Changes due to COVID-19

We hope that this posting finds you all safe and well. You have probably been wondering about the status of the IE Teachers’ Orientation (which had been scheduled for April 4th), and the start of AGU’s academic year (originally scheduled for Tuesday, April 7th). 

Many of our adjunct lecturers teach at other schools and universities and may have already been notified about delays in the commencement of the academic year. Due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, it has taken some time for AGU to decide whether or not to postpone it.

I’m pleased to announce that a decision has finally been made. First semester classes will start on April 21st. The term will last 13 weeks instead of the usual 15 weeks.

The plan is to have actual face-to-face classes from April 21st, but teachers should make content available to their students online and be prepared to hold classes online as well should that become necessary. Teachers who wish to conduct their classes online will be able to do so. 

Our Joho Media Center has been working hard to try to decide on the best online tools for our needs. Yesterday it was announced that they concluded a contract with Cisco for the use, by all faculty and students, of Webex. It can be used over the Web and the WebEx Mobile app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The plan is to somehow integrate the use of Webex with CoursePower, the LMS (Learner Management System) that the university has made available to us for years, but which few of us have ever touched. 

Therefore, not only students, but teachers as well, will be learning new things in novel and, hopefully, wonderful ways.

About Jodias

J.V. Dias, an American from San Jose, California, is currently the co-coordinator of the Integrated English (IE) Program and a member of the Communications Unit of Aoyama Gakuin University's English Department. In the last few years he has published articles that appeared in two TESOL texts: Dias, J.V., & Kikuchi, K. (2010). Designing listening tasks: Lessons learned from needs analysis studies. In Teaching Listening: Voices From the Field (N. Ashcraft and A. Tran, Eds.). Alexandria, VA: TESOL, pp. 9-31. AND... Dias, J.V. (2009). A Web of Controversy: Bringing Critical Thinking Skills Online. In Adult language learners: Context and innovation (G. Strong and A. Smith, Eds.). Alexandria, VA: TESOL, pp. 97-105.
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