Following this week's Spring Break, two weeks of distance learning will take place between February 22 - March 5, with classes taking place Monday-Friday only. Throughout the rest of this week, I will be sending a daily brief that will cover specifics regarding how these two weeks of distance learning will operate. Some of this information will seem familiar and is shared to reiterate standard operating procedures with both parents and cadets. However, you will also notice some minor changes over the next few days, especially regarding our seminar course offerings. At the end of each day's brief, I will provide a short preview of what will be covered in the next day's brief.
Today, we will review FUMA's asynchronous approach to distance education and what this means for the daily check-in process, assignment due dates, and instructor accessibility.
Distance Learning Will Remain Asynchronous in Nature
FUMA services cadets in various time zones, spanning many different states and countries. To ensure equitability for all cadets, FUMA has and will continue to employ an asynchronous approach to distance education. The asynchronous approach allows cadets to access course materials during the time of the day that works most efficiently for them. While this means that synchronous instruction is not required, it is also not prohibited. Should a teacher decide to hold any synchronous activity at any point, he or she must ensure that all cadets have equal access to the information/material covered during the synchronous interaction. At the end of this note, I have provided a graphic that I hope will give you a general understanding of the differences between synchronous and asynchronous instruction.
Daily Check-in and Devotional
- As was the case during Term 5 last year and in Term 3 this year, we will employ the use of a daily check-in each morning, which will also contain that day's devotional message. Cadets will be required to complete this form at 0830 hours in their time zone each morning (Monday-Friday). The check-in-which will require cadets to provide a brief response to the devotional video-will be a daily participation grade in each course. The check-in form will also require cadets to acknowledge that they are simultaneously checking in for both their one-subject and seminar courses (if applicable). More information on seminar courses will be shared in tomorrow's brief. I have provided a link to the check-in form that was posted on February 11th as an example (http://tiny.cc/Sample_Form). Feel free to click the link and complete the form if you wish to familiarize yourself with the process.
- While asynchronous instruction does allow for more flexibility as it relates to due dates/times, cadets will be expected to submit certain assignments each day at times to be specified by the instructor. Submission due dates/times will be equitable and take into account a cadet's time zone. However, it is the expectation that each cadet is actively working between 0800-1200 hours in his respective time zone. Should anything prevent your cadet(s) from working during these hours, it is his responsibility to communicate this with his instructor.
Instructor Office Hours
- Our instructor office hours will operate on Eastern Standard Time (EST) and will take place between 0800-1200 hours (EST) each day (Monday-Friday). To ensure equitable access to instructors for all cadets, instructors are to be available from 1800-2000 hours each evening (EST) by appointment only. During these evening office hours, priority will be given to cadets who are 3+ hours outside of EST (again, by appointment only).
Our Next Email to You
In our next email to you this week, we will cover what to expect with seminar courses, which will include a discussion of Health, Religion, Leadership, Art, Music, Test Prep, Resource, and 7th Grade seminar courses.
*While the graphic below covers the benefits of synchronous and asynchronous instruction, it is also useful in understanding the differences between the two approaches to distance education. Click graphic to enlarge.*
COL Mike Goad
Fork Union Military Academy