Frequently Asked Questions


(UPDATED July 30, 2020)

 


 
 If your question is not answered in this list, please contact keeplearning@vinu.edu with your question. 

 

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FALL COURSE FAQ’S FOR STUDENTS


 

VU’s instructional delivery methods for the 2020-2021 Academic year must be flexible in order to meet the uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 virus.  As previously announced, a decision was made to alter the 2020-2021 academic calendar out of an abundance of caution.  All classes will move to online delivery through Blackboard for the end of the fall semester and the beginning of the spring semester. This shift inherently changed the mode of instruction (what does "mode of instruction" mean?) for our traditional courses to two basic formats: virtual(online) and hybrid  (which mixes both face-to-face and online delivery methods). This document is intended to address some of the questions that may arise with this transition.

 

Why aren’t all classes face-to-face?

VU is committed to maintaining a high-quality educational experience for our students and that includes face-to-face instruction, wherever and whenever that delivery mode is essential to learning.  The conditions we are facing this coming school year, however, require us to do all we can to balance quality instruction with the health and safety concerns of everyone in the VU community. Face-to-face instruction will be an important part of course delivery in the Fall, and many of VU's fall course offerings will be a combination of face-to-face and virtual instruction with some being virtual only. This mode of instruction (what does "mode of instruction" mean?) will allow for less crowding in our classroom spaces and buildings.

What is Blackboard?

Blackboard is the online earning management system (LMS) that Vincennes University uses.  Blackboard allows faculty to add resources (syllabus, readings, links) for students to access online.  It also provides a platform for Powerpoint, video, audio, and other applications to be shared to enhance both teaching and learning efforts.  Students can submit course assignments, check grades, and meet with their instructor during office hours through Blackboard.  We’ve created a Blackboard video overview and resources that can be found in your MyVU under Academic > Blackboard Video & Tutorials.

What does “mode of instruction” mean?

“Mode of instruction” is the manner in which a class component (lecture, discussion, lab) is delivered in a given semester. Fall 2020 modes of instruction will include both hybrid and virtual (online).

How can I determine the mode of instruction for my Fall courses?

Log into your MyVU account > under “Quick Links”, click on “Your Class Schedule”> Select the term (Fall, Spring, Summer) from the drop-down menu > Click submit.  Your schedule should appear with the selected term listed in the top right corner.  All courses, by default,  are Hybrid courses.  If one of your courses has been changed to a virtual format, you will see “Virtual Instruction” listed under Location.  

Where will my courses meet?

Hybrid: All hybrid course sections have been assigned a physical location.  Hybrid courses will meet in-person at the physical location.  Class location can be found on your student schedule listed in MyVU.

Virtual:  All virtual (online) courses will be loaded into your Blackboard course list, and you should access them prior to the scheduled class meeting time for information from your instructor.

What if a class was originally designated as face-to-face and was changed to virtual (online)?  Can I change my schedule?  

You should meet with your advisor to see what options exist.  Some courses were changed to virtual format in order to accommodate our faculty members who are most susceptible to COVID-19.  Where we were able to offer options for delivery, we have done so. 

What does “hybrid” mean?

"Hybrid" means that classes will combine face-to-face classroom instruction with computer-based learning. In a hybrid class, a portion of the course learning will be online. The hybrid approach to course delivery will allow VU to follow the safety protocols of de-densifying classrooms and buildings while also providing face-to-face instruction to students.  

Can hybrid course credits be applied towards my degree/certificate just like an on-campus course?  

Yes, hybrid class credits apply towards your degree/certification just like any other class. Your transcripts will not reflect any differences for taking the hybrid classes.

Can virtual course credits be applied towards my degree/certificate just like an on-campus course? 

Yes, virtual class credits apply towards your degree/certification just as any other class. Your transcripts will not reflect any differences for taking the virtual classes.

What is the difference between a hybrid course and an online course?

A hybrid course meets face-to-face onsite for a significant part of the course, whereas an online course has no face-to-face component.

What are the benefits of hybrid courses?

Hybrid learning uses elements from both face-to-face and online learning formats.  Hybrid courses reduce face-to-face time, using learning for elements of the course that deliver well in an online space and reserving seat time for lesson objectives that benefit from hands-on experience, real-time discussion, feedback, or group activity.  This approach will allow us to provide quality instruction while also reducing crowding in our classroom spaces and buildings. 

 
What will it take for me to be successful in a hybrid course?

First, just as with all classes, attendance and participation are primary factors that produce success. Second, if you can use a web browser, download documents from the web and open them in another program, and use email then you are ready for the virtual portions of a hybrid course!  However, if you are still concerned, we have your back!  Stop by the Library, or Student Success Center, schedule a conversation with your advisor or reach out to a tutor.  You will find that both our faculty and staff are eager to help and ensure your success.

What will it take for me to be successful in an online course?

If you can use a web browser, download documents from the web and open them in another program, and use email then you have the technological skills needed to participate successfully in an online course.   If you run into difficulty you can schedule a conversation with your advisor or even your instructor.  You will find that our faculty are eager to help and ensure your success.  If you are on campus, you can stop by the Library, or Student Success Center for assistance. 


What has VU done to prepare for offering hybrid and virtual courses this academic year?

We have used the time since last Spring to design resources for both students and faculty so that both can thrive in the hybrid and virtual environments.  We have developed a Blackboard video and tutorials that can be found in your MyVU login (link under Academics) and we have also increased access to online tutoring.  This summer, both adjunct and full-time faculty members completed Blackboard training of between 10 and 40 hours.  We are confident that as a whole, both VU students and faculty will be well-prepared to succeed in the virtual aspects of their courses and in the hybrid environment overall.


What do I need to participate in a virtual course or the virtual portion of a hybrid course?

To participate, you simply need access to the Internet.  Most VU buildings are equipped with both wired and wireless internet connections.  If you choose to work on campus with your own device from a picnic table, bench, or even your car, your MyVU credentials will allow you to sign into WiFi.  

Will I be working on my own in a hybrid course?

No. In addition to the face-to-face instruction, you will be working closely with the instructor and the students in your class in the virtual portion, just as you would in a classroom. Depending upon the class, you will interact using our Blackboard learning management system.  Blackboard is designed to allow for extended class participation through online discussions or forums, collaborations for group work, and working in a team for class projects. You will not be on your own.

Will I be working on my own in a virtual course?

No. You will be working closely with the instructor and the students in your class, just as you would in a classroom. You will interact using our Blackboard learning management system.  Blackboard is designed to allow for robust class participation through online discussions or forums, collaborations for group work, and working in a team for class projects. You will not be on your own.


How often will my hybrid course meet face-to-face?

Your instructor will review the course meeting schedule with you on the first day of the course and the course schedule will be outlined in the syllabus. On the days that face-to-face meetings are not being held, there will be additional activities, usually web-based, in place of the class meeting.  The instructor of each of your courses will be your primary contact and resource for questions regarding course structure and delivery.    


Where will I meet for my hybrid course?

All hybrid courses will be assigned a physical location and meeting pattern.  Look for meeting location information on your schedule, which can be accessed via MyVU.  Guidance about the meeting pattern will be provided by your instructor through the course syllabus.

 
What will we do in the face-to-face portion of my courses?

Class time will be used for a variety of activities.  You will participate in laboratory work, class discussion, group activities, and perhaps deliver presentations.  Each individual instructor will have his or her own specific requirements, which will be discussed during the first class meeting.  It is especially important that you attend the first class meeting.  


What will we do in the virtual portion of my courses?

You will use Blackboard for the online component of your course.  On the Blackboard website, there will be links to online resources to help you understand and learn the course material.  There will also be instructions for assignments and/or tests, presentations that you will be required to complete.  


Is the virtual portion of my hybrid course self-paced?

Hybrid courses are NOT self-paced courses.  All assignments will have deadlines.  While you can work from your computer for your convenience and safety, you will be expected to keep up with the class due dates which can be found in your syllabus and within Blackboard.

 
How can I get help with my course now that it is hybrid or virtual?  

For hybrid courses, remember that there will still be some face-to-face meetings of your course and you can always ask for assistance there. All faculty will hold virtual office hours which are also fantastic opportunities to meet with the instructor. Within your syllabus, your instructor will identify the best mode(s) of communicating with them. Free tutoring is also available to all VU students.  View our Tutoring Resources page.

