Parents' Q&A Session

Engineering parents joined Dean Deluzio on June 30, 2020 for a live Q&A Zoom session, featuring the Dean answering questions regarding remote program delivery in the Fall 2020 term.

For our full document answering all questions raised during the Queen's Engineering Parents' Q&A, please click here.

  • Kevin Deluzio: Is that it

    Kevin Deluzio: That's it. Okay, good. We're live here. And obviously participants are joining so we'll give a couple minutes for people to come in. I see the number growing

    Kevin Deluzio: Just crossed 100 mark.

    Kevin Deluzio: This is what in radio land is referred to as dead air, I guess.

    Kevin Deluzio: As well.

    Kevin Deluzio: We're just going to give everybody a few minutes to join and then we'll start with introductions and comments. Great to have you here today.

    Kevin Deluzio: Stephen perhaps you could let me know when things when you think it's

    Stephen Hunt: Your will.

    Stephen Hunt: Do you get started. Anytime come1

    Kevin Deluzio: Oh okay so we got almost a couple hundred people joining us and this these are parents. It's a distinct honor to welcome parents of engineering students to this session that we've planned today.1

    Kevin Deluzio: I think in many ways, whether you're a parent of a student that's going to start with us this fall, or whether you're a parent of a returning student1

    Kevin Deluzio: It's important to recognize that parents and families are along for the ride, so to speak, and are important contributors to their son and daughter or daughters punch.1

    Kevin Deluzio: Education. And I don't just mean in terms of the financial contribution. I mean in terms of the support an engineering degree is a hard thing.1

    Kevin Deluzio: To obtain. That's a lot of work. It's really hard and I was remarketing at our graduation celebration that we had a week ago that1

    Kevin Deluzio: That role of support that this an engineering degree is not something you can get alone that network of peers is important and a support system at home plays a big role.1

    Kevin Deluzio: So I want to thank you for, for joining us. I have with me today on the panel to people that you can see with me here. I'll start with Delaney Belvoir who's the outgoing Engineering Society president1

    Kevin Deluzio: And returning student to that is hoping that that will graduate this year domain. You want to say hello.1

    Delaney Benoit: Hi everyone. Yes, I'm hopefully graduating this year, fingers crossed. It's a pleasure to be here. And hopefully I can give some perspective as a student, but I think we're going to give most of the questions to the dean today so well. We'll get to that soon.1

    Kevin Deluzio: And I think it's important, Miss Queens is very student focused, it's important to have the2

    Kevin Deluzio: Student voice here and presence and the ladies been helping us a great deal with these and as well to kind of as a representative of the parents is is apparent form. And I can tell you it's2

    Kevin Deluzio: Really I'd rather be seeing you in person. Of course I missed that part of2

    Kevin Deluzio: This job and I've missed the relationship that we have. Normally we'd be traveling across the country planning events to welcome.2

    Kevin Deluzio: New students in and being able to meet with their parents. And of course, we see a lot of parents that come through the, through the year, so it's2

    Kevin Deluzio: It's speaking into a chasm, in a sense, and June. So therefore, in physical presence. They have somebody representing the parents, we have the soon to be parent of a student who will start this fall. And I'm also excited to say one of my classmates. I'm an app engineering grad of2

    Kevin Deluzio: And Chris Thompson shares that distinction with me. Chris can you want to say, well,2

    Kris Thompson: Yeah, I just wanted to say hello and re emphasize what Delaney and Kevin will tell you, Dean to luzio2

    Kris Thompson: Kevin's good that this is one student oriented place and I got so much out of my student activities. When I was at Queens and my academics and graduating. Many years ago, I look forward to getting back on campus and I'm thrilled to have my son going there next year.2

    Kevin Deluzio: Fantastic. Okay. So I'll start with a few comments and then many of you submitted questions and I think we're going to have is2

    Kevin Deluzio: Delaney and and Chris will ask those questions on your behalf. You can also put questions into the chat function and we will try to get those as well we'll monitor those. I'll try not to monitor them because they3

    Kevin Deluzio: All get distracted and off topic, but they'll get they'll get followed and answered.3

    Kevin Deluzio: Live, if we can, if we have time, and if they don't get answered during this live session we promised that we will take a look at those questions and provide answers through our website or through other means. And I have3

    Kevin Deluzio: More of our team of our leadership team is with me. We have3

    Kevin Deluzio: My Associate Dean of academics Mariana content Buddha was here with us and our Associate Dean teaching and learning. Dr. Brian Frank is with us as well.3

    Kevin Deluzio: And they'll provide some answers, where it's appropriate or to backup as well. So hopefully we have. Oh, and we have David yoakam, who's our director of innovative education.3

    Kevin Deluzio: Opportunities that initiatives at Queens as well. So we have the team to answer the questions. And I guess my opening remarks, and I'll try and keep these these these these short3

    Kevin Deluzio: I can tell you that it's you get you put a dean in front of a mic and they can fill all the time available, but I'll try and make these remarks quite short. To get to the point3

    Kevin Deluzio: I want to say the first of all, the most overriding principle that we're that we're considering as we plan for this fall. And as we've planned through this crisis.3

    Kevin Deluzio: This crisis being, of course, the pandemic that has changed our world since the mid since mid March most profoundly3

    Kevin Deluzio: Queens and with education, the number one priority is safety, the safety of our students the safety of our staff and faculty and the safety of our community.4

    Kevin Deluzio: It's without lens that we're making decisions and that we take very seriously as an engineering program where we're that's a duty of care that we4

    Kevin Deluzio: They were obligated to to consider as professional engineers and it is also one of course that is that is that is that is4

    Kevin Deluzio: Front and center for the university administration and I will say we're somewhat fortunate in Kingston.4

    Kevin Deluzio: To have queens in a smaller community to be somewhat isolated from some of the larger effects of this virus, but also to have an advisor to us, who's our local medical officer of health.4

    Kevin Deluzio: And if you haven't followed that the he's been commended for his handling of the covert crisis, for example, it's not in our long term care facilities.4

    Kevin Deluzio: Even in my little micro outbreak that we had last week there was a Globe and Mail article commending him on his handling of this4

