We recognize that the last week has been an extraordinary one, one in which we have all had to dramatically change the way we think about our communities and our connections to one another. We hope that as most of you have left campus, your journeys went as smoothly as possible, given the circumstances. And we hope that you have at least begun to settle into your new, and unanticipated, living arrangements.
We write to update you with some important information about Middlebury’s academic program, so you’ll know what to anticipate when classes resume remotely on March 30.
Grading for this semester: First and most important, for this spring semester only, you will have the option to take as many of your current courses as you wish on a Pass/D/Fail basis—and these will not count toward the two Pass/D/Fail courses to which you are normally limited. Such Pass/D/Fail courses from this semester will also not count toward the limit of five non-standard grades. Faculty will still report letter grades for all students, and if a student requests Pass/D/Fail, the grades will automatically be converted to a P for grades of C- or higher and recorded as a D or F if those are the grades that are submitted. You will be allowed to invoke Pass/D/Fail grading for any course—including courses that count toward all college requirements—and will have until May 1 to do so. The Registrar’s Office will provide additional details and will make available an electronic form that you can use to invoke the Pass/D/Fail option. Please note: You will not be able to revoke the Pass/D/Fail option once selected, so please make this decision carefully.
Online resources available to students: In the next several days, student interns at our office of Digital Learning and Inquiry (DLINQ) will be creating a student academic continuity resource page. This page will offer guides for the technologies students can expect to use, tips for learning in this new environment, and other resources. Among these resources will be what we are calling a Student Continuity Planner, which will help students keep track of all the new technologies and expectations for their courses. These resources will focus on what students need to know to complete their courses in this new environment. In addition, when classes resume, DLINQ interns will also offer drop-in support hours for students via Zoom. We expect that this support should be available daily for some period of time. More information on this support will be forthcoming in the upcoming days.
Course schedules: Because we are moving to remote teaching, and because our students will now be around the world in different time zones, we are recommending that the majority of course work be asynchronous. We are working on the most flexible, least disruptive way to do that, while still ensuring that students do not have time conflicts or unreasonable meeting times, given their time zones. Faculty will communicate with students in their classes about expectations around synchronous meeting times.
We are well aware that there are many other issues we will need to address when it comes to the continuation of the academic program in coming weeks. We ask for your patience and creativity. And please let us know if you have any questions or concerns that we can address.
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty