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How COVID-19 Affects Academics

  • The physical classroom might look different in many ways. You may have less students in the room at any given time and the instructor will be at least 6-feet away from the front row of students.  Physical distancing and face coverings are required in all academic buildings. Expect screening protocols to be instituted in each class, as well. This may be as simple as a questionnaire that verifies you are symptom-free.
  • Classroom and instructional density will be reduced as appropriate. In order to mitigate risk in teaching environments, the Virginia Department of Health guidelines is being observed. The reduction of student capacity in all scheduled teaching spaces operates as follows:
    • Reduce student occupant capacities in all classrooms and limit large classroom occupancy such that appropriate physical distancing can occur. Digital options will also be available.
    • In classrooms, maintain a safe distance between the instructor and the nearest student while teaching and provide a see-thru barrier between instructor and students as available.
    • Provide additional barriers in instructional labs where appropriate.
    • Require additional social hygiene measures on common contact points for the more interactive teaching environments.
  • Study abroad suspended during Spring 2021. Students should check with their academic advisor about alternative coursework for these periods.
  • A modified instructional format could be followed for some residential courses to some extent.This means that, although each student will be able to experience in person classroom engagement and some amount of in person instruction, the amount and type will vary dependent on the courses you are taking.
    • For some courses, the majority of the instruction could be conducted in person; this might be the case for experiential learning courses, labs, or smaller discussion-based courses.
    • For other courses, only a limited portion of the course or certain specific components of the course will be delivered in person. For example, the lecture portion of a large lecture course might be delivered online, whereas the labs associated with that large lecture course could be delivered in person.
    • Alternatively, in large lecture courses, your instructor may be giving you and those in your assigned group the choice to come to a in person lecture on certain established days, while your group watches the lecture online on other days and completes associated assessments and activities online.
    • You can expect a lot of variety depending on the type of courses you are taking, the physical classroom space, and the design decisions your instructors will make in collaboration with their dean.
    • The courses are also intentionally designed to allow us to quickly move to another delivery option or move all aspects of the course online, later in the semester, if necessary. Likewise, as situations warrant, courses can move to delivery 100% in the traditional in-person if that is best for the situation and educational process.
  • Lab classes for Spring 2021 will be planned and implemented differently by different faculty. There are several possible approaches. No matter how they are conducted, expect that protective procedures will be a component, and screening protocols will be implemented.
  • Online exams will be administered through the university’s Learning Management System. However, programs that necessitate in-person assessments may have all or part of an exam scheduled at a time within the term.
  • Schedules for the Spring 2021 semester classes should remain the same. But the delivery of the instruction may vary slightly. For example, you may engage in your class in a modified format or a different classroom than originally scheduled.
  • Liberty University Online classes will proceed as usual. Students with questions regarding intensives should review the General Operations section under Quick Answers for the latest information and updates on intensives.

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