    Kevin Deluzio: And he's advising queens. He's got a close relationship with greens and advising us on our policies. So when and how we return to students will be advised by the best advice around us and safety and importance.4

    Kevin Deluzio: I talked about the safety of the importance of parents in this in this role relationship in this in this educational experience and I think4

    Kevin Deluzio: Being going through a remote fall. This will be even more important in terms of the local situation that the students who are living in and having to work in and having to to complete challenging educational4

    Kevin Deluzio: Demands. This is a time of uncertainty and uncertainty breeds. A lot of the stress and we've seen that for the last four months of living in this situation, all of the answer you making decisions that5

    Kevin Deluzio: We don't have all the information for making decisions about things that that we really are uncertain. There's so much uncertainty in the information5

    Kevin Deluzio: making those decisions has been difficult communication has been challenging, and I'm sure as a parent, there's times we've wished for more communication from us better better5

    Kevin Deluzio: More clear communication, we are getting better at this. As I say quite frequently. This is our first pandemic.5

    Kevin Deluzio: So we're learning as we go. But I recognize the importance of getting good information, not just to the students with the entire community and and we will commit to doing that and getting feedback on the process as we go forward.5

    Kevin Deluzio: But I also want to say this, the time of uncertainty is a time of innovation.5

    Kevin Deluzio: This has been incredible to watch from my perspective, the innovations from our students just this week, I got an email from two of our students who are developing a screening app that they want the university to consider.5

    Kevin Deluzio: And the innovation from our faculty and instructors in terms of how we do this. The, the attitudes of how can we fix this. How can we got this. In essence, engineers are problem solvers. And that's what we're trying to do here, and I've been really5

    Kevin Deluzio: Incredibly encouraged by the innovation and creativity of our queens community and responding to this.5

    Kevin Deluzio: This what we do this fall will be very different from what we did this spring. The spring was emergency remote teaching and in some cases I've got wonderful examples how5

    Kevin Deluzio: People knocked it out of the park and the experience was better than what we could have imagined. And of course, we have the failures to I've got things were professors or students learned6

    Kevin Deluzio: Yeah, that's not the way we learned about the challenges of learning remote and managing that many courses.6

    Kevin Deluzio: What we learn the successes and the failures are informing our plan for the fall. So, for example, our first year program has been really redesigned almost from the ground up in terms of thinking about it.6

    Kevin Deluzio: As the challenge of managing six or seven courses simultaneously. So we're not doing that we're doing something different in a modular format.6

    Kevin Deluzio: So that's really important to consider is that yes and and and so the the the the difference we are really confident in the quality of the educational program that we're putting on this fall.6

    Kevin Deluzio: And and that's being informed from our experience this spring and the fact that we have more time and I can tell you that we're also collaborating across the country with other engineering programs that are going through this, this has been this has been a6

    Kevin Deluzio: A really6

    Kevin Deluzio: positive experience of collaboration and problem solving. And I want to say you analyze the last thing I'll say is, you know, I hold two ideas in my head and one is6

    Kevin Deluzio: You can't teach an engineering degree remotely.6

    Kevin Deluzio: An engineering degree is not one that you can say, oh, let's turn this online and we'll, we'll start doing online education permanently for engineering. That's not possible. We learn through hands on experiences design, construction build6

    Kevin Deluzio: Lab experiences that are great experiential learning opportunities that can only be done in person. So while I hold that idea firmly in my head. I also know that this year that this7

    Kevin Deluzio: This term and the fall term have being remote. I know we can do that for a short bit with extra with without without without sacrificing quality and I can tell you that we're investing in this7

    Kevin Deluzio: Through tools technology training. We have the easily. What could be argued the absolute top7

    Kevin Deluzio: Top in the country team called our education teaching and learning team with a which has educational technologists in it, educational developers in it.7

    Kevin Deluzio: In this team that is helping to inform our instructors and developed this program. So I know we can do this well.7

    Kevin Deluzio: But again, we're anxious to have your, your children all back to campus. Okay. I kept that under I think seven minutes or so, which was my goal. I'll hand that over to you now Delaney and Chris to let's start this question and answer.7

    Delaney Benoit: Sure, I'll get it rolling here. I think the overarching question for most people is that the remote learning. So we have a question here.7

    Delaney Benoit: Whether all undergraduate engineering program will take place remotely regardless of how the coven 19 status evolves over the next two months or so. And on top of that, when a decision will be made for what the winter semester will look like.7

    Kevin Deluzio: So that's consuming. It's a great. It's a great start, I think, yeah, the show. Absolutely. Right now, the plan is that in September, all7

    Kevin Deluzio: Programs will be delivered through remote means we had to make that decision early because the amount of prep to do that if something amazing happens in the world where you know the covert crisis changes so much that we're public health says, you know, you're welcome to have7

    Kevin Deluzio: Your students back on campus, we would consider that very seriously, depending on when that happened,8

    Kevin Deluzio: That could we make that change and how to make that change and get our students back8

    Kevin Deluzio: So yes, we, we consider that, however, I think at this point it's unlikely, but the principle of equity is really important to us. So that will will have. We will, we would try to have this across these decisions across the board across the programs.8

    Kevin Deluzio: So that's on fall. Yes, all of the undergraduate program will be done remotely.8

    Kevin Deluzio: What happens in the winter is exactly what we're consuming ourselves right now. And that's where it gets a little bit different. So we're trying to consider that. Yes, hoping the plan is. And that has been our plan all along.8

    Kevin Deluzio: Is remote in the fall in person in the winter. But we're engineers and doesn't surprise you that we're putting our mind to all scenarios and one of the scenarios is that we can't get everybody back8

    Kevin Deluzio: In the winter and so therefore we are prioritizing there and we're not really prioritizing8

    Kevin Deluzio: Individual programs by foot by experience. So the programs are right now going through all of their things all of their educational8

    Kevin Deluzio: Elements and what they did in the fall, as many of them moved some of those experiential opportunities are the labs to the winter chair.8

    Kevin Deluzio: So now consider that we if we can't have everybody back in winter. How would we develop, how would we deliver those and what elements are essential.8

    Kevin Deluzio: And we really our goal is to make sure students can we don't interrupt the students graduation plan.9

