Updates, Guidelines For Spring Class Formats

Updates, Guidelines For Spring Class Formats

As students look to make decisions on living arrangements, work schedules and other life choices for the second semester, many have been waiting for information about spring class formats before .

The Spring 2021 class schedule has been posted in the course catalog. It includes a mix of online, hybrid and in-person classes. Each class listing notes the format and any designated meeting times. Online classes with content students can view on demand are listed as having “no meeting pattern.”

University officials are aware some instructors decided to move hybrid and in-person classes online this fall. Academic units have been encouraged to maintain original class formats and continue to offer a mix of formats for licensure and accreditation purposes, educational factors and to accommodate students’ preferences. Thus, the university anticipates fewer format changes in Spring 2021.

Acceptable reasons for changing a course’s format could be:

  • An outbreak in a class, which is defined as 15 percent or more of the students in a class becoming infected within a two-week period. A single case of COVID-19 in a class is not sufficient to cause a change in class format.
  • Student migration, meaning that in classes with both in-person and online delivery, 80% or more of the students are no longer regularly attending face-to-face classes.
  • Pedagogical reasons, meaning the instructor determines a change in format is needed to maintain or improve teaching effectiveness.
  • A change in the instructor’s health situation after the start of the semester.
  • The instructor is diagnosed with COVID-19, is in close contact with someone infected with COVID-19 or has a family member who requires care.

Instructors considering a change in format must provide a detailed explanation to their department chair, dean and/or associate dean. The department chair, dean or associate dean will forward the request to the COVID-19 Management Team, indicating whether or not they support it.

The request will be reviewed by the Monitoring Core Team and then the Provost’s Office. If the Provost’s Office approves the request, the Registrar’s Office will change the course format in PAWS and adjust students’ tuition.

Story posted Oct. 28, 2020