Q: Will IEP classes be online for the Spring 2021 semester?
A: Yes. The Spring 2021 Intensive English Program will be online. While the IEP is ever hopeful that face-to-face instruction will resume soon, due to continued travel restrictions and difficulties for IEP students in obtaining student visas for the start of the semester, the decision has been made to continue our online academic English courses through the spring semester.
In our virtual classrooms, and via outside student projects, the IEP instructional team creates community online – just as we did in our face-to-face classrooms. A mid-term survey was recently sent to students asking their opinions on remote instruction. 97% of our current students responded. Of those, 85% of our students feel their academic English is increasing, 73% enjoy interacting online with their classmates, and 67% are pleased to be learning more about NC State and interacting with undergraduate students in class.
The desire to be on campus – face-to-face – is felt by instructors and students alike with 84.8% of our current students indicating that they wish they could be studying on State’s campus. The IEP administration is intent on making students feel connected to campus. We are bringing campus, Raleigh, and the State of North Carolina into the IEP online classrooms via WOLFPACK WEDNESDAYS (virtual tours of our amazing campus, visits from our undergraduate Global Ambassadors, and other distinguished members of NC State’s community), in addition to creating student projects that focus on tourist attractions throughout North Carolina. When IEP students arrive on campus, they will be WELL prepared for success on in the classroom, and for travel throughout the state.
For students to be successful in our online language program, they must have a reliable internet connection with VPN, and access to a webcam with an internal mic (headphones with an attached microphone can be used as an external mic.). NC State uses Zoom as our video conferencing software to interact with a variety of online material including publisher websites, NC State’s learning management system (Moodle) and Google apps.
Q: Will the university issue I-20s for online-only courses to newly accepted IEP students?
A: We recommend that you check NC State’s Office of International Services webpage for updated policy information on this question. Currently, NC State University is unable to offer remotely-delivered educational services to any international graduate students who are currently or normally resident in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Crimea (a region of Ukraine occupied by Russia) due to export control regulations. All other students (conditionally-admitted graduate, undergraduate or English Language Study) may enroll full-time or part-time in online courses from outside the U.S. without an I-20. However, during this time you will not have an active SEVIS record and you would not be accruing time towards eligibility for practical training benefits (CPT, OPT). Also, you will not be eligible for a GSSP/assistantship.
Q: Will the university issue I-20s to current F-1 students in the U.S. wishing to transfer to the IEP at NC State? .
A: We recommend that you check NC State’s Office of International Services webpage for updated policy information on this topic.
Q: Is the IEP building in Raleigh open to students?
A: The IEP building is currently closed to students. While the success of hosting our courses online allows for instructors and staff to work predominately from home, we do occasionally work from our offices following university regulations.
NC State has emergency resources available to under-resourced students affected by COVID-19. Visit Pack Essentials for more information.
Q: What will we be doing during online classes every day?
A: Online classes have become a little more common during the global pandemic. The IEP will continue using the video conferencing software Zoom as a virtual classroom setting. When learning another language, interaction is most important, so expect to be speaking in your online classes. In your Zoom classes, you will:
- participate in whole-class and/or small-group discussions,
- engage in other learning tasks assigned by your instructor and
- complete assignments and assessments designed to measure your learning.
- answer instructor questions
Q: How will students and instructors communicate?
- Your instructor will use Moodle Announcements and Gmail to communicate with you. You should check your email several times throughout the day and are responsible for all information sent to you via Moodle Announcements or Gmail. You will learn how to find all homework assignments, assessments, grades, class resources and, of course, announcements posted by your instructors during the new student Spring 2021 orientation sessions.
- Students will have a weekly class schedule and you will be expected to log in to your classes at the scheduled start time for each class.
Q: What are the IEP expectations for students during online instruction?
- Since you are technically “in class,” you will be expected to say and do things in the Zoom classroom that would be appropriate to say or do in an in-person IEP classroom.
- You will be expected to do assignments and participate in all classes.
- You will be responsible for checking your email throughout the day, every day!
- You will learn and be expected to use the various Zoom functions to communicate with instructors, and, when allowed, with your fellow students.
Practice good digital citizenship! Some of the best ways to do this are to remember the following:
- You are in your IEP class – the only difference is that the class is online.
- Instructors will be dressing and acting as they always do. They will expect the same of all students in their class.
- Present yourself in a manner that is respectful to instructors and fellow students – as you dress at the IEP.
- Stay focused on class content.
- Communicate with each other and with your instructor in English.
- Use respectful behavior and language when ‘in class’.
- Stick to appropriate topic discussions.
- Make only appropriate/permitted video or audio contributions.
- Do your own work. Your instructors will let you know what kind, if any, help you may receive from others.
Best Practices for your online meetings and classes:
Set up a dedicated space as free as possible from distractions. Consistency and routines will be important in the Distance Learning environment.
- Space: Create your learning space in a common area of your home
- resist the urge to multi-task: make sure only class-related tools are open on your device. If you are emailing others, or chatting with classmates offline, you WILL miss valuable material and/or important instructions.
- Time: Establish a daily routine and stick to it. Be sure to set your alarm in the morning, wake up and get ready for classes.
- In addition to your studies, prioritize healthy eating, conversation with friends, exercise, and relaxation each day.
Q: What if I have computer questions?
A: If you have technical difficulties, first, ask your instructor for assistance. If he/she is not able to resolve the problem, try to find your answer at the Zoom Help Center.
Q: What happens if my internet at home is down and I miss a class online?
A: Once your internet is fixed, students will be asked to email your instructor and explain the circumstances.