    Kevin Deluzio: So our fourth years that want to graduate this spring. How do we develop those. So the programs are all working on that. So if we can't all get back here in the winter.9

    Kevin Deluzio: Then I expect. Absolutely. You'll see a prioritization of learning opportunities are learning experiences are learning elements.9

    Kevin Deluzio: That will be that will be delivered, and we should be in a position to9

    Kevin Deluzio: communicate that to the students well beyond hopefully by the end of the summer in terms of what those will be like, and when and how they're going to be delivered because the9

    Kevin Deluzio: Our instructors and our programs are looking at really creative ways to deliver those if, again, we can't be all in person.9

    Delaney Benoit: Perfect, thanks.9 Okay.9

    Kris Thompson: I'm sure there's going to be more questions later on remote delivery, let's get into some of the, you know, let's say we get to campus. I certainly know my son is really looking forward to leaving the Deep South. Here we live in Texas.9

    Kris Thompson: And spending some time with his Canadian friends he spends every summer up there. Normally, so if they get on campus. Will they be able to get into the library, the integrated learning center.9

    Kris Thompson: You know their Student Health Services mental health services are super important these days. You know what, what type of access and facilities, you think they'll have on campus if they get there.

    Kevin Deluzio: That's a good question. So that's in the AO if students, the students. We recognize that many of our students. Some of our first year students, of course.

    Kevin Deluzio: Many of our premier students may be on campus. This this fall, even if all of the teaching is being done remotely and as it transitions and the services is exactly we're turning our mind to that too.

    Kevin Deluzio: And the again starting with what is public health, what are the what are their guidance in terms of what we were allowed to do so. What I can tell you is that the

    Kevin Deluzio: All of the normal services that we provide IE mental health services counseling services student advising services.

    Kevin Deluzio: All of those services will be in a place to be delivered remote so that regardless of where you are, you'll get that same high quality.

    Kevin Deluzio: Students support that you used to, and any any any services that will be open this fall.

    Kevin Deluzio: We cannot predict right now. Right now campus, I'm talking to you from home, our campus is still close. There's some research activities. But none of the services, for example, the Athletics and Recreation

    Kevin Deluzio: Center are not open we we hope to be able to have some of those things available the library, for example, maybe some studies spaces we hope to have some of that available by this fall, but it's

    Kevin Deluzio: It's hard to predict at this point and our default preparation, there is to make sure that those same services are available for students, regardless of their of where they are and in the winter when we have more

    Kevin Deluzio: More presence on campus. We hope that those services will expand as well.

    Delaney Benoit: Awesome. All right, and you did mention that some of our labs are going to be done remotely others have been shifted around in the schedule.

    Delaney Benoit: Anything to make the remote learning environment, a little easier. But of course, engineering is an accredited program. So how will this affect our degree is recognized.

    Kevin Deluzio: That's a really good question, and this is one where I can tell you that the national deans of engineering. I've been working really collaboratively with engineers Canada and our accreditation board to

    Kevin Deluzio: To to to think of this in a creative way and the first the long with that principle of safety. I could add a principle that we make sure that the

    Kevin Deluzio: That the accredited the decisions we make this year and the plans we put in place will keep accreditation and intact.

    Kevin Deluzio: This will require a little bit of flexibility by programming in terms of some of these experiences and these these experiential

    Kevin Deluzio: Opportunities have to happen. It's not like we can say, oh, we won't do the capstone design project we absolutely

    Kevin Deluzio: Will will do that Capstone design project, we may be more creative in terms of the kinds of problems that we put to students, how we get them in that physical experience.

    Kevin Deluzio: And I can also tell you that our accreditation regulating body is being very collaborative and cooperative with us in terms of

    Kevin Deluzio: Trying to be as flexible as they can. They were quite flexible this this spring, when this happened and said we recognize that, you know,

    Kevin Deluzio: That innovative solutions are being put in place, but I can tell you that a lot of those experiences. And again, we've been working with some Canadian companies in terms of trying to virtualize some of our lab and lab environments.

    Kevin Deluzio: We are looking at some of the programs will be mailing students kits to to work with and develop hands on experience this year.

    Kevin Deluzio: But yes, accreditation is front and center. And I can say confidently that any decision we make in any planning is made will make sure that the programs will remain accredited regardless of the accredited through any decision that we make this spring this this next year.

    Kris Thompson: Next one. So, you know, right on subjects in the question of exams comes up. We just saw the are graduating students get through pretty weird and their year

    Kris Thompson: So how are you going to prepare students and support students just like I'm sure people have varied learning styles. I'm sure there's also quite varied exam writing style. So how can we prepare our students for online testing to be equitable and and to ensure the academic integrity.

    Kevin Deluzio: Yeah, this is, this is something we learned about

    Kevin Deluzio: In in

    Kevin Deluzio: In a great deal this spring, and I'm going to tap on Associate Dean Mariana content below to add to my answer here and I'll begin it and she can give us some help as well, and anyone else. So the

    Kevin Deluzio: Academic integrity is really important to us and the challenges in that when exams are being done in a remote fashion are extremely heightened

    Kevin Deluzio: And some solutions that we look to in the spring. For example, we could not in this spring, there was not enough time to do any kind of proctored exam solution.

    Kevin Deluzio: The

    Kevin Deluzio: The digital the digital solutions that were there that providers couldn't spin up that fast to get us in the spring. So that during the spring. We all have our exams. We're nonprofit.

    Kevin Deluzio: However, we're looking at a number of solutions going into the winter going into this fall term sorry to look at proctored solutions that that increase the the integrity of the exam process.

    Kevin Deluzio: And then as well. I think you bring up a really important point. Chris, or the questioner in terms of how do we prepare our students for this. How do we, you know,

    Kevin Deluzio: Learn in that environment. And I think that's where the other expectation is on our normal student support centers and our tutoring groups and our engineering group and we have a very, very robust system that provides assistance to

    Kevin Deluzio: An advising to students and part of that will be about not just

    Kevin Deluzio: Writing exams online, but how do I learn online better. How do I learn remotely. How do I do this, how do I time manage more. So we're looking at a number of support services there Dr contribute or do you want to add anything to what I said in terms of the exams. Well, Marianna Kontopoulou: I think that's you've covered it very well. Obviously this is not the regular situation and we have a group working during the summer.

