14
March
2020
|
17:55
America/Tegucigalpa

U of A moves to online delivery of classes starting Tuesday

While classes will not be held in-person for remainder of winter term, all campuses will remain open with all services available.

By MICHEL PROULX

Classes at the University of Alberta will resume through online delivery on Tuesday, March 17, and winter term will end as originally scheduled, on April 8, the university announced today.

“Making the transition from in-person classes to remote delivery will ensure that our students can complete the academic term and meet their academic goals,” said David H. Turpin, president of the university. “In addition to protecting the health of our students and community, our goal is to maintain the U of A’s quality learning experience in the midst of a rapidly evolving situation.”

For Monday, March 16, all classes—in-person, online and alternate delivery—are again suspended to allow time for instructors to move their instruction online.

On Tuesday, students will be able to log into eClass and access their courses, course information and course content online. 

While classes will no longer be held in-person for the rest of the term, the university’s campuses and residences will remain open with all services available and all staff at work. 

Andrew Sharman, vice-president of facilities and operations, said details regarding exams will be worked out in the next few days but added there will be no in-person exams this term.

“We’re looking very closely at how exams will be delivered in alternative formats. As soon as we finalize details later this coming week, we’ll share that information right away,” he said.

He added that registration for fall 2020 and winter 2021—scheduled to begin on March 16—will go ahead as planned.

We made these decisions to maintain the high academic quality of our institution and to recognize the pressures faced by a large institution in the face of an unprecedented situation,” Sharman said.

In an email to all staff and students yesterday, the university said all in-person midterm exams and classes that were suspended Friday and throughout the weekend will be rescheduled or adjusted as necessary. 

“The same will apply for midterm exams and classes on Monday,” said Sharman. “Any information received to the contrary is inaccurate. All students will be accommodated.”

The university also said that, based on recent direction from the World Health Organization and the Chief Medical Officer, it is:

  • suspending all upcoming university-related travel (students and staff) outside of Canada, 

  • strongly recommending that all students studying abroad make arrangements to come home, regardless of the risk rating in their current location, and 

  • suspending all campus events of 250 or more attendees, on all campuses.

The university is also requesting that community members who feel ill stay home, and that anyone returning from outside Canada self-isolate for 14 days and monitor themselves for symptoms.

“We realize that this is not an easy time for students but we’re committed to supporting them with any necessary accommodation,” said Sharman.

More information about the university’s response to the COVID-19 situation can be found on its website.