Have changes been made to the Fall calendar?

There has been no change made to the start date, end date, or the number of days in the semester.  To reduce COVID-19 exposure that could result from Thanksgiving holiday travel, however, all in-person instruction (including final exams) will be delivered in a virtual format after Thanksgiving.  View the Academic Calendar.


Will Fall 2020 classes be offered on a Pass/No Pass (P/NP) basis?

As we start the fall semester, VU will observe traditional grading options and requirements.  Should we need to move to a purely remote learning environment as we did last spring, we would consider instituting the Emergency Grade options.


How will final exams work?

Each class has been assigned a final exam time that can be found listed in MyVU.  All final exams will be delivered remotely.  Not every class will have a final exam.  Some instructors may replace final examinations with other modes of assessment. 

 


 

CLASSES & STUDENTS


 

What is the VU Face Mask Policy?

The VU Face Mask Policy is available to view online & print here.

 

How do I register for fall classes?
You can sign up for advising/classes now by visiting www.vinu.edu/startvu advising for fall 2020 is open.  

For returning students, please reach out to your advisor via email, phone, or Blackboard to register for classes.  You may also contact the Student Success Center at 812-888-4451 or through email at studentsuccesscenter@vinu.edu for assistance.


I am a Vincennes University dual credit student and my high school closed. What does that mean for me?  
If your school corporation is closed because of COVID-19, follow the directions provided to you by your school. Vincennes University will work with dual enrollment students who are impacted by local school closures.


Can I still visit the VU Testing Center? And what about proctored tests? 
Yes, the VU Testing Center will be open to VU students, but please contact the location directly at 812.888.5404 to ensure there is ample capacity to account for appropriate social distancing. 

 

How can a student who wishes to withdraw completely from the semester and drop all courses do so?

Students are encouraged to continue in their classes for as long as possible before making the decision to withdraw.  Students choosing to withdraw completely from the semester should contact the Dean of Students Office or the appropriate campus administrative official to withdraw from the university.  Before making a decision to withdraw from classes please seek out your advisor. Perhaps, there might be an alternative that would allow you to stay in school. Ask yourself some important questions such as how will this impact my Financial Aid? How will this impact me if I live in campus housing? Would it be possible for me to move to part-time?  If you still elect to withdraw from classes please contact the Dean of Students Office or the appropriate campus administrative official.

 

Will there still be tutoring services available and will the Shake Library be opened?

Yes. Students can log into their MyVU account to schedule an appointment with a free tutor who can assist them in a virtual format. 

VU is also expanding virtual tutoring resources. We will be offering Brainfuse Online Tutoring for the following courses:

  • All Math
  • ENGL 101 - Comp I
  • ENGL 102 - Comp II
  • HIST 139 - American History I
  • SOCL 151 - Principals of Sociology
  • GEOS 100 - Earth Science
  • MGMT 100 - Introduction to Business
  • COMP 177 - Introduction to Programming Logic, Design, and Development
  • NURS 100 - Nursing Fundamentals
  • BIOL 111 - Anatomy and Physiology I
  • CHEM 105 - General Chemistry I

Students are initially allotted 2 hours of tutoring, but can request more by emailing DRalston@vinu.edu.
In addition to Brainfuse, all areas where we are offering face-to-face will have virtual hours as well. Students can find a current list of available subject through the appointment scheduler. Directions for making an appointment are located on the LSS website: https://www.vinu.edu/web/learning-support-services 

I'm a current student and I  have some questions that I don't see on this FAQ list.  Who can I direct my questions to?
VU is here to support you in this new learning environment and has established a Student Concern Initiative.  A link to the email address keeplearning@vinu.edu can be found in red on your MyVU sign-in page.  Use this email for any questions or problems you have and our staff members will work to find the answer to your question or the best solution to your problem.

 


INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS


Can nonimmigrant students participate in online classes from outside the U.S. and still maintain their nonimmigrant status?
Yes, nonimmigrant students can temporarily engage in distance-learning, either from within the U.S. or outside the country, in light of COVID-19. SEVP will provide updated guidance as additional information concerning the scope and length of this situation becomes clearer.  In evaluating these changes, SEVP is focused on ensuring that nonimmigrant students are able to continue to make normal progress in a full course of study as required by federal regulations. SEVP intends to be flexible with temporary adaptations.
 