    Marianna Kontopoulou: Release.

    Kevin Deluzio: I think she really

    Marianna Kontopoulou: Liked and so that integrity can also best practices from remote proctor

    Marianna Kontopoulou: And a major part of this will be as the dean said student education wise academic integrity important so try to be a little bit preemptive rather than reacting afterwards. After the cases happens. So it's a very holistic approach that we're working on.

    Kevin Deluzio: That's fantastic. And I also want to say that I know there's another we're also looking at

    Kevin Deluzio: Alternative assessment techniques. So often we know that there's some good pedagogy that says a final exam that might be worth 70% of your grade may not be the most effective way to judge the learning

    Kevin Deluzio: That you've had in that course. So there's evidence if more frequent assessments Alternate Assessments and

    Kevin Deluzio: We're actually Dr. Frank is leading a group across the country that is looking at alternative assessment techniques and as entrepreneurs.

    Kevin Deluzio: We're working with our instructors over the summer to look at that. So it's a multi pronged approach. One of the things is we have to evaluate our students and we have to not only

    Kevin Deluzio: Have expectations but give them the the the the the tools that are there and provide the right environment where Academic integrity is easy to maintain and can be expected from all those involved.

    Delaney Benoit: Awesome. Alright, so, um, I know we have a lot of parents from students from first year, all the way up till fourth year here, and we've gotten a lot of questions about housing so

    Delaney Benoit: Upper years have houses rented potentially first years might be interested in living in residence. So our students encouraged to live on or near campus if they have that option in the fall.

    Kevin Deluzio: Um, I would say that there's there's no reason to encourage for them. So there's no encouragement necessary because again the educational experience.

    Kevin Deluzio: Should be the same whether students are living here on campus or not. So, so in that sense. There's no encouraged sense of encouragement to say, hey, you know, we'd like to we'd like to have you here. And because we really making sure that our

    Kevin Deluzio: Experiences and students support student services, all of those things will be

    Kevin Deluzio: Will be done remotely. And in fact, some of them may only be some student services thing, even if you're here on campus, you may not be able to access them. So yeah, I don't, I think, again, and especially to our first year students

    Kevin Deluzio: Well, we know there's some students in upper year, the vast majority of the students first year student body at campus will be very, very small.

    Kevin Deluzio: And we're recognizing that the opportunities and it's really been fun to kind of work with the Engineering Society, who are looking at ways to engage with the first year students

    Kevin Deluzio: And to support them through that as well and make and make them feel part of the community, even though there were regardless of where they are in the in the country or need across the world.

    Kevin Deluzio: And another aspect of that is even with our, the way we're looking at grouping in the undergraduate program and the first year program is we're considering geography and some of the formation of the way we put students in sections in groups.

    Delaney Benoit: Powerful. Perfect. Thank you.

    Kris Thompson: So now you know there's a question of tuition with the change to the way the program is delivered, could we expect to see a lowering of tuition at least you know maybe not paid that bus pass how their fees.

    Kevin Deluzio: I all I can.

    Kevin Deluzio: When you brought that up Chris I'm reminded that I should full disclosure, my step son is entering first year engineering. This

    Kevin Deluzio: This term this this fall as well. So, as a parent, I can say it would be really great to have that tuition break and as a and I understand where that question has come from it, it's come up quite a bit.

    Kevin Deluzio: And it's the the quick answer to that is there won't be any change to tuition, this, this, this expected this year and the longer answer to that is that, well, I can see

    Kevin Deluzio: If you had an online program, you may have a fee differential because of the differences in in cost of delivering that

    Kevin Deluzio: We are this this short term remote programming that we're planning for is very different from that. And it's also one where we're investing heavily in that we are recognizing that at every turn, we've needed to make

    Kevin Deluzio: Increase our investments to provide the right technology tools to provide learning experiences that are meaningful.

    Kevin Deluzio: To provide support for the students were recognizing, for example, that our need for teaching assistance is actually a larger this fall, than it than it has been a normal years that that to do this right and and Queens is we have a

    Kevin Deluzio: It's very hard to get into queens engineering, it's a it's a program of high demand. It's a program that's 126 years old and during that time has always been marketing by very high quality.

    Kevin Deluzio: This, this year, having to do it do remote teaching. We are not going to sacrifice that quality and to do it and to achieve that goal, that means we've had to invest partner and actually invest more in the educational experience so

    Kevin Deluzio: That's the commitment, we've made. And, well, I, I firmly believe that that there's a there would be great for the educated to find ways of making

    Kevin Deluzio: An engineering degree more affordable. I think there's there's a real challenge for for the I could be the higher education sector responding to this this crisis will the tuition will be the same. Explain that. Well,

    Delaney Benoit: Great, thanks for that. So a very popular one. We're getting many students and maybe parents know one of the big strengths of Queens university is the community that we have

    Delaney Benoit: Lots of people choose queens, just for that alone.

    Delaney Benoit: People gain a lot from working group projects joining design teams, especially our frosh week which has a huge community aspect. So could you just speak a little bit to how we're going to foster that sort of experience with

    Delaney Benoit: Remote delivery.

    Kevin Deluzio: Well, gosh, yeah. This one's. This one's hard. Of course, it is absolutely one of the differentiators

    Kevin Deluzio: We have more students engaged in extracurricular activities at Queens than any other engineering program in the country in terms of like the percentage of

    Kevin Deluzio: Our students that the degree that that support network that they have

    Kevin Deluzio: Is is amongst one of the tighter groups and you see this in our alumni, but you see this in our students. They there. They have a bond and sense of connection between each other better so important.

    Kevin Deluzio: So when I look to the educational delivery this fall. And I talked to our instructors about how they're going to engage with the students and do things. I'm pretty confident. I'm and I know that's going to be okay.

    Kevin Deluzio: I can tell you, and especially to those first year students and I think of the first year graduating students, your

    Kevin Deluzio: Sons and daughters who missed graduation of their high school for Mr. High School Prom we missed all of these things and they're now looking forward to come into queens.

