IICP College Updates to Contingency Plan as of 25 March 2020
We have now moved into the delay phase, and are following the guidance of all relevant state bodies in this regard. Since we sent in the initial contingency plan on 07 March 2020, we have continued and/or completed the following actions:
- The Senior Management team has established a task force which consists of the College President, Legal Counsel, Director of Registry and Academic Affairs, Senior Manager Quality Assurance, Head of Academic Studies, Finance Director and Financial Controller. This task force is available for regular meetings and to make in the moment decisions. The meetings are taking place via video-conferencing. The following steps have been enacted:
- We have notified all students that the college will be operating remotely and that class will continue during this public health crisis.
- Students were contacted immediately by email and via Moodle and were provided with assurance that classes would continue and information about the technical requirements for learning continuity.
- We have delivered all classes on schedule since remote teaching commenced.
- There has not been one instance of a missed class.
- Staff and faculty have worked tirelessly to ensure that online classes are ready for students on a weekly basis.
- All students have continued to engage in their learning.
- In the initial week of transitioning to Online Learning, the majority of classes were delivered asynchronously, using Moodle; however with one week of moving to online delivery, all classes were being delivered synchronously using Zoom.
- We have maintained an attendance log for each class.
- We have reviewed the assessment strategy for every module and are communicating any required changes to faculty and learners.
- Faculty are contacting students each week via email and Moodle to provide detail of the class plan for the coming week.
- Additional support tutorials are ongoing for learners.
- We have continued to have bi-daily meetings with college staff who are now all working remotely.
- All staff have access to their encrypted computers.
- Staff who require it have protected VPN access to the server.
- External IT support remains in place.
- We have continued to have regular meetings with faculty who are now all working remotely.
- Ongoing training and development sessions are taking place with faculty on the use of technology enabled learning.
- Ongoing support is offered to faculty via Zoom, phone and email.
- From a QA perspective, we have built feedback mechanisms into each class via Moodle and are using questionnaires to gather information about students are managing the transition.
- Feedback from students is being collated by our Senior Manager in Quality Assurance and Enhancement.
IICP College Contingency Plan as of 07 March 2020
IICP College has been monitoring the health implications of the coronavirus for some time. Our aim is to respond appropriately and proportionately, and our key focus is on the continuity of training provision. This is in accordance with our QA “Policy 2.4 IICP College’s Quality and Governance Framework; (iv) Business Continuity, Resilience and Risk Management”
We are currently in containment phase, and are following the guidance of the HSE in this regard. In the past ten days the following has occurred:
- A deep clean of the college.
- Ongoing antiseptic cleaning of the building.
- The Senior Management team has established a task force which consists of the College President, Legal Counsel, Director of Registry and Academic Affairs, Senior Manager Quality Assurance, Head of Academic Studies, Finance Director and Financial Controller. This task force is available for regular meetings and to make in the moment decisions. The meetings are both face to face and through conference call.
- Provision of information for staff and students as per HSE guidelines:
- We have spoken to each class group about preventative measures that can be taken, and increased our scrutiny of the sanitary measures in place in the College.
- We have had multiple planning meetings with faculty around the management of each module on our programmes, and what needs to be changed in order to ensure key Learning Outcomes are covered prior to assessment dates.
- We have discussed with learners the contingency plans for teaching and learning and assessment in order to reassure them of our continued vigilance and ensure that they are aware of what is expected of them.
The mitigation phase is the worst-case scenario, which may not happen, but we have considered and taken steps to prepare for this possibility. To this end, in the last two weeks, IICP College has engaged with teaching, support staff and students to identify how the College community would manage any disruption to its planned schedule.
The steps that have been taken include:
- Ongoing senior management team meetings are occurring to provide leadership.
- Multiple meetings with Teaching Staff are occurring daily in order to identify possibilities to ensure continuity and enhancement of training provision, and to ensure ongoing engagement with students.
- We have reorganised the delivery of our programmes to ensure key face-to-face modules are taking place in the here and now, so we will not be dependent on contact hours thereafter. Each lecturer has been reorganising the delivery of their modules so that the required learning outcomes are being covered. The non-contact student effort hours associated with each module, can occur off-site with directed readings, use of Moodle-based information for teaching, learning and formative assessment. In addition, teachers are developing podcasts, reflexive exercises and webinars which will be placed on Moodle. This is a quality enhancement activity which will benefit all students, irrespective of the outcome of the current health concerns. Please note, that these additional resources are not to replace face-to-face content delivery, but rather to support it.
- If College closure is mandated and contact hours disrupted as a result, any such disruption and hours lost will be remedied and resolved over the summer months
- In terms of assessments, most summative assessments are in written form and are submitted through Moodle and we will continue to use this method. Moodle has always been used for formative assessment, such as quizzes and discussion forums and this will continue as usual. There was one examination, which occurred in February. Therefore there will be no impact on examinations.
- The College has capacity to provide interviews for prospective students through Microsoft Teams and Skype.
- The Senior Management Team are continuing to monitor developments in this fast-changing situation, and to provide leadership, encouragement and support to faculty and staff.
- We will continue to have ongoing meetings with students, staff and lecturers and provide updates on both the Covid-19 novel virus itself and our contingency arrangements should circumstances change.