Will students be able to return to the United States if they are continuing their studies outside of the country as a result of COVID-19? 

Students who continue to make normal progress in their course of study remain eligible for admission into the United States. However, because of the changing array of travel restrictions, nonimmigrant students should refer to their local embassy’s website through the U.S. Department of State for any updates about visa issuance. Also, DHS and CDC websites provide information about current travel restrictions to the United States. 

 


 

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

 

I am a potential student planning to visit the campus, should I still visit?
If you are interested in scheduling a campus tour please contact us by phone at 812-888-4313 or email vuadmit@vinu.edu.

 

What is the latest information about Start VU?

Students can now register for advising/classes  by going to www.vinu.edu/startvu 

VU is conducting all advising, registration, and orientation processes in a virtual environment. Students are strongly encouraged to complete placement testing, advising/registration, and orientation as soon as possible. A member of VU's team will be in contact with new students in the coming weeks to provide information on the virtual Start VU process and also provide assistance.


How can I contact VU Admissions?
The Office of Admissions is here for you!  You can reach us by phone (812-888-4313) and email vuadmit@vinu.edu.
 


 

FACILITIES, EVENTS, & VISITORS
 
Will VU facilities be closed for the rest of the semester?
Operation schedules campus-wide have been adjusted to encourage social distancing. 
Most VU facilities are closed to the public through January 5, 2021. Reservations for 2021 will be placed on hold pending review in December. Due to the uncertainty of the COVID 19 pandemic no guarantees will be granted.
 
Are there restrictions on on-campus visitors?

While all offices are now open, Vincennes University encourages individuals to utilize the telephone, email, or other means of communication to connect with campus personnel.

When will VU’s recreational facilities reopen? 
The fitness center, indoor track, and locker rooms are open at this time. Facilities/services closed for the remainder or Summer include the aquatic center, bowling center, P.E. Complex, Student Rec Center Courts A-D, equipment rentals, steam rooms, and water fountains (bottle fill portion of machine is still available). For more detailed information on the hours of operation, sanitation protocols, and policies click here

Is the Shake Learning Resource Center (LRC) Open?

The library is open to all.  Please use the return box by the main entrance for book returns. Please note this could change based on COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions.  For more information about the Shake Library visit: https://www.vinu.edu/web/shake-library/welcome.

What should be done with books checked out of the Library?

Library books can now be brought directly to the library. Please place items in the book return at the front entrance. If you are unable to come to campus please contact us at 812.888.4165.  Jasper campus students should call 812.481.3030.

 


 

BOOKSTORE


Is the Old Post Bookstore open? 
The Old Post Bookstore is available to assist students, faculty, and staff on a revised basis.  The bookstore can be reached at 812-888-4334.

Book orders may be placed using the following links:
Vincennes Campus Bookstore: http://vubookstore.vinu.edu/SelectTermDept
Jasper Campus Bookstore: http://vujcbookstore.vinu.edu/SelectTermDept

Beginning Monday, August 10th, you may pick up your books ordered online at the bookstore. You may charge eligible books and supplies to your student account if you have remaining financial aid. Remaining aid is the amount of financial aid, scholarships, and grants that you have left after you are charged for tuition, fees, supplies, and housing when applicable. Bookstore charges you make using your remaining aid will be deducted from your financial aid.

Books not ordered online may be purchased at the bookstore in person. If you are eligible, please print your FAST PASS vouchers under your MyVU account. Social distancing guidelines will be followed.

 

What are the Bookstore hours of operation?

August 10, 11, 12: 8am-430pm

August 13, 14: 8am-6pm

August 15: 9am-5pm

August 16: Noon-4pm

 

Starting August 17:

Monday-Thursday: 8am-6pm

Friday: 8am-430pm

Saturday: 11am-3pm


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES


 
The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
 
Many academic resources can be accessed online through VU’s Shake Library:
https://www.vinu.edu/web/shake-library
 
Indiana State Government COVID-19 website:
https://www.in.gov/coronavirus/