L&S guidance for selecting course modality for Fall 2020 courses

Below is guidance for L&S departments for selecting course modality for Fall 2020 courses

[6/21/2020 edit: Dept Strategy Questionnaire Q.6 updated to ask for more information about 50-100 student in-person course offerings]

L&S Advice for Restructuring Fall 2020 Scheduling


  • Provide in-person courses to serve our on-campus students. We aspire to have at least 50% of courses with some in-person meeting times.
  • At least a third of courses should be entirely remote (synchronous or asynchronous) to ensure that students not on campus have enrollment options.  
  • Adapt the fall 2020 timetable to meet new health and safety guidelines as described in the campus’ Smart Restart plan
  • Aspire for 20% of sections with some in-person meetings scheduled in extended hours. (Our room capacity is greatly reduced. An extended schedule adds additional opportunities for in-person meetings.)
  • Try to accommodate mode (in-person/remote) and scheduling needs of instructors (faculty, staff, graduate students) to the extent possible, in view of other goals.
  • Request new classrooms for in person sections that will be large enough accommodate physical distancing.This holds true for course sections that were already scheduled in departmentally controlled spaces.
  • Course access for our students is critical: the total number of seats should not decrease.
  • Consider courses required for your programs, and those that meet general education and other degree requirements, and offer a mix of courses with some in-person meetings and entirely remote courses to ensure students can make progress to degree even if they have to attend remotely.
Task 1: Please submit to L&S:
Task 2: Please submit in SIS:
  • Update course modality and request new room assignments in SIS.
  • Due Date: Friday, July 3 (Task 1 and Task 2 may be accomplished simultaneously)
  • Review this kb webpage.
  • Consult with your Academic Associate Dean if you have any questions or specific concerns.
  • Decide the instructional modality of your course sections.
    • Aim for roughly 50-70% of your courses to have some in-person meetings.  For in-person sections decide the meeting times.
    • Aim for 30-50% of courses to be taught remotely.
    • Aim for 20% of your in-person courses scheduled during extended times (weekday evenings and Saturday mornings).
  • Determine whether remote sections will be synchronous or asynchronous.
  • Fill out the Department Strategy Questionnaire for Fall 2020 Course Modality and submit to your AAD by noon on Thursday, June 25.
    • We will get back to you by Saturday, June 27. However, feel free to move to the next step while waiting for our response.
  • Review the department-controlled instruction space you plan to use for in-person meeting times with these guidelines and determine the new capacity. Reassign your rooms as appropriate to in-person sections. A new general assignment room can be requested if your in-person course no longer fits in your department-controlled room. FP&M has reviewed the largest department-controlled classrooms for new capacities; we will follow up with this information soon. The Office of the Registrar will reassign General Assignment classrooms (for courses with them requested) per the new room caps.
  • Enter the information in SIS per the Office of Registrar’s directions by Friday, July 3.
    • After this deadline, the Registrar’s Office will reassign GA classrooms.

Campus parameters for Fall 2020 instruction 

Please read Smart Restart for campus Priorities and Goals for Fall 2020 instruction 
  • In-person instruction be in rooms large enough for physical distancing guidelines, which dramatically reduces classroom capacity (new GA room capacities can be found here)
  • Registrar will increase the general assignment classroom pool by drawing some department-controlled classrooms as well as spaces in Memorial Union, Union South, Pyle Center, etc.
  • All classes will be remote after Thanksgiving.
  • The course schedule will extend into weekday evenings and Saturdays to maximize use of in-person space (see extended meeting times).
  • Sections with 100+ students must be taught remotely. 
  • Few sections of 50-100 students can be assigned in-person space.
  • Not all sections of <50 students can be guaranteed rooms.
Definition of Different Types of Modality, for the purposes of this document:
  • In-person: has some in-person meeting times
  • Remote Synchronous: Entirely remote. Students are expected to participate in online lectures, discussions, labs or activities synchronously during scheduled meeting times.
  • Remote Asynchronous: Entirely remote. Students are engaging regularly every week with the instructor, course content, activities, assignments, etc. but are not required to meet with the class synchronously in a scheduled meeting-time pattern.

