WKU will return to in-person instruction on August 24th, and the Division of Academics Affairs has implemented some important strategies to protect the health and wellbeing of our faculty, staff and students. For your safety, our classrooms, laboratories, studios, and study spaces will operate at reduced capacity.
To support this change, WKU will offer three class formats – face-to-face, online and hybrid. Our faculty are diligently preparing to ensure that we provide an equivalent and high quality educational experience regardless of format. This is a guide to help you understand changes to course delivery as displayed in TopNet. For personalized assistance, please contact the WKU Academic and Career Development Center by calling 270-745-5065 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
When students meet in class face-to-face, in addition to requiring face masks, seating arrangements should, when possible, spread students throughout the classroom by either (1) leaving empty desks between students, (2) physically moving desks farther apart, or (3) reducing the number of students seated at a single table.
For face-to-face classes, we’re reconfiguring each instructional space to ensure safe distances between all students and instructors. And in some cases, we’re completely moving classes to larger spaces.
Hybrid classes are a combination of face-to-face and online instruction. For example, for classes that meet twice each week - some students could attend class in-person one day, while others participate through zoom. Your instructors will explain how their particular classes will work.
The majority will be taught through face-to-face or hybrid formats, but WKU will continue to offer a wide array of online courses.
Remember, masks must be worn any time indoors. So, be sure to mask-up for your face-to-face classes.
OTHER ALTERATIONS TO COURSES MEETING FACE-TO-FACE
Shortening each class period by five minutes will achieve the following benefits:
- Students will have additional time to follow newly-prescribed paths and routes across campus and throughout academic buildings.
- Instances in which students gather in the hallway waiting for the previous class to end will be reduced.
- If classes are scheduled back-to-back, HVAC systems will have 33% more time to change the air inside classrooms.
- Preserving existing start times for each class will limit disruption to student schedules.
For maximum benefit, the committee assumes the following:
- Faculty will end classes on time.
- Students will seek alternative means of clarifying content or asking questions that do not involve remaining behind to speak with the instructor.
- Students will not congregate in hallways to wait for classes.
- Space planning will mitigate the number of classes offered per floor of buildings to reduce hallway transition density.
- Departments will assist the Division of Facilities Management (DFM) in identifying congested areas and in developing strategies to reduce gathering in those spaces.
VIRTUALIZED OFFICE HOURS
Faculty offices are often smaller spaces with limited circulation or opportunities for distancing with guests; therefore, faculty (including those teaching in-person classes) should virtualize office hours and employ other strategies for in-person meetings that promote social distancing.
As we finalize format changes across the university, TopNet will continue to have the most up-to-date information. If students wish to change their schedules, our Advising Center is here to help. We don’t fully know what the fall semester will look like, but we do know that it will look different than the last. We are working hard to prepare and are committed to making sure we work together to achieve a successful reopening and successful semester.