Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Parents,
As we continue to navigate the current environment surrounding the COVID-19 virus, we want to inform all of you of the adjustments and improvements being made to our college. Although our campus closure was initially scheduled to continue through April 26, 2020, for the health and safety of our students we have decided to extend the remote experience through the Summer A term ending on June 30, 2020.
We are making this decision in advance of the beginning of the term to minimize the impact of this transition and ensure the best possible learning experience. To assist with this extension, we are pleased to be able to offer all of our transitioning campus students a $400 COVID-19 RMCAD Grant. This grant will be automatically applied to students who are attending the upcoming Summer 2020 terms. Questions about this grant can be directed to Student Advisors or the Business Office.
You undoubtedly have questions about this change, which we are available to address at your convenience. Most urgently, you’ve been asking us how this online environment will impact the education of our students.
Our on-ground/hybrid student experience has been converted to a blended learning experience, which is uniquely different from the standard online student experience even though they are both utilizing remote learning.
Blended learning is an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods. It requires the physical presence of both teacher and student, with some elements of student control over time, place, path, or pace.
By comparison, our previously utilized hybrid approach to course delivery combined face-to-face classroom instruction with online activities, reducing the amount of individual attention and moving more of the course delivery online.
To clarify, our blended learning courses may have the same course description and learning outcomes as online courses, but the manner in which they achieve these outcomes is tailored to the needs of the students based on how the students respond to learning activities during the course of the term. Blended learning courses are completely written by our expert Faculty with the assistance of their Program Department Chairs. Online Courses are developed by a Subject Matter Expert who develops the entirety of the course with an Instructional Designer and is then customized by Online Instructors.
Advantages of Blended Learning:
- Courses all incorporate synchronous meetings for stronger communication.
- In certain cases, material costs and technology resources have been approved to be purchased directly to support students.
- Additional training has been provided for faculty who are converting their curriculum to ensure advanced software and digital/tech skills.
- We have increased staff for support including additional counselors and advisors.
- Increased tutoring resources have been embedded in each blended learning course.
- We have deployed an instructional design team that is dedicated to supporting blended learning instructors.
- Specialized workshops are being provided to enhance remote learning.
- We have increased staffing and resources for accessibility including closed captioning.
To provide more perspective, two of our students have provided their own candid testimonials about the transition below:
“Being a [blended learning] student to me means I get the full arsenal of the school in a time like this…I would implore all to be in the [blended learning] system. You actually get a prime amount of resources and time from your school and professors. I’ll be honest with you, if we moved to a purely online situation as in the discussion posts and no meetings and just LMS I would be in a completely different perspective…Others should realize their loans are purchasing an environment of peers and professionals. An experience you can’t really put a price on.”
— Bryan Perry, Game Art Student
“The transition has been pretty manageable. A lot is being offered considering the limitations of not being on campus…My experience with instructors has been amazing. Each teacher is working non stop around the clock to make this transition and the course schedule as accurate as possible. I am quite surprised at the synchronization and communication that has been managed.”
— Spencer Parsons, Graphic Design Student
You can always reach out to Admissions, Advising, Business Office, Program Chairs, Counseling, or the Student Learning Center for assistance working through what these changes mean for you. This transition has not been easy for all of our students, but we hope that our explanation above provides you with confidence in the value of education that we are providing. We are continually assessing the issues our students are facing in this situation and doing everything we can to ensure an effective and positive learning experience.
Chris Spohn, President
For continuing updates regarding the impact of the COVID-19 virus, please check rmcad.edu/covid19 regularly.