Teaching & Learning

A prospective student stops by PLU's COVID-19 renovated Welcome Center

Return to Learning on Campus

Our goal is to provide an in-person learning experience, as safely as possible, for as many students as we can. Public-health conditions permitting, most of our Fall 2020 classes will be blended in format, with elements of in-person and online instruction in each course.

For the in-person elements, teaching spaces have been configured to align with physical-distancing requirements, and faculty and students will use personal protective equipment appropriate for each learning activity. In most cases, this will take the form of face coverings, but for some classes, face shields and gloves may also be utilized. Each classroom will have a cleaning/disinfectant kit for students to use, prior to and after their use of any shared equipment.

Larger spaces traditionally used for events and performances will be adapted for classroom use to allow physical distancing in classes with larger student enrollments.

We are complementing our blended offerings with a host of fully online courses. Online courses allow us to minimize population density on campus as well as honor faculty members’ personal circumstances. See below for the list of courses that have shifted to an online instructional method.

On-campus remote learning spaces:

  • Anderson University Center
    • Some study carrels have been moved to the AUC.
  • Mortvedt Library
    • The third floor is the quiet floor; conversing is permitted on other floors.
  • Any academic buildings they have card-swipe access to for in-person classes.
  • Campus parking lots
    • For privacy and physical distancing. 
  • Outdoor spaces e.g., picnic tables, benches, etc. 

Teaching, learning and thriving online

Our faculty are ready to teach you — and teach you well — regardless of the instructional method. Since 2014, the PLU Teaching Online (PLUTO) program has prepared our faculty to teach fully online or via blended courses — courses that capture the fundamental elements and high impact practices that are hallmarks of a PLU education, but are conducted virtually.

Online and Blended Courses

Is your course course blended or online? Check the interactive course schedule! To identify which courses are blended learning (BL) or online (ON), search the class and then look for under the ‘MTD’ column.

My courses are online. Why do I have to pay the associated fees?

Fees are applied at the course level for expenses directly related to students’ participation in certain courses. At PLU, fees are attached to some courses with labs, studio work, and other unique instructional elements.

Whether they meet in-person or remotely, fees are used to support instruction in multiple ways, including:

    1. Purchasing lab or studio supplies in support of instruction. As remote learning shifts to  in-person learning, materials and support will be ready and waiting for students. 
    2. Saving over multiple years to purchase and maintain expensive equipment. For example, many of the instruments used in lab and studio courses cost a great deal to purchase and maintain. The costs associated with purchasing and maintaining these pieces of equipment are spread out over many years’ worth of collected fees. 
    3. Supporting the personnel required to order materials, prepare, set up, and take down labs and demonstrations for faculty teaching in person or remotely.
    4. Purchasing materials and technology to achieve course learning objectives remotely,  including the labs or presentations that professors demonstrate to their students. 
    5. Providing students access to online materials to support their learning in the absence of their ability to work in the lab or studio directly.

Most labs within the Divisions of Natural Sciences and Social Sciences are zero credits, and those that are credit-bearing are only one-credit. This means PLU charges little to no tuition to students for labs, but still must pay for the materials and personnel costs.

In addition to the elements described above, applied music fees, in part, support the one-on-one aspect of studio teaching.