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COVID-19 updates and resources

Students

Mount Royal University’s faculty and staff have prepared digital tools and in-person protocols to help you get the most out of your learning experience in the upcoming semester. We are dedicated to helping you navigate your learning environment by providing continuous support and resources.

 

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Alternative delivery

As an MRU student, most of your classes will be offered through alternative delivery – like online lectures – but you may have in-person course components that require you to come to campus, attend a field school or participate in an off-campus activity with other students.

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Online activities

What to expect from your program and courses

You will receive course details, including learning expectations, delivery methods, assessment and contact information from your professor on your first day of class.

Technical requirements

Course material is delivered through Blackboard, Google Drive, Gmail and Google Meet. These approved applications are all available to you as part of your Mount Royal Google account. Visit the Information Services page for students to learn more.

The current version of most web browsers support Blackboard. Visit the Blackboard-supported web browser page to learn more.

Minimum technical requirements

The technology you have at home may be sufficient for remote learning. If you’re buying something new, ITS recommends the following baseline hardware requirements:

  • Chromebook: 15”, RAM 4 GB (min.), hard drive 32 GB+
  • iPad: ability to run current iOS 13.6
  • Android tablets: ability to run current Android 10 OS
  • Laptop or desktop: i5 (min), RAM 8 GB (min.), hard drive 256 GB+ SSD
  • Apple laptop: Macbook Air i3 (3.2GHz), 8GB/256GB

Virtual Computer Labs

The new MRU Virtual Computer Lab (vLab) service by Apporto provides 24/7 access to specialized instructional and classroom applications such as SPSS, MATLAB, Minitab, ArcGIS, R Studio and more. All you need is an internet browser running on your favourite device; PC, laptop, Mac or Chromebook. Find out how to access and use vLab.

Where to get your textbooks and resources

The University Library

MRU’s Subject Specialists can be reached via email or text to assist students through research-based projects. Contactless pickup as well as digitization requests are available for students to gain access to hardcopy library materials.

Cougars Campus Store

Free contactless pickup will be listed as an option when placing orders online through the campus store. All online orders placed by those living in the Calgary area including all surrounding communities within the Cochrane, Airdrie and Okotoks borders will be fulfilled by free contactless pickup or be shipped at a flat rate of $10 (regardless of the purchase amount). If you live outside of the Calgary area we will ship your order, with free shipping on orders over $100.

As of Nov. 9 all contactless pickup orders will take place by appointment from the Cougars Campus Store. Visit the COVID-19 Remote Services & Supports page for detailed instructions for contactless pickup and returns, shipping, order fulfillment, OneCards, textbooks, print services and sponsored student information.

All OneCard requests are to be submitted online and will be available for pickup from the Security office at the West Gate entrance. Please allow three business days for processing.

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On campus activities

If you have an in-person course component on campus this semester, we want you to know that Mount Royal is taking the appropriate precautions to promote a safe learning environment and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The health and safety of the MRU community is everyone’s responsibility.

As a student on campus, here is what you need to know:

  1. Ensure you have a valid OneCard to get into campus buildings.
  2. Complete the one-time required COVID-19 on-campus orientation before returning to campus.
  3. When you are on-campus for learning:
    • Enter buildings on your own by swiping your OneCard.
    • Disinfect your hands with sanitizer when entering campus buildings.
    • Wear masks at all times when others are present (in private and public spaces), unless alone in a room where a door can be closed.
    • Wear a mask or face covering outdoors if you can’t maintain a 2 metre distance from others.
    • Practise proper hand hygiene and wash your hands frequently.
    • Be sure to comply with all occupancy and directional signage.
    • Practise physical distancing and leave campus once your course is over.
    • Consider downloading the ABTraceTogether mobile app.

What to do if you feel sick

If you develop COVID-19 signs and symptoms notify your instructor and go home immediately. Ensure you have arrangements to get home safely; do not use public transportation, ride-sharing services or taxis. Isolation spaces on campus are available if you cannot drive yourself home and must wait to be picked up.

What to expect from your program and courses

  • You will receive course details including learning expectations, delivery methods, assessment and contact information from your professor on your first day of class.
  • Student attendance will be taken by your professor every day.

What to expect on campus

  • Access to most campus buildings is restricted and room occupancy is limited.
  • We are cleaning more often and signs will be in place to remind you to physically distance, follow single-direction arrows in hallways and practise healthy hand hygiene.
  • Depending on the size of the washroom two to three people will be permitted to use it at any given time.
  • Elevators are limited to one person at a time. An aide may help anyone needing assistance.
  • Seating is limited and spread out in common areas.
  • Bottle-refill stations are available, but all water fountains will be out of service.
  • The Table, located on the second floor of Main Street, is open providing fresh food and beverages on campus. Snacks and drinks can also be purchased from various vending machines located around campus. Food and beverages are not permitted in labs or classrooms.

