In-Person Instruction Communication, July 30, 2020
July 30, 2020 — The College is excited to welcome you back to campus and to resume in-person instruction next month. I’m writing to share further information about the plans we have in place for the Fall semester. Marist’s academic plan for Fall 2020 meets the most rigorous standards for reopening, while providing in-person instruction on a weekly basis; safe classrooms that provide 6 feet of physical distancing; flexibility to provide remote participation for students who need it; and with more time to prepare, better readiness than we were last spring to move entirely online if required.
Marist’s course offerings will take advantage of a range of teaching modalities, ranging from fully in-person to hybrid, fully remote, and fully online. Fully in-person will take place in classrooms large enough to hold the entire class while allowing for social distancing. Hybrid classes blend in-person and remote instruction. For instance, students could attend class in person on one day per week and participate via simulcast on the second day per week. Marist classrooms are currently being outfitted with cameras and microphones for this purpose. In another hybrid model, students participate in class once per week, and participate in directed discussion and watch pre-recorded video lectures for the second. Most undergraduate courses (about 85%) will be delivered using a hybrid blend of in-person and some remote instruction.
Fully remote classes will be taught by members of our faculty who have been approved for remote teaching. These courses will have class times and will be conducted synchronously via a platform like Zoom or WebEx. Lastly, Marist always has a complement of fully online courses, and Fall 2020 will be no different. These are courses that go through a rigorous Quality Matters framework and, following best practices, are for the most part asynchronous. Only students who opt-in to fully online courses will be enrolled in them. Section numbers will allow students to know how specific courses will be instructed. We are working to have these available by Friday, July 31.
In addition, we will be holding classes on Saturdays. Each Saturday, starting on August 29 and continuing through November 14, will serve as an additional class day for that week. Adding Saturdays will allow us to provide additional learning opportunities for our students.
While we are ready to offer courses on-ground all semester, we know circumstances are very uncertain. Therefore, we have worked to ensure that if forced to go all online, we can do so seamlessly. All Marist courses will have robust iLearn sites that have been prepared with the assumption that conditions could change during the semester, requiring any or all students, or the faculty member, to participate on a remote basis at any point. Unlike Spring 2020, if courses are forced to move online, faculty will keep their scheduled class time and will engage with students synchronously.
Students who wish to request a fully online schedule can work with a special advisor to select courses that are fully online, fully remote, or can be simulcast. If interested, please contact Toni Constantino, Manager of Online Programs, at Toni.Constantino@marist.edu as soon as possible to initiate this process.
Thomas S. Wermuth
Vice President for Academic Affairs