Getting Started With Your Classes
Fall quarter starts September 28. As with summer quarter, all instruction will continue through remote teaching, with the exception of specific classes that are part of our health care programs and other related fields. View the ways classes for fall quarter are designated.
If you are on the waitlist, contact your instructor about getting added to the Canvas course. You will need to coordinate with your instructor to determine whether or not there is space to remain in the course. If the instructor agrees that you can stay in the course, you will need to contact Registration in order to be officially added to, and coordinate payment for, the class.
If you are on the waitlist, contact your instructor about getting added to the Canvas course. You will need to coordinate with your instructor to determine whether or not there is space to remain in the course. When a student is manually added by the instructor, Canvas sends a message to the student notifying them that they have been added.
“Remote teaching” is what we’re calling classes that were originally scheduled as face-to-face, or in-person, classes. They often will have some scheduled, live lecture and discussion times (at the time the class would have been meeting face-to-face), most likely on Zoom. Zoom is an online program that provides group chat with video, with some extra features for teachers. Remote teaching is different from a true online class because an online class would not have the activities scheduled at a particular time.
Given uncertainty with regard to the longevity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the time at which in-person classes could start is unknown. Making the decision to go to remote instruction now ensures we have the full span of the quarter for teaching and learning.
For many classes, your instructor will be posting content and activities on Canvas. If you haven’t used Canvas before, it’s a website for classes, quizzes, assignments and more. Instructors will also use a videoconferencing tool called Zoom, or a lecture recording tool called Panopto, for class lectures and discussions. Some classes will have homework packets.
Your instructor will be sharing out specifics in the week before classes start, March 30–April 3. Here are some things they will share during that week:
- What information will be online, and where to find it
- When you would be expected to be available for online lectures
- How the class will happen
Unless you have seen that your class has been canceled, or you have received a communication from an instructor or program/department representative about the class indicating that major changes are underway, you can assume that the substance of your class remains intact.
We will be flexible with shifts in schedules and expect to increase course offerings over the summer and fall to ensure access to courses required to meet graduation requirements. We will also provide, as possible, flexibility in requirements to support those nearing graduation so as not to impede your post-graduation plans or opportunities. Contact your faculty adviser for more guidance.
Faculty have been asked to be creative in this unprecedented time to try to preserve a productive classroom environment. Zoom is an online video communications tool that is being used by many faculty for this purpose, and is compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. If you are concerned about others viewing your personal surroundings in the background during a session, you may consider using a blank wall as your background when using Zoom, or explore Zoom’s options for virtual backgrounds.
Technology Support and Resources
Zoom is like a group video chat, but with a few extra features for teaching classes. You’ll be able to see and hear your instructor, and all the other students in the class. In your classes, you’ll hear lectures and participate in small groups using Zoom. Zoom is available on Mac, PC, Chromebook, and Android and iOS phones and tablets.
There are a few options:
Highline has prepared some resources to help:
- BSTEC 99 is a free online course offered through Continuing Education that covers the basics of using Canvas and Zoom for classes. (It can also be taken as a 1-pre-college credit course for a fee.) It is taught in English, Spanish and Arabic. An online course to learn to work online seems odd, but the teachers in this class can help. Register here for this free course.
- Resources for Remote Learning has many helpful how-to guides and videos for using Canvas and Zoom. You can access these any time during the quarter.
- If you have a specific technical problem, contact the ITS Help Desk by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
First, check to see if your computer already has a webcam or microphone built in. You can download Zoom and install it, then use the self-check tools it has. If not, most electronics stores and department store electronics sections will sell them.
Preparing for Online Learning
Many of the preparations you make for face-to-face classes are the same:
- Make sure you have your textbooks and other materials before the first day.
- Read over the syllabus, and ask your instructor about things you aren’t sure about.
- Set aside time to study for each class.
Some additional preparations will help you succeed in this remote setting:
- Set up a distraction-free workspace and be prepared to engage in learning remotely during your regularly scheduled class times.
- Hang a sign on your computer or on the door to your work space saying you are in class.
- Update your Canvas notifications, so that you get up-to-date information about what’s happening in your classes.
- Download Zoom and try a practice Zoom before the class starts. Make sure your microphone and camera work properly.
- Log in to Canvas and check your Highline student email every day.
- Communicate regularly with your instructor. Visit their student hours (office hours) regularly and bring your questions.
- Set aside time to work on each class. There may not be as much scheduled in-class time, but expect that a 5-credit class will take about 15 hours per week of work.
- Check out the Resources for Remote Learning that Highline is developing to assist you as you transition into and through a quarter of remote learning.
This will certainly be a challenge, for instructors and students alike. Here are a few suggestions.
When you’re on live video lectures:
- Try and find a quiet place to participate.