    Kevin Deluzio: Without a the the on campus wonderful experience that we know is there. So let me just put that acknowledge that right up front that that is an absolute loss and and and I feel sad about that it's

    Kevin Deluzio: There we do due to this pandemic and the need to keep society safe. We can't have those kinds of experiences but

    Kevin Deluzio: I also want to say that for the one, the students coming in there. You're here for a four year degree.

    Kevin Deluzio: And this is a bump, and then we're going to get you to campus and we will have that on campus experience and you're going to get that hopefully this year that will be there.

    Kevin Deluzio: For our returning students those networks that you have are important. And again, we're going to, we're going to try and build that community and hopefully they're they're there.

    Kevin Deluzio: But I want to say that that challenge is front and center to us as well. And I've been working again closely with the Engineering Society, who's looking at

    Kevin Deluzio: How do we provide an orientation experience this fall, that is meaningful that builds those builds those relationships. How do we do this, and how do we build meaningful.

    Kevin Deluzio: online experiences amongst our students working in design challenges that create those same bonds and same collaborative spirit that we're known for

    Kevin Deluzio: And I heard some really exciting ways that that can be done some of that, for example, we learn this fall doing design courses.

    Kevin Deluzio: Of 230 students that were designed that would change to to to online and some of that went really well with having small groups working together, having the design challenges together.

    Kevin Deluzio: I've met with many of our club leaders and our design challenge leaders were thinking, okay, how can we do this remote. How can we do this well engaging with students in meaningful ways to build that community. So I guess I i

    Kevin Deluzio: sympathize with the with the loss of a physical being in one's physical presence. We all know, having been through this for this long, how much we missed that.

    Kevin Deluzio: We know that's integral to the greens experience and we'll get back to that. Having that physical presence as soon as we are safe to do so, but we are putting our mind on how we can create

    Kevin Deluzio: analogs of that in the digital world to be able to do that to have these meaningful engagement, starting with our first year there. I've got to tell you that if there's if I will ever have a favorite class, it's going to be this class that's joining us because I really feel

    Kevin Deluzio: Feel for you. And so we started with that, but also in our students that are going in a second year into their programs of choice.

    Kevin Deluzio: All the program leaders that were, you were in a first year general program. Now you're going into civil engineering civil engineering, for example, has a great civil week

    Kevin Deluzio: To welcome at second your class when they're thinking of retooling that thinking how can we do that, making sure we get a similar experience of uniting that student group and online. So I'm I'm I'm hopeful, but it will be different. And I'm hopeful that we can do that as meaningful.

    Kris Thompson: It's really, really important. Kevin, that this cultural aspect is we do what we can. It's gonna be different. I was a member of frosh freshman recreation entertainment committee as an organizer.

    Kris Thompson: Our class science. It went through.

    Kris Thompson: You know what we thought was going to become an epoch. Here we think we already popular at 844 60 said you have a certain numbers.

    Kris Thompson: And we thought we had something to prove. And I think we keep trying to prove it. And, and I think that this class could find, you know,

    Kris Thompson: You know they have you know that that torch that that keep that makes them want to prove what they're going to deliver to the rest of us. It's all about creating a better world right when you're an engineer, you'll learn when you get called out as a professional

    Kris Thompson: You know, it's the call. It's a calling for you so you know what this reminds me of is not only my deep involvement with engineering week but or sorry,

    Kris Thompson: frosh week but when I was putting that together. I worked with Dr. David Turk 35 years ago he was the head of civil at the time.

    Kris Thompson: And we were introducing something which seemed kind of nerdy at the time, which was called, we had a computer orientation day

    Kris Thompson: In the civil engineering building and it was now we are introducing into the curriculum for all students that computers were now part of your curriculum our class, Kevin. You may recall

    Kris Thompson: It wasn't a necessary part the class after a science at night. It was a necessary part. So here we are 35 years later, and all of a sudden we're going from now computers are going to be in your courses to be your courses are going to come out of your computers.

    Kris Thompson: So I think we're kind of an interesting

    Kris Thompson: Moment here. So to that point and to the idea of computer annotation day and Dr. David Turk God may recipes great man.

    Kris Thompson: Are there any new initiatives that the Faculty of Engineering and queens and the engineer society will be implementing to specifically support students are struggling with with online learning and and the academic challenges that that might give them

    Kevin Deluzio: Yeah, I think it's exactly. I think there are a number of those plan within our student services groups in terms of and and within orientation programs as well to aims to that are aimed at trying to get students to

    Kevin Deluzio: To to to adjust to the scenario. And we also recognize, especially for our first year students that the

    Kevin Deluzio: That what they might have experienced in high school, finishing their degree may have been really

    Kevin Deluzio: Not what they're what they were hoping for some degree of sub optimal. And one of the, one of the things we're doing for our first year students is

    Kevin Deluzio: Is a program that will run this summer called Q and prep, which is a program aimed to

    Kevin Deluzio: do two things. One, get used to learning in that environment, but also up the skills in three of our critical courses for engineering that is math, physics and chemistry. And that's a program where the students can go in, there's a self evaluation tool.

    Kevin Deluzio: In there where they can evaluate their own skills and based on that evaluation. They took certain modules on that David did you want to say anything more about that program.

    David Yokom: I think you covered the key points Kevin and I did share the URL to the website in the chat for our audience members, essentially, it's a self paced

    David Yokom: Diagnostic where students can ensure that they're comfortable with what they learned in high school. And if there's any area where they want to improve or they're just not sure there'll be a series of Allah cart style modular

    David Yokom: exercises that they can take again in on to at their own pace, they can take them as many times as they want. Um, again, I would add that these are

    David Yokom: Developed by university level professionals at a university level and this will be an excellent example of what online education looks like at Queen's

    David Yokom: We have years of experience doing this with some of our online programs that we leverage heavily with bridging program at its core. So these are bridging courses developed a bridge students into university.

    David Yokom: And they'll even have the ability to access some of our peer tutors engineering student tutors if they want that one on one interaction with individuals as well with this program.

    Kevin Deluzio: Thanks.

    Delaney Benoit: Awesome. On that note, I understand. One of the things we're doing to help alleviate the the newness of online learning is the modular format of first year, could we speak a little more on what that's going to look like and what students should expect

    Kevin Deluzio: This is a good segue. That's another great question, and I'm going to turn to give you, heads up, Dr. Frank, Brian. I'll go to you on this.

