well.

  9. Ken Martin said:

    The first issue would be to bring the campus online for traditional classes in the case of a large scale disaster. I would think we could work something out with the county school system and use West Carteret from 4:00pm until 10:00 for example so our math, science and English students can at least continue working while bringing other systems back online.

  10. Ken Martin said:

    What time is this blog in by the way? 🙂

  11. That is weird Ken…let me look under the hood of this blog and see why the times are wrong for our posts. You have some excellent ideas that we can discuss when we meet again.

  12. must be blog gremlins 🙂

  13. ok…time should be fixed now…keep the ideas coming. Working with local High Schools is another good idea Ken. I like West Carteret Library idea!

    “Next we could look into duplicating out storage to another building on campus or as I suggested at the first meeting, use the Western Carteret Library as a repository for data backups.”

  14. #4. As far as posting grades is concerned. Since we now have all CCC faculty keeping BB gradebooks we could create a protocol for faculty to download all their BB grades and back them up once they leave the campus or from home in case of any emergency. This way they would know where their students stand at that point in time. They could be attached to an e-mail to students from a safe location.

  15. I totally agree with Ken as far a the definition for disaster. How long a period of time are we talking about? The amount of time missed in the classfroom would depend on what steps to proceed with.

  16. We definitely need a reliable back-up system, for not only grades, but completions and time attended class. We are governed by not only the college but North Carolina Stateboard of Cosmetic Art.

    Our students need to be physically in class in order to receive time from the NC Stateboard, so unless they met and waivered the requirements during such a time,
    we have no choice. I would propose using a cosmetology department in the surrounding area at another college.(Craven, Onslow) Our students could attend night classes while their students attended day class. Moblie units, Salons and churches would be another option.

  17. We cannot allow our students in a facility unless the location has been inspected and approved by the NC Stateboard, so that would have an impact on where we relocate our students.

  18. You make some excellent and very valid points Sandra! I believe no matter how much we plan for any type of a disaster there are always going to be things that arise that we could not anticipate. There really is no “one size fits all” solution to a disaster of any scale. Your program has very special needs as does the Photography program. We have already experienced this before in 1999 when the newly constructed Bryant Bldg lost its roof during the Hurricanes that hit Carteret County. Like you…we can’t teach our classes in a regular classroom. We deal with lots of chemicals and specialized equipment that cannot just be moved from point a to b without a great deal of time, effort and thought as to the implications and impact of moving chemicals and our equipment. With that said…we can put the best contingency plan in place as we can, but we all have to be aware that it will never be perfect and if and when the ______________ hits the fan there will be a lot of flying by the seats of our pants to get our instructional services back up and running in a viable way.

  19. "Crash" Miller said:

    #1 – I agree with Ken, it will depend upon what the disaster is and how wide-spread it is to be able to address it. If one building or floor of a building on campus becomes unavailable, we should be able to shift things around to accomodate things. If the class needs specialized equipment (computers, cosmotology equipment, etc.) that complicates things. There are several empty classrooms in Wayne West at any given time, they just may not have the equipment. As for on-line classes we just need for Blackboard to be “Up”. The associated costs and logistic problems have been stated in previous posts. Maybe agreements with other community colleges that are like minded in their Education Continuity plans would be willing to “share” their servers. WITH THAT LAST STATEMENT I HAVE JUMPED DEEPLY INTO AN AREA THAT I HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE. Ken and others will have to assess that possibility. However, I do believe that any Education Continuity plan will rely heavily upon technology (Internet, Blackboard, text messaging, etc.). This will require money and effort and committment. Division Directors and Curriculum Area Coordinators should discuss continuity plans for individual courses with the appropriate Instructors. Having an assignment ready for short-term interuptions and more comprehensive plans for longer term interuptions.

  20. "Crash" Miller said:

    #2 – I have no idea how we can support students in a major disruption unless their needs can, once again be addressed through technology. Advising could be done through web cams and software such as Messenger Live – I use it almost daily to keep in contact with distant family. Other types of support may or may not be readily adaptible. I don’t have a clear idea about this area of support.

  21. "Crash" Miller said:

    #3 – End of semester grades can be posted on Web Advisor if that module is available. Through out the semester, students can check their progress on Blackboard as long as it is still available. – Again, pointing out the importance of “Fail-Safe” server accessibility.

    Books – Many, if not most of the business textbooks are now in electronic format, as long as the student has access to the internet (and pay a fee) the text is available. Also, I cannot envision a situation where the major book vendors would not grant free or greatly reduced cost access to our students under a catostropic situation. [ I wish this blog had spell check, don’t you?] As for those that must have a hard copy of a text, you can purchase ANY text on-line less expensive than purchasing it at our new CCC bookstore. (My students remind me of this frequently).

  22. "Crash" Miller said:

    # 3 / 4 OK, I kind of got 3 and 4 a little mixed up – its been that kind of week. (my car tried to eat another car at highway speeds during Monday afternoons rain storm, no one was seriously injured and I AM THANKFUL FOR THAT!!!)

    For grades – Web Advisor, Blackboard. As for student records, SER should be backing up / scanning students records and storing them in off site location(s). Back to the technology/money/committment thing again.

    That’s all I got.

    Crash

  23. Fran Emory said:

    Please look at the continuity plan that Jo Ann posted to see if this captures all the elements. I think that there are a couple of parallel tracks that we need to pursue. We do need to have a clear definition of conditions that would trigger implementation. As we discussed, this could be limited to a building or it could encompass the entire campus. I will talk with the Emergency Preparedness committee for some guidance on this.

    If the template is sufficient, are we ready to have a more detailed discussion of this at the directors meeting and start the process within each program?

    I know that we need to continue the discussion about transition to Moodle.

  24. "Crash" Miller said:

    Some of the members of the Business Technology Division have expressed concern of the loss of local control of our Distance Learning web site(s), should we go to Moodle or Blackboard hosted from another site. The opinion of several faculty in the division is that we get very good response from our own IT department when there are problems with Blackboard; we may not get this same level of service or sense of ungency from others not directly connected to our school. I agree with that concern but realize that some off-site server(s) may be necessary should we have a disruption that causes damage to the equipment or personnel we have on campus (BIG hurricane, pandemic or someone in IT finally snaps and goes Postal!).

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