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06/23/2020

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Smancy residential R1

The plan seems to be that students will be back on campus, and that all courses under 100 students will need to have 9-10 hours throughout the semester of face-to-face teaching of some sort - everything else will be online (including office hours). Exceptions for faculty in high-risk groups, but not for anyone else. This seems to be due to international student visas - they can only take 1 fully online course to qualify for a visa, and our university seems to be focused mainly on getting students on campus for financial reasons.

I think it's going to be horrible, and that we're going to have to pivot, badly, to online halfway through the semester. Even while we're in person it will be awful - teaching well with masks and distancing will be impossible. I hate online teaching, but I'd much rather be entirely online under these conditions.

Boo

My university's president has stated that they expect most courses to be face-to-face. In fact, the university has adopted physical distancing guidelines within classrooms that makes this impossible for most classes. For example, none of my classrooms have the capacity for all of my students to meet in-person during class time, given those guidelines. Thus, many courses like mine will be forced into a "hybrid" model, which combines the worst aspects of in-person and online teaching. Here's how I'm approaching things: half of my students will attend on one class day during the week, and the other half will attend on the other class day. Assignments and lectures will be posted online, and then *something* will happen in person. I don't know what the something is yet, since small group discussions are not possible, given the physical distancing guidelines. Perhaps just a free-for-all discussion?

In any case, I feel like the entire plan has been hatched in the halo of bureaucratic reality denial, and I think it is very bad. Furthermore, if I had to, I would bet that halfway through the semester, we will revert to online-only, as Smancy above comments.

Anon123

Our plan as of late is to be back to business as usual, except everyone, faculty and students, must wear masks in the classroom. Also food on campus is take out only. You can't sit at tables. We were warned things can change and encouraged to prep for possible online switch.

Not sure how I feel. I've kind of become agnostic about the whole thing.

Midwestern CC

Ours have announced that they intend fall to be largely on campus and for on-campus operations in general to be pretty much normal starting August 1st. Masks and sanitizer will be liberally provided to anyone who lacks them. Plexi-glass screens will be installed in a variety of places. Faculty are encouraged but not required to make their in-class courses "flex"--students can opt to meet all course requirements online but still receive the same instruction/attention as those students who come to the classroom. Students and faculty who are in higher-risk groups can apply for exemptions from any on-campus requirements.

I haven't heard any student reactions. I don't have particularly strong views one way or the other about the plans. I should also note that the administration has made clear these plans are subject to change quickly.

Mid-Atlantic CC faculty

There's nothing official yet but from what I can tell the plan that seems to be taking shape is that they will be having in person classes only for programs where it is absolutely necessary-- i.e. health professions and automotive repair-- and that everything else will be online with some mix of synchronous and asynchronous. There's also been some talk of moving up the semester and compressing classes down to 8 weeks for the programs that must meet so as to finish the semester in October or earlier to avoid the possible second fall wave. I wish there were a little more transparency and communication so I had a better idea of what was going on, but from what I know our plans so far seem exceedingly sensible. So honestly I'm very happy with them, especially given some of the other plans I'm seeing at other institutions. To my mind it would be stupid bordering on reckless to insist on face to face classes where face to face instruction isn't absolutely essential. Luckily we're a blue state so our governor and his appointees don't feel like they need to demonstrate fealty to Trump by pretending COVID doesn't exist or isn't dangerous which sadly doesn't seem to be the case at many public institutions.

Chris Stephens

At the University of British Columbia, pretty much all undergraduate courses are online, and most graduate courses (including all philosophy courses). Many students are staying home since all their classes are online. People aren't thrilled about all their classes being online, but I think most of the students understand it is necessary because of the Pandemic. The only exceptions are courses like e.g., nursing or dentistry, that must have some in person components. Of course those students must have PPE, etc. They basically encouraged all programs to move as many "lab" classes as possible out of term 1 - or to move them to next year, if possible.
UBC hasn't made an official announcement about term 2, but I expect it will be online as well unless a vaccine or effective treatment is found in the next couple months, which seems unlikely.