    Kevin Deluzio: Has been leading that effort. Yes. So we made. We made the decision I think early in the planning for the for the fall term especially first year is very special. We treat first year.

    Kevin Deluzio: very differently than some other engineering programs at Queen's it's a cohort experience of students are all together, taking a common set of courses we put them into

    Kevin Deluzio: sections where they work together, we put some of our best professors in front of our first two students. We think of first year. Great.

    Kevin Deluzio: Intentionally and therefore, when we thought of doing this remotely. This fall we had to. We had to give that some thought and I'll hand it over to Dr. Frank who will explain the plan that we have for that.

    Brian Frank: That group planning for first year.

    Brian Frank: Was trying to provide an opportunity that address two key considerations. One is still providing some experiential opportunities so still providing some kind of live experience student teaming experience but also simultaneously.

    Brian Frank: Ensuring that students are able to complete it.

    Brian Frank: By reducing the amount of workload. Now first your engineering can be quite challenging. And so we're keeping the

    Brian Frank: The rigor and the opportunity to do true engineering activity while keeping that workload down so the modular format.

    Brian Frank: Is such that we've taken our 12 week courses and we're offering them as more intense six week blocks. What this means is that for students studying online, they have fewer things going at one time.

    Brian Frank: The feedback we were getting from students doing remote learning earlier this year was that juggling six or seven courses and information coming from various places be challenging. So the content is still there.

    Brian Frank: But you would be doing, say your chemistry course in six weeks, is it over 12 weeks you still do the same courses we have streamline things. And we've taken the lab and design activity and we've

    Brian Frank: Tried to integrate some of things. So you can use the same activity for two different purposes to try to save some time for a student. So the general message is that there are fewer things at a time.

    Brian Frank: The outcomes are still going to be the same, but we are we're doing our best to stream in the activities and use the same particular student authentic activity for multiple purposes.

    Delaney Benoit: Now if students struggle with the modular format. Still, are we still offering J section in the winter term.

    Brian Frank: Yet we still have Jay section. So some of our parents may remember fondly Dr J section program.

    Brian Frank: We still have that and we are working to ensure that students who, for whatever reason to stretch struggling early in the term that we have a way to try to catch them up.

    Brian Frank: And we are working to ensure that there are still opportunity for accommodations handling health, health issues that crop up technology uses absolutely is still part of the plan.

    Kevin Deluzio: Great to point that out and you know for those

    Kevin Deluzio: That aren't familiar me their extended section is kind of a whole market queens in spite of our philosophy. I think of, you know, trying to attract the very best students and then making sure they succeed.

    Kevin Deluzio: We had we just did a one of these town hall meetings with our J section. Students are

    Kevin Deluzio: A couple weeks ago as they finish their term to again get learnings from them about their experience because they finished this in a remote fashion.

    Kevin Deluzio: And that experience and feedback from the students is really important to informing our, our path forward.

    Kevin Deluzio: But that that same philosophy that is there to to develop that extended use section that says if you program that says if you're struggling in first year.

    Kevin Deluzio: We've got your back. We're going to do this in a more intense format. Make sure you have the information you know we're going to extend the year, a little bit.

    Kevin Deluzio: Get you the extra support that is needed to make sure you succeed in in in Queens has meant that we have one of the highest

    Kevin Deluzio: Success rate, so to speak, or students who go from first to second year. I think this year is almost 99% of our students.

    Kevin Deluzio: Made it through to the second year, but it's a student for student focused attitude of trying to provide them the right support.

    Kevin Deluzio: It's the same thing. That's informing our response of, okay, how do we provide student services to our, how do we actually provide it.

    Kevin Deluzio: In a remote fashion. And then what are the special things that we think our students need. And in that and making those decisions were informed by a really

    Kevin Deluzio: From a student body that isn't afraid to share their opinions and describe and give us that feedback from what they think. And it's been amazing to get the emails from the students over this time as well because

    Kevin Deluzio: They'll they're almost all formative and by that I mean they're almost always trying to tell us how we can do this better, rather than just complaining about things I've been really impressed with their with their students.

    Kris Thompson: Thanks, guys. Great. I'm gonna hopefully a quick one. And then something a little bit more. Yeah, and a suggestion I came through. I think is great suggestion. I'm more pressure for Dean delusive

    Kris Thompson: First, the easy one, and this one I've been answering all my life. I hope I know the answer. Do you care if they use Mac or wintel or Linux.

    Kris Thompson: And then after that, after that, just can you

    Kris Thompson: Talk a little bit about

    Kris Thompson: Could you possibly have some kind of Q AMP a session for students themselves. I love this idea of bringing them getting them involved early

    Kris Thompson: It's not an orientation week anymore, maybe we haven't orientation monkey.

    Kris Thompson: Let us know what you think.

    Kevin Deluzio: Tommy that suggestion is fantastic news of doing this. We need, we were talking this morning at our leadership team meeting about the need to get

    Kevin Deluzio: To develop more ways of getting feedback from students and they get this Q AMP a session. So that's a great one and Stephen hunter is our director of it is on the phone. So I say something wrong. He's going to jump in and fix this.

    Kevin Deluzio: But no, we are agnostic to what platform of computer you use

    Kevin Deluzio: So they'll all work and I want to brag about Stephens work here in the sense that one of the things that he developed last year was this program that we use called apps anywhere. We're able to launch

    Kevin Deluzio: All of the software that is proprietary and that we need for engineering through this apps and new apps anywhere tool.

    Kevin Deluzio: That looks after the you know the the management of that software and the delivery and we also able to use another tool within that to get access to some of the computing resources they only exist on campus. They missed something there, Stephen.

    Stephen Hunt: No thank you handle it perfectly. I posted a link in the chat to

    Stephen Hunt: The

    Stephen Hunt: Web page that has the recommendation for hardware for parent

    Delaney Benoit: Awesome. I think I can squeeze a few more questions in

    Delaney Benoit: Alright, so we have some of your students, parents who are asking about internship and exchanges of course some opportunities were lost this fall students like to travel overseas or go work for companies that are working remotely.

