Online Course Format: Frequently asked questions and concerns (FAQC)
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Here are some frequently asked questions and concerns about our new online format.
How can I access ChemDraw or other software while I'm off campus?
If you happen to have a UND login, the easiest solution is to take advantage of the UND site license for ChemOffice. You can find instructions for downloading this and other software you may need at the UND's Office for Information Tech. Software Page.
If you do not have access to the site licenses through UND, there a few solutions that I am working on.
(A) I am working on obtaining individual student licenses, but I expect this will take some time.
(B) Contact me directly to let me know that you currently have no access to ChemDraw and I may be able to transfer one of our existing liscences to you for a temporary basis.
(C) An alternative software is the Marvin software from Chem Axon. It is free if you have a ".edu" email address. It's not a perfect fix if you need the biological templates, but it does produce nice chemical structures easily in ACS format (see this video). Further, you can open existing ChemDraw files with it. Here is a YouTube playlist (click).
I left my notes in my dorm. Do you have any resources that can help me?
I am so sorry. This isn't a replacement for your own notes, but I have put keys to all in-class activities in your @GroupShare folder. These are for your eyes only please (and beware of some mistakes).
How will office hours work now that we can't come to your office?
As always, you can schedule appointments with me using my Google Appointments Calendar. We will meet using Google Hangouts. I would appreciate you signing up at least an hour ahead of time if possible, but you can drop in to see if I'm there any time using the google hangouts link that is on the calendar.
I'm worried about finding space and time to do my work from home.
Yep, this is a challenge that almost everyone is dealing with now. Its a good idea to make a plan for regular hours that you will be "at school" and have a talk with your family about holding some regular "work" hours. Tell your family that it's important to you to do well in your classes and tell them how they can help you by not disrupting you while you're in your "school/work mode" during those hours. And tell them that it would be great if you can chat with them or help with things during planned breaks.
Don't be afraid to google it for additional tips: "Advice for working from home". Here's some advice from NPR:
I'm worried that my grade will suffer due to the transition to online format.
There is no reason that your grade should suffer due to the pandemic as long as you can take some small steps to prepare yourself for distance learning (advice above). Fortunately, you've already earned most of the points for the content of this course already. Now you have just one major thing to focus on: the MyMolecule project will make up the majority of remaining points (about 20% of your grade).
First, make a plan for regular "work" hours each day, and perpare yourself for distance learning.
Second, focus efforts for this course on making your my molecule paper, including its figures, as good as you can make it. You can do this by making serious effort to respond to feedback and peer reviews on both writing and figures. And, fortunately, we have a workshop to help you with this!
Third, after your final draft is complete you should completely understand the inorganic content applied to your molecule. At this point you should focus on making a nice concise presentation to share your work with your classmates.
To succeed, in all of this, you'll need some consistent dedicated work time (see tips above for working at home). This is a project that is quite amenable to our new situation, but if there are specific concerns please contact me to let me know.
*If there are physical resources (ie textbook sections or other) that you need, and that I can send to you, let me know.
I'm worried about my internet connectivity at home. What if I miss something because I can't connect?
I'm sorry if you have spotty internet. I also have internet connectivity problems that seem to be exacerbated now that I am online all day to do my work. Did you notice I was in my office for our first meeting? Its because my home internet cut out 30 minutes before hand and so I jumped in my car and rushed to work *hoping* that the SMC internet was working. It's frustrating, certainly. And furthermore it causes anxiety in our new anxiety-filled days. And, I know you may not have a backup like I did.
Technical problems are going to be part of our new normal. My goal is to minimize the impact on you. This is why all materials are available online so that you can access materials at any time. If spotty internet access causes you to miss a due date, simply let me know and we can adjust. If you miss a meeting because your internet cuts out, there will be a recording of the meeting.
It would be a great help if we can all assume that we'll have some technical problems as this semester continues, and we just try to roll with them. So, if your partner in peer review suddenly disappears from a meeting, please be patient and plan to catch up later if you can.
If there are any ways I can help further with this, please contact me and let me know.
I haven't received feedback on some of my essays yet, so how should I finish my draft?
I am behind with providing feedback on Essays. I will take this into account when assessing Draft 2. If you have not received feedback yet, you can extend the official due date for your Draft 2 until 48 hours after you receive feedback from me. But actually...the main reason for the Draft 2 due date is so that you can use it for Day 2 of the writing workshop. Please do what you can now even if you have not received feedback yet.