This all seems quite reasonable, despite the fact that the outbreak isn't as bad in Canada (and certainly not in BC) as it is in the USA. (Of course, one reason it is not as bad is the the Canadian govt. has had more cautious policies (and has a better national policy) than the US.

dmf

UIowa is going to be grim, return to in-person classes, and students will be allowed to congregate in groups for social activities including in spaces like fraternities which have no real supervision, so much for social distancing...

new dept chair

My small state school wants us to hold as many classes in person as we can, but they are being quite flexible for people who prefer to teach remotely for the semester. That's been encouraging, and some members of my department (most of these, but not all, in high risk categories) have chosen to do so.

We cannot have more than 50% of a classroom's occupancy in a given room. This is creating many headaches for me as chair, since I can't even get a definitive number to take as the max for certain rooms. As a smallish school, we don't have a lot of large classroom spaces available (basically no classrooms with a usual capacity over 57), with little guidance from admin about how to prioritize across departments/colleges. Most of the classrooms we usually teach in hold about 30-35 at most, so I've been tasked with commandeering any available spaces where I can fit a 20-25 person class before others grab them up. Most of my department's general education courses are too large for any classroom we have, so those must be hybrid or remote.

Most of these requirements are reasonable, I suppose. I understand the university wanting as many physical classes as possible since the students are demanding them. And most of my faculty want to be in the classroom in some capacity. But I've been disappointed in the transparency or lack of guidance about how to go about accomplishing the vague guidelines we've been give.

Peter

At my non-residential campus, all courses will be online if at all possible. Even fine arts studio courses will be online. There are a few courses that require hands-on work with unique equipment that will be on campus, but these are few and far between.

While I don't think online learning is a perfect replacement for face to face courses, I think this is the best decision for our school, and I am pleased with college leadership for making this decision early, so that students and faculty could plan for the fall.

SmallCollegeJuniorFaculty

Tentative plans at my small (2300 student), Northeast Catholic University: we are planning for in-person with a 'substantial online presence'. Basically flex. We don't normally have any large classes (max are 25-30 students but many are 18 and under), so the plan is to split in-person attendance (half in person/half online on rotating days). At least so far it seems like faculty/departments will have flexibility on how they conduct this. Many large non-classroom rooms across campus are being converted into classrooms to accommodate social distancing. No word yet on faculty ability to opt to be only online. General vibe seems to be that people think this is a good plan. Start early, end by Thanksgiving. We are in a state whose Governor is taking this seriously, and our admin seems to be taking it seriously, but I am frustrated by the lack of transparency. We have been told that we would likely not survive whole from a fully online year (assuming we had to discount tuition), so I'm not opposed to this plan. I just wish that our admin--or SOMEBODY--could communicate to us what risk they are asking us to take for the 'sake of our mission' and the financial health of the college (and our jobs).

Trevor Hedberg

Ohio State is compiling their information about fall reopening here: https://president.osu.edu/leadership-and-committees/post-pandemic-operations-task-force

At this point, we know for certain that there will be no in-person teaching after Thanksgiving. Finals and any other instruction will be done online during that period. In-person instruction will be more limited in the fall, but it appears (on my understanding) that the details are being worked out by individual colleges and will be finalized on July 1st. Faculty in my college had to submit a short form indicating how they intended to teach in the fall. I suspect we'll know a lot more within the next week or two.

Rubal

My university told us there will be no in-person teaching for this semester & classes will remain online until further notice.

Tenured faculty member

Our university is a Catholic, Jesuit institution. This is what they communicate: face to face for majority of classes with flex option for students who won't/cannot and faculty who are over 65 or who have a (small) number of pre-existing conditions. Masks will be mandated. Hand sanitizer available. We'll move to larger rooms to accommodate the 6-foot distance requirement. President communicated as follows:

"I've heard from many students who are grateful to learn that we intend to have in-person classes when we begin the fall term on August 17. But I have also heard from some students with concerns that they, or someone they live with are at-risk. I have also heard from some who are not sure whether they will be able to leave their home country to return to campus for classes. We will make every effort to accommodate these needs. As soon as we have more information, we will share it.

Faculty members are developing options for in-person and remote delivery which, in many cases, will be happening simultaneously. Similarly, we have some faculty members who will not be able to teach in the classroom this fall because they or someone with whom they live is at-risk. The Provost, deans and department chairs are assessing those requests for remote teaching. As of now, we anticipate that fewer than 25 percent of faculty will be teaching solely online."

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