    Delaney Benoit: Our students able to resume the school year without interruption. If they had originally signed up for these programs. And while these programs be running in the winter. Great. Good.

    Kevin Deluzio: Good questions. And this is consuming us as well. I you may internships is one of my top priorities in terms of

    Kevin Deluzio: Philosophy that all of our students should get some meaningful work experience during their time at Queens and there the internship program is one of the best ways to do that with students leave after third year and get a real working experience.

    Kevin Deluzio: Not just a four month kind of flavor, but actually real over 12 months or 16 months real work experience with the company's. This has grown

    Kevin Deluzio: Incredibly over the last three years even even this year during covert we saw over 25% growth in that program and but yes, it has been affected. Now I will say,

    Kevin Deluzio: It has been less effective than the co op programs where companies that have stepped back from shorter co op

    Kevin Deluzio: Programs. We've saw less of a drop in our internship opportunities that we lost. Yes, we lost some of them, but we also gain the other ones do. We've gained more progress so companies are willing to put forward with it for the

    Kevin Deluzio: 16 months where that might be harder in a shorter term. It's also

    Kevin Deluzio: The we were growing our international opportunities in that last year, we had a number of our students down in Silicon Valley. I was spending January in London, England, where we're setting up opportunities to go in there. So yes, it's really important.

    Kevin Deluzio: It's, it's, I'm not going to say it's somewhat more robust to this coven experience than the than the pandemic is then. So even the CO ops are. And we've been working really

    Kevin Deluzio: Closely with our alumni network to create those opportunities.

    Kevin Deluzio: But to answer the specifics of the question. Yes. If you have an opportunity you were planning to do an internship, but it fell through, or it's being cancelled or it's being delayed or changed in a way and you wanted to come back to

    Kevin Deluzio: complete your degree. This year we will absolutely accommodate that.

    Kevin Deluzio: That part for sure. You said something about in Christmas. So if something changed. Always. I think if something changes because this happens in a regular year things can change and students need to

    Kevin Deluzio: Maybe end their, their internship or change their internship. We work very closely, our career server where we call them.

    Kevin Deluzio: Corporate relations our corporate relations group works very closely with the companies and with the students. And we've done that transition before. And if we need to do the transition back to Queens and into your academics will be smooth and and and we'll make sure that happens.

    Kevin Deluzio: If you're going the other way where you would plan to be back at school. But now there's an opportunity and you'd like to do an internship will work with that as well.

    Kevin Deluzio: That I forgot this physics that I get some delay.

    Delaney Benoit: You got everything. I think the overarching messages. Everything's very flexible. This year, and all the opportunities are the same.

    Kevin Deluzio: I think that, you know, goes again for the students complaints coming in the first year students, you know, we

    Kevin Deluzio: Supposed to last me, you know. Well, what about a dual degree and I, you know, our students will ask. I like to do a deal if

    Kevin Deluzio: You look at a website. We don't have a listing of all the dual degrees that you could possibly do. Because generally and this speaks to Dr. Contact below and a student student support services team.

    Kevin Deluzio: If you can dream it up and find it and will help you figure out a way to do it. So students have done dual degrees and our program of all kinds of different things. We're talking to an alumni.

    Kevin Deluzio: This morning, who had done a dual degree of new engineering and English and other one that had done, and you're the VP of Engineering and fine art.

    Kevin Deluzio: If there's a way that you can figure out how to do them will will will will help you along that process. That's a philosophy that is very queens.

    Delaney Benoit: Awesome. So those dual degrees and certificate programs are still offered in the fall, as well, I assume. Yeah. Wonderful.

    Kris Thompson: One quick thing that just came in here. Great suggestion is, can we get some of this an FAQ format. So we can go back and references

    Kevin Deluzio: Yeah, we are. We are recording this.

    Kevin Deluzio: For that purpose to so we will get the questions, and I think that's, yeah, we may, you know, maybe we can we can add this and looking at

    Kevin Deluzio: We add this to our website, in some way, as an FAQ. I think this is we've done this and other areas for student questions. I think that's a great suggestion. And they will be likely questions that will likely add to or questions that we don't have the ability to get to. So

    Kevin Deluzio: Will absolutely

    Kris Thompson: Can I Blaney just jumped on one of my notes. Any questions. It asks about the winter 2001. Sometimes I wish we were there. I think it's 2021 and

    Kris Thompson: You know covert 19 testing is a lot of questions here about that getting together with other students in Kingston can be a lot of pressure, you know, in fall

    Kris Thompson: I don't know how you'd have six people in the house, using the internet at the same time to learn course that's a whole different issue, let alone residence. Yes.

    Kris Thompson: So there's logistical issues with virtual learning, potentially, but just, you know, what do we know about covert testing and plan planning for the winter term.

    Kevin Deluzio: Yeah, it's a great question and I think we've been talking about that with we're, again, we're lucky to have

    Kevin Deluzio: Dr. Karen more as an advisor to the Queen's pandemic response. And we also have a who's the actually lead of that of that covert response is a Dr. David Walker, who was the dean of medicine at Queens and after that was the

    Kevin Deluzio: In charge of the province of Ontario his response to SARS. I mean, many of you remember that so

    Kevin Deluzio: We've exactly we've looked at the testing right now there's no plan for wides Gill testing of students, but that's one of the things that's contemplated. The other one is screening using screening apps to help with this.

    Kevin Deluzio: But those are absolutely in the, you know, there's a whole lot

    Kevin Deluzio: Multi and not, this is not not my expertise but what I'm hearing is is a multi pronged approach to these things where, you know, physical distancing physical barriers in place.

    Kevin Deluzio: And these are being contemplated. If we think of getting students back to campus in a post coven world we have to do this safely.

    Kevin Deluzio: And testing is one of those things that is that is absolutely on the table. But as of right now, there's no plan for that to be absolutely in place by

    Kevin Deluzio: The fall, but that could be that could that could absolutely change because we need to think of again all all possibilities of how we do this evening.

    Kris Thompson: So just a couple, you know, on that point. Are there or is there direct guidance from Kingston, find out help. Let us know, or whatever the healthiness called these days.