- Zoom allows you to turn the camera on and off, and turn off the microphone when you’re not talking. Do that, so you don’t accidentally share too much!
- Use a pair of headphones or a headset to help block out noise.
- Hang a sign on your computer or the door to your work space saying you are in class.
- Find activities that can distract kids for an hour or so, and have a spare sitting next to you in case that doesn’t work.
When you’re doing quiet studying:
- Get up early, or stay up late, when no one else is awake (but make sure you get plenty of sleep!).
- Keep that sign around, and set it up where you are studying.
- Try and create a schedule for the day, and clearly communicate study times.
The Highline College Library will be closed March 20–April 26. Although the physical library will be closed, Highline librarians will continue to provide virtual reference services and information literacy (IL) instruction via Zoom consultations. Starting March 30, Highline librarians will be available via email or chat. For 24/7 research assistance, students may use our online chat service. For more library resources and services, see Updates and Remote Resources for Highline College Library Users.
Most student resources have transitioned from in-person to phone, email, Zoom or Canvas. See Virtual Support Services During Spring Quarter.
Students can create Zoom accounts too, although there are limits to the number of people and how long they can be. Other group platforms (WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Facetime, etc.) are also good options. You can even do group calling on many mobile phone plans, and have a phone study group.
Ask your instructor for help with finding people to study with. They can work with the whole class to arrange for you to meet other students to connect with. Look for folks with similar interests and similar schedules, so it’s easier to connect.
Highline has had one case of COVID-19. See Dr. Mosby’s March 27 message.
Highline will follow advice and direction from Public Health – Seattle & King County, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Washington State Department of Health and other state officials.
According to the King County Department of Public Health, students and employees should remain home if they are ill with symptoms like fever, cough or difficulty breathing. If a supervisor notices that a faculty or staff member is ill, the supervisor should put the employee in an unoccupied room, provide a face mask (if available), and call Human Resources at (206) 592-3812. Faculty and staff are encouraged to remind students to stay home if they are sick and to make accommodations for students who do need to remain home during illness.
Avoid close contact with people who you know are ill or who are coughing and/or sneezing. Remember that there are a variety of respiratory illnesses that may cause such symptoms; so don’t assume someone who is ill has the novel coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray and disinfecting wipes. Information Technology Services has created a handy guide for cleaning and disinfecting common computing, office and telephone equipment.
Highline’s Facilities department will be cleaning and disinfecting high-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces more often, with special attention to door handles and keyboards. They will also clean bathroom Dyson air dryers several times a day, which can harbor germs. The college will be ordering large quantities of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer stations and/or bottles that will be distributed across campus.
In times of fear and uncertainty, there is often misinformation shared as a result of bias and, at times, discrimination or xenophobia. COVID-19 is a global concern that can make anyone sick, regardless of their race or ethnicity. Highline College is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all who study, work or visit.
If you experience or witness any bias or harassment, report it to Highline Public Safety at (206) 592-3218. You can also report the behavior to the Student Assessment and Information Team (SAIT). The goal of the SAIT is to take an informed, proactive and preventive approach to addressing potentially threatening behaviors.
Any Highline student in need of more personal support during this time is encouraged to contact the Highline Counseling Center at (206) 592-3353. King County Public Health has also created a site dedicated to anti-stigma resources.
The Washington State Department of Health has information in 11 languages.
If you are sick, you should take steps you normally would when sick, including caring for your health, contacting your healthcare provider and not attending class if there’s a chance you could be contagious. In the event you miss a necessary in-person class due to illness, contact your instructor to arrange a plan to make up coursework.
According to the Washington State Department of Health, if you have traveled from overseas where coronavirus has been spreading (see CDC travel notices) or been in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), and feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider first. They will provide you with instructions for seeking care so that you do not expose others. There are many causes of fevers, coughs and other respiratory symptoms. Most clinics have surgical masks that you may be asked to wear while in the clinic. Protect others and wear a mask if asked. Wash your hands. Cover your cough or sneeze. If you are ill, stay home.
If you do not have a health care provider, use MultiCare’s free virtual care services. Use the promo code COVID19 and they will waive the regular $25 fee.
The Washington Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about how the virus is spread or what to do if you have symptoms, call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.
In situations that are uncertain and evolving such as this, it’s understandable to feel stressed or anxious. Here are some resources:
- Contact the Highline Counseling Center at (206) 592-3353.
- Listen to the Coronavirus Anxiety podcast from the American Psychological Association (transcript is also available).
- Focus on what you can control, such as the things you can do to be prepared and protect yourself like practicing good hygiene.
All Highline College spring sports practices, games and events are postponed until further notice.
Online tutoring sessions are 20 minutes long. To make the most of this time, students should come prepared with their questions and course materials ready to go