Where to park and transit information

 

Parking is available in Lot 2 at the West Gate entrance and the East Gate parkade. Parking is free for the first 30 minutes and then a significantly reduced flat rate of $5 per day will apply (compared with $17 during normal operations). Reduced parking rates and available lots are continuously under review and subject to change.

Payment will be contactless using the HotSpot app (fees apply). Pay stations will not be running. For full details on parking and the payment process, visit the parking and transportation website.

Since Mount Royal University will continue with alternative delivery formats in the Winter 2021 semester, the U-Pass program will be deferred until Fall 2021. Students will not be charged any fees for U-Pass this winter. For students who need to purchase transit passes, the Students' Association is offering 40% off the regular price. Please visit the U-Pass page on the parking and transportation website for more information.

Where to study and work

Study spaces and computer labs

All new and returning students registered for fall 2020 courses will be able to access study spaces and computer labs located on the main floor of the Library using their OneCard.

Access will be limited, masks will be mandatory in common areas, group rooms will be single-user and all furniture will be re-arranged for social distancing. Additional cleaning will take place throughout the open hours and later; users will be provided with wipes to clean their own workspaces upon arrival. At this time, the Service Desk, Maker Studio, Experience Lab and Viz Classroom will remain closed and services will be virtual or contactless.

Printers will not be available in the Library for the Fall 2020 semester. Students requiring print services can do so through the Cougars Campus Store by sending their PDF files to print@mtroyal.ca. Please include your phone number, required print quantities, colour printing preference (colour or black and white) and your preferred method of delivery or pickup in your email. Your printed files can be shipped and standard rates will apply or you can schedule an appointment for contactless pickup. A representative from the Cougars Campus Store will call you to collect payment information and confirm your pickup or delivery option.

Where to eat

 

The Table, located on the second floor of Main Street, is open providing fresh food and beverages on campus! Purchases can be made by debit or credit card, or through your OneCard with the purchase of a new MRU Dining Plan. Cash transactions are unavailable at this time. View full details on the MRU Dining Plans available to those living in Residence, to students with in-person learning exceptions, and to employees.

Snacks and drinks can also be purchased from various vending machines located around campus.

Where to get your textbooks and resources

The University Library

MRU’s Subject Specialists can be reached via email or text to assist students through research-based projects. Contactless pickup as well as digitization requests are available for students to gain access to hardcopy library materials.

Cougars Campus Store

Free contactless pickup will be listed as an option when placing orders online through the campus store. All online orders placed by those living in the Calgary area including all surrounding communities within the Cochrane, Airdrie and Okotoks borders will be fulfilled by free contactless pickup or be shipped at a flat rate of $10 (regardless of the purchase amount). If you live outside of the Calgary area we will ship your order, with free shipping on orders over $100.

As of Nov. 9 all contactless pickup orders will take place by appointment from the Cougars Campus Store.  Visit the COVID-19 Remote Services & Supports page for detailed instructions for contactless pickup and returns, shipping, order fulfillment, OneCards, textbooks, print services and sponsored student information.

All OneCard requests are to be submitted online and will be available for pickup from the Security office at the West Gate entrance. Please allow three business days for processing.

Illustration of a bunch of different objects both school related and home related.

Off-campus activities

If you have an in-person course component that will take place off campus this semester, we want you to know that Mount Royal is taking the appropriate precautions to promote a safe learning environment and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The health and safety of the MRU community is everyone’s responsibility.

As a student in a field school or off-campus activity with other students, here is what you need to know:

  1. When you are doing in-person learning:

What to do if you feel sick

If you develop COVID-19 signs and symptoms, notify your instructor and go home immediately. Ensure you have arrangements to get home safely; do not use public transportation, ride-sharing services or taxis. Isolate from others if you cannot drive yourself home and must wait to be picked up.

What to expect from your field school or off-campus activity

You will receive course details, including learning expectations, delivery methods, assessment, and contact information from your instructor on your first day of class.

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Proctoring at MRU

Mount Royal University uses exam proctoring software in limited instances where alternative examination methods are not possible. Online proctoring is a common practice in distance education environments around the world.

Access to a quality post-secondary education in alternative environments has always been important to MRU. The University’s use of the proctoring software is not new due to the pandemic. Students who do not reside in the local area and are taking courses online and through distance delivery have used proctoring software for a long time.

As more students are learning in an online environment during the pandemic, proctoring is an option in cases where:

  • specific learning outcomes can only be assessed using proctoring software
  • there is severe difficulty (or impossible) ability to deliver exam alternatively due to the nature of assessment
  • it is required to meet specific standards from an accrediting body
  • there is a high risk of academic misconduct (plagiarism, cheating)

 

What is exam proctoring software?