    Kevin Deluzio: In Kingston phonics Addington public

    Kris Thompson: Is there any guidance from them, or other saying, you know, do not come. We want to make sure that

    Kris Thompson: If there's yeah there's something there for his guidance there that we want to get that clear up front.

    Kevin Deluzio: Yeah, they've been I think it's safe to say that the

    Kevin Deluzio: The public health has concerns about a large student

    Kevin Deluzio: Influx this wall that that's a real potential for a second wave. They there's no formal statement.

    Kevin Deluzio: Saying you know students don't come back, but in the same vein of the question being asked, you know, do we encourage students to come back. There's a lot. No, we're not encouraging students to come back. Of course, you know,

    Kevin Deluzio: And in that same point you so the the the public health is is is concerned about that would much less Nazi a large influx and was very pleased with the decision from Queens.

    Kevin Deluzio: That is made early. That said, you know, our, our program is going to be delivered online. There's no reason for you to be on campus this fall.

    Kevin Deluzio: And you bring up a great point that, you know, even those students have homes and upper year the challenges of learning and living in a post covert situation in those environments where

    Kevin Deluzio: Internet connectivity and all of those other challenges. So again, they're not encouraged and in fact there's there's really in the fall, not, it would not that not that defined benefit for being on campus.

    Delaney Benoit: Awesome. I think we're nearing the end. I don't know if we want to do one more question, or wrap it up there.

    Kevin Deluzio: Are I think we could handle one more.

    Delaney Benoit: Sure. Okay. So, um, there's been a lot of talk with the modular format for first years and I think we have some people on here. Confused about if that's true for a second, third, and fourth year courses as well.

    Kevin Deluzio: It's good question. I think I'm gonna Mariana jump in, in case I get this wrong. I think it is being considered in some programs.

    Kevin Deluzio: And it's so that becomes a program by program specific

    Kevin Deluzio: Design, whereas first year again is very, very, we have a lot of control over that most of the programs or not, but I think all programs are doing some change in their curriculum structure to with. With this in mind, accountability.

    Marianna Kontopoulou: Yes, so there are indeed programs who are moving to

    Marianna Kontopoulou: Was a modular format.

    Marianna Kontopoulou: In a second and third here. And then there are other programs that are going to be recommending courses in the summer.

    Marianna Kontopoulou: As online courses to lighten up the low. So the aim here is to make sure that this isn't have too many things to do. At the same time, how do you do this depends on the program and how

    Marianna Kontopoulou: The course requirements are. So some progress have decided that the modular format allows them to do that some progress have decided that

    Marianna Kontopoulou: One like a one or two courses will be offered online in the summer for students who choose to do that to lighten their load. It's not about to be mandatory but they will have this option to do it. So it's based on best effort that goes into consideration and the different types of courses.

    Kevin Deluzio: Fantastic. Yeah, and I think that's a to say there's been other questions. I know about this. The, you know, summer term, and are we looking at that. Absolutely. It's required. Some students may choose to if you know and and and and some programs may take advantage of that time as well.

    Kevin Deluzio: There, there's been also a question. I'm getting we're going to wrap it up. That's the last question, but I've been getting a tap from one of my moderators here to comment on the grease pole.

    Kevin Deluzio: And it is, it is important to to make a clear statement to the incoming class that yes, at one point you will attempt

    Kevin Deluzio: Completing the climb is never guaranteed to understand, although we have completed almost all of them.

    Kevin Deluzio: The but yes, you will. There will be an attempt at the the the grease pole climb for those students as, as many of the other

    Kevin Deluzio: Orientation activities that can't be done this fall. Some of them are we're thinking of ways we can do that when the students can come can come to

    Kevin Deluzio: Term, as well as things like jackets and all kinds of other traditions that are really important. I will tell you that the grease pole absolutely will be will be a challenge for this class of 2

    Kevin Deluzio: It will absolutely be there.

    Kevin Deluzio: I really want to just thank you all. I was I was amazed to see the, the participants of this many

    Kevin Deluzio: Parents and and members of our community. Join us over 200 we're here want to thank my my moderators Delaney Chris, thank you very much for giving up your time today.

    Kevin Deluzio: The other associate Dean's and and David yoakam for being with us. I am I am full of hope and confidence for this fall.

    Kevin Deluzio: We have an incredible group of people around from our instructors from our leadership team within the faculty from the broader queens community that are working to support us. I have been

    Kevin Deluzio: Inspired and and and

    Kevin Deluzio: excited about the opportunity to rise to this challenge this this this fall.

    Kevin Deluzio: And our students deserve nothing less. If there's one thing that keeps us all motivated. Is it is our students. That's why we're here. Our number one mission is to provide the best educational engineering education that we can

    Kevin Deluzio: For our students and we are committed to doing that, this, this, this, this next year, given this challenging situation.

    Kevin Deluzio: I do the parents there. I feel for you. I know the worry that you have as sending your students who your sons and daughters into this uncertain world, especially the first year students

    Kevin Deluzio: This will be an incredible experience for them. We welcome your participation, you are you're actively engaged in the education and lives of your children.

    Kevin Deluzio: I'm easy to find and send an email to me.

    Kevin Deluzio: I may, if I get over flooded with that that's probably a good thing.

    Kevin Deluzio: But know that you can reach out to us as well and that we will plan if these are useful and we think the need to do this more. I definitely heard this suggestion to do this with more of our students.

    Kevin Deluzio: And especially some of our incoming classes, but to do to reach out to the parents if you feel this is necessary. Again, or because again we're in a changing world yeah absolutely happy to do that.

    Kevin Deluzio: My clock just chip tick one o'clock. And that, for me, that means I'm off to my next zoom meeting for you. I hope you're able to celebrate a wonderful happy Canada Day tomorrow.

    Kevin Deluzio: I hope you can enjoy the sun and I wish you all a happy Canada Day and and thanks for being with us. Thanks very much.

    Kris Thompson: Thank you.

    Kevin Deluzio: Thanks. Well, there's still people. So I do have, I think, I do have a one o'clock, so yes.

    Kate Minor: Yesterday,

    Kevin Deluzio: Was a debrief at some point. Thanks so much, everybody.

    Kevin Deluzio: I'm going to jump to it. Yeah.