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Thursday, December 3, 2020

Academics & Research

Course delivery methods uncertain as enrollment opens


With Spring 2021 classes opening, students are finding that the method of delivery remains uncertain. | Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

With Spring 2021 classes opening, students are finding that the method of delivery remains uncertain. | Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

The University will offer approximately the same number of courses in Spring 2021 as available for previous semesters, despite ongoing uncertainties presented by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The number of courses offered is up to the discretion of an individual college or department at the University, which determines how many sections will be open for a particular class.

“Class availability is at the core of our commitment to student success,” said Mark Clarke, UH associate provost for faculty development and affairs. 

The formats for instruction in many courses remain up in the air. Intending to offer one quarter of all classes for the spring semester in a face-to-face format, the University plans to continuously monitor COVID-19 conditions to determine if the virus is sufficiently contained to allow for a safe classroom environment.  

“There have been no cancellation of spring classes, however, the mode of instruction could change depending on the state of the pandemic,” Clarke said. 

“The delivery options will continue to prioritize student choice, accommodate health and safety concerns and allow for rapid adjustments in the mode of instruction should that need arise due to the pandemic,” Clarke added.

The decision to implement a face-to-face option in select courses comes after a survey of the UH community revealed that students and faculty were interested in engaging in more in-person classes.

“Based on student and faculty results, the University moved ahead with offering more classes on campus in a face-to-face setting,” Clarke said. “The University continues to operate with flexibility and compassion. There will be enough course selection options for those students who would like to continue their studies online.” 

Students express mixed feelings about the University’s course offerings for Spring 2021. 

For biochemistry senior Jack Kent, he didn’t notice a difference in the number of course offerings or face-to-face options. 

“It seems about the same. Yes, there were one or two classes that I wanted to enroll in that were not available, but they were 4000 level biochemistry courses,” Kent said. “All of my classes are online, I didn’t notice how many classes are face-to-face.”

The same was not the case for liberal studies senior Ayomide Owosho, who found that the number of courses offered didn’t correlate with her expectations. 

“I definitely observed that the University didn’t offer as much classes as expected,” Owosho said. “The first day I was able to select and plan my classes, a lot of my major classes were not scheduled yet. That made me nervous because I was hoping it doesn’t mess up my graduation plans. But overall, I was able to get into some classes.” 

For more of  The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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