Exam proctoring software is a tool that allows you to complete a monitored quiz or exam. In place of a physical person in the room with you when you complete the assessment, instructors typically have a software program record your webcam, microphone, screen and any keyboard activity or websites you visit during the assessment. Instructors set what behaviours they want to be flagged as unusual activities by the software’s algorithms. Flags are automatically added to your recordings based on those settings.

Instructors and or teaching assistants review the recordings to determine whether any flagged activity constitutes actual misconduct or is just algorithms noting a harmless variance in the recording.

 

What type of exam proctoring software does MRU use?

The Faculty of Continuing Education has used ProctorU for non-credit students for many years. Students in the Advanced Studies in Critical Care Nursing have also used ProctorU. For all other credit students the option is Proctorio.

 

How does MRU protect my privacy during a proctored exam?

Proctorio is compliant with Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Recording and data are stored securely in Canada. The encrypted recordings are retained for two years before they are deleted.

 

How do I know if my course will require a proctored exam?

Most examinations at MRU do not use proctoring software. In the rare instance an exam may require its use, you will be informed by your instructor.

 

Are there additional fees if I have a proctored exam?

Students in credit programs will not incur new fees associated with proctored exams. Programs with long-standing proctoring solutions for courses traditionally taught online may have a small fee.

 

Can my instructor require the use of a webcam?

While encouraged during synchronous delivery to enhance the online classroom community, the use of cameras during class is not mandatory. In the rare circumstance a student may have an online proctored exam, the use of a webcam may be required.

What are the technical and other requirements I need to be aware of in advance?

Below are the technical technical requirements. Other requirements to consider before your proctored exam are that you have photo identification, access to a private, quiet and well-lit exam location and a reliable internet connection.

Proctorio must be used on a desktop or laptop computer. Mobile devices will not work. You will need:

Proctorio can be used with the following operating systems.

  • Windows: a laptop or desktop with Windows 7 or higher
  • Mac: a MacBook or iMac with macOS 10.11 or higher
  • Linux: a laptop or desktop with Ubuntu 18.04 or higher
  • Chrome: a laptop or Chromebox with Chrome 85 or higher

You can view the minimum technical requirements on Proctorio's 5 site. In most cases, Proctorio's modest requirements accommodate devices as old as 10 years. As well, the operating system version requirements do not coincide with the devices' age. For security and functionality, it is recommended test-takers update their systems to the most recent operating system possible.

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Frequently asked questions

Student support and services

While MRU’s campus is mostly closed, many areas are providing online support and services during office hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. Connect directly with each department, or review the commonly asked questions below.

 

How do I determine my course schedule and find details about my courses?

The Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 Semesters will primarily be delivered using alternate delivery methods with limited exceptions. Courses with in-person components are outlined in the Fall 2020 in-person courses list and the Winter 2021 in-person courses list. Review the list for courses which have components that will require in-person attendance, and refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for in-person classes if it applies to you.

After determining if any in-person classes apply to you, follow these steps to learn more about how each of your courses will be delivered via alternate delivery methods.

 

Does MRU use exam proctoring software to administer exams?

MRU uses exam proctoring software in limited instances where alternative examination methods are not possible. Online proctoring is a common practice in distance education environments around the world. Read more about proctoring software, technical requirements and fees.

 

Can students still get an appointment with a counsellor at Student Counselling Services?

Student Counselling Services is conducting appointments via telephone or video: see the Student Counselling website for more information. To discuss your options or to book, change, or cancel an appointment, please call 403.440.6362 or email counselling@mtroyal.ca. Be sure to include your name and a call-back number. An administrative assistant will call you back as soon as possible.

 

How do I contact Accessibility Services?

Please go to the Accessibility Services website for details on accommodations. You can also email accessibility@mtroyal.ca.

 

Can I still get an appointment for dating, domestic and sexual violence concerns or human rights issues?

Yes. Appointments are available either by phone or Google Meet for dating, domestic and sexual violence services and human rights advising.

 

Is the Iniskim Centre open?

The Iniskim Centre is closed. If you need to set up an online appointment, please contact the program coordinator to arrange.

 

If Alberta Health Services confirms that I have COVID-19, who should I notify and what are the academic implications?

Students should notify their instructor or relevant contact who will let them know of the academic implications.

 

Who should I tell if I know another student has COVID-19?

This is private and confidential medical information and it should only be shared between the student and the instructor and/or another relevant employee at Mount Royal.

 

Will professors be flexible with attendance and assignments if students feel unwell?

Faculty have the authority to determine the methodology by which they arrive at the final course grade and are encouraged to ensure students are not disadvantaged for circumstances beyond their control.

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Forms