Illinois State University addressed spring break staying the same, winter commencement moving online and concerns regarding the proctoring software in this week’s COVID-19 update email.
After asking for feedback from students, faculty and staff, the 2021 spring break will remain from March 6-14. The start of spring semester will also remain on Jan. 11. It was noted in the email that many responses expressed that spring break is important for maintaining mental health.
The university is still apprehensive about the spring break travel and how it could increase the spreading of COVID-19 in the community. Testing will be implemented after spring break for students who live and work on campus.
Spring semester is also more than likely going to look like the fall semester with most classes online or hybrid.
Winter commencement will be held online to recognize the accomplishments of winter graduates. It will feature slide shows and remarks by President Larry Dietz and other Illinois State University officials. The recorded ceremonies will be available on the commencement website beginning Dec. 12.
The university is also looking at ways to host an in-person commencement experience for all spring, summer and winter 2020 graduates in spring 2021. Plans will be communicated through email and on the commencement site.
Concerns surrounding Proctortrack were cleared up after the university announced the purchase of the exam software.
Associate Vice President for Technology Solutions and Chief information Officer Charles Edamala pointed out that the software has been in use at ISU for years and that the university made it more readily available for those who wish to utilize it with classes being online.
"After three months of consultations with faculty and students, Proctortrack was chosen as the least intrusive approach to online proctoring. While proctoring software has been used at ISU for many years, this is the first time that it has been standardized and made more easily available to those instructors who need to use it,” Edamala said.
Most students will not be affected since few faculty plan to use it. If instructors use the software, they must inform the students they plan to use it on during the course of the online class.
Testing continues to be on- going at the mobile home in the Alamo II parking lot and the fire station behind Cardinal Court. Both locations are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for asymptomatic students. Those with symptoms should call Student Health Services to make an appointment to be tested.
The full email can be read below.