EL at a Distance


Resources for Faculty and Activity Directors

Given the USG’s recent decision to move to online instruction for the remainder of the semester, a number of experiential courses and programs have been impacted.  The Office of University Experiential Learning has created a webpage with several resources at https://el.uga.edu/policies/covid/, which will hopefully alleviate some of the stress you and your students may be feeling. As the guidance in the link above indicates, if the course or non-credit activity is going to “successfully complete”, then that student has met the EL Requirement. 

We understand that some students may not have been able to complete all the experiential elements of their course, or were not able to complete them in the expected way.  For some faculty mentors, activity directors, and their students, there simply may be no way to complete the experiential learning activity. In these cases, mentors may consider assigning a grade of Incomplete (or In Progress for non-courses) if the student and mentor plan to complete the course or activity later. A student may choose to Withdraw from courses as well, but be aware that in addition to possibly not fulfilling the experiential learning requirement, this could impact a student’s financial aid calculation and might have an adverse impact on their aid. A decision to Withdraw should be done in consultation with Academic Advisors and Financial Aid Advisors. In our opinion, a withdrawal should be a last resort option.

Below are recommendations from the Office of University Experiential Learning on select best practices to manage your courses and non-credit activities that may not be completed as planned.

Recommendations by Experiential Learning Category (Applies to both Courses and Non-Credit Activities)

  • Creative: In any of the following scenarios, the course or activity could be considered completed. Activity directors, faculty and their departments have significant discretion on how they can help a student complete their activities and we encourage faculty members and activity directors to seek such solutions as these will create the least disruption for students.
    • If a student has completed or can complete sufficient work to meet the learning objectives for the experiential learning course or activity, then the faculty mentor or activity director may consider the experience completed and assign a grade/pass the student for the course/activity.
    • If the mentor is able to find a way to let a student work remotely.
    • If the mentor wishes to substitute the planned work for something else that still addresses the original learning objectives and fulfills the requirements set forth by their departments
  • Global: In any of the following scenarios, the course or activity could be considered completed. Activity directors, faculty and their departments have significant discretion on how they can help a student complete their activities and we encourage faculty members and activity directors to seek such solutions as these will create the least disruption for students.
    • If a student came home early from an approved study away program that was cancelled and the student has completed or can complete sufficient work to meet the learning objectives for the experiential learning course or activity, then the faculty mentor or activity director may consider the experience completed and assign a grade/pass the student for the course/activity.
    • If the student has already finished a sufficient amount of work and engagement.
    • If the mentor is able to find a way to let a student work remotely.
    • If the mentor wishes to substitute the planned work for something else that still addresses the original learning objectives and fulfills the requirements set forth by their departments.
  • Internship
    • Create an eLC module to complete throughout the rest of the semester with related assignments through Lynda.com. This will focus on career prep/interviewing skills videos; have the students watch and reflect on these to complete their internships. Possible Options include:
      • Begin with Reflection: Students draft a 2-page reflection paper on how they were challenged, had ownership of projects and gained awareness (as defined by EL in the rubric) during the time in the semester when they were able to report to work. 
      • Writing a Resume, all students: assignment is to turn in their resume and take the chapter quizzes
      • Writing a Cover Letter, all students: assignment is to turn in a cover letter and the sample job/internship description they used to write the letter
      • Rock Your LinkedIn Profile, all students: assignment is to share the link to their updated LinkedIn profile
      • Personal Branding on Social Media(2 credit hour only), assignment is to develop a 1-page social media personal branding plan based on info in the course
      • Developing Self-Awareness(3 credit hour only), assignment is to write a 1-page paper on what they learned about themselves and their values after this course; they may choose to relate it to their internship experience to provide realistic examples
    • Additionally, the UGA Career Center Guide contains great information and the student can review pages 26-32 that covers career readiness skills, resume breakdown, marketing their internship among others (https://career.uga.edu/uploads/documents/UGACareerGuide.pdf (PDF)).
  • Leadership:
  • Service-Learning
  • Undergraduate Research
    • Review updates from UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities via their “CURO Update Document” at https://curo.uga.edu/.

Additional Resources:

 

Still Have Questions:

Please contact the Office of University Experiential Learning:

Email: ugael@uga.edu

Web: el.uga.edu