Open Letter to President Flanagan

GSA President Urges Consideration for Asynchronous Learning and Other Core Priorities.

11 December 2020

An excerpt: 

The GSA is in support of the Students’ Union and International Students’ Association request to convene a special meeting of the General Faculties Council to discuss the necessity of asynchronous course materials for the Winter 2021 term, and we believe there are core considerations that need to be addressed in any forthcoming motion or resolution:

  1. Asynchronous materials, e.g. lecture recordings, need to be mandatory for those courses with students in time zones that pose a conflict with their ability to participate fully in a synchronous manner. We agree that this constitutes an equity and health issue for these students.
  2. Any resolution or motion carried requires supporting documentation describing the personnel, resources, and logistics to support the faculty needing to develop these materials.
  3. The University of Alberta must develop ongoing review processes, aside from the Universal Student Ratings of Instruction (USRIs), to monitor student satisfaction and engagement with the online learning environment, and publicly report the outcomes.
    1. Additionally, a parallel process to gauge the online teaching experience of instructors (inclusive of Faculty, Sessional, and staff) and their Graduate Teaching Assistants, to collect data to help determine how we can better support our teaching personnel.

Read the full statement.