L&S Advice For Restructuring Fall 2020 Scheduling 

Departments/programs should leverage existing governance structures and committees for evaluating curriculum, scheduling courses, and assigning instructors, as departments develop an overall strategy for assigning instructional modality to all your sections. 
Please remember your curricular responsibility extends to students in other majors and colleges who rely on your courses for general education requirements and progress to their degrees.  
  1. Departments will need to assign instructional modality to all Fall 2020 sections, with options of in-person (or hybrid), remote synchronous, or remote asynchronous.  This will be used to communicate your intentions to the Office of Registrar for their part of the central work. 
  2. Review staffing. Some changes to teaching assignments may be appropriate. Departments must work within existing instructional staffing levels and budgets in delivering their curriculum. 
Potential reasons to have some in-person meeting times for a section:
  • Enrollment is less than 25. 
  • The course requires special equipment/facilities or other special circumstances where some in-person meetings are essential: (some labs, specialized software or instruments, etc.)
  • It serves first-year students. Prioritize FIGS, URS, Honors courses, WES and General Education courses.
  • It uses high-impact instructional practices. These may benefit greatly from some in-person instruction and community-building. First-year students may especially benefit from in-person class meetings.  
  • Discussions/labs with some in-person meetings should be offered when possible for some students, even if the lecture has too many students to teach in-person.
  • Particularly challenging issues are discussed, such as race, sexuality, gender identity, religion,  etc.
  • It would fit well into an evening or weekend schedule. This alleviates room capacity problems and allows students to choose a flexible combination of courses.
  • All instructors of courses with some in-person meetings should be ready to switch to remote delivery before Thanksgiving if circumstances call for it.
  • Instructors who are teaching in-person courses may not "front-load" coursework and end it early --  we must prevent overloading students prior to the Thanksgiving break.
Potential reasons to prepare for a remotely-delivered lecture/section:
  • Enrollment is greater than 50. Very limited room options are available for these courses, so requests must be prioritized.
  • It has been through a formal instructional design process for online or hybrid design and delivery of content, assessment, and interaction -- such as summer online courses or “flipped” hybrid courses.
  • Topical content and learning outcomes of the course can be achieved through a remote delivery plan.
Considerations when combining in-person and remote instruction in the same course:
  • Consider offering larger lectures remotely with in-person discussions/labs. Some discussion/labs could be offered remotely, to accommodate students who cannot attend in person. Aspire to have roughly 50% of discussions/labs with in-person meeting times.  Have a clear and equitable method to assign TAs to in-person versus remote sections.
  • For multi-section courses with lectures/sections >=50, consider decreasing the enrollment cap in one or two sections to allow in-person instruction while increasing the enrollment cap of other sections to be taught remotely. There is no budget available, however, to increase staffing to do this.
Considerations in assigning instructors (faculty, staff, TAs) to either in-person or remote courses:
  • Decisions about course delivery mode should be made first, followed by decisions about instructional staffing. Individual instructors do not “own” courses; courses and curricula are owned by departments and programs. Executive committees (or delegated curriculum committees, or department/program chairs) have authority to make decisions about timetabling and course delivery, as well as decisions about who staffs which courses. 
  • Departments are expected to be mindful of the balance of in-person assignments across faculty, instructional staff, and graduate students. 
  • The university will work with staff who are at heightened risk of infection. If at all possible, the university will make reasonable accommodations that allow these employees to work in a lower-risk environment.

Keywords:covid, rescheduling, roooms, remote, online, room, schedule, assigment   Doc ID:103219
Owner:Kimbrin C.Group:L&S Administrative Gateway
Created:2020-06-19 14:17 CDTUpdated:2020-06-22 14:57 CDT
Sites:L&S Administrative Gateway
Feedback:  1   0