Email sent to sociology class after WMU student self-reports COVID-19

Campus is nearly empty as students and non-essential staff were sent home due to COVID-19 last week. Students in the sociology of religion course last met in person on Tuesday, March 10.

In a Town Hall Monday, WMU administration continued to look ahead at what the fall semester could look like.

Parts of the town hall echoed on what had previously been announced. Masks will be required in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is not possible.

The Online, Large Class working group recommended a split curriculum approach with a mix of online and face to face offerings. 

The group mandated that classes with 70 or more students be offered online while classes with 50-70 students should consider online options. There are only four classrooms that can accommodate these types of classes. The group is still figuring out who would get these classrooms.

If face-to-face instruction would occur, classrooms would need to be altered for effective social distancing, this means less people in a room and assigned seating.

The team also created five types of courses for the fall. These include the traditional in person and hybrid courses, but also include:

  • Asynchronous Online – Fully Online with no required in person meetings but may include optional synchronous sessions for office hours, group work and final exams. These materials would be available for students to work on asynchronously

  • Fully Synchronous Online – Online equivalent to a traditional class where students are to be online with the instructor at set days and times

  • Partially Synchronous Online – Online equivalent of a hybrid course with material delivered synchronously and some required synchronous sections when the subject-matter requires real time demonstration, collaboration and/or intersection.

In case of a spike in cases, learning may have to be fully conducted online. The

Transition to Learning Remote team is recommending changes to the student code of conduct policy for health and safety reasons. The team is also recommending a university wide laptop policy be implemented as well as affordable access to laptops.

WMU announced Monday students would return to campus this fall with some changes.

The University is working on a plan for the Spring